The Boston Red Sox have a lot to prove in 2023.
The 2022 Major League Baseball season was disappointing for Boston, as it went 78-85 and finished last in the American League for the second time in three years. A team that had high expectations last year didn’t meet any of them after coming within two wins of the 2021 World Series.
The Red Sox, on paper, looked like they would be a postseason-contending team last year. But nothing went right, and the offseason left them with a ton of questions.
After losing Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi and J.D. Martinez this winter, the 2023 Red Sox had even more questions. A lackluster offseason left fans angry, which was on full display during Red Sox Winter Weekend earlier this year.
But the players are motivated and have chips on their shoulders going into the new season, and president and CEO Sam Kennedy is well aware of what the fans expect.
“There’s no one more competitive than (chairman Tom Werner) and his partner John Henry. That’s why these guys have won four World Series championships,” Kennedy said during his appearance on NESN’s Red Sox pregame coverage. “They don’t accept anything less than a team that’s built to compete in October. We need to compete in October, that’s it. You saw negative fan reaction this offseason. Why? We fell short of our expectations. We had high expectations for the 2022 club coming off of a 2021 where we were two games from going to the World Series. So we fell short.
“I think everyone has a chip on their shoulder in that clubhouse who was here last year. Alex Cora certainly does. I’m sure you’ve heard his comments. He’s ready to go, he’s fired up. These guys want more championships, we all want more championships. That’s why our fanbase is the best in the country. They expect a winner.”
Bettors like the Red Sox’s chances of making the postseason, and it is a long season where anything can happen. The 2023 team has a lot of postseason experience on its roster, but it has to translate into wins in order to get to October.
Game 1 of 162 is Thursday between the Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, and it’s imperative for Boston to get off to a strong start.