While the 2018 Red Sox are off to the best start in franchise history, posting an impressive 8-1 record out of the gate, perhaps we should all pump the brakes before purchasing our postseason tickets.
Granted, there’s a lot to like about this Red Sox team. For starters, the new manager Alex Cora seems to have galvanized a clubhouse that suffered through a clinical 2017 malaise under the marble-mouthed ex-manager and perpetual apologist John Farrell.
For starters, the $30 million starter David Price (and his dog, Astro) seems to be pitching with a new conviction. Even his post-game interviews seem to indicate that pitcher is approaching this season with a renewed edge and a semblance of humility.
Of course, this is also the opt-out year in his bloated contract. Interesting.
Hanley Ramirez also seems to have invested in Cora’s guardianship, something we haven’t seen since David Ortiz left for pastures much greener, such as watching games with former-Yankees Jose Posada and Derek Jeter, after Papi retired in 2016.
The starting pitching, so far, has been lights out for the Sox, sans Drew Pomeranz as the four-starter and putting together jigsaw pieces with Hector Valazquez and Brian Johnston in spot-roles.
The Youth Movement for the Red Sox also seems to be coming into their own with Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benitendi and Xander Bogaerts—it looks like the Sox may have dodged a bullet after his injury in Sunday’s game—showing up and making pronounced impressions for the new skipper.
Yes, things seem to be going swimmingly for the first-place Boston Red Sox after the first two weeks of the nascent 2018 season.
But, again, pump the brakes.
I’m not saying the Sox don’t have the talent to compete, or even win the AL East, but before we make plans to hang banners next April, remember this: They beat up on teams—Tampa and Miami—who entered the season with the sole purpose of blowing up the ships and tanking this season. The Red Sox are 8-1 against what amounts to AA ball clubs, winning six out of seven games against a team that is—without irony—using their bullpen by committee as their fifth starter.
Maybe I’m being overly cynical and dropping paper bags of dog dung on the steps of your 161-1 dream of an immaculate season, but the Yankees come into town now, and despite some wretched strikeout performances from their new stud Giancarlo Stanton, they’re still the favorites in the AL East.
The Red Sox season starts now. Without Bogaerts and with a team that still can’t seem to procure any runs for their ace Chris Sale, there are still a ton of question marks. I’m not saying this team won’t wins. I’m just saying to keep The Standells on mute until they’ve faced teams that are competitive.