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Rooney Real Estate
Posted April 14, 2005
Far Too Early to Panic
By Paul Noonan
    Coming off of that precious World Series victory, many Sox fans seemed to have expected a Patriots- like tear through the regular season. Instead, the Sox stumbled out of the gates dropping four of the first six to division rivals the Yankees and Blue Jays. David Wells is 0-2, Keith Foulke hasn't looked spectacular, and nothing, in general, has been too great for the Sox. As bad as the first week was though, it was just that, the first week. There are still over 150 games left, and the Sox have plenty of time to get it together.

      The most upsetting part of this early skid has been the play of David Wells. With high expectations for the aged lefty an 0-2 start has many fans wondering if acquiring him was a good move. Luckily for Edgar, Wells' poor play has overshadowed Renteria's less than stellar opening week (.167 BA and 1 error). Even though the Sox's big name additions are drawing most of the attention, there hasn't been anyway performing all too well. Manny is only batting .200, and his seven strikeouts are second only to Mark Belhorn. In fact other than Ortiz, Varitek and Damon, no one has put up overly impressive offensive numbers. One of last year's most potent offenses has been almost silent early on.

      Despite all these negatives, panicking now is foolish. To start with, the Sox haven't even had their real manager for the bulk of their first games. Not to say that that was the problem, but it most likely played a role. The Sox also have been without their ace Curt Schilling so far, and his return should have a positive impact. Sure Keith Foulke has been less than stellar, but how is Mariano Rivera doing? Not much better, if not worse, and many claim he is the best closer in the game.

     This year's Sox, I believe, will need a month or so to get it together. The injury plague is hanging around and not everyone is 100% even this early in the season. Francona's return will help the Sox as well. Let's not forget also, that last season the month of July was a near disaster for the Sox, and it took a near flawless August to keep the Sox in the playoff hunt. A bad start so early will give the Sox much more time to get it together and win some games. Let's not forget that this is the same team that did battle back from that horrid July last season, and also pulled off the best comeback in playoff history. If any team can turn it around it is the Red Sox. So don't fret, the defending champs will give you something to smile about soon.

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