BOSTON – The Red Sox did it their way during the first two games of the World Series and now have a 2-0 lead as the series turns to La-La Land for Games 3, 4, and 5.
And although this may not go over as very popular in New York, it’s very easy to like this Red Sox team. They play the game right, everyone contributes, and none of the personalities on the team are bigger than the collective.
With the way this series has been going, it would be no surprise if the Red Sox win this whole thing by the end of the weekend, making a return trip to Fenway moot.
It’s just because they are an anomaly in baseball. These days, hitters are just trying to hit home runs, instead of doing the little things that score runs, especially with two outs.
“You know, it’s a big argument in baseball, big topic that everybody wants to talk about,” said Sox slugger JD Martinez. “We always talk about just focusing on obviously we want the ball in the air as hitters, here. We’re not up there trying to hit everything in the air and swinging for the fences. We go up there and the pitch dictates what we’re going to do. We’re not up there forcing balls in the air. I feel like it’s the common mistake with hitters these days. And I think it’s something that we all talk about and we have a really good understanding of it, where we kind of think we’re hitters before sluggers in a sense. And that’s how I think. I take pride in hitting and being — not just a one-dimensional hitter, a complete hitter. And it’s something we all talk about.”
This team is a throwback. If you want to make a comparison, they are very much like the 1998 Yankees, who were built on a team concept, and even their big personalities bought into the group effort.
That team swept the World Series against the San Diego Padres and these Red Sox are looking to do the same against the Dodgers.
And if that happens, the bar will be set, and the rest of the league will be trying to play catchup, especially the Yankees, who will be looking to close the gap with their archrivals.
Sure, there will be talk about just signing the biggest name free agents, like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but instead, the Yankees should refrain from the big prizes. Remember they have them already guys like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Instead they need to compliment their lineup with more complete hitters, who will get on base and make contract with two out, just like the Red Sox.
As we saw in the playoffs this season, if you keep the ball in the yard, you can beat the Yankees. Right now, they are built to win in the regular season and not the playoffs. As the temperature gets colder, the ball doesn’t travel. As we saw last night, some of the Red Sox shots off the Monster would have been home runs a few months ago. They are hits in Fenway, but in the Bronx, they become outs.
Brian Cashman needs to see that, especially when he’s looking for an outfielder and shortstop this offseason. The Yankees already have their boppers. Not they need their little guys.
The Yankees will be able to spend freely this offseason as the luxury tax reset on them. They should save their big-ticket items for the rotation and bullpen and play it smart with the lineup.
Building a roster is like a puzzle, pieces need to fit. The Yankee offense needs the small pieces to fit, because the big holes are already filled.
The Red Sox did it right and now are two wins away from the Championship.