“I don’t believe in hangover. The only hangover is when you going out drinking and the next day you got a headache. We’ve all been there” — Alex Cora
The second year Red Sox manager is right. Most likely you know that awful feeling off waking up praying that the bed stops spinning while you lay there wondering what you did, why you did it, and wishing you hadn’t stolen Mike Tyson’s tiger.
But Cora is also in denial, because his team is showing all the classic signs of a team hangover. Or they just stink, which I don’t believe to be true. So let’s go with hangover.
The Red Sox set the tone in spring training 2018 by finishing with the best record in the Grapefruit League. 22-8-1. They went 17-2 out of the gate en route to 108 regular season wins and as you well know, a dominant post season capped with a World Series win.
This spring in Ft. Myers they dragged their tired butts to a 12-17-1 record. That was the worst in the Grapefruit League. Now that the games count, the Sox are a pathetic 3-8.
They are hung over. They need black coffee. A cold shower. A greasy breakfast. Advil.
Alex Cora went very easy on his every day players during spring training. After all they played a full month more baseball last year than most teams. It seemed to make sense as after last year there was no reason not to believe in the Cora Magic.
But after the amazing Boston party of 2018, this team has woken up symbolically praying to the porcelain god.
Only two teams have fewer wins. The offense overall has not been dreadful, but the Sox starting pitchers look like they wandered out of a bar at 2am and can’t find their way home. Or in this case home plate.
The highly compensated Sox starters are 1-8 with a 6.60 ERA. They have allowed 16 home runs. Chris Sale has turned in one great start. The other four have have flat out stunk.
The good thing about being hungover is that you know it is temporary and you will survive. This largely unfair eleven game road trip to start the season is almost over. The Red Sox home opener is Tuesday. By then let us hope that they have recovered enough to make up some ground in the standings. And that they have returned that darn tiger to Tyson.