Twitter me this: Fans react to Red Sox poor start

Red Sox
After an 0-6 start, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona will be looking for answers against the rival Yankees this weekend. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Getting swept last weekend by the Texas Rangers was palatable if you’re a Boston Red Sox fan. After all, the defending AL champs have been putting some serious wood on the ball to start the season. Next stop Cleveland, which should have been just what the doctor ordered. But a funny think happened on the way to The Jake: the sweep brooms followed, and the much-hyped Red Sox now limp into a home series against the New York Yankees with a baffling 0-6 record.

This is the team pre-ordained to win the 2011 AL pennant by all the talking heads, right? Losing six straight at the start of a 162-game season is by no means a panic-worthy setback considering Boston’s potent bats, but the poor start is a little discomforting for Red Sox Nation when put in perspective:

  • The Indians last swept the Red Sox in 2001. The two teams have played 24 series since then.
  • Boston’s last 0-6 start was in 1945, which happens to be the last time the Cubs were in the World Series.
  • No team has ever won a World Series after an 0-6 start.

So when the Red Sox take the field tomorrow against the rival Yankees in their home opener, you have to wonder if the boo-birds will be chirping. So I started wondering: How are the Boston faithful holding up? After today’s 1-0 loss, the #redsox Twitter feed was scrolling at warp speed with fan commentary. Boston Globe writer Gordon Edes tweeted this gem from Dustin Pedroia regarding tomorrow’s game with New York: We need those fans more than ever. You think? Here’s a verbatim taste of what fans were saying on Twitter minutes after today’s game:

#redsox fans at the game tomorrow better let those boo birds fly. 0-6 wtf

I feel like I’m watching the Bad News Bears. Where’s Buttermaker when you need him? #redsox

If I were Jon Lester, I would be giving everyone in the lineup a swift kick to the nads. #RedSox

Just learned that pathetic is numerically spelled 0-6. #redsox

The #RedSox are making it really difficult for me to go out in public without making me want to tape everyone’s mouthes shut.

I wish the #RedSox showed more emotion. Throw sh*t, tip over the Gatorade cooler, break some bats, etc.

New site just launched: #RedSox.

does anyone want to help me pick the proper bridge to jump off? #redsox

wait the #redsox lost again? I thought they were going 162-0?

if twitter allowed me to list an emotion, mine would currently read: angry/confused/bitter/filled with hate #redsox

thank god #redsox are using this last week of spring training to get the kinks out…wouldn’t want them to get off on the wrong foot in 2011

On the bright side, we didn’t allow any HRs today! #babysteps #redsox

At least the last poster is looking for silver linings in this less-than-auspicious start. In a post-game interview, Red Sox DH David Ortiz offered this statement shared on Twitter:

There’s not two Red Sox teams, there’s only one. You have to cheer for this one if you’re a Red Sox fan, right?

I can’t help but wonder what the inflection was behind Ortiz’s closing word – “right” – framed as a question. Is he stating the obvious or pleading for support? It’s not as if Ortiz and company are giving fans, who had such immense expectations coming into 2011, a reason to celebrate. It will only take one win against the much-despised Yankees to turn the jeers into cheers. On the other hand, if the Red Sox lose Friday, Twitter might go into permanent fail-whale mode after a barrage of disgruntled tweets.

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