Sports is always a bottom line business - record. And despite the generally punchless offense, after 24 games, the Red Sox are 14-10 atop the American League East. They have also played 14 of the 24 games on the road.
Of course, there is 'deeper' thought as well, concerning relative strength or power ratings. The Sox have been outscored 122-113, a trend that might argue that their longer-term performance might underachieve their start.
If we think about a 'mean reversion' approach, we would certainly expect more from Tim Wakefield (and much less from Jonathan Papelbon), and aside from David Ortiz and to an extent Kevin Youkilis, it would be hard to argue that much of the offense hasn't underperformed (how many negatives in that sentence?).
Statistically, where are the Red Sox as a team, looking at 1) runs scored, 2) OPS, 3) WHIP ratio (walks and hits allowed per inning), and K/BB ratio?
Runs scored: 10th
OPS: .761 (left on base not the only problem)
WHIP ratio: 5th
K/BB ratio: 5th (tends to correlate with ERA prospects)
In comparison, the Yankees are 4th in runs scored, and 2nd in OPS, 3rd in WHIP and first in K/BB. In other words, as suggested by a comment earlier, they have better balance and better pitching, yet the statistical opportunity for this to play out hasn't occurred.
Gonzalez (not much expected)
So before we push the panic button, our first priority should be to expect more 'mean reversion', as in better performance from the bottom half of the pitching staff (reality or hope?) and better hitting from Loretta, Crisp (return), Varitek, and Ramirez.
A parallel with John Henry's observations from last year seems justified. Oftentimes performance rather than petulance cures what ails you.