Anxiety gives way to optimism about Sox

Like any good Sox fan, my baseball outlook is characterized by bouts of schizophrenia. Therefore, even though the Sox gained only a half-game on the Yankees while winning three from the White Sox over the weekend, Boston is suddenly inspiring my confidence:

-- Manny's back (three home runs in the last week).

-- Coco's playing like the player we expected him to be.

-- Lugo is proving an offensive sparkplug.

-- Schilling looked strong Saturday in Pawtucket.

-- Adding Lester to the rotation, and Tavarez to the bullpen, will strengthen the team.

-- Hinske and Cora are excellent role players.

-- Youk, Pedroia, and Lowell are grinders.

-- Strong pitching and improved hitting are likely to stick around.

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