Paul MThe past five weeks have been incredibly frustrating. There would be copious amounts of ranting and raving in this space if this was pre-04, but any true anger at this point would be forced. I'm simply not that person anymore. The losses piss me off, because these players are better than this, but they no longer gnaw away at my insides.
[Tonight] is as close to must-win before the calendar even hits June as any game in a long time. For most of the last 15 years or so, .500 through the first 40 or so games was tolerable. Now, you have a team that's obviously performing well below expectations (under .500 and more importantly allowing nearly 6 runs per game!) PLUS you have two super-elite teams in the AL East.
It seemed like the Sox had a better staff than the MFY and Rays, but in hindsight, it's probably not true. ... Sox offense, which has been pretty good, is certainly inferior to the MFY, and it seems like there are a lot of hitters on the team that feast on the dregs of the league more than most and are rendered useless vs. good pitching. The defense may be better, but it's certainly not making highlight reels on a nightly basis like we may have been led to believe. At this point, you just hope they start playing better and see what happens.
The Sox will come back, but I am not overly confident that they will hit on enough cylinders to make it into the post season. ... Right now, I am hoping that Lowell becomes DH, our starters and relievers return to form and the batting order outperforms their career norms. Like I said, I have some hope. It is way too early to throw in the towel.
FWIW, the Yankees were 15-16 last year and 5.5 games down. They won 103 games.
The Yankees also had a vastly superior team and were missing one of the best players of all time in his prime. ... I'm not quitting or anything, because baseball is awesome, and nothing is certain here, but I'm not going to get upset when they lose to superior teams. The Baltimore series...now that was upsetting.
The Gray Eagle
Tampa and NY have come into Fenway and beat the living shit out of the Red Sox every way you can beat a team. At this point, the Sox are barely even putting up any resistance. ... Sunday is not a must-win game ... It's a really-really-want-to-win-game to save some freaking pride and avoid humiliation. Show you aren't just wetting your pants every single game when [TB and NYY] come to your park, and we'll go from there.
Back in '02 or '03 Theo laid out the game plan for the Sox
-build a team for 95 wins
-rebuild the farms, selectively use FA
-hope you don't get side-tracked by injuries
-and you should get into the post-season more often than not.
And it's turned out to be a sound game plan, but this is shaping up to be a "not" year.
[T]he problem I have envisioning the big turnaround is that we're not seeing a single area that is dragging them down nor a few key players. There is bad play across the board. Bonehead decision making, lackluster offense against non-horrible opponents, defensive crappiness abound, and one of the worst performing staffs. Oh, and some injuries on top of all that.
At this point, the run differential seems to be a pretty good indicator of talent. Worst six teams in the AL: Baltimore (-46), Cleveland (-41), Angels (-39), Seattle (-29), White Sox (-22), and Red Sox (-18). ... 30 games in, and the Sox have allowed 84 more runs than TB, and 72 more than the Yankees. And the team strength is pitching?
It would be the height of foolishness for me to come in here and declare that the Red Sox are going to go to the playoffs this season. Obviously, they have built themselves a nice little hole to climb out of. They are in a division with two really good teams. There is a good likelihood that the Red Sox will not make the playoffs this year. But, we do ourselves a disservice to not look at history. [Stuff about the 2009 Yankees, 2001 A's, 1951 Giants, 1988 Red Sox] This is not to say that this current Red Sox squad will do what the above teams did. But it is silly to count them out at this point. ... [T]here is a lot of time yet left.
The offense is about where we expected it to be, especially with two key starters out. ... The problem is the pitching, especially the rotation, which was supposed to be our strength. It flat-out sucks. ... I have no idea how to predict our starting pitching at this point but the season all hinges on that, and little else, really. If we're shutting down the opposition, no one here will be complaining very much that we won 4-1 instead of 6-1 ... When the pitching is crap, game after game, and right from the get-go, it's easy for a team to look absolutely awful. That's where we are right now.
I believe the Red Sox can turn their sinking ship around and get back into the ALE race -- the FKR's magic number over the Sox is 125 with 131 games to go -- though no matter what they do, they are not assured of a playoff spot. But what is a fan is she doesn't have faith?