The time to panic is now. The time to panic, freak out, blow a gasket and/or go bananas is unfortunately upon us. The 2014 Boston Red Sox now rival my scholastic career when it comes to greatly underachieving.
Fresh off a 14-5 series-ending beat down at the hands of the dreaded New York Yankees, the Red Sox limped into Canada hoping that a change in countries, and copious amounts of poutine, would be enough of a motivating factor to get them back to .500.
The Red Sox managed to take two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays, but once again failed to take that giant leap forward needed to get them fully back on track. After losing the first game of an eventual day-night doubleheader sweep to the Tampa Rays on Thursday, the Red Sox have now lost their seventh-straight game this season where a win would have brought them to at or above the .500 mark.
The current eight-game home stand concludes with visits from both the American League West leading Oakland Athletics and the scrappy 13-15 Cincinnati Reds.
This early May home stand will serve as a crucial turning point to the young season. The recent returns of outfielder Shane Victorino and third baseman Will Middlebrooks, from the 15-day disabled list, finally allows manager John Farrell the opportunity to consistently field the best possible lineup on a nightly basis; a lineup he had likely envisioned when the club began to take shape over the offseason.
Injuries and Major League Baseball’s newly expanded video replay system can be blamed for a large part of the team’s current situation, but they’re not the only things. The Red Sox have been, at various times, failing in all phases of the game. Consistency has eluded this team from the onset. Continually failing to string together more than two wins in a row has kept the Red Sox from emerging from the murky depths of the American League East.
The 2013 Red Sox made their mark by turning nothing into something on a nightly basis. A two, three or even a four-run lead did not seem insurmountable in 2013, it was just another opportunity for someone to step up and deliver.
The 2014 Red Sox will never be the 2013 team, no team ever will.
As we rip another month off of the calendar, we must keep remembering two things. First, seasons are rarely lost in April. Secondly, one of the most difficult things to do in all of sports is to repeat. Baseball can be a harsh reality at times. With each passing loss, long-time fans will begin to question the future of this great franchise while lining the Tobin contemplating whether or not to jump. This is Boston, this is what we do, this is what we signed up for.
Each game is an opportunity for the team to get back to their winning ways. Each game is an opportunity to turn nothing into something.