That’s April in Boston, and yet for the last several years Red Sox mania was such that people really have trekked in for night games during the month of April. It’s an amazing testament to something or other, but you knew it couldn’t last because that’s just not how baseball is.
Would The Streak be ongoing were it not for the events of both September 2011, and all of 2012? The logical answer, I suppose, is yes. Winning will do that. Even more importantly, losing disgracefully will serve as a major attendance deterrent.
Now we have the 2013 Boston Red Sox, who are, I think you would agree, the Redemption Team. Honest management mistakes were made. Neither Adrian Gonzalez nor Carl Crawford were appropriate fits for a baseball market where people actually care. Josh Beckett has parlayed raw talent and one — that’s correct, O-N-E — lights-out year into a lifetime of riches, and by late 2012 had become an intolerably negative presence in our midst. I see he’s been his usual self in LA, elevating hopes with just enough moments of greatness to make people think he’s on the verge of something big. A good guess is that he will remain a colossal tease until he retires.
There’s plenty of blame to go around. I’m not blaming it all on them. But Ben Cherington realized he had to bring in some people who would allow people to think they really enjoyed being here, and if he had to overpay a bit commensurate with their actual ability, well, you gotta do what you gotta do.
It’s early, and it really is an amazingly well-balanced division. I’m sensing that all five AL East teams will wind up winning more than they lose. I’m not much for predictions, anyway.
Tell me who’s going to stay healthy, and then we’ll talk.
The 2013 Boston Red Sox look like they are going to be good, not great. They may or may not make the postseason. But they are going to be a team you can get behind, a team you’ll want to cheer for. And if Bill Veeck were here, he’d be so pleased to know he could wake up, and, on a whim, go to the ballpark.
I’m sure Mr. Lucchino and friends liked it the other way. The thing is, no one is entitled to that kind of loyalty. Now the Red Sox will again have to earn it, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Bob Ryan's column appears regularly in the Globe. He can be reached at email@example.com.