The Red Sox opening day victory……what could be better? I posted the team’s first-place standing on my refrigerator, thinking it might all be downhill from there. But I felt great. Never mind that the dreaded Yankees are broken old men. The Wall St. Journal’s estimable sports writer Jason Gay called them ”aging and atrophied …. creaky and getting creakier, supposedly destined for mediocrity, joint inflammation, bifocals, gray hair in the ears, fanny packs, 5:30 p.m. dinners, golf magazines and Norah Jones CDs, and possibly fourth or fifth place in the AL East.” This week’s New Yorker cover showed the team all on walkers. I tell you it doesn’t matter! We beat the evil empire! It made my spring.
And then, on the second day of the season, they did it again! So that Boston Herald headline went on my refrigerator door as well. Best two-day opening performance since 1919. Dan Shaughnessy this morning raised the question of the day: “at this rate, will the Red Sox ever lose?” The only down side of all this optimism is if Sox fans too quickly lose their memories of their 2011-2012 humiliation and return to the post 2004 ”Yankees suck” hubris that makes sitting in the stands at Fenway and other parks with Boston fans a more obnoxious experience than sitting in Yankee Stadium or even the Phillies Citizens Bank Park. Still, this is not a time to worry about that.
It’s too soon to worry that they’re launching too fast. I always get scared if they’re in first place by AllStar time, fearing a swoon or flameout at the end. I’m not even going to dwell on the high price of Fenway for a young family or gripe about the phony sellout streak as emblematic of a deceptive ownership. Or acknowledge that Terry Francona’s Indians are also 2-and-0.
This is a time to enjoy the success of newbie Jackie Bradley, Jr. and the pluckiness and grit of Jonny Gomes’ scoring from second on an infield hit in game 1. There’s lots else to celebrate, at least for now, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
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