Boston Red Sox fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Weather permitting, the Red Sox will finally play their home opener Tuesday afternoon at Fenway Park. They will be the last major league team in 2019 to take the field at their home ballpark, nearly two weeks into the season.

A lot has happened since then. And a lot of it was not good for the Red Sox.

Boston stumbled out to a 2-8 record – matching its worst 10-game start ever – before a much-needed 1-0 win over the Diamondbacks on Sunday in Arizona. The start had a lot of fans up in arms, questioning the team and its ability to contend for a fourth consecutive American League East title.

In spring training, Manager Alex Cora stressed that his team wasn’t “turning the page” from its 2018 championship. His point was that he didn’t want them to forget how good they were last year. He wanted to keep their memory banks flooded with thoughts of competing at the highest level, of the work and commitment it took to reach the pinnacle.

Eleven games into the season, we are waiting for this team to turn the page from its ugly start.

That said, it’s far too early to panic. The Red Sox have played the equivalent of one NFL game, with 151 out of 162 games still to be played. Yes, it’s the worst start the team has gotten off to since the notorious 2011 team, but there are lessons to be learned from that season.

The 2011 Red Sox will be forever remembered as the “chicken and beer” team that lost 20 of 27 games in September and was eliminated from the postseason on the final pitch of the regular season. It was an inglorious end to a squad called “The Best Team Ever” by the Boston Herald.

That team got off to worse start (2-10) than the one we’ve watched for the past two weeks. Yet by Memorial Day, Terry Francona’s team was playing as expected. They rolled into the holiday weekend winning 13 of 15 and taking over first place in the division.

No one wants to be compared to a team that self-destructed spectacularly down the stretch. Yet that implosion came because of a complete lack of discipline in the clubhouse. This team has shown no such tendency. If it follows the 2011 course back to the top of the playoff race by summer there’s no reason to think they would fall apart. The core of this group has won it all and knows what it takes to win.

Francona’s team in 2011 didn’t have that recent experience. That’s why it couldn’t stop the slide when the tides of September turned gloomy. That’s how they were overtaken by the Tampa Bay Rays, who took the final AL playoff spot when Evan Longoria hit a walk-off home run against the New York Yankees.

Oh, and by the way: that Rays team also started the season 2-8. And managed to win 91 games by the end of the year.

When the Red Sox take the field Tuesday, they will be celebrated for their record-setting accomplishments last year. The vast majority of them will get their first World Series rings. It will be a reminder of just how good they are. A much needed reminder after the tough West Coast trip.

The good news is that the Red Sox won’t head back west for another four months. By then they should be back in the elite group of teams fighting for position as the playoff race heats up.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.