Sox fans have a tendency to be overreactionary every April, when there have been so few games for the passionate fan base to digest. Every win and you hear people claiming we’re winning it all this year; Every loss and they lament this team is going nowhere and question where management went wrong. This April, given the team’s high expectations, even the most level-headed fans had to cringe at the team’s 2 and 10 start. But, alas, it was April . . .
I’ve always said you can’t start to judge a team fairly until it’s at least mid-May. And now that we’ve passed that point, those early struggles are beginning to fade into memory as the true potential of this team is starting to shine. Despite that difficult start, the team is now just a half-game behind the Yankees and 2.5 behind the surging Devil Rays (you’ll always be the “Devil Rays”, Tampa). True, Carl Crawford has yet to find his stride, and Daisuke and Lackey just went on the DL. But no team in baseball has dominant 4 and 5 starters, so the Sox should be able to bide their time. It’s certainly better to right these guys in May then late-September. And we know Crawford is too good a player to continue to scuffle like this. It’s May. And the outlook for 2011 is still bright.
The Cubs come into Fenway this weekend for the first time since the 1918 World Series. Let me just say upfront that I don’t like the Cubs. I don’t feel any kinship with them. Don’t like their fanbase. Didn’t like Harry Carey’s singing voice. And, honestly, I’m not nearly as excited about this series as I thought I would be.
Sure, the history isn’t lost on me. But, really, this is just a regular season series against a another team, and you just hope the Sox can beat them up and keep on rolling.
However, I can’t help but think about what might have been in 2003. In what was one of the greatest Octobers in baseball history, the Sox and Cubs were poised to meet in a historic World Series. The Sox almost had Game 7 against the Yankees won when Grady Little’s ineptitude reared its empty head; and the Cubs were just 5 outs away when Bartman interfered with foul ball and the Cubs went on to complete an epic collapse.
But what a Series it might have been. Both historic franchises; both with passionate fanbases; both their league’s face of baseball futility for more than 85 years. Regardless of how it played out, it would have been amazing to watch.