Go Ahead and Enjoy the Struggles of the Red Sox

Red Sox are already six games out in the East

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010  |  Updated 1:01 PM EDT
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Go Ahead and Enjoy the Struggles of the Red Sox

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There's really not much need for Yankees fans to look beyond their team's 9-3 start for reasons to enjoy the start of this baseball season.

If they choose to expand their view, however, they'll probably cast a gaze in the direction of Boston and enjoy a little chuckle at the plight of their rivals. The Red Sox have lost six of their last seven games and, at 4-9 on the season, are already sitting six games out of first place in the AL East.

The record alone is enough to make you grin from ear to ear, but actually watching the Sox play the last week was cause for impromptu dance parties. They went 0-for-30 with runners in scoring position over the last five games, have pitched terribly and fielded like your local tee-ball team most of the time. It was bad baseball all around and it came against two good teams in the Twins and Rays. That's a recipe for disaster.

As you might imagine, that's not being met with much perspective in Red Sox Nation. The local scribes are already declaring the offseason focus on improving the team's defense a failure, the natives are getting restless and owner John Henry is doing a mild Big Stein impersonation. A bad series against the Rangers might find pitchforks and torches outside Fenway Park.

This is the part where you point out that the defense has been poor because two regular outfielders are out with injuries and that 13 games is hardly enough time to draw any conclusions about anything over the course of the entire season. If anything, this poor stretch is being magnified because of when it happens and not because such stretches are indicative of anything other than the vagaries of a long season. If these 13 games were played in early July, there would be a lot less concern about the long-term implications.

Where's the fun in focusing on that, though? Any Yankee fan with a memory that runs beyond last October is well aware of how quickly predictions of doom and gloom can turn into playoff runs and championship glory. You don't have to make any foolish proclamations about the death of the Red Sox to find a little joy in the malaise that's settled over Boston.

What's more, plenty of Yankee fans worth their salt already know that the Sox probably aren't even the biggest divisional threat to their team's supremacy. The Rays, in first place after their four-game sweep of the Sox, have talent coming out of their ears and have shown just as few flaws as the Yankees to this point in the season.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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