A new year brings new hope for many Major League teams. Spring training stats are wiped off the board and now the games are for real. We all know who the contenders are and who will be out of the race by the middle of August or before. There may be a surprise or two but it’s pretty much the same teams as last year.
Fortunately, the Red Sox are one of the teams who the experts picked to reach the post-season this year. The teams, most agree, that have a chance to go deep into the play-offs via Wild Card or Division winners and possibly to the World Series are: the Yankees, Houston, Indians, Red Sox, Twins, Angels in the American League and Senators, Cubs, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Colorado in the National League. The Phillies and Brewers are long shots but it’s possible.
The Red Sox are a good ballclub once again especially with the addition of JD Martinez but we all know in the end it will be the pitching staff that will make the difference. The lineup is a good one but they do need production from Devers, Mookie, and Hanley and a much better year from Bogaerts both offensively and defensively and also from Jackie. The starters, especially Sale and Price must be healthy and both have to give the Sox at least thirty starts each for this team to be successful. Just look at the teams who went deep into the playoffs and see that their top starters were able to go just about every five days.
There is one more element that the Red Sox must have throughout their roster that is the intangible for all winning teams. That is a burning desire to win. This team must be so hungry for wins that they will not accept anything else. It’s no longer an individual having a good year but a team effort and attitude that they will have each others’ backs. One player cannot win games alone. Each player picks up the other when one fails. It’s playing angry and having the confidence after a loss that the next day will have a better outcome. You have fun when you win not when you lose.
I’ll tell you every article I read about the Yankees is one that exudes that kind of attitude from their players. The Red Sox players cannot be intimidated by the Baby Bombers or else it will be a long season for them. They’ll overcome by having a stronger will to win and play as a team all year. If they can do that they just might become the team to beat in the American League East.