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2021年10月6日 Off

Red Sox 2014: Don't be surprised if Boston repeats

By xa1
  • This is the latest of our 30 team previews, which will run through March 30.When asked last spring to predict the order of finish in the American League East, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell joked that he wanted a hat and five slips of paper. The talent in the division, Farrell said, was that closely matched; the pennant winner could be any of the five. Then Farrell offered a caveat: There was no reason his new team, a Red Sox squad that had finished last in 2012, couldn’t win the division despite the national consensus that they were headed for fifth place again.Farrell and his boys made good on his suggestion: winning 97 games, the American League East, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and, eventually, the 2013 World Series in six games over the St. Louis Cardinals. It was Boston’s third championship in 10 seasons, but this one was a little different. Several of the key faces — most buried in unruly beards by the end of October — were acquired after the Red Sox purged their roster during the 2012 campaign.David Ortiz (AP Photo) 2014: Impact rookies | Breakout candidatesMike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, David Ross and Koji Uehara were added for 2013 and played important roles down the stretch with their new club. More important, they fit in seamlessly with holdovers such as David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.That core is returning, making the Red Sox the prohibitive AL East favorite in 2014 — no pulling names from a[......]

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