Fan dismay over Red Sox’ struggles feels ‘oh so good’


Boston Red Sox fans make their way into Fenway Park for the 2014 opening day game against the Milwaukee Brewers (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports).

For Red Sox fans, it’s inevitable – at least for those who are Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

Six months removed from the revelry of celebrating a third World Series victory in a 10-year span, the true and predictable character of any longstanding Boston baseball fan has reemerged: panic.

Perhaps it’s a bit of carry-over from the Bruins ouster from the NHL playoffs last night (sorry for the reminder, B’s fans).

Perhaps it the sting of seeing the Sox drop two of three games to the hapless Minnesota Twins – losing twice in extra innings after rallying late in each game to tie.

Perhaps it’s simply mounting frustration about the team’s inability to put any positive distance in the standings between its everyday position and the .500 mark.

Whatever its source, dread and consternation have surfaced again. The anxiety is palpable, and the water cooler talk has spilled over into the checkout lines at the grocery stores, the stands at high school sporting events and even outside churches on Sunday mornings.

Beneath it all though, for those who is still number Red Sox’ collapses greater that their triumphs, there is serenity. There is nothing more natural and more comfortable during baseball season than some good ol’ Red Sox angst.

Twitter makes it all the more simple to fret with the rest of the Nation, joining or debating with other armchair G.M.s over the moves that need to be made to fix our beloved team and return it to the winning ways we knew last year.

What’s comical, for those will admit it, is that even through the euphoria of last season, there was still a constant fear that an injury, slump or bad umpiring call would crush all our hopes once again.

Avoiding misfortune, the Sox captured the coveted world championship, and when the last batter was out – the last hurdle was cleared – the apprehension was oddly gone.

And away it stayed … until opening day.

After that first loss, there returned a sense that all is right in the world. The Sox’ ongoing mediocrity has only solidified the mood of trepidation.

And for those longtime fans, like a favorite pair of Levi’s, what a comfortable feeling it is.