NEW YORK -- The A's were supposed to be good in 2001.
They'd won 91 games the year before. They'd added Johnny Damon over the winter.
And they started 2-10.
"It was disheartening," said Eric Chavez, the third baseman on that team. "Because going into the season, people were expecting big things."
They started 2-10. Eventually, they delivered big things.
The A's won 102 games that year, the second-most in the majors.
So yes, Boston, it can be done.
"I mean, it was early," said Chavez, now an extra infielder with the Yankees. "If it had been later in the year, we'd have been packing our bags. The thing about good teams is they can run off a lot of wins in a row, and make up ground fast."
The A's did just that. They made it back to .500 by late May, and in early August they went on a 10-game winning streak. They won 53 out of 68 at one point.
"There was never any panic in that clubhouse," said Rangers manager Ron Washington, a coach on that A's team. "We always said, 'We'll get them in the second half.'
"It was an amazing group, a group of grinders -- a little bit like this [Texas] team."
Are the Red Sox like that, too?
We'll find out.
"If anybody thinks [the Red Sox are done], come see me at the All-Star break," Chavez said.