Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Housemartins

"I say, don't they know it is wrong/It makes me anxious"

The denizens of the Nation are busy this week poring through historical records and building statistical models devoted to determining just how certain the Sox are to win the AL East for the first time since 1995. You'll forgive me if the neurotic baseball fan side of my brain trumps that portion that was schooled at the graduate level in statistics.

Yes, the Sox have a 10-game lead on May 18, and sure, they're carrying the best record in baseball at the quarter pole. I'd have neither fact any other way. However, the law of small sample sizes (in this case one season) renders moot any previous analysis of similar circumstances - way too much can happen over the next 122 games. Beckett's injury could be worse than projected. Jon Lester could fail to provide the expected boost. Julian Tavarez' mental illness could infect his new best friend, Daisuke Matsuzaka. Curt Schilling could pull a phalange furiously typing a response to a typically bitter and joyless Shaugnessy diatribe. Manny could stop being Manny, cut his hair, and pull a hamstring running out a routine ground ball.

I guess my point, to the extent I have one, is that it's a little bit early for a coronation, or even to begin looking ahead. The Sox look for all the world like a well-balanced, well-tuned machine. You'll just forgive me if 36+ years of fandom have conditioned me to take the skeptical view (with a nod to those 2 glorious weeks in 2004 where we walked through the looking glass). No chickens to count, no capes to tug, no ladders to walk under for this ball of baseball anxiety.

And the superstitious part of me needs to write this post as a talisman to ward off the encroaching giddiness with which I view this club - let's not forget that part.

Oh, and Let's Go Mets. We'll see what the Sox can do against Atlanta in their second twinbill in 3 days.

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