Unity is one of the key components that helped the Boston Red Sox win the 2013 World Series championship. However, that unity has transcended the boundary of years, carrying over to the 2014 season. Although the Red Sox enter Thursday’s game with the Chicago White Sox with a 6-9 record, the unity and togetherness displayed by the Red Sox has been an inspirational force that should help the team throughout the later parts of the 2014 season.
One notable example of the resilience displayed by Red Sox players is the determination of second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who has battled a wrist injury throughout the season. Initially injuring it while avenging a hard slide at second base versus the Milwaukee Brewers, Pedroia has been struggling offensively due to his wrist, only hitting a meager .242 with one RBI.
Pedroia has defined himself as one of the toughest players in baseball, as he has been known to play while injured. Notably, after injuring a UCL in his thumb on Opening Day in 2013, Pedroia hit .296 in 160 games, despite only hitting nine home runs (as opposed to 21 in 2011). Essentially, Pedroia is one of the toughest players in baseball, and his toughness and leadership status help to define the Red Sox as one of the toughest and most inspirational teams in MLB.
In addition to Pedroia, first baseman Mike Napoli has asserted the Red Sox’s image as one of the toughest teams in baseball due to his perseverance over the last three days. On Tuesday, Napoli dislocated his ring finger while sliding into second base on a passed ball versus the White Sox, ultimately having to leave the game. However, Napoli re-entered the lineup on Thursday, batting fourth and making significant contributions despite his injury.
In effect, Napoli and Pedroia’s toughness has carried the Red Sox despite a slow start to the 2014 season. Alongside many players set to return off the disabled list (particularly Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks), the Red Sox look to use the toughness instituted by some of their core players to propel their performance during the later stages of the 2014 season.