The Red Sox beat the Indians on Opening Day!

Gas up the Duck Boats!

OK, let’s calm down a little folks. Yes, that was a nice way to start the season. David Price showed what an ace can do, Mookie Betts continues on his path to stardom, David Ortiz with the garbage time home run on his final opening day, and Hanley Ramirez showing some hustle on the base paths. These positives are all great to see.

But judging from the reaction in the local media and talk radio, you would think this team is ready to roll through the season on their way to a World Series title. Let’s just pump the brakes on the enthusiasm. It’s one game out of 162.

Last year, the Sox also won their opener and started off with a 6-2 record before settling in to last place.

They should win when Price takes the mound. If he is healthy, which is a must for the Sox, he will make around 34 starts.  For the Red Sox to have any chance to make the post season, they have to go 22-12 in those starts. I am not saying Price has to win 22 games. What I am saying is that the team has to be a plus-10 in the win column in games Price starts. That’s because the rest of their pitching staff is such a big question mark. For the Red Sox to be successful, they need to win the games that Price starts.

I am all in on Mookie Betts. He has the skills and maturity to be one of the best players in the game. And his clutch catch on Monday was spectacular.

(Image via Maguire Art Design @MADink401)
(Image via Maguire Art Design @MADink401)

I am not all in on Hanley. Let’s see if he is Charle Hustle when things are not going so well, and he starts to feel less than one hundred percent physically. His track record of not giving a crap is hard to ignore.

In the opener, the bullpen, Travis Shaw, and Brock Holt all looked good. But throwing caution to the wind, let’s see how they hold up in the long grind of the baseball season.

So yes, there is reason for optimism. But let’s remember that old cliche that baseball is a marathon and not a sprint. The starting gun just went off and their will be plenty of ups and downs in the next six months. We should know by Memorial Day whether it will be a fun summer of baseball or a countdown to Patriots Training Camp.

Mookie Betts illustration by Maguire. Get your copy here. Follow Maguire on Twitter.