I know the games are long, that at bats can be boring and both sides of the rivalry have fan bases that are less likeable than protesters who show up to funerals, but somehow there remains nothing in baseball quite like a weekend series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. The latest, scheduled for today, tomorrow and Sunday is equipped with a couple extra factors to make the rivalry even more interesting than usual.

First of all, this afternoon’s game against the Yankees is Boston’s home opener, which always contributes to the drama. Secondly, the Red Sox, in their first half dozen games of the season have proven to be very good at finding new and inventive ways to lose ballgames. For instance, yesterday, the Cleveland Indians scored the winning run on a squeeze play in the bottom of the eighth before Boston squandered their chances in the top of the ninth with a baserunning mishap.

As you might imagine, Red Sox Nation is taking their slow start in stride, not overreacting in the least. But while everyone is suggesting that no team who has lost its first six games has ever gone on to win the World Series, it’s worth noting that no team, six game losing streak or not, has ever won the 2011 World Series, and several championship teams have lost six games in a row during the season. Over the course of a 162 game season, losing streaks happen to even the best teams.

Adding a bit of sanity to the situation, at least on Twitter, has been Baseball America’s Ben Badler.

Quote Of The Day:

Dustin Pedroia to Red Sox fans ahead of their home opener:

You’re either two feet in now or you’re two feet out. Let us know now because we’re coming.

And The Rest:

Nick Swisher welcomed Tsuyoshi Nishioka to Major League Baseball by breaking the Japanese player’s leg on a hard slide.

Brandon Phillips would be the grittiest player in the history of the game if only he were more white.

Someone wrote an article entitled, Remembering the Unappreciated Reggie Jackson, and it wasn’t even written by Reggie Jackson.

Surprise! Nyjer Morgan has a thing or two to say about his old team.

It’s kind of ridiculous not to have a mercy rule in place when talent is obviously so different.

The Angels give everyone a shot at throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, even journeymen pitchers who used to perform hung over.

The Reds get their man . . . in the broadcast booth.

A wise man once said that glory is fleeting, but chicks dig scars. Somehow that relates to the 2011 San Francisco Giants, six games into the season.

Washington Nationals fans do not like the Atlanta Braves. Do you understand?

You might say that they had interesting weather in New York for the Yankees home opener.

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Comments (17)

  1. This is not the first, nor likely the last, time I say this but, Pedroia? SHUT UP.

  2. I don’t think a 0-6 start on the road is a big deal, of course, but it’s certainly funny to watch the Red Sox fans squirm.

  3. The fact that no team has one the world series ever after an 0-6 start is not insignificant.

    Just of the top of my head, things that are working against the Red Sox.

    1. The aforementioned 0-6 start as it relates to World Series wins

    2. The fact that everybody picked them to win. A surefire indication that they are not going to win.

    3. The fact that Tampa is also 0-6 and if we assume that neither team will continue it futility they will also be coming on now and only so many team can win games.

    4. The fact that the AL East may be more competitive this year than any other year before.

    5. The are only maybe 2 easy win teams to play in AL. Seattle and Cleveland. Baltimore and Kansas City don’t appear to be that anymore. It could be the lowest number of wins to get wild card this then it has ever been. This makes even harder to recover from being in whole by 6 already.

    Mark my words …The Boston Red Sox will not win the World Series. They certainly will not get 100 wins.

    • @Mat – win 100 games? No, you are right. That is next to impossible in such a deep division, no matter how good a team they are.

      As for the other stuff…I don’t know. The history of 0-6 starts has zero bearing on the Red Sox playoff chances. Sure, shitball teams like the Orioles start 0-10 and don’t make the playoffs but is that bad start indicative of true talent level? The Red Sox have an incredible amount of talent on their roster, too much for bad luck to weigh down for long.

      It is just a 6 game losing streak. Teams go through this. More than 95% of the season remains. Any team can pull off a 6 game winning streak, especially one so stacked. Then what? Now they have 150 games in which to win, 85-90 games. Very much within the realm of possibility.

