Monday, June 24, 2013

Still in First!

Ok. That wasn’t the world’s best weekend. For any of the Boston sports teams, really. But, it seems to me the most important thing for the Red Sox is that they came out of it still in first place.

Let me say that again. They’re still in first place.

Sure, it would have been nice if Bailey hadn’t imploded. It would have been nice if Nava had held onto the ball until he threw it. It would have been nice if any number of things had happened. But, the key is still that the Sox are in first place.

We knew this was going to be a tricky June. They played what might have been the toughest month’s schedule they’ll see. This was the do or die month. And, while there’s still a week left, the Sox have come out of it OK. Not sure there’s a lot more you can ask than that.

I know. The Sox have some holes. Buchholz is still on the DL. Lester hasn’t exactly been picking up the slack. Will Middlebrooks forgot how to hit over the winter. There’s a bit of a closer issue is the bullpen. I get that. But, here it is again. The Sox are still in first place.

It would be one thing if the Sox were in the Yankees position. The Yanks can look at the team and say they have some injuries and underperformers. If everything snaps together they can try to make up some ground. But, they have ground to make up. The Sox are on the other end. All this terrible stuff has happened, and they’re still in first. They still lead the only division in which every team has a winning record. Almost halfway through the season, they’re on pace for 93 wins.

So, I’m not going to fret over losing the Tigers series. Really, going into the weekend and the pitching involved, two wins would have been the best case scenario anyway. I’m not going to stress over the closer’s spot. Even with Bailey giving up games left and right, the Sox have a two-game lead. Are we afraid that his replacement will be even worse? The Sox haven’t missed Middlebrooks. Lester hasn’t killed them.

While it would have been nice if all those things hadn’t happened, don’t we have to assume something else would have? If Bailey didn’t blow a single save this year, and Lester were 12-0. The Sox would be an elite team. This collection of guys? Elite? Hardly. Do we want to sound the golfer who finishes his round by saying, ‘I would have made par if I had just sunk those four puts.” There’s a reason you missed those puts. You’re not a scratch golfer.

Just like the Sox aren’t the 1908 Cubs. 

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