For the fourth time in the last 15 seasons, the Boston Red Sox open the season as the defending World Series champions of Major League Baseball; only time will tell whether Boston successfully defends its title against the other 29 teams. In three previous attempts, the closest the Red Sox came to doing so was in 2008, when they took the Tampa Bay Rays to seven games in the American League Championship Series but failed to win the deciding game. Boston also looks to defend its current run of three straight division titles, the longest streak in franchise history.
After winning 108 regular season games on their way to another 11 wins in the 2018 postseason, Alex Cora’s roster looks very much like the one he had for most of last season. In fact, the Opening Day roster includes only one player – Colten Brewer – who did not play for Boston last season. Spring training was, like last year, relatively quiet, and the Red Sox finished with 12 wins versus 17 losses and a tie. Perhaps the biggest news out of Fort Myers was a contract extension Boston gave to pitcher Chris Sale; the five-year, $145M payout ensures that he will stay with the team through 2024, unless he chooses to opt out after the 2022 season.
With the roster now final, let’s see who will be with the team in Seattle tonight when they start the season against the Mariners at T-Mobile Field (formally Safeco Field).Continue reading “World Series Championship Repeat Begins with Opening Day”