Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An All too familiar April....

Do these early April results seem a bit familiar?

The Sox are in 1st place in the AL East, coming strong out of the gate…
Beckett is 3-0 with an ERA under 2.00 (1.50 to be exact)…
Starting pitching looks really consistent

Like the rest of you, I am thrilled at how things have come together in ’07 so far.

But this is how it goes in Red Sox Nation. I can’t help but be cautiously optimistic, especially in April. Why am I so afraid to jump on the desk of my cubicle in the middle of my office and yell to the masses how psyched I am so far this year?

Maybe it’s the 86 years between Championship rings
Or maybe it’s the post All-Star game slide, that has plagued our team over time.
Or maybe I haven't shaken the disappointment of ’06, when our pitchers seemed to get hurt every other day…

I remember last year. We won like 8 games straight at the end of June into early July. I was in New Brunswick, Canada at the time. I couldn’t find a game on TV or any radio… no computer… all I got was box scores about 1 inch big in a newspaper written in French. It was like being in hell, and I missed the whole darn thing! Then I came home, and everything fell apart.

The opportunity is right now, for the Sox to run ahead of the pack and establish a cushion between us and the Jays/Yankees, as both are now dealing with some bumps in the road:

BJ Ryan from the Jays is on the DL, most likely for 6 weeks with elbow pain. Elbow pain is NEVER a good sign, especially with 3 more years to his contract. If our games this week against them are close ones, his absence will be noticed.

The Yankees’ rotation woes are no secret. With Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano and Chien-Ming Wang all on the DL right now, 3 of their 5 starting pitchers are missing. For them, it is like our problems after the All Star Break last year. How can you forget when Wells, Matt Clement, and Jon Lester all went down, with Papelbon hurting? Luckily for them Yankees they have a great lineup, because right now, their offense is winning their games. The Sox have to capitalize on this while their strongest pitchers are gone, because a healthy Yankees team can be a dangerous one.

So for today, the cautiously optimistic Red Sox fan is enjoying the first sweep of the year. I hope it is the first of many. Here’s to a good start, and to good health – not just in April, but for May - October as well.

Enjoy Dice-K tonite…

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