Hey BoSox Fans: Does 2013 Feel Like 2007?

Red Sox AL Standings as of Aug. 17, 2007.

It was Friday, August 17th, 2007, and the Boston Red Sox were playing the LA Angels of Anaheim in an afternoon makeup game rescheduled from April 15th due to bad weather. Manny Ramirez was “just being Manny” as he, his iPod, Green Monster lavatory, and David Ortiz – the most feared hitting duo in the history of baseball – along with help from J. D. Drew, Doug Mirabelli, Alex Cora and Mike Lowell tagged starting pitcher John Lackey for six runs in the 1st inning on their way to an 8-4 win. Boston’s record now stood at 73-48.

The Red Sox dominated the first half of the ’07 Season, with 53W 34L, or 0.609 winning percentage, at the All Star Break. Despite the perennial 2nd half Sox slowdown and surge by the dreaded New York Yankees – who played a phenomenal 0.682 ball over the stretch – the Sox held on to the AL East by two games over the Yankees and defeated the LA Angels and John Lackey in the ALDS on their way to their 2nd World Championship in this new millennia.

After the 8th Disaster of the World called “Bobby Valentine’s 2012 Boston Red Sox”*, and subsequent history-making roster explosion that only the Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig and ex-Red Sox suitor Frank McCourt could provide,  I never expected any kind of a Sox season, let alone the we’ve witnessed so far: The $82.5 million John Lackey investment is finally showing dividends during his final contract year, Felix Dubront has emerged as the Sox’ most consistent pitcher, Daniel Nava appears to have finally escaped the Kevin Youkilis commuter lane from Boston to Pawtucket, Jonny Gomes is proving his worth to the team and fans, and our farm system is providing exciting and capable players in Jackie Bradley Jr., Jose Inglesias, and Brandon Workman.

An old, hurt, and scandal-burdened Yankees team falling faster than gravity only adds extra relish to these already tasty Fenway hot dogs. And, while I’m using a hot dog metaphor, their recent acquisition of Cy Young winner Jake Peavy and reliever Brayan Villarreal will supply more down-the-stretch mustard to their pitching staff.

As a true Sox fan I know they still have their problems: They need to find a real shortstop (Stephen Drew is good, but he’s not Nomar or Handley Ramirez), a true closer (losing Joel Hanrahan was bad; rehiring a currently-mediocre Jonathan Papelbon would be worse), and some way to beat the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays. More importantly, the Red Sox need to avoid their annual late-season slump in a division where Baltimore’s pitching and the nagging nemesis called the NY Yankees might not be able to catch them but could easily spoil their Wild Card chances.

At the start of the season I predicted Boston would occupy the basement, just behind the Yankees in the American League East, reasoning that no matter how good the Sox are the Yankees always play better, and while sports pundits predicted the 2013 Yankees would win the AL East I believed they were getting too old and slow despite their house cleaning. With my prediction working out as well as Bobby Valentine’s tenure as manager, I’m simply going to stand by my prediction, sit back, and enjoy the rest of this improbable season for as long as it lasts.

Still, with the Red Sox currently at 72-49 as I write this, I’m trying really hard not to think that we could be seeing the second coming of 2007.

*The 1st seven disasters? The Fall of Rome, 1929 Stock Market Crash, Titanic Sinking, Hindenberg Explosion, World War II Conflict, 9/11 Terror Attack, and Keynesian Economics.

Thanks for reading!

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