For the past few weeks now, the Red Sox have been playing well enough to get out of the basement of the AL East and are ahead of the last-place Rays by a full game this morning.
I won’t be the first to tell you that I have been watching this year, however. Yes I’m spoiled and have moved on to the Patriots (who are on a tear of their own which is a different story) but still keep an eye on the Sox. How could you not since you live and die with them. Yet this year, for the most part, they have killed us.
But this last winning streak (yes that’s what it’s called and yes it has happened before) of five games have shown everyone that they really aren’t that bad and there is a ton to be hopeful for next year.
All the veterans will be a year older, yes, but that also means there is an added year of experience in order to lead this crop of youngsters that we have been seeing a lot more of. Whether it is due to injury, fatigue or what have you: there have been more new faces to get used to.
Obviously there will be additions and subtractions to make and I’m sure Dombrowski, Hazen and the rest of the front office personnel will get those done, no problem. But the young core that we have been seeing for these past few weeks has been exciting to keep track of.
The whole outfield is set with Betts, Bradley and Castillo playing in some sort of combination in right, left or center. Dustin Pedroia will hopefully be healthy by then and will be able to lead the team with Xander and Papi.
The Pitching staff is chock-full of opportunities for trades or to actually put the rotation in some sort of order. Behind the plate there’s Swihart and Vazquez (ideally) to split time or do whatever they plan on doing and I have full faith in them that either one can get the job done.
Obviously this is only if the lineup stays similar to what it has been which is indeed doubtful. But at the same time, it is promising to see that for one:
These guys didn’t give up or pack it in when they were buried in the East. They battled their way out of their third last place finish in four years and showed us there is reason for hope.
The pieces are all there, or at the very least, there is already a plan, that is waiting to be executed and I’m excited to see what will happen in this last handful of games, and over the rest of the off season.
By Cole McNanna