Criticize the Boston Red Sox early results at your peril

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Red Sox opened their season with back-to-back losses at the hands of the New York Yankees before bouncing back on Sunday night to prevent getting swept in a hard-fought 4-3 win. They have also split a pair of games with the Detroit Tigers, and will attempt to win the series tomorrow afternoon.

Losing three of the first four games of the season is never a good optic and it’s possible to jump to all kinds of conclusions, although this afternoon’s win over the Tigers certainly helps ease the panic. But like New England weather, wait a minute, not so fast.

In the case of this Red Sox team, especially one patched together by Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom, and managed by the incomparable Alex Cora, you’d better not jump off the bandwagon too soon. The last time we took stock, there are 162 games in the 2022 season, and thankfully the lockout didn’t impact the total number of games on the season.

To quickly judge any MLB team after just five games is foolish, and even though it’s been a slow start to the season, that’s true with the Sox here. Let’s take a look at why that’s the case.

The Boston Red Sox are resilient as the 2021 season proved

It’s worth recalling that last season’s early results were not exactly what was hoped for by the ravenous Red Sox fanbase. Boston managed to put together an even worse start in 2021, as they get swept in their opening season by the woeful Baltimore Orioles. It’s safe to say the sky was falling in the sports crazed streets of Boston.

Such is the case even after more than 100 years of playing the game and about 110 years of playing at one of the baseball’s last immortal shrines, Fenway Park (or Pahhk as we natives call it).

Yet, older folks, fans who experienced the barren years before the magical 2004 season, still remember the “wait ’til next year” mantra that always accompanied the sometimes good, often bad, and occasionally also-ran club known as the Boston Red Sox.

So why shouldn’t Red Sox Nation get down on a Sox team that shoots out of the gate sideways instead of full speed ahead and winning right out of the box? The answer lies primarily in the two aforementioned individuals, and also those who actually step out onto the field every day and play the games.

The Boston Red Sox have a master assembler in Chaim Bloom and a master chef in Alex Cora

The first is the aforementioned leadership. Bloom is the assembler, the architect who delivers the raw materials that ultimately determine the fate of the season. That is an axiom firmly believed in this space for not only baseball, but every team sport. Championship teams are built in the offseason.

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The master craftsman, however, fashions those materials (in this case players) into the finished product. In this case, that would be the ever-likable, affable, and able, Alex Cora.

Last season, Bloom brought in various ingredients that, when utilized by Cora, delivered an unexpected American League Championship Series appearance. The team defied expectations and confounded popular wisdom.

Early poor results were panned by some observers, and they wound up with a facial egg wash for their efforts. Yet, it’s great to be off-target when the home team isn’t. All was well.

The same could be said or written about this season’s commencement. It hasn’t been grand to say the least. Despite that, it’s not time to worry just yet. Sometimes ingredients have to simmer a while, come together in the pot, and then emerge as a masterclass.

Last season, Bloom added an ingredient at the trade deadline in Kyle Schwarber. He was a perfect fit. Both he and an earlier 2021 addition, right fielder Hunter Renfroe (they still lack a right fielder) are now unfortunately gone. That’s not helping things.

Not bringing back those players led to a fairly disappoiting offseason that has been thoroughly panned in this space. But hold the criticism. The lesson was learned. It’s incumbent on all of us to hold our horses and critique after so few games. When the final plate is on the table, Bloom and Cora may just deliver another contender.

Next. Crawford & Sox bullpen shine in series finale against NYY. dark

It’s very early, and there is a lot of talent waiting to mesh and hopefully contend. We’ll see, but for now, though the early going has been a bit bumpy, let’s wait and see how this edition of the Boston Red Sox ultimately coalesces. It’s likely to surprise us once again.