Red Sox nation was everywhere last October and November and rightfully so. Any team in the World Series is bound to have a few more fans than it did during Spring Training. The Red Sox have more than their share of baseball fans, but those fans shouldn’t get their hopes up if they think Boston is going to win back-to-back titles. Here are 5 reasons the Red Sox won’t repeat as World Series champs.
1) Jacoby Ellsbury is gone – One player doesn’t make up a team, but replacing Ellsbury will prove highly difficult. Grady Sizemore could be a good replacement if he is able to return to form from a long time ago. That’s a big if and a long, long time ago. Jackie Bradley Jr. would be a nice platoon in center field, but his production is nowhere near what Ellsbury provided.
2) Aging veterans – Time is not exactly on the Red Sox side with their roster. David Ortiz is 38, not to mention his possible frustration with lack of a long-term contract. Every team always has young prospects ready to get their shot, but the production from last year’s Red Sox team is a year older and without the initial drive they had going into the second half of last season.
3) The AL East is highly competitive – While Boston has a formidable chance to make the playoffs, they are in a division full of teams ready to dethrone the defending champs. Tampa Bay made the playoffs last year and has been a divisional threat for years. The Yankees have a core of new players, including Ellsbury, and could still snag Stephen Drew before Spring Training starts. Baltimore and Toronto have been at the back end of the division for a while, but both have the potential to be dark horses with the talent their rosters boast.
4) National League teams are waiting – If the Red Sox do find a way to make it back to the Fall Classic in 2014, they will find a National League team more than ready to stake their claim on baseball. The Cardinals would provide a pivotal rematch with revenge on their mind. The Los Angeles Dodgers are spending money like they already won a World Series and will probably spend more throughout the course of the season. Home field advantage would be critical, and you might see Red Sox players playing a little harder than usual in the All-Star game for that reason.
5) History is not on their side – There has not been a repeat World Series winner since the Yankees 3-peat from 1998-2000. The Red Sox have won multiple titles themselves since then, but not in a row. It today’s game of baseball, teams can go from worst to first, not to mention that once the post season begins anything can happen. There are no dominant teams as in the past that make the World Series year after year. Every season fields new personnel and new challenges for every team.