Red Sox start slow, panic grips Hub!

Alan Greenwood

With the Red Sox winning one of their first six games, it should surprise no one who has lived here for more than an hour that Panic Grips Hub.

It has often been suggested that April is the worst possible time to assess a team’s destiny. Of course, such sober thinking has rarely caused a ripple of relief for New Englanders, even when ye olde towne team is the defending World Series champion.

Let us agree that if Chris Sale wins zero games this season, Mookie Betts doesn’t crack the .200 mark and the pitching staff serves up 300 or so home runs, it would be miraculous if the Red Sox were not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention by Mother’s Day.

In other words: Get a grip. At least reserve judgment until dads celebrate their day.

On the other end of the bar, we have those who insist that the Red Sox’ slow start is no fault of their own but the result of a conspiracy in the office of Major League Baseball’s schedule makers. How in the name of all that is holy could those New York cretins make the defending champions open their season with an 11-game West Coast trip?

Clearly if the Red Sox opened with an 11-game homestand they would be scoring 10 runs every nine innings and allowing nothing more threatening than an occasional bloop single.

The good news from all of the above: Spring has sprung.

TIME TRAVEL: April 4, 1949 – “The NHS basketball fund is richer today by slightly over $100 and several hundred fans, who chipped in with halves and quarters at yesterday’s benefit twinbill at the high school, are completely satisfied that they obtained their money’s worth after watching the Y juniors edge the high school JVs, 34-31, and the Holy Cross Independents eke out a 60-58 verdict over the Nashua College All Stars.

“The Y Juniors, paced by Dick McCostis and Dave Brown, who caged 13 and 11 points respectively, upset the pre-game dope when they came from behind in the second period and successfully maintained their nip-and-tuck lead until the final buzzer.

“Cream of Nashua’s collegiate hoop talent put on a thrilling show with a classy Holy Cross Independent team in the nightcap and fans rarely had an opportunity to sit back and relax.”

WHO STOPPED PLAYING? In case you are among the multitude who didn’t know that it ever existed, the Alliance of American Football ceased operations this week. A bunch of forgettable teams, stocked with forgettable players, failed to prove the theory that football’s grip on America is so mighty that the Super Bowl post-game show is not an end but merely a station break.

It is the third – or is it the fourth and maybe the fifth – time in four decades that a bunch of allegedly sharp business people bet that the football public would devour more games like binge drinkers tearing into post-last call steak and eggs.

Next up: Pro rasslin’ tycoon Vince McMahon, preparing to give his old XFL a second run.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-1248, agreenwood or @Telegraph_ AlanG.