Winning teams not only have skill, they have character. Clubhouses need to have good chemistry in order to rise above the rest of the league and I believe that is one of the reasons why the Red Sox have the best record in the league since May 3.
Coming into the season, there were a lot of new players and new roles to be filled. It took a while for the team to find its identity and for players to get that chemistry going. But now they have it, and they have partnered that with the talent and skill that looked so good on paper heading into the season.
Yes, the starting pitching has completely turned it around, and the bullpen is performing better now that it is not being asked to do too much. Sure, the offense has picked up and David Ortiz has turned it around from a frigid April to a scorching May — but don’t overlook the team cohesion.
You can see it with the pitchers, as just about all of them have taken up guitar. They learn together and teach each other and just jam out together. As Jon Lester told me, it keeps them from getting bored, and keeps them out of trouble.
You can see it with the way the players take swipes at each other in the dugout after a great play, or have special handshakes — handshakes that many times involved much more than hands.
You can see it with the ever-growing group of players that has a card game going just about every day on the road when the clubhouse opens.
This team has character and chemistry, and right now, this team is just about unstoppable.