Monday, April 05, 2004

Game 1 - Red Sox
I waited all winter for this?

Baltimore Orioles 7, Red Sox 2
Record: 0-1

Eh. Pretty indifferent performance by the Sox to open the 2004 campaign. 14 runners left on base, 2 errors, 1 extra-base hit, an average performance by Pedro, a miserable one by Mike Timlin all added up to a thumping at the hands of a much-improved Oriole club.

Part of me says that it's way too premature to project much from this game. It was cold, the Sox lineup is patchwork with Nomar Garciaparra and Trot Nixon sidelined with injuries, and the Orioles were playing in front of a pumped-up home crowd in a bit of a circus atmosphere. Another part of me, though, sees some fissures that might become full-on cracks in the armor if they're not sealed soon. The Sox were really ambivalent for much of this game, save for Pokey Reese's 1st-inning fist pump after tagging Melvin Mora at third to end the frame. It was almost as if they figure they'll win most games just by showing up. I know, by the way, that I'm making this judgment from the comfort of my living room and that it has not one scintilla of actual proof, and furthermore that it's waaay too early to really assess this. Nonetheless, I'm looking at a team that's got a) huge expectations, b) a huge payroll, and c) several major stars in the final year of their contracts. Could those ingredients prove to be a recipe for noxious team chemistry and season-long underperformance? Wouldn't shock me.

On the other hand, the Sox are hugely talented, those aforementioned stars in contract years have major incentive to perform, and guys like Kevin Millar and David Ortiz have proven to be terrific unifying forces in the clubhouse.

All of which is a really overlong way of me saying I have no idea what to expect from this team. I do know that I've got tickets to see Curt Shilling's Sox debut tomorrow in Baltimore, so one day at a time and damn the negativity.

And where the hell is Whitney?

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