Kevin Millar is new to the NESN broadcast booth for 2022, and the former Red Sox first baseman and outfielder expects to be in for the long haul.
Millar, who spent parts of three seasons in Boston across his 12-year Major League Baseball career, recently spoke to NESN.com about joining the NESN broadcast booth and shared his expectations for his former team this year.
Despite some uncertