Went back this morning and looked at a few blog entries from a year ago. Did you know John Smoltz was on the Red Sox? Bizarre.
I also discovered that Red Sox fans were just as down on the 2009 edition as they seem to be over this year’s squad, which I can’t understand. I suppose you could call them boring (because Monday’s nail-biter in New York was really uninteresting) but they most certainly are not. Any team that has to claw its way to victories in the absence of its star players is OK in my entertainment dollar book.
Just a shade over a year ago, the Red Sox lost six straight to AL East rivals, and fell 6 ½ games out of first place and were fighting off the Rangers for the wild card, which Boston eventually won. That little streak prompted nearly 54 percent of Sox fans to declare the season over in a Boston.com survey despite a still strong 62-48 record.
The 2010 Sox, you might not have noticed, are 65-49. Granted they have a steeper uphill climb (4 ½ games back in the wild card race) but nor do they have to throw Brad Penny or Paul Byrd to the mound every fifth day.
So, why the frustration? To win 95 games, which may be the mark needed for the wild card, the Sox need to go 30-18 over their final 48 games. Not happening? Well, know what the 2009 edition did over its last 48?
They went 30-18.
No, Kevin Youkilis is not walking through that door anytime soon, but Dustin Pedroia will be as of next week. And while there was much about last year’s team that didn’t inspire confidence (Paul Byrd on speed dial), the acquisition of Carlos Delgado along with the team’s stubbornness not to trade Mike Lowell could end up crucial. And raise your hand if you don’t like what Felix Doubront has brought to the bullpen.
No, this team is far more entertaining, and a better story than the 2009 edition. Even with all the injuries, they’re still better than that team.
Thirty and eighteen? It might not get the job done, but it still can’t deter from what is one of the most fun Red Sox teams in recent memory.