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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Red Sox Headed to Spring Training

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Red Sox President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski.

Coming off of an underwhelming offseason, spring training is starting in Florida for the Grapefruit League. After back-to-back first round exits in the playoffs, Dave Dombrowski has decided to bring back virtually the same exact team. Besides Eduardo Nunez, who’s still a free agent, the Red Sox didn’t really add anyone or get rid of any players. The only difference is the coaching staff, led now by former Red Sox second baseman Alex Cora. The question is, could this be all that was needed to help Boston make a real push at another title?
Cora has shown confidence in his team early and often. He’s already been pried with questions down in Fort Meyers. When asked about his feelings of the team, he answered, “I’m comfortable. I’m comfortable with the situation and comfortable with the group and this is going to work.” Getting the team and coaching staff on the same page is very important, as it seems that hasn’t been the case since their World Series run in 2013. Not only does it help that Cora used to play for Boston, his young age should make it easy for him to connect with the team in the clubhouse.
How will the Red Sox counter the New York Yankees after they added Giancarlo Stanton to an already potent offense? Well, the only real option for Boston is with the pitching. Chris Sale was exceptional last season and provided more than the Sox could’ve asked for, but there’s no doubt that he was not the same guy in the last month or two when it really mattered. Although Sale might not be on board with this idea, it might be wise for Cora to pull him in games that appear to be in the bag. Instead of allowing Sale to go eight innings or, sometimes, the distance, it would be nice to see Cora turn to the bullpen in the sixth or seventh inning to keep his arm in good condition. It might not seem like much, but if an extra inning or two was shaved off from the majority of his starts, we might not even be able to point out a difference in him by the end of the year.
After Chris Sale comes David Price, a guy who finally showed a glimpse of what he was brought here for in last October’s playoffs. If he could pitch the way he did against Houston, there’s nothing he could really do off the field to make the fans upset. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe asked Price in Fort Meyers if he regretted the Dennis Eckersley situation from last year. Price answered, “I could’ve handled it better last year, absolutely, but I didn’t, and I’ve moved on. I look forward to getting back this year and getting off on the right foot.” Helping Price to feel comfortable in Boston has seemed impossible at times throughout his two short years here, but if Cora could knock some sense into him, the Red Sox would have two true aces on their pitching staff.
Although Dombrowski hasn’t made any changes, he will have the luxury of having Rafael Devers here for a full season. Devers was unbelievable when he was brought up last August, and didn’t take his foot off the gas in the postseason. The Red Sox’s lack of power and home runs has been a big complaint by the media over the past couple of years, but maybe Devers could be the guy who hits 30+ dingers. If him, Andrew Benintendi, and Mookie Betts are firing on all cylinders at the same time, the Sox should be able to compete offensively with just about any team.
As of Feb. 18, all players will have reported to Fort Meyers for Spring Training. It’s essential that Boston hits the ground running, because if there’s one thing they have going for them, it’s the fact that they have familiarity.
The Yankees look superior on paper, but they could run into issues trying to insert Stanton into the lineup. The lack of movement for Boston could play to their advantage. If they’ve developed any sort of chemistry, a deep playoff run could be in sight. Now that Spring Training is among us, look for Alex Cora to make necessary adjustments in an effort to bring Boston back to the top of the league.