Red Sox: Tough To Be The Hunted

By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV

HOUSTON (CBS) – Let’s face it Red Sox fans, you’re in a position you don’t like being in.

The role of favorites.

You read every preseason magazine, newspaper, and website and your 2011 Boston Red Sox are being picked (along with the Phillies) to win the World Series. Heck, even the mighty New York Yankees are saying Boston is the team to beat. And, there are players on the Sox saying they could win 100 games!

Read: SI Picks Red Sox To Win World Series

It makes you feel great in that you know your team is going to be good, but being the favorite doesn’t seem to fit as well as being the underdog. It’s just not a comfortable feeling.

It also seems like every time the Sox are picked to win the World Series, they don’t.

Sox fans are used to being the victims. 2004 was all about finally beating the bully: The Evil Empire. It was about ending 86 years of frustration. Cowboying Up!

2007 kind of snuck up on people too because the team felt like it was in transition with the likes of Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury helping out.

And this season, ever since Theo Epstein acquired Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, it’s non-stop fall classic talk.

But, you know better. The fear is always there. The insecurity.

Look at last year. A great team on paper and nothing but injury after injury. Look at 2005 when the team had a chance to repeat, but Curt Schilling and company weren’t the same. 2008 brought a tough game-seven loss to the Rays in the ALCS.

Curiosity: Have Red Sox Fans Become Complacent?

You also look around and see how hard it s to be the favorite. Look at the 2007 Patriots and their near perfect season. The immense pressure  it brought and ultimate failure in the biggest game of all. That hurt. Even last season was stunning when the 14-2 Pats were one-and-done in the playoffs.  Or, the mighty Celtics run last season when they fell in the fourth quarter of game seven to the bad guys in LA. Then there’s the Bruins and last year’s collapse to the Flyers.

Lots of recent heartache.

My advice? Fugeddaboutit!!!!

Who cares that everyone is picking your team! Go out and enjoy each game of THIS season. Don’t worry about what all the so-called experts write or say. Simply go out and soak in every day of 2011. The players deserve that. They’re not looking behind them. They take it one game at a time. They know they will lose at least 50- plus games. It’s part of it.

Play: Runs and Guns: A Hassle Free Fantasy Baseball Game

I also think it will make things a lot easier on you too. Have fun with this “favorites” thing. Know your team is good, but don’t take anything for granted. Appreciate the season. Don’t start thinking about what the playoff rotation should be, just take each  game as it comes.

Trust me, it will make 2011 fun. Which, after all, isn’t that what this is supposed to be about?

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