We have it! The Red Sox spring training 2019 schedule. If you’re a fan, you don’t want to miss one game this season
The preseason of baseball, spring training acts to get players warmed up and in regular season condition and form before the games that really count come.
It’s also a time for us media members and fans alike to overanalyze, over scrutinize, and panic. We do the same during the NFL, NBA, and NHL preseasons just the same. Geez, we even stress over the NBA’s Summer League.
During the Red Sox Spring Training 2019, that’s exactly what we did with our championship team. Were our concerns reasonable or a bit overzealous? Really, only the regular season and beyond will answer that.
Here are some of our thoughts and observations into our favorite MLB team’s Spring Training and the potential implications it has for the rest of the regular season.
The Red Sox Spring Training 2019: Cause for Legitimate Panic?
The Sox finished Spring Training with a less-than-stellar 12-17 record. Now, with the Sox part-ways into the regular season and seeming to continue with that pesky trend of losing more games than they are winning, it has many people panicking.
Is that realistic? Consider, Alex Cora used the same system of heavily limiting his starting pitchers’ counts during the Red Sox Spring Training 2019 as he did last year.
This program is intended to keep the team’s starting pitchers’ arms fresher throughout the year by limiting their Spring Training usage. Sure, that comes with the price of having to likely see the Sox’ Spring Training record dip, but it lends the advantage of having a starting rotation that is still in regular season form when the postseason hits.
I know what you’re thinking–”that’s all well and good, but last year’s regular season started out quite different than this year’s”. To start the 2018 season, the Red Sox blazed to a 17-2 start. This year they’ve tied their worst start in team history at 2-8.
For some, this may in of itself be a time to start panicking. Really, though, is it realistic to expect a true replication of last season’s record-setting year? No, it’s not.
Following the preseason program for our starting rotation as mentioned above means Alex Cora’s being willing to sacrifice a few games at the start of the year for the sake of the games that count most. It just happened to be that last year he got the best of both worlds getting off to such a hot start while being able to crank through an 11-3 postseason record.
This year we are seeing the more likely and expected results of such a program being implemented.
Inter-Sport Early Season Comparisons
When analyzing the Red Sox Spring Training 2019 and early regular-season start, there’s another factor we can look at. Let’s take a lesson from the recent past of another of our favorite teams to get a better grasp on where the panic meter ought to fall.
Remember the famous (or infamous, depending on who you’re talking to) “We’re on to Cincinnati” postgame? What was the context of that? Our New England Patriots had just come off their worst loss in recent history, getting crushed 41-14 by the Chiefs and dropping to a 2-2 record.
The “Tom Brady has hit the cliff.” and “Is this the end of the Brady-Belichick era?” fervor swept sports media and fans alike.
How did the rest of that year end up?
They win ten of the remaining twelve games left in the regular season and win their fourth Super Bowl. Why so? Largely because they had Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
Let’s jump even closer to the present day. Remember September of 2018 when, after losing back-to-back games with a terrible 10-26 loss to the Lions, the fervor reheated in full force. Patriot haters were having a field day reminding us of Max Kellerman’s 2016 prediction that Brady was going to “fall off a cliff”.
How did the rest of 2018 turn out?
They torched the other AFC Super Bowl favorites en route to claiming their 6th title. How were they able to do that? Largely because of having Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
Lessons to Take Home
Why do we mention those early season struggles of our favorite NFL team?
Firstly, the Sox have started off their 2019 season 2-8. In the 162-game regular season of baseball, eight losses don’t even equate to one loss in a 16-game NFL season.
Secondly, why again were the Patriots able to shake off their early-season struggles and become championship teams? The team’s player and coach cornerstones were still there.
Alex Cora, Chris Sale, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, David Price, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts and company are all still here. All the player and managerial cornerstones of last year’s championship team remain.
So don’t throw away your custom trading pins, keep wearing your Mookie Betts jersey, and continue to proudly rock your iconic Red Sox stockings logo. There’s no need to panic here, at least not yet.
Unlikely a Portent of Things to Come
The Sox have the same manager and roster cornerstones as they did last year during their record-setting, championship-winning season. They also have followed a similar Spring Training program as they did that season. This year they’ll get the added bonus of the reactivation of their longest-tenured player and locker room leader, Dustin Pedroia.
Even if the Red Sox Spring Training 2019 trends continue long into the regular season and you have to encounter some Yankee fan persecution, feel free to remind them of last year.
Make sure to keep up with your other favorite Boston teams as well. Check out our Celtics page to stay current with our favorite basketball team as they make yet another run into the playoffs.