The Red Sox are now playing Spring Training games in preparation for their title defense in 2019. The really fantastic thing to see is just how their attitude has changed over the past couple of seasons.
Excellence. What a word to have that is now a routine part of everything they do: excellence!
The Red Sox Were Excellent Last Season
Obviously, we know the Red Sox were excellent last year on their way to a World Series title. 108 regular season wins and 119 total wins was pretty cool. People also probably forget the part of who their three opponents were in the playoffs: their most hated rival, the 2017 World Series champion, and the two time National League champions. That alone just made their World Series run in 2018 that much more excellent.
They Are Demanding Excellence This Season
Alex Cora is demanding excellence from his club once again this season. In fact, I wrote about how he got me and everybody else in Red Sox Nation fired up for the title defense.
The fact that Cora is bringing this expectation of excellence every year is a blessing. The players now have bought into the fact that it is championship or bust. It worked in 2018 and could work well again in 2019.
The Excellence Factor Wasn’t There Under John Farrell
This one goes without saying. Now granted, the Red Sox won the World Series title in John Farrell’s first season as manager. But for the most part, that strive for excellence just didn’t seem to be there. The Red Sox proved in 2017 that the talent was there, but they needed the right manager to put all of the right buttons. Give John Farrell the 2018 Red Sox and I guarantee they aren’t as excellent as they were playing for Alex Cora.
The fact that the Red Sox now expect excellence every time they go into a new season is so refreshing. No more seasons of uncertainty (for now), no issues in the clubhouse (for now), just go out and try to win for the guy next to you. What could work better than that? Let’s celebrate by watching some Spring Training baseball.
Get me to Opening Day!
-Alan Nahigian (BigAl2793)