UNEVENTFUL OFFSEASON IN BEANTOWN
Yes I understand, you are disappointed that the Red Sox did pretty much nothing this offseason. And yes, I know the Yankees added Giancarlo Stanton to an already scary lineup. And yes, I know the world is ending, but is anyone else seeing the beauty in all of this? Does it remind you of anything? Something like oh I don’t know, 2013? Perhaps 2004? They Yankees have once again assembled an All-Star team thanks to their disposable income. All while the Sox management sat on their thumbs since October. Well let me just say, oddly enough I have a terrific feeling about this year.
DISAPPOINTING 2017 SEASON
2017 was supposed to be Boston’s year. Sure, there was the astronomical loss of David Ortiz but the offense was still expected to be pretty good as it featured a plethora of young talent in Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers. The Pitching staff looked great on paper as it featured reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, David Price and Drew Pomeranz. Unfortunately, they all had their ups and downs. As we all know, the season ended in a disappointing four game series loss to Houston. The disappointing ending to the season led to a lot of hate on the Sox young core and pitching staff. It began to feel as though the future of this franchise was not so bright after all and that the spotlight had once again been stolen by the Evil Empire.
PRESSURE SHIFTS OVER TO THE BRONX
Well I gotta say I am a little relieved that the spotlight is on the Yankees now. The Sox are being counted out before the season has started and it is a thing of beauty. The Red Sox are young and pretty inexperienced. I think last year the pressure to become some sort of super team may have gotten to them. They showed flashes of great baseball but ultimately were not quite ready. I think the lowered expectations may actually be exactly what this young group needs to thrive. Also, the young core has already experienced a gut wrenching, humiliating playoff elimination to learn from. Come next October they will do anything to avoid duplicating that traumatic experience.
MULTIPLE PLAYERS POISED FOR A BOUNCE-BACK SEASON
An important thing to point out is the unlikelihood of nearly every player having another poor offensive season. Mookie, Hanley, Bogaerts, JBJ, Moreland and even Benintendi can all do better. Benny had a great year for a 22 year old kid, but I am positive he can hit better than .271. Everyone in Boston knows Mookie is capable of a whole lot more than his 2017 performance yet he still hit .264 and drove in over 100 runs, that is saying something. I don’t think I need to mention Hanley here as we all know his season was one to forget. If those three guys can do what they are capable of with other contributions from Pedroia, Nunez, Bogie, JBJ, Moreland and Vazquez, then this offense can easily return to top 10 form.
HURRY UP 2018
So basically, the hell with what the Yankees look like on paper, they still have to win games. It will be fun watching them fold like a two dollar lawn chair under pressure. The media will be all over them for under performing while the under dogs in Boston fight and claw their way into the playoffs with a full head of steam. The reason I am so confident about this season is because the parallel I see with the 2013 team. Once again, we are coming off a disappointing season, only this time no fried chicken was involved. And again, the expectations are low for a gritty team in a city that thrives off being underestimated. Talented team plus being overlooked by division rival? sounds like a recipe for success. LET’S GO SOX. #WinDanceRepeat.
*Featured picture credit goes to overthemonster.com*
*Questions or comments? find me on Twitter @MLBfromNH (Kevin Civiello)*