June 3, 2011

Don't you fret about the Boston Red Sox.

Roughly one week ago, I wrote of the Boston Red Sox and their rocket-like ascension toward the glory that they rightfully deserved. And then, like an idiot, I sat underneath a ladder as a black cat walked by and forgot to knock on wood. Since then the Sox are 0-4, having just been swept at home by the pitiful White Sox.

Alfredo Aceves seems to be on his way back to being a pumpkin, and as quickly as Carl Crawford attained fiery hotness, he was dunked in a bucket of ice. J.D. Drew remains in pain, Kevin Youkilis appears to be consistently dinged up, and who's to say which John Lackey will show up when he comes off the DL in a few days. Dice-K is likely to have Tommy John surgery and be lost for the year -- which I suppose is a "bad thing" -- and reclamation project Rich Hill was kicking ass until his elbow popped on Wednesday, likely sidelining him for the season. Hideki Okajima? He wants to be traded rather than pounded by Major League hitters.

But is this cause for emergency? Certainly not. Back when the Sox were 2-10, that was an emergency. This is a speed bump on the road to an AL East title. The Red Sox may have built up some negative momentum, drifting back toward .500 and losing a bit of ground on the Yankees, but the timing of the losing streak and the injuries makes the situation look worse than it really is.

We all knew Aceves couldn't keep it up forever, and Time Wakefield has been doing an admirable job in the rotation. Lackey will be back soon and couldn't possibly be worse (I feel pretty confident in my inability to jinx this) and Hill, while great in his limited time, was ultimately just a lefty middle reliever. The team will hand his innings to someone else and survive the loss. As for Dice-K going down, does anyone really care? I don't think Tito Francona, Curt Young or Varitek will lose even the slightest bit of sleep over it.

At some point, the front office will look to improve the depth of the starting rotation, but right now that isn't the issue. If the team plays hard and avoids serious injuries to the core players, their winning percentage will to trend upward and the rest of the league will soon only be visible in the rear view mirror. Rub some dirt on it and get out there!

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