After a historic 108 win regular season, the Boston Red Sox are in the World Series vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite many question marks going into the postseason, the Sox answered the call and rolled their way past the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.
“The bullpen sucks”.
“David Price will never win in the postseason”.
“Regular season team; not built for postseason”.
Yep. We heard it all.
The Yankees were deemed as “the team built for the postseason”. Try again. The Astros were the “best team in baseball.” Laughable. The Red Sox rolled past the elite teams in the American League with a combined seven wins and two losses. It was never close.
The Red Sox are the best team in baseball and in about two weeks they’re going to win their fourth World Series championship in a 14 year span. No other professional sports franchise has won four in the past 14 years including that other team in New England.
So, how did that Red Sox get here? After all, despite AL East championships the past two years, they were not close to this point. In fact, they only won one playoff game since 2013 heading into this season. The Red Sox went out and signed J.D. Martinez. Granted, Martinez made a major impact on this lineup and was a Triple Crown candidate the majority of the year. He made a difference. However, he is not the biggest reason why the Red Sox went from a talented team who can’t win big games to one that no one wants to play.
If John Farrell was the Boston Red Sox manager this year, would they be in the World Series?
Keep this in mind. The past two seasons, the Red Sox had the following players on their team: Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, and Craig Kimbrel. That’s their core this year minus Martinez. This same group couldn’t get it done the past two postseasons. They were a combined 1-6.
The Red Sox of 2016 and 2017 did not lack talent. They had a lot of it and they were favorites to get to the World Series in each of those seasons. They underachieved. They had a manager who was coming off of two last place finishes in John Farrell. A manager who struggled to get the most out of his place and struggled mightily with in game decision making. Anyone remember Brandon Workman pinch hitting in the World Series because Farrell didn’t understand the double switch rule?!
The Red Sox brought in Alex Cora and he has done an excellent job. With that said, it’s really not about Cora either. It’s about not having Farrell.
Dave Dombrowski finally made the move, but it was two years too late. Had a manager like Cora been here the past seasons, we may be talking about a Red Sox dynasty right now. The core was always there. They just needed the right person to lead it. They now have that in Alex Cora.
Red Sox in 6…giving them the most championships of any professional sports franchise in the last 14 years.
Oh, by the way…Tom Brady’s team beat some guy named Mitch Trubisky’s team by one yard today.
2 thoughts on “The Red Sox X Factor (No It’s Not Xander)”
Coming from a HUGE Red Sox fan, their potential 4 in 14 will OF COURSE still not be as impressive as NE’s 5 in 17 under the same coach and QB. So you’re trying to shoot down the Pats to boost up the Sox for some reason? No need. Also, the Bay Area pro teams winning 3 of the last 4 in the NBA and 3 in 5 between 2010-14 in the MLB is also more impressive. No discredit to the Sox, but IF they win you can’t cherry pick a time period and call them the most successful franchise. They are top 5 for sure in recent times, but I’d think the Patriots and Spurs are 1 and 2, then a real debate can begin.
It was really only one year too late with Farrell, he deserved to manage the 2016 season that was Papi’s last. Had the Sox had Sale that season maybe things would be different, but they did not. 2016 had offense but simply didn’t have the pitching. A different manager would not have changed things vs. a GREAT Indians team. Farrell should have been replaced after that ’16 season, but was Cora known enough yet to get the gig? Unlikely, he needed to be part of the Astros World Series run to get a top 3 managing job in baseball. Had any other manager but Cora been hired before last year I doubt the Sox win b/c despite getting Sale for 2017 they now faced the problem of not enough hitting. They didn’t have JD Martinez, so they were not beating the Astros. Sox would have began this year finally having the well-rounded talent to win 100-110 games, but would their manager hired before the ’16 or ’17 season (who we all assume would be better than Farrell) be better than Cora? Who knows. Everything seemed to happen perfectly from a manager standpoint, Cora is set to be the next Tito and here for a decade, so I’d hold off on wanting to change history there. Now had they coaxed one more year out of Papi, or traded for Sale before the 2016 season, or even traded for JD at the ’17 deadline (instead of Pomerantz), maybe things would be different. But let’s not go saying they’d have won another World Series without Farrell. There is almost zero chance they get past the Indians, Cubs, Astros or Dodgers had they changed managers earlier. This club is still poised to be a potential dynasty, with their main rival likely to be the Yankees once again. That’s exciting stuff!