Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles: Expectations Normalizing
Three weeks ago, I wrote an article talking about the panic Boston Red Sox fans were experiencing and the excitement Baltimore Orioles fans were having over the start to their respective team's seasons.
Red Sox fans were worried that their team wasn't going to do well while Orioles fans were overly excited over their hot start.
Now, three weeks later, reality has started to settle in for both teams. The Red Sox are 10-11 and in third place in the American League East. The Orioles are 8-12 and in last place in the American League East.
To start the season, the Red Sox pitchers were giving up home runs like they were facing the 1927 Yankees every day and their offense was making the Seattle Mariners offense from 2010 look explosive. Now, their starting pitching has turned it around behind strong the performances of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett and their offense has finally started clicking.
In contrast, the Orioles started their season with their pitching and offense on fire but have since cooled off.
Since I wrote that article, the Orioles have lost 11 games and have gone 2-8 in their last 10.
What's the point of this article?
Well, it's to show that baseball is a very long season, that fans need to ride the waves of emotions the season brings and that talent (or lack thereof) will slowly be shown over the length of the season and not in one week or month.
Teams will start off hot or they'll start off cold, but over time, the good teams will start to succeed and the average teams will be hit or miss.
Getting overly excited or concerned in April just doesn't make any sense to me. I'm as diehard a Yankees fan as there is, but I realize the World Series isn't won or lost in April (though a team can make it tough on themselves that early).
The key to enjoying the season is to temper your emotions and concerns.
Realize that over a 162 game season, your team will have winning streaks and losing streaks, and players will have slumps or periods where they play like Hall-of-Famers. If you don't, you'll find yourself experiencing the highest of highs over each win or hot streak and the lowest of lows over each losing streak or slump.
We all want to see our favorite teams and players succeed, but calling for coaches to be fired, wondering if player X is washed up, questioning offseason moves or non-moves this early in the season—while it makes for a good discussion—is ignorant of reality.
The reality is that what happens in April, while potentially distressing or exciting, isn't as important as what happens in September.
When should you panic/get excited?
The reality is if your team or player truly has the talent, they'll be fine by the end of the season. If they don't, chances are it's only going to get worse as the season goes on.
The media love this time of year. They are able to fill time slots on television and spaces on websites with articles or pieces dealing with the panic or excitement; I've even taken advantage of this.
Most fans hate how the media covers their favorite team, player or sport, yet it's these same fans that give the media the fodder for seemingly pointless pieces or articles dissecting a team or player merely weeks into a season.
So, sit back baseball fans and enjoy the ride that is this great sport.
Enjoy when your team is doing well, hope they turn it around when they're playing badly, but always remember it's a long season and anything can happen and the season can turnaround quickly.
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