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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Red Sox are the Best Team in the MLB

For just about the entire length of the season, the Boston Red Sox have held one of the best records in the league and have looked like a playoff team. Since July 1, they have held the number one spot in both the American League East Division and in the MLB and have not looked back. With that said, they have finally come back to earth a bit, dropping six of their last eight games, including their first sweep of the year coming against the sub-par Tampa Bay Rays. Is it time to panic, or is this just the inevitable slump of a 162-game marathon season?
There is some reason to be concerned, but panic is far too strong of a word at this point. Chris Sale has been injured almost the entire month of August, which has clearly been a factor in the team’s slump. MVP candidate Mookie Betts has dropped off as of late, which also has contributed to the abundance of losses. With a month to go before the October Classic (the postseason), the Red Sox still hold a six-and-a-half-game lead in the division which will be hard to choke away.
Earlier in 2018, when Boston signed J.D. Martinez in the off-season, I wrote an article about how I was a fan of getting him for five years at $20 million a year when he really wanted $30 million, but that I was not sure if he would be the right fit for the team especially when they could have traded for Giancarlo Stanton. It turns out that I could not have been more wrong, as he has a legitimate chance to win MVP, especially if Mookie Betts keeps sliding. Martinez’s emergence is what I see as the biggest difference in the team this year, and why I expect postseason success for the first time since 2013. Martinez is a power hitter that the Sox were severely lacking last season, but his play on the field is not the only thing helping out the lineup. Multiple players have said on the record that Martinez has great advice for hitting better and that he has played a big role in the team’s boost in power compared to last year. Perhaps the player with the most evident improvement over last year is Xander Bogaerts, who actually had a quote a few weeks ago in regards to Martinez’s help: “You know the Coca-Cola machine where you can get Coke, Sprite, whatever? You can go to him, put a dollar in, and he’ll give you any answer you want. That’s the way to describe him.”
Next to Martinez, the other key factor in holding the league’s best record is the guy at the helm of the operation, new manager Alex Cora. The best way to describe him is cool, calm, and collected. He is always prepared for the team’s match ups and has a good feel for the game as far as who to start and who to pinch hit and what not. Being a former Red Sox player and not too far removed from playing in the MLB appears to help him a lot in connecting with the players. Under John Farrell, there were a plethora of problems on and off the field that you really just do not see now under the leadership of Cora. Keep your eye on the Red Sox down the stretch here in September, but do not panic yet, it is far too early for that especially with Cora and Martinez leading the way.