Greetings, Boston Bruins fans. Sorry about the premature end to your season. I know, losing to your hated rival really hurts. Watching a legend age before your eyes and get outplayed by your most despised adversary while it happens rubs salt in the wound.

Speaking on behalf of the fair-weather Bruins fans many of you loathe for some reason, I’m glad the series is over. Not that the Bruins lost, mind you, but I couldn’t take any more of the whining — from both sides. It was really unbecoming for a sport that constantly has to remind us how tough it is. And if I had to hear one more time about a puck hitting the post, I was going buy a Super Soaker and squirt Rene Rancourt’s tuxedo.

I wish there was something I could offer to help the pain go away, something to make you forget, if only for a few hours. Normally, I’d suggest turning your attention to the Boston Red Sox, or to baseball in general. But I can’t do that with a clear conscience. At least, not yet.

When last they had New England’s full attention, the Red Sox were the apple of everybody’s eye, riding great pitching, clutch hitting and David Ortiz’s World Series dominance to an unlikely world championship that only the harshest cynic would not be relishing to this day.

Save the departure of an overpaid shortstop and a defensively-challenged catcher overcompensating for his receding hairline, the roster hasn’t changed much from last year’s fuzzy furries.

The Sox have also retained a few of the characteristics that made last year’s team so good. They still grind out at-bats; well, except the new catcher. They still pitch pretty well, although it’s difficult to have much confidence in 40 percent of the starting rotation going forward. And save for Papi being Papi and complaining about a dumb scorer’s decision, they still seem to have the same all-for-one mentality.

They do not catch the ball nearly as well as they did last year. Nor do they hit with men on base or with the same power. They have gaping holes in the lineup and they have weakened other spots to try to fill some of those holes. The bench which came through time after time last year has been virtually useless. Role players who made key contributions, and maybe even overachieved, last year, haven’t just regressed. Some have disappeared. And the rookies who everyone was hoping, if not expecting, to emerge could probably use more Pawtucket seasoning.

Last year, the Red Sox benefitted immeasurably from distractions and low expectations bred by their disastrous 2012 season. The Bruins played into June, then Aaron Hernandez was arrested, then NFL training camps started. It really wasn’t until September when everyone started thinking about the Red Sox as serious contenders.

By Memorial Day, all of New England will be tuning in to NESN to catch the hijinks of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy. In between gags, they may notice that the team isn’t very good, and the natives will get restless, quickly.

And yet with all that, the Red Sox still aren’t that far behind their pace at last year’s quarter pole.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of time for John Farrell to turn things around because the American League East is as mediocre as its been in a long time. No one is running away with the division. Even if someone does, the Wild Card race is wide open. After the three division leaders — Baltimore Detroit and Oakland, who also have the three best records in the league — the next nine teams were all within three games of .500 going into Saturday.

The National League is a little better, but there is still a lot of bad baseball being played.

Maybe the weather has had something to do with it. Young stars such as Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig are still around to provide excitement, but their teams, the Angels and Dodgers, respectively, are among the worst offenders of sloppy baseball so far. They can’t use the weather as an excuse.

Take a shine to the young pitching stars at your own risk. Young pitchers are dropping like flies and giving Tommy John more free publicity than the Oprah Winfrey Network. Nothing will make the blood pressure rise like watching a young stud get lifted after throwing 90 pitches in one start, then walk off the mound holding his pitching elbow the next.

So maybe you should stay away from baseball, at least for a little while longer. Swallow your pride and watch the Canadiens and Rangers in the conference final, then swallow it again and root for the Blackhawks to destroy whichever team wins in the Stanley Cup finals.

If you still need a baseball fix or something relaxing to pass the time until the fall, go to Hadlock Field and watch Mookie Betts and Henry Owens while you can for less than $40 a ticket.

I can’t guarantee you’ll forget about the funk you’re currently in, because chances are there will be some yutz in a Canadiens jersey in the grandstand catching some rays and a ball game before heading to Old Orchard Beach.

I’m just warning you, if you’re hoping for the 2014 Red Sox to help you recover, you may be in for some more pain first.


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