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For starters, Red Sox are a runaway train

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  April 4, 2013 10:11 AM

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The American League East is 4-6.

Egads, thatís the worst combined record for a division in Major League Baseball. The AL Central is 6-4; West 7-7. In the NL, the East is 6-4; and the Central and West are both 5-6.

Clearly the prognosticators were correct in calling the AL East a weak division.

The Yankees are an utter mess. The Blue Jays are the second coming of the ďBest Team Ever.Ē And there we have the Rays and Orioles middling around .500, neither team making an impact on the race.

Then, of course, atop the standings by a game over Tampa and Baltimore, two over Toronto and New York, even in the loss column, we have the spunky go-go Red Sox, trying to erase the past, determined not to quit until ďorder is restored.Ē In going 2-0 over the hapless Bronx Bummers, the 2013 Red Sox have thus far proven to be everything we hoped they would be: Spirited, gritty, and just a plain olí 180 from the slow march of death that defined Bobby Vís carnival of contention.

Consider that on April 4, the Red Sox lead the American League in runs scored (15) batting average (.329), OBP (.424), and stolen base percentage (Ok, 1 for 1, but whatever. Still better than Carl Crawford). And theyíve done it all without the aid of a home run, one of only four AL teams not to hit the ball out of the park. The other three teams are a combined 2-4 on the season.

Not your Red Sox, where magic happens.

The Sox are one of only six undefeated teams in Major League Baseball, and itís the first time since the 1999 wild card champ Red Sox that Boston has gone 2-0 to start the season. Fourteen years. Jaromir Jagr was only 27 when it last happened.

It was also the first time the Yankees dropped their first two at home to start a season since 1982, the year New York second baseman Robinson Cano was born.

Oh, pish-posh all you can muster about two games being nothing in the grand scheme of a 162-game season (dwindling now, down to 160), but Baltimore went 2-0 to start 2012, and I remember seeing them in the playoffs, donít you? (The World Series champion San Francisco Giants started 0-2, but you know, thereís an inconsistency everywhere sometimes.) Besides, after the last seven months of regular season baseball that fans have endured around here, not to mention the off-field drama, and nauseating sell jobs, itís nice to just enjoy the game again.

Thereís potential here with this team, a group of players that seemed to have meshed quickly in a way that we havenít seen in some time. If on Monday, fans saw a sense of urgency and desire from these guys, in Game 2 they saw a workmanlike approach good enough to manufacture what they needed to win. That, and Hideki Kurodaís pitching line was, 1-plus innings, E-E-K.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is going to win the MVP, Rookie of the Year, a Gold Glove, and the BBWAA Good Guy Award all in the same season. Shane Victorino (batting a sizzling .364) should challenge for the batting crown. Maybe David Ortiz will go on a tear when he returns in three weeks, maybe four, maybe 12, and challenge the likes of Josh Hamilton (who is hitless on the season, when does the Ďworst contract of the offseason' talk begin) for the home run title. Except, that it will probably go to Bradley, Jr., who we might as well pencil in for the Triple Crown as well.

OK, so itís 2-0. But the 2011 Red Sox could have used that extra win, no? If only the Angels had Mike Trout to start last season, as the Sox decided to do with Bradley, Jr., what might have been for their playoff chances?

Letís not make too much of it, but letís not discount it either.

Baseball has been in the dregs here for so long, you canít help but get a little amped over the start the Red Sox have had. Even if Lackey hasnít pitched yet.

Two games into the season, the AL East has proven, so far, to be the weakest in baseball and up for grabs. The Red Sox are in complete control until otherwise noted.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.


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