Red Sox fans are all aboard the bandwagon.
They see victory over the Tampa Rays as inevitable.
But they know the Rays will be tough and say the playoff series could go the distance.
“They will win it in five, I think,” Sean Bourque of Derry said yesterday. “We have a strong team and the chemistry is good.”
But Tampa has weapons, too.
“Tampa has good pitching,” Bourque said.
Bruce Grimard of Haverhill agreed.
“This is going to be a tough series,” he said. “We have to face (David) Price twice and (Alex) Cobb once.”
Tampa concerns Grimard and had him longing for another foe.
“It would be better if it was Cleveland,” he said.
But Grimard still likes the Sox.
“I think we’ll win in four,” he said.
Grimard didn’t see this kind of season coming, so he’s pleased the Sox are in the playoffs.
“It seemed like this would be a rebuilding year,” Grimard said.
He credits the front office and general manager Ben Cherington.
“We must have the most underrated general manager now,” he said.
This Sox team reminds him of another from a few years ago.
“This is like the team of ‘04,” Grimard said. “The ‘idiots’ all over again.”
Cheryl Paradis of Derry doesn’t have a special reason to believe the Red Sox will prevail, she just does.
“Red Sox rock,” Paradis said. “Of course, they will beat them.”
Jeff Joyce of Laconia, stopping at a convenience store in Londonderry, was pumped up about his Sox.
“I like how they look with their pitching,” Joyce said. “(John) Lackey pitching at home and not away? That’s a great move.”
Robin Curtis of Seabrook was in Londonderry and sees no flaws in the Sox.
“They’re doing great,” Curtis said.
She looks for an old favorite, David Ortiz, to come through again.
“Papi,” she said, “he’s a great player.”
Two sisters from Maine, visiting Derry where they grew up, are keeping the faith with their Sox.
“They’re going to beat Tampa,” Melissa Goodrow said, her sister, Michel, chiming in with agreement.
“They are on a roll,” Melissa Goodrow said.
The sisters are confident, but not overconfident.
“Not a sweep,” Melissa Goodrow said.
Even casual fans like David Cockroft of Derry are optimistic.
“I hope they do win,” Cockroft said.
George Brucato of Dracut, stopping at a Londonderry gas station, had no question about the outcome.
“Of course, the Sox are going to win,” he said. “They are the best.”
Brucato acknowledged manager John Farrell for a good job in what he admitted was a surprising season for fans.
“I do think the other guy — Terry Francona, not Bobby Valentine — got the short end of the stick,” he said.
Brucato couldn’t resist a shot at a team conspicuously absent from this year’s playoffs, a hated Sox opponent.
He delivered a familiar putdown of the New York Yankees in salty language appropriate to the bleachers.
“Don’t forget, that’s our team motto,” he said.