Each player is different. But to a man, the Red Sox are showing no amount of panic over their 1-7 start. At least on the surface.
"How tough a situation?" Adrian Gonzalez asked a reporter when posed the same question. "We're eight games in. It ain't a tough situation. We got beat today, that's it."
Coming off a 9-4 loss to the New York Yankees, Gonzalez was later asked what made him confident in the team's ability to turn things around. He looked around the clubhouse for a moment, and echoed the line uttered several times by his teammates.
"Just look at the team," he said before turning his attention back to the reporters gathered at his locker. "If that doesn't give you guys confidence, then you guys shouldn't be here."
The results in the early part of the season have made confidence a hard thing to come by for some observers. However, it seems to be sticking around a team that has plenty of reasons to believe. Not only is the roster loaded with talent, but many of the players have gone through this in recent years.
Last season, the Red Sox started 4-9 before getting hot and reaching the precipice of first place in July. Injuries derailed the rise, but there was at least an impressive recovery from the moribund days of April.
In 2009, Boston began the year 2-6. The year before, it didn't get above .500 for good until the 13th game of the season.
Some of the players are making note of the math.
"I don't think it's dire, if we win the rest of our games that's a pretty good record," Kevin Youkilis said in jest. "I think we're 4 1/2 games back, so we got a chance. I think we can make up that ground.
"We're only eight games in and some guys haven't even pitched twice. A lot of guys can make errors early on. There's room for improvement. We're not all going to hit .400 and we're not all going to have complete-game wins here in April. The good news is there's room for improvement … We have 154 games to go."
Sunday's finale with the Yankees, while still only the ninth of the season, is big in the sense that it presents an opportunity. If the slumping bats can get it going against CC Sabathia, that could serve as a catalyst. If Josh Beckett, who struggles against New York, puts forth a quality start against a potent lineup, it could be the boost needed by the rotation.
Group that with a late start time that gives the team a chance to get in a little extra work in the afternoon, and there is a sense that Sunday offers up a prime chance to get things going. Again.
"Try to be consistent," manager Terry Francona said of what needs to happen for a turnaround. "I think we feel like we're going to have a good team. Sometimes when you don't want to be patient I think you have to. Carl Crawford is going to hit, Youkilis is going to hit. I hope it starts tomorrow. Those guys have good track records, if they stay healthy they're going to hit … It would be nice if it starts tomorrow, we're facing a good pitcher tomorrow."
Even if Sabathia dominates or Beckett gets lit up, the mindset likely will not change. While the Sox continue to take pride in their results, they are focused on improvement rather than on sounding the alarms.
"This is the way we make our living," Francona added. "We're very concerned about trying to do things better. I think there's a difference between trying to do better and panicking and doing something you're not supposed to do."
Right now, they're not supposed to panic. So far, mission accomplished.
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