Spring Training is over, the rosters are set and the Red Sox are officially ready to begin their defense of last year’s World Series win. That defense will start with an 11 game road trip to the West Coast beginning in Seattle tonight.
They say don’t mess with perfection, but there are a few tweaks in this year’s lineup.
The most glaring difference you’ll see is Mookie and Benintendi swapping spots in the one and two hole. For anyone concerned or worried about the shake up, here’s two reasons to not be. Reason number one, and this is extremely important and not to be taken for granted, Alex Cora is the Red Sox manager and he knows exactly what the fuck he’s doing. The man’s a guru and is not to be questioned. The second thing to realize with this change is that both players fit extremely well into both spots in the order. The depth and talent in this lineup allows for that level of change.
Baseball’s a long season though. As exciting as Opening Day is, it’s only 1 of 162 on the year so let’s take a look at the whole season and what to look forward to.
Let’s start with this road trip to start the year. I can’t believe the nerve of the MLB to not have the reigning World Series champions not only be on the road on Opening Day, but not get to play at Fenway until 3 WEEKS into the season. THREE! That’s ridiculous, but it does pay off in the long run.
This also means that West Coast road trip is out of the way and done with. in April and May the Sox are on the road a lot which means later in the year a lot of time will be spent in Boston. I don’t care how many people say that every game matters and blah, blah, blah. Every game does not matter the same. When June hits and you start to really see where you stand amongst the league and your division is when the games start getting serious. By then the Sox will have all their tough road trips out of the way leaving a very favorable schedule to go out and repeat with.
If you are looking for something not either nit-pick or at least keep an eye on early on in the season, look to the bullpen. The Sox have yet to name a closer so as early as game one tonight we will get an idea of where the coaching staff views everyone right now. Expecting Sale to go 6 or 7 tonight, it will be very interesting to see who Cora goes to for the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.
This team is built to last. The locker room is sound, the leadership is strong and the talent is top notch. Yet baseball remains the hardest sport to repeat in so the Sox have a tall task ahead. But Red Sox nation, know that if any group of players is capable of winning championship after championship it’s this one. So fuck the Yankees, and let’s go get this ring.
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