The first home game of the season is almost always an opportunity to lay on the pomp and circumstance with a heavy hand because of the boundless possibilities of the year to come.
The home crowd, fired up by the moment, showers their team with love and good wishes all day long. Bad thoughts and dire predictions are checked at the door because the first day is about upside.
When the schedule came out, Friday afternoon in Fenway Park figured to be one of those days in the extreme. Not only were the Sox kicking off the home portion of the schedule, the Yankees were in town to get the fans into a full lather.
What a difference six games makes. There will be pomp and circumstance aplenty in Boston on Friday, but it is hard to say just how well things are going to go over after the Sox dropped their sixth straight game to start the season on Thursday in Cleveland.
The losses have been brutal. The Sox haven't been hitting, they got their first good start from Jon Lester in Thursday's 1-0 loss and they've made all kinds of blunders to help grease the skids along the way.
It has been enjoyable for Yankee fans to watch. While they have worried about Phil Hughes and Rafael Soriano -- 10 pitches for three outs on Thursday to end that little firestorm -- they've also seen their team start with four wins in six games, including a 4-3 win over the Twins on Thursday.
Clearly that's the better position to be in starting a big series with a rival, especially when winning the first game will touch off a hellacious firestorm in the Boston media about what's wrong with the Sox. Boston is feeling the pressure, judging from their comments after the Indians sweep, and Dustin Pedroia's decision to challenge the Boston fans won't play so well if there's a seventh straight loss.
It might only be six games, but they've lost all of them including three to a bad Indians team. These games still count in the standings and the Sox are hurting their chances of achieving big things right now.
Of course, the Yankees could be strolling into a trap. The Sox are far too good a team to keep hitting like a 1912 deadball team and seeing the road grays of the Yankees could be just the thing to get them swinging better.
A strong Sox performance in the three games would quiet a lot of concerns about the bad start and beating the Yankees, even two out of three, would allow the Sox to get off the hook for the bad first week.
Either way, it's going to be a fun way to kick off the 18 games to come this season.