EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 30, 2013

A month for the history and record books

The Fan's Perspective
Ed Warnshuis

---- — April, 2013 was an historic month in the City of Boston. The horrific events of April 15 brought everything to a screeching halt, and less than a week later, our national pastime was called upon to perform its most noble function, to help bring a city together and give them something to celebrate.

Ten days ago at Fenway Park, that’s exactly what happened. Using the strongest (maybe a tad salty) language he could muster, David Ortiz told us all, and I’m paraphrasing here, to be strong.

And then the Big Fella went out and got two hits in a thrilling 4-3 victory that, for the moment, made the world seem right again. Even the Federal Communications Commission, which normally fines people at will, had to tip its cap and let Ortiz’s slip of the tongue slide.

Since Opening Day in New York, the John Farrell/Ben Cherington Plan has been playing out almost perfectly.

“The Plan” was built around solid starting pitching and the starters have not disappointed. They set a club record for the most games giving up three runs or less (16) and if we throw out the Alfredo Aceves’ stinker on that brutally cold and raining Tuesday night, the starters ERA is a microscopic 2.72. Clay Buchholz was the first 5-game winner in The Majors, and the team leads the majors in strikeouts with 248.

John Lackey gave us a major scare in Toronto in early April when he walked off the mound cradling his right arm like a wounded duck, but what looked to be the end of his year or career-ending injury, turned out to be a simple two-week bicep strain. He came back Sunday and gave his team six strong innings and looked like the guy we signed a couple of years ago.

The offense has been full of present surprises, but the biggest one has to be the torrid pace being set by Ortiz. Although he hadn’t seen a major league pitch since August 2012, he’s been white hot, batting .516 with two homers and 11 RBI in just 8 games. Mike Napoli is doing for the Red Sox what he used to do to the Red Sox for all those years, getting clutch hits and driving in lots and lots of runs.

While the bombers are still in The Bronx, this team leads the league in doubles and triples and is a close second in runs scored. They’ve got speed at the top of the line-up and they’re working the count like they did in those championship years, driving opposing starters out early.

Can they keep this up? Of course not, but they don’t have to.

With 18 wins in April (worst case), they can play October baseball if they average 15 wins/month from here on out, giving them 93 wins. Do yourself a favor and get behind this team. You’ll gave a great summer, and they deserve it.

Ed Warnshuis has B.S. from Emerson College (’65), worked for 30 years in sales and marketing with Agfa/Compugraphic and spent the last 13 years doing community action work in Lawrence. He founded “Stand and Deliver — Corporate Campus Mentoring,” presently working with Lawrence High principal Paul Neal on a Peer Mentoring program at Lawrence High. He has been married 47 years to his wife Joan. They have two daughters and three grand children.

Editor's note: Periodically, throughout the season, will run columns by readers on the Red Sox in 2013. If you have an idea or column, send it to Eagle-Tribune sports editor Bill Burt at bburt@eagletribune.com.