MLB Boston Red Sox

5 Reasons for Boston Red Sox Fans to be Thankful Heading into 2014

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Reasons Red Sox Fans can be Thankful in 2014

Boston Red Sox 2014
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

On Yawkey Way the celebration may still be ongoing. The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions again. The franchise that was cursed for so long could now potentially be entering dynasty discussions with now three titles in ten years. That is something that Red Sox fans both young and old can be very thankful of.

Boston very nearly hit rock bottom at the end of the 2011 season. The well publicized clubhouse troubles caused an overhaul to the staff and direction of the team. If that September collapse was not rock bottom, the entire 2012 season surely was. New General Manager Ben Cherington brought in manager Bobby Valentine who barely made it a year in charge, and team friction was evident. Was this the making of a new curse?

Then there was the blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that screamed "time for a rebuild." In the competitive American League East, Boston was heading into a non-desirable direction.

Fast forward to this time one year ago and things were put into place for Red Sox Nation. The team brought in John Farrell to lead the club and several signings were made during the Winter Meetings to reshape the roster.

For much of the season the Red Sox were one of the dominant teams in the league. Each night it was a different guy contributing for the team. The mindset and culture had in fact changed.

Capping off the playoff run David Ortiz put the team on his back with true "Big Papi" flair. These were not the Red Sox of yesteryear where curses would be in control. It is a time where the Red Sox show no signs of quit and are Boston Strong.

Here are five reasons why Boston Red Sox fans can be thankful going into 2014.

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5. They are the Defending Champions

Boston Red Sox 2014
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox were crowned champions for the third time in ten years. Fans should be proud and happy with that. There are 29 other franchises that would like to make the same claim.

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4. Many of the Core Guys are Returning

Boston Red Sox 2014
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

While the Red Sox do have a few free agents such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli, and Stephen Drew, the bulk of the core guys are returning to attempt a repeat. The clubhouse guys that were brought in a year ago to help change the culture such as Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster, and Jonny Gomes will be back -- beards pending. Let's not forget David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia as well.

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3. Jon Lester Option Picked Up

Boston Red Sox 2014
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Almost immediately after the parade Boston picked up the option on ace pitcher Jon Lester. In 2013 Lester returned to top form. Under the guidance of John Farrell and still young, Lester should continue to soar and lead the rotation. His playoff and World Series reputation is growing as well.

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2. Depth in Starting Rotation

Boston Red Sox 2014
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Backing Jon Lester is a group of veteran starting pitchers. Having six starters over the course of the season can always prove profitable in the dog days of summer and into October. It is also a great insurance policy in the event of an injury. Why not entertain the idea of a six-man rotation with Lester, Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey?

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1. Xander Bogaerts

Boston Red Sox 2014
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Adding his name to the list of breakout superstars is Xander Bogaerts. During his first postseason run on the big stage he turned many heads with an impressive showing. Bogaerts flashes all of the tools and all signs point to only improving them. Still unsure of what position he will be showcased at most, roster moves in the offseason could dictate that.