Part of the inherent DNA of any Red Sox fan is a proclivity toward pessimism.
You know it exactly — that pit in your stomach that doesn’t go away until the club is out of contention or eliminated.
If the team is playing well, you wait for the wrong guy to get injured. Maybe three or four of them.
If the team is playing poorly, well, you knew it would go like that, right? We always know, because it’s what we always suspect.
We begin every spring weighing out every worst-case scenario – hoping for the best and expecting the worst.
The big spending over the most recent offseason has you nervous because, hey, this looks like the same exact strategy that blew the division lead down the stretch in 2011, found the division cellar in 2012, and found it again in 2015.
What if, though?
If Hanley Ramirez just clicks at first base, David Price pitches lights out and Clay Buchholz stays healthy. If all members of the rotation fall into form at the same time (Remember, they all had their stretches last season … the returners anyway) and the bullpen performs to the level the statistics might project. If David Ortiz plays the whole season like there is no tomorrow and the younger core of budding stars takes a big step forward.
Just playing the optimistic card for a moment here — the pieces … or at least the names … are there to make it one of the best teams of all time.
If we’ve learned anything over the past five years, though, names mean little and losses aren’t a respecter of high payrolls.
Before the Spring Training contests start, I’ll allow myself that thought – if only for a few days: This year’s squad could actually be really, really good. World Series good. Record book good.
But that would take a whole lot of things going right, together … at the same time.
And those aren’t thoughts we as Red Sox fans generally entertain.