Logic aside, Red Sox will do it again
Logic is an overrated tool when making these Opening Day predictions.
Consider Opening Day, 2018. Not a soul made the completely illogical call that the Red Sox would win 108 games, then plow through the playoffs as the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers turned to dust in Boston’s wake.
Now we are faced with the task of forecasting the 2019 Red Sox performance and are ready to let logic lose itself in the wind.
They’ll do it again. The Red Sox will make everyone look silly, torching the American League then frustrate the Dodgers again in the World Series.
Sound reasoning insists that the Red Sox essentially stood still this winter while their tier of contenders improved. Well, that ignores Craig Kimbrel’s desertion, a fresh example to support that ancient and honorable notion of addition by subtraction.
Kimbrel was and, if he finds work, is overrated. The Red Sox did not cobble together the best season in franchise history because of Kimbrel.
The consensus estimation is that the Red Sox’ bullpen is a torn Achilles waiting to happen. That was the general consensus last season and followed them into the playoffs.
Alex Cora seemed to manage his way around that liability and made it look easy.
Cora has not been shy this winter in touting his club’s chances to repeat. At the Baseball Writers Dinner in January, Cora offered his summation of the 2019 Red Sox with unapologetic cockiness: “Wait until this year.”
The only quibble with that proclamation is that “You ain’t seen nothing yet” would have been a bit snappier. But the complete lack of reason behind Cora’s words cannot be second-guessed.
Only once have the Red Sox won consecutive World Series. The 1916 club, helped considerably on the mound by ace lefty Babe Ruth, made another triumphal march through the American League season, fending off legitimate challenges from the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. The World Series lasted just five games as the Red Sox dismissed the Brooklyn Robins with barely a whisper of drama.
Had Boston managed to repeat in 1919 it would have saved baseball from the Black Sox scandal. Alas, Chicago won the pennant and threw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.
The Red Sox will need no such help to win the 2019 fall classic.
Get down to Rhode Island and place your legal bets on the reigning world champs.
Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-1248, agreenwood @nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_ AlanG.