The Red Sox’ main goal every season is to win the World Series, but there are certain Sox teams that seem “all in” way before the season even starts. It’s hard to describe. In 2004, the Red Sox had “it.” Some sort of mantra that got the guys in the clubhouse going. Sure they hadn’t won a World Series in 86 years, but each guy brought a specific personality to the table. The term “Cowboy Up” in 2003 carried over and “The Idiots” were born.
In 2013, the Red Sox had just come off a horrendous season in which they not only failed to make the playoffs, but finished last in the American League East. General Manager Ben Cherington vowed not to spend big money in the offseason and instead bought in on character and leadership. The team rallied around the idea of uplifting the city after the Boston Marathon bombing and becoming Boston Strong. The end result was another World Series title, Boston’s third in ten years.
This year has a similar feel to it. Guys are gelling well in the locker room, there is a good mix of young flair and veteran leadership, and expectations could never be higher. The Sox finished last in the East for the second time in three seasons. This time, however, the Red Sox went the spending route. Splurging for three-time champion Pablo Sandoval and title-hungry Hanley Ramirez.
On Sunday, the Red Sox held a team-building relay race that resulted in the loser of the race having to board the bus ride to Jupiter, FL, a two-and-a-half-hour trip from Fort Myers. Mookie Betts ended up beating out Jemile Weeks in the ladder run to capture the win, but it is a lot more than that.
Chemistry is a big thing in a clubhouse and when things mesh well in the locker room, they mesh well on the field. The Red Sox might not be early favorites to win the World Series but if history has taught us anything, it has taught us that Boston teams who have early chemistry, generally have magical seasons.