Have you ever noticed that a lot of World Champion MLB teams, or teams that got very close to winning it all, seem to have a hugely disappointing season the following year? That seems to happen a lot, and it really appears more noticeable when you have a team like the 2013 Boston Red Sox, where the title run came virtually out of nowhere.
The regular season for the Red Sox is about to kick off in less than a week, and it will be interesting to see what happens with Boston this year. There is no duplicating how special the team was last year. Each year is different, and I am sure you won’t see the entire team growing facial hair again. However, most of the core of the team is returning, and perhaps their mantra about team unity will carry them into this year.
I like what John Farrell and Juan Nieves are doing with the pitching staff. They are being extremely careful with the guys who pitched a lot of innings in October. Players like John Lackey, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara have had severely limited pitching appearances, and that was to keep an eye on their pitch counts in the spring to make sure they don’t overdo it. Craig Breslow, whose tank seemed on empty at the end of the World Series, hasn’t even pitched in a game yet. Without a doubt, if a pitching staff goes, so does the rest of the team. Farrell is doing whatever it takes to make sure that the hangover doesn’t hit the Red Sox.
This team is not going to be as fast and produce as many runs, solely because Jacoby Ellsbury is gone. However, they can still win a lot of close games if the pitching this year is as good as it was last year. If it doesn’t work out that way, it can’t be said it was because Boston didn’t take any preventions.