Most fans are counting down the days until April 6 for Opening Day, anxiously waiting for the first pitch to be thrown. The Boston Red Sox start their season off with a six game road trip against the Philadelphia Phillies and their long time rival New York Yankees. But the real fun starts on April 13 when the Red Sox return to Fenway Park against the Washington Nationals for their home opener.
Last season the Red Sox finished the season with a 71-91 record being 25 games out of first place in the American League East. Being apart of Red Sox Nation is a roller coaster of a ride these last few seasons. Starting in 2011 having one of the most disappointing team, crashing and burning in September right before the playoffs, losing 20 out of 27 games. That bad streak continued into the 2012 season where under new manager Bobby Valentine finishing their season 69-73, 26 games behind first place Yankees, giving the Red Sox their worst season record in 47 years. Then shocking the world, the boys of the summer went from “worst to first” winning the World Series in 2013, giving the Sox their third championship in nine years, in which David Ortiz was a part of all three. The team went into the 2014 season with the high expectations that came with being the returning World Series champions. However the season was yet another let down being 25 games out of first place in the AL East.
During the offseason, the Red Sox made power moves getting big name players. Signing San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval who was a free agent for a five year $95 million contract. On that same day the Sox signed free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who started his Major League Baseball career in Boston in 2005, for a four year $88 million contract. Then recently on March 13 they signed Cuban prospect 19 year old infielder Yoan Moncada for $31.5 million.
Along with the addition of those players, this season we will see a healthy and returning Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino, and Mike Napoli who are key fielders and swings the Sox needed. Last season Victorino only played 30 games before he had to receive surgery on his back ending his season. Victorino had been a switch hitter, hitting from both sides of the plate, but after the surgery he feels that it will be best for him to just hit right-handed. Napoli had a surgery to help his sleep apnea condition he faced. Pedroia underwent season ending surgery on his hand in Sept. which he had injured earlier in the season sliding into a base.
A bigger benefit the Red Sox have is a healthier and sturdier version of Ortiz who gained more muscle. Mookie Betts who is returning to the Red Sox for his second season in the big leagues is in a battle to make it as a starter among the many outfielders the team has including Victorino, Rusney Castillo, Ramirez, Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, and Allen Craig. As of now Betts is looking like the potential starting center fielder and the leadoff hitter for the Sox due to his outstanding performance in Spring Training.
Being a diehard Red Sox fan since birth makes looking forward to this new season even more exciting due to the new faces and teams potential. The team has a chance to go from worst to first again this season, maybe even win it all and take home another World Series trophy. The wait will soon be over, the first pitch will be thrown and baseball season will be in full swing.