Teams would never say no to winning a World Series, but everything that comes with that at the start of the following year often leads to early hangovers.
From a shortened off-season to a White House visit to a championship ring ceremony the first week of the season, sometimes that can be a lot for teams to handle. The Red Sox endured it last week, a week in which they went 2-4 and were swept at home by the Brewers, dropping their first three home games to open a year for the first time since 1984.
“We had a lot of stuff going on,” David Ortiz said Sunday. “The first game [Friday] we barely had time to prepare for the game because of all the stuff that was going on. We got in late at night from Baltimore [Thursday night] and had to be here early in the morning and had all this stuff going on. I don’t think I even took batting practice that day — I went out there naked. It’s part of winning from the year before and it’s just the one-day that things go fast. Everything will go back to normal, I’m pretty sure.”
The defending champs last year, the San Francisco Giants, went 3-3 in their first games, including dropping two-of-three at home. After winning the 2010 World Series, the Giants dropped four of their first five games in 2011. Also in the same boat, the Philadelphia Phillies lost three of their first four games in 2009 after winning at all in 2008. Things do eventually even out as of the nine of the last 10 defending champions have had .500 or better records in the month of April.
“Once the season begins, you’re at the mercy of the schedule, it’s good to get back to Boston and get home with some routine here, but the game times are dictating what we go through,” manager John Farrell said. “We knew this week was going to have some events that weren’t normal, but well deserved and earned, so you try and strike a balance and put that into perspective … We just need to go out and play well and win.”
It is just a week into the new season and the Sox are just getting acclimated with one another. A team with as many quality players and major league veterans as this Red Sox team has, it’s not yet time to hit the panic button.
“I know everyone out there is giving their best, that’s all I really care about,” catcher David Ross said. “We’ll iron those things out. We’re still trying to come together and learn what we’re all about.”
Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @Hannable84