In typical Boston fashion, the fans have become comfortable. I, for one, am not.
Yes, the team is playing very good baseball (last night excluded). The hitting has been unbelievable (last night excluded). The starting pitching stellar. Last TWO nights excluded. You get the idea. We were outscoring solid opponents 8-1, 12-8, etc...
Anyway, despite all of that, and the Yankees falling apart, there is only 5.5 games between the two teams. It seems like it should be more, but it isn't.
I watched 2 of the Yankees/Mets games. The Yankees looked terrible. I mean TERRIBLE...Their pitching (including Randy Johnson...who numbers-wise had a good outing, but let me tell you...his pitches were out over the plate the entire outing...) was extremely hittable (except it was the Mets), their fielding, mentally and physically was absent. They looked as though they had no heart.
Yet, there is still only 5.5 games between the two teams.
I know that the World Series victory was supposed to make all the dread about the Yankees go away. But it hasn't. What is one to do when they look at the mess in NY and one still has that sinking feeling that somehow, in some way, the Yankees will turn it on and we will soon be chasing them?
Now, I am aware that their pitching staff looks a little something like this...
Pavano (who will be no better than he is now for the rest of the year)
Henn (soon to be replaced by Sturtze)
That is a terrible pitching staff. Somehow, I see this as a possibility...
Johnson, Clemens, Mussina, Pavano, Sturtze...or Johnson, Schmidt, Mussina, Pavano, Sturtze...
There, that makes a difference...Doesn't it?
I see Giambi becoming a viable hitter again. Not 45 homers, but a good average with some pop.
I know that this sounds crazy, but it is that old paranoia creeping back...And this is not a result of last night's game. It just feels strange to me that we haven't put that much distance in between us and others...I am not Murray Chass"ing" this...I don't think the Sox blew it. I think that the "exploding Yankees" stuff that has been in the media might have been a bit overblown. How can a team so terrible still be within striking distance? But, they are...
I do believe that the Sox depth will allow them to win the division, but I think that the Yankees still have to be taken very seriously. There is this loosy-goosy (yes, I just wrote that) attitude that you can "stick a fork in them". I think that this is going to be a battle.