Sports

Looking to Turn a Corner, Red Sox Gear Up for Spring in Fort Myers

Colin Healy ‘25

Sports Editor

JetBlue Park Photo credits to Florida Grapefruit League.

It’s late February and you know what that means: It’s spring training time. It might not feel like it in Worcester, but in Florida, spring has sprung. The Red Sox have sent down their equipment truck, and the players have all reported. Now it’s time for the first pitches to be thrown. For Red Sox fans, that’s both exciting and alarming. 

Last season, the Red Sox were, to say the least, a disappointment. There were better teams than them on paper, that’s for sure, but the ‘22 Red Sox failed to show signs of life for the majority of the season. From beginning to end, fans like myself struggled to believe in the team. 

This offseason presented the opportunity to correct what went wrong in ‘22. On top of the on the field issues, this included replacing players who left in free agency, like star shortstop Xander Bogaerts, starter Nathan Eovaldi, and DH J.D. Martinez. The job the Red Sox did in assembling the ‘23 roster was just ok in my opinion. I think they could have done better to keep Bogaerts, who was and is a franchise player. But I also think they did well in bolstering the bullpen, which was a thorn in their side in ‘22. I think the Sox needed to sign a big name starting pitcher but no such move ever came. This is the area I’m most concerned about, but the Red Sox front office thinks otherwise. They believe in the team they have assembled.

Should I believe in this team? Should you? Well, believing in a team that has low expectations comes with the territory of being a die-hard fan, so I think I have to be all in. I could be setting myself up for another disappointment like last year, but because it’s spring training I’m giving myself the benefit of the doubt.

I like it when a team is flying under the radar before a season. It gives them a chance to flip the script on the people doubting them. There just so happens to be a sizable number of doubters when it comes to the ‘23 Red Sox. But remember, there were low expectations for the 2021 team, which advanced to the ALCS, and there were low expectations for the 2013 team, which won the World Series. Season projections are one thing but the wins and losses columns are another. We won’t know what this Sox team will be made of until the season is well underway. 

With all these factors considered, I remain optimistic for the Red Sox this season. I’ve felt more optimistic about prior Red Sox seasons, but this is part of the job for a die-hard fan. I still think they need another arm in the starting rotation, and the middle infield needs to prove itself, but right now the team is ready to make noise. The players are on board, so I’m on board. 

The road to the postseason won’t be easy this year as the AL East looks as good as it has in recent memories. The four other clubs in the division all made major moves over the offseason, most notably the archrival Yankees. But this is the position the Red Sox love being in, going up against the big, bad Yankees as the rag tag underdogs. Remember those four days in October 2004? Exactly. Go Sox!

Categories: Sports

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