As an avid Boston Red Sox fan, it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season. I admit to being a bit unsure of how my beloved Red Sox would do this year, given last season’s historic September meltdown, coupled with significant player and management changes during the off-season. I even blogged about my conerns right before the new season commenced.
Sadly, my Red Sox have been a major disappointment so far this season. The team’s dismal performance from opening day in early April through mid-May exceeded even my worst fears. By May 9th they had won only 12 of their first 30 games. Think along the lines of “anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.”
Some of their key players have spent more time on the disabled list than on the active roster. The Sox starting pitchers have been uncharacteristically inconsistent, as has the bullpen. As June gets underway, the Sox are still in last place in the American League East, a position the Beantown boys have securely held onto since their opening day loss.
It was hard not to lose faith in my favorite baseball team given the frustrating first two month of the season. Being the fan that I am, however, I tried to remain calm and carry on. I’m glad I did stick with them because the Sox now appear to be on the rebound. Since May 11th, they’ve won 15 of 21 games.
In fact, the team ended the month of May by winning three of four games against the Tigers at Fenway. Then, last night, the Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto and are now two games over 500 and are in a dead-heat with the Blue Jays for fourth place.
Yes, that essentially means, with identical 27-25 records, the Sox and Jays are tied for last place in the AL East. But saying that the Sox are in fourth place sounds a little better. More important, the they are only three games out of first place in the East.
My early season disappointment has evolved into cautious optimism. The Red Sox are now at least competitive and are actually winning more games than they are losing. And unlike earlier in the season when they seemed to find ways to lose games (e.g., blowing a 9-0 lead against the hated Yankees to lose 15-9 on April 21st), they now are able find ways to win games...even managing several impressive come-from-behind wins.
I’m not ready to declare that the Boston Red Sox are playoff bound...a lot can happen between now and the end of September, a lesson the team and the loyal Red Sox Nation fans learned last season. But they do seem to be recovering from an atrocious first six weeks of the 2012 season and are playing at a level that, at the very least, has the appearance of being respectable baseball.
And for a passionate Boston Red Sox fan like me, that’s a wonderful thing to behold.