I usually write something before the first game of the season, but this year, something stopped me. Something told me to say, “wait and see.” So I haven’t said much since the season started except to tell all of you to wait and see, too.
I’ll be honest: I’ve been working pretty hard to not let myself feel demoralized by the way this season has started. An 11-game road trip on the West Coast, facing good teams in unfamiliar ballparks? Rough. Going all the way up to Oakland to sit in the rain and watch them get shut out for the second night in a row? Painful. I’ve been frustrated and sad, as I know most of you have been, too.
But we all know that the Red Sox season doesn’t truly start until that first game at the best ballpark in baseball, nay, the greatest place on earth. And after that ring ceremony, we’ll have so much baseball to look forward to! Over 150 regular season games left, and hopefully, another postseason. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint, even though as someone who lives and dies with every pitch, I know that it feels like each game matters. And they do matter, but they’re part of a bigger picture too. We have to stay hungry, stay passionate, stay focused and stay calm. Or at least, somewhat calm.
I know it hasn’t been easy so far. But it wasn’t easy in 2004, either, when we were the Wild Card team that was down three games to the Yankees in the ALCS. And it wasn’t easy in 2013, when a group of brand-new free agents had to band together to heal a broken city. Even last year, when we were the best team in baseball by a mile, we had to beat some incredible teams to get that fourth trophy. We look back on these championships now, knowing the end result, and we smile. When it’s all said and done, it’s easy to forget just how hard the individual moments were along the journey.
Boston has come so far in the last fifteen years. We’re no longer the underdog, but we’re still hungry. We’re no longer losers, we’re winners. But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep winning. Why stop now? The party is just getting started.