They knew what they wanted to do from the moment the disastrous 2012 season ended. No, the last-place campaign wasn’t exactly pretty, but it just might have propelled the Boston Red Sox to where they are right now. They had a plan–and it worked.
Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto ate up around 250-million dollars. With those salaries gone, Boston was able to have money freed up to build a true world series-caliber team. There’s a nice mix of youth and experience running through the Red Sox’ postseason roster ranging from David Ortiz to Xander Bogaerts.
They aren’t perfect, but they’re the Red Sox–and with this team–what else do you need?
Here are the top three storylines heading into Game One of the 2013 Fall Classic:
Little Hits Will Win the Game: Just taking a look at Adam Wainwright‘s numbers, it’s clear that a pitcher’s duel is in the works. Only one Red Sox hitter has an average over .200, (Shane Victorino 5-22 for a .227 average) and the experience just isn’t there. Game film is a wonderful thing, but nothing out-weighs at-bats. It should be interesting to see what the lineup can muster-up against the surging Cardinals’ ace. Look for small-ball to play a huge factor tonight. In the end, one single with a stolen base may decide the outcome.
Force Yadier Molina to Prove Himself: We all know what Molina can do, but how many times have we seen “clutch” players, not be very clutch? Molina’s skill has been proven, but can he continue on the biggest stage where the world will be watching? That’s yet to be seen. If I’m John Farrell, I want make Molina earn respect. The Red Sox must run early and often. There’s no time better than Game One to test Molina’s arm. The Sox already have 11 stolen bases. Look for that number to rise after this game.
Cherish the Moment: The ride for the 2013 Boston Red Sox has been special. There’s just no other way to put it. Everyone saw this coming, yet no one saw it coming. It’s been one of those special rides that only the players on the Sox roster could pull off. Quite possibly the biggest key tonight will be home-field advantage.
The fans will be fired up, the players are in their element, and a win would send the city of Boston into a state of euphoria. They are fully capable of taking this game, it’s all about feeding off of the fans’ energy and making every pitch count.
*Credit CTTP’s Chris Lacey for headline*