  4. Oh man I need to visit some away stadium this year – I wondered why the Nationals clip was happening outside… :(

  5. World Series teams have triumphed despite longer losing streaks than 6 games. The only difference is that those losing streaks didn’t come at the start of the season. So the question isn’t whether teams can be successful despite losing streaks (they can). The question is there any difference other than the amount of scrutiny between a losing streaks to begin the season and any other losing streak. Personally, I think only looking at losing streaks to begin the season is just an arbitrary way of reducing the sample size and skewing the data in a way that supports hyperbolic conclusions.

  6. I don’t even wanna know what Dan Shaughnessy is writing about the losing streak.

    This has nothing to do with baseball, but has already made my Friday:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBa5qp9sUOY

  7. @Drew…you really think that considering the competition? Listen the Orioles still may be crap but you can say they are better than last year. Yanks are gonna be about the same as last and the rays probably close to the same. Jays probably a little step back from last. Not a lot of room to get extra wins.

    Where are all those extra wins gonna come from? Look based on their last seasons Carl Crawford and AGON if they have the same seasons as last have basically replaced Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre production from last. So most people would say getting the injured back will help like Youkoulis and Pedroia. Perhaps..no guarantee, both of them have been injured in the last couple of seasons, Ped is still fairly young but Youk is getting up there. We all know how that songs goes. They have a strong bull pen no doubt but I don’t see the starting rotation being that great.

    Don’t get me wrong they are a good team but I don’t think they are as good as some people think. Anyways we will see, but I think this losing streak says more about that team than an middle season losing does.

    At what point does everybody here think it is time to panic for Red Sox fans? 7, 8, 9 games?

    .

    • The time to panic is not April. What “extra” wins are you talking about? They will win games. Many, many games. Even if their retooled bullpen struggles, do you really think this team will win more than it loses, overall?

      Carl Crawford’s contributions don’t “replace” Victor Martinez’s, they replace Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava and whatever other shitbags they trotted out in the outfield. Plus Jacoby Ellsbury figures to not miss the entire year.

  8. I looked at the WAR that the Red Sox gained and lost during the last offseason:

    http://blogs.thescore.com/mlb/2010/12/09/anthopoulos-calm-despite-red-sox-additions/

  9. I feel oh so dirty, but I desperately want to see the Yankees win today.

  10. This is the first time in… I think ever… that I’ll actually be rooting for the Yankees. If rooting is the right word.

    I need a shower.

  11. Even if the Sox get swept this weekend, they could easily go on a 10-12 game winning streak at some point during the year which renders the entire thing moot. Honestly, if they lost six in a row in July, no one would give a shit.

  12. Also, agreed on the Brandon Phillips thing. It pisses me off that he gets called a dirty player for doing the same things that Aaron Miles or David Eckstein does (except, you know, he has talent too). For those who say racism doesn’t exist in the game, you’re living in a dream world.

  13. @Mat The Rays close to the same as last year? Some scout (forget where I saw this) said the other day that the Rays look like a last place team. They’ve lost a lot of offense, and a lot of bullpen. Their best player is on the DL for a while. I have zero faith in Manny or Damon. They’ve got good starters but if they don’t score runs, and I don’t think they will, the starters aren’t going to be enough. I’d be surprised if they sniff contention this year.

    I am wondering if Youklis has recovered from his injury. He looks terrible at the plate. I expect Pedroia’s all right, but his injury was simpler and more localized, and as you say he’s much younger. The Sox need Lester and Buchholz to be real studs because the rest of that rotation looks iffy. I think Lackey’s going to get seriously jocked today.

  14. Coming into this game, the Red Sox only had 4 batters in their lineup with batting averages over .200.

    With the score now 7-6 for the Sox, the Yankees are disappointing me greatly.

  15. @ Travis – you’re probably right. But I say lets play on the fears of the Sox fans a little longer. Make em sweat it.

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