After being anointed champs before Opening Day, the Red Sox have looked more like chumps in their first six games of the 2011 season. But starting 0-6 might be the most revolutionary blessing to hit Boston since Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride.
Only two teams in baseball history have ever made the playoffs after starting a season 0-6: the 1974 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1995 Cincinnati Reds. Both teams lost in the National League Championship Series.
The Red Sox have an opportunity to be the first 0-6 team to win a World Series. In other words, the Red Sox have another chance to make history in 2011.
In 2004, the Red Sox became the first major league team to win a playoff series after being down three games to none, beating the Yankees in the ALCS to shock the world.
Now, the Red Sox have to dig themselves out of their worst hole since 1945.
The Red Sox historically have performed better in the underdog role than as a front-runner. After losing six straight to open this season, they might as well change the B on their cap to a big U, don capes and start fighting crime. The Red Sox have had the blue-blood sense of entitlement smacked out of their mouth, but they can get back to their blue-collar roots and take an us-against-the-world attitude.
They can get back to playing fundamental baseball — throwing the ball, catching the ball, hitting the ball.
They can get back to hitting pitches where they are thrown, getting hits with runners in scoring position, hitting the cutoff man, painting the black, smacking home runs.
They can stop pressing and get back to being dirt dogs.
The team with the $161 million payroll needs to start having fun again.
Pop the Napoleon Dynamite dance scene into the clubhouse TV. Start smiling. Start high-fiving. Forget all the hype.
Imagine The Show is Little League. Play like nobody’s watching. Fast and loose like Eddie Felson.
Winning is a lot easier with a carefree, confident approach and some swagger.
Every player on the 25-man Red Sox roster has produced under pressure before. These are not greenhorns. This is a seasoned team. The Red Sox just didn’t forget how to play winning baseball.
Will they end up being the greatest of all time?
No title will be handed to them, but don’t underestimate a wounded lion.
Do you believe the Red Sox have all the pieces to win the 2011 World Series? Share your thoughts below.