One of the products of watching a banner being raised to the rafters courtesy of some help at MacDill (I was hoping some Yankee schmuck had the cahones to try coming out on the field during the banner raising) is high expectations right out of the shoot. This has led to some very early and illogical rants. We are not even two weeks into this season (just finished our second turn in the rotation) and people are calling for heads. Our bullpen sucks. We can't hit worth crap. We kept the wrong pitcher.
But, has anyone looked at the record of the Red Sux? Yankees? No one is jumping out of the gate. If you ask any perennial contending team, their goal by the end of April, it'd be to escape with a .500 record and no major injuries. Anything else is gravy. That doesn't mean there are not concerns after the first 10 games. The offense so far only connects when there's a pitcher out there essentialy throwing batting practice. Hitting good pitching? That hasn't happened yet. The depth of the lineup has promise. Once Upton and CC start clicking, Longoria and Pena have already shown they can drive them in. Bartlett and Aki look to make an interesting duo at the bottom of the order. Once Burrell starts going deep, this lineup has another dynamic.
If Howell or Balfour or anyone still looks clueless after the first month, then there's probably cause for concern (but Balfour definitely looked great in his last outing). The only major question at this point is Percival. If he doesn't show anything in the next week to 10 days (if that), the Rays may finally be forced with cutting him loose and calling up Isringhausen.
As long as the Rays keep pace with the Sux and Yankees, they are doing just fine. If players are still slumping after the first month, then there are legitimate red flags. But so far, just relax. There are a 162 of these battles to get through. If you're already calling for blood, you better call your doctor to up your blood pressure meds.