By Ted Gay – @TedG63
While it isn’t wise to get either too high or low after the first series of the season Red Sox Nation should rightly have a spring in their step on this snowy April day.
Just beware of the potholes, and the Buttheads.
Buttheads exist in the media, on websites, and especially on talk radio. They are the ones who want to crush your joy with these two words: “Yeah, but.”
“Yeah, but the Rays suck.” Honestly, we don’t know how the Rays will do this season. They aren’t a contender, but they could take third in the division. Taking three out of four from them in the Tropicana Dome is an achievement any time during the season.
“Yeah, but they won each game by one run.” I would much rather win by one run than by ten. Teams that win by one run show situational hitting, good pitching, sharp defense and the ability to perform under pressure. Give me a team that takes three out of four tight games over a team that splits a four-game series but wins two of them by six runs.
“Yeah, but Cora still hasn’t proven he’s a manager.” On Sunday Alex Cora showed he has what John Farrell didn’t: Brass balls. There is no way Farrell would have put Joe Kelly in a save situation after Kelly blew game one. Farrell would have found a safe spot for him in the sixth inning hoping to slowly guide the reliever back into form. Cora threw Kelly into the fire. If Kelly had lost Sunday’s game, Cora would have been raked over the coals for weeks. But he didn’t care. He told Kelly he believed in him and it paid dividends. It showed the players that Cora is willing to do what he believes and pay the cost if it backfires. And Cora’s belief in Kelly’s ability may allow the reliever’s confidence to catch up with his talent.
“Yeah, but they haven’t hit.” They hit enough to take the series. And Cora is getting everyone into the game early in the season. When Dustin Pedroia comes back, someone has to go, and Cora is giving Blake Swihart, Brock Holt, and Sandy Leon a chance to show they belong. The revolving door lineup will settle into formation, and they will hit, just as surely as their starting pitching won’t continue to only give up a single run or less a game.
Baseball changes quickly. Things may look a week differently from now. So for today enjoy the Red Sox and keep the Buttheads at bay.
ICYMI: EPISODE 33 OF THE AVIDBOSTON PODCAST!
SOX BEAT THE RAYS, DAVID PRICE, ALEX CORA, AND YANKEES MEPTING DOWN!
Also available on iTunes!