In 2012, absolutely nothing went right for an injury-riddled Boston Red Sox team, which lost 93 games and finished in last place in the AL East. In 2013, absolutely everything went right — rebound seasons, unexpected health — as they won their third World Series title in a decade. With most of the championship roster returning in 2014 (minus a key contributor or two), plus a full season from top prospect Xander Bogaerts and the exciting potential of a Grady Sizemorecomeback, the Red Sox seemed positioned to contend again.
Instead? Through 50 games, the 2014 squad was actually five games behind the pace of the 2012 disaster. Through Thursday, the Red Sox were in fourth place, eight games behind theToronto Blue Jays. Maybe this won’t be their year, but there’s no indication that the Red Sox are ready to pack it in, as evidenced by last week’s move to bring back Stephen Drew. Unlike what’s happening in Texas, this isn’t an injury-fueled disaster that can’t be overcome, and despite how impressive the Jays have been, the AL East looks to be as weak as it has been in years.
If the Red Sox can merely get some of their bats to bounce back to long-established career norms, and possibly figure out what’s ailing Clay Buchholz (easier said than done, of course), this is still a talented team that can contend.
Well, except for the outfield, which absolutely cannot go on as it is.
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