Baseball is an absolutely grueling sport when you think about it. 162 Games, day in and day out. There is a reason we say that the sport is a marathon and not a sprint. So, when it comes to the month of August, it is fitting to call it the “Dog Days of Summer”.
It’s the time of year when baseball gets tougher because players start getting bogged down from the long season. The 2021 Boston Red Sox are entering their 109th game of the season in 2nd place in the American League East. They sit only 1 Game behind the Tampa Bay Rays.
The team enters the 109th game on a five-game losing streak–their longest this season. Coming off getting swept by division rival Tampa Bay, the Boston Red Sox have faced some backlash from some in the fanbase. Some of the backlash is completely natural and okay. Some of it is completely outlandish. Here is why we need to pump the brakes a little on that backlash.
We as Fans Knew this Stretch Was Not Going to be Easy.
Here is the kicker: at the beginning of this season, we had no idea what to make of this Boston Red Sox team. It was a mix of young and veteran players coming off a tough shortened 2020 season. So, when the team started spewing off wins left and right, our hopes increased. We as fans saw the chance to celebrate again.
The trade deadline comes around and the team still sits in first in the division. Very little was done to improve the team, and that’s when fans started to get restless. Other teams made moves, and the Sox stayed under the radar with theirs. That’s where the backlash began. Do not get me wrong, I understand being frustrated about the trade deadline, hoping for that spark that can come on your team. That spark can still come, especially when Chris Sale returns. Add that to the team’s trade acquisition of the power bat Kyle Schwarber, and there is a lot to be optimistic about if you ask me.
Immediately after the deadline, the team was swept by rival Tampa Bay and fell out of first place. Now, as a result, some fans are starting to jump ship after their first 5-game losing streak of the season.
Let us not forget that we all knew this would not be easy, and this team was going to have to fight and claw their way to the division title. The Red Sox were never going to run away with the division no matter how much we thought they could.
The 2021 Boston Red Sox will be fine. Just let them do their thing.
It was the 107th game when the Sox got swept in Tampa falling out of first place in the east. It was also the 107th game in 2013 when the Sox fell out of first place in the division. Both teams had the same record going into the 108th game. That 2013 team, of course, went on to win the World Series.
We as fans need to trust the team and what they are doing. I understand the frustrations, and you can tweet about it, but the number of ship jumpers after a 5-game losing streak (first of the season) was just absurd.
Let us all take a collective deep breath and enjoy what this team is doing. If we get closer to the end of the season, and the team is still struggling, that is when we should start to worry. Until then, though, there is plenty of time for this team to right the ship. With Sale returning soon and Schwarber making his debut within the next week or two, this Sox team should be just fine.
Enjoy the ride, and gear up for what should be an exciting battle for the American League East title.
-Jeff Hoak (@jeffhoak1)
Photo Credit: Boston Red Sox.
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