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Red Sox

Roche: Red Sox Thoughts After An Up-And-Down First Month

By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
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David Ortiz (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

David Ortiz (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Dan Roche Dan Roche
Dan Roche is an award-winning sports anchor and reporter for WBZ-T...
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BOSTON (CBS) — Some random Sox thoughts as the team winds down the month of April …

–As the team works through the first month of the 2014 season, it has become crystal clear how everything went Boston’s way in 2013. Those types of seasons don’t come around that often. But with that said, it doesn’t mean that the 2014 season can’t be special too. Maybe it will just be different. Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino have talked about how just because the team hasn’t started the way it did last season doesn’t mean it still can’t win. It’s just that this team looks like it will have to take a different path.

–Speaking of Daniel Nava, he unfortunately was the early fall guy for the 2014 Red Sox. Lots of MLB players get off to bad starts and eventually get back to their career numbers. Nava wasn’t given that chance on the big league level — yet. Circumstances forced Nava to become “the odd man out” in the outfield. The Nava/Jonny Gomes combo can’t work just yet due to the addition of Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr. I hope to see Nava back soon. It’s hard to see such a major contributor get demoted so quickly, but it’s understandable. It’s also hard on a clubhouse, too. I remember how ticked off the players were in 2005 when the Sox cut Mark Bellhorn, who was a huge part of the ’04 championship team. They felt like he should have been given a little bit more time because of past performance. But, we’ve all seen how tough and cruel professional sports can be.

–Fair to say, as goes the starting rotation, so too go the 2014 Red Sox? It seems like it early. You get a “quality start” from Lester-Lackey-Buchholz-Doubront-Peavy and you’ve got a good chance to win. You don’t? You’re done.

–Mike Napoli is off to a solid start. No surprise, except that he’s doing it with a mangled finger.

–David Ortiz gets a day off Thursday and another Sunday? Common sense tells us that Ortiz is nursing some injury. Perhaps it’s the calf muscle, or maybe something else. I don’t think John Farrell would just randomly give him two days off so close together, and I don’t believe that Ortiz would allow it if he didn’t need the rest.

–It may be tough to watch at times, but if Ben Cherington and the Sox are going to develop positional players, there has to be growing pains. There’s just no way around it. And, get ready for more of it as some combination of Christian Vazquez, Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts, Garin Cecchini, and Deven Marrero will also be coming up in the not-too-distant future.

–One thing that was overlooked the most about the 2013 Red Sox? How good they were at making the “routine-to-somewhat-difficult plays” on defense over and over again.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.

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