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You may not like baseball, and thats fine a lot of people don’t.
But if you live in Boston and don’t like the Sox, you’ve got a problem.
The Red Sox are now almost five months into an improbable journey that many haven’t seen in baseball for decades.
[2001 Seattle Mariners left to Right: Ichiro Suzuki, John Olerud, and Bret Boone presenting their Gold Glove awards]
This season, Boston is on track to win a regular season record, 117 games. The previous being owned by the 01 Mariners 116.
Despite recent success, Boston has every right to remain weary. The last two seasons, Boston has come up short in the Play-offs, loosing in the ALDS last year to Houston, and the year prior to Cleveland in the ALCS. (The number say both were close matchups, but both were rather embarrassing).
The Most recent Red Sox appearance in the World Series came in 2013, won at home at Fenway Park. Coincidently, it was the first Red Sox World Series championship won at Fenway in 95 years.
What makes the Red Sox run so improbable, might not be the fact that they are setting records in the process, but the manner in which they are preforming.
Most winning teams have some form of swagger, or class, not so much cockiness, but a personality that separates them from the crowd. For example, Houston, the Dodgers, the Yankees, or dare I say the Braves due to recent success, all carry themselves highly with a manner respect, for the most part, to other teams.
The Red Sox more or less play the part. Manner in this scenario meaning that they are winning.
Only with 150 lb sandbags strapped to their back...
This year the Red Sox took Houston bench Coach Alex Cora, a former Red Sox shortstop himself, to replace John Ferrel at the helm.
Alex Cora is proving himself one game at a time during his inaugural season as a manager.
Cora, himself, has proven to be one of the best mind in recent memory in baseball. He has introduced to the game the equivilence of the NFL’s no hudle offense.
His game is played with more hustle and and more reliablity among his players, as well making it clear early on he has no issue removing a player for any he might find as discouraging.
Those sandbags though are ever looming.
This season has also been riddled with injuries to not only minor, key role players, such as Marco Hernandez (a third year utility infielder out for the year with left shoulder surgery), but also former MVP and ROY winner Dustin Pedroia.
Pedroia, was having a dismal year by any standards, not just his. Hitting a wopping .091 in 11 ABs, seeing the base path only three times all season. To add to his misfortune, he was to the 60-day disabled list with “left knee inflammtion.”
Pedroia’s replacements have also had trouble, with Hernandez, trade deadline aquired Ian Kinzler, SS Xander Bogarts, and UTL Brock Holt all having their share of injuries during their 2B tenure.
The rotation is also no-where near immune either. Just this prior Sunday, the Red Sox removed definite AL CY Young winner Chris Sale off the disabled list for inflammation of the throwing shoulder. Red Sox number four man Edurado Rodriguez is on the DL with a rather serious ankle sprain, and reliever Carson smith is out for the season with a shoulder subluxation. The only remaining knuckleballer in baseball, Steve Wright, is also restricted with inflammation of the knee.
Evidence provided Boston may not be the healthiest team, but they are statistically more than likely to go to distance this post season.
Injuries galore. A taunting history. A new rookie manager. Dropping fan favorites such as Hanley Ramierz and trading top prospects.
For any other ball club this is a recipe for the biggest disaster in Title-Town history.
Not for Boston. They cannot, will not, and won’t stop winning, squashing every record in reach along the way. Step over Murder’s Row, there is a new greatest team to ever be assembled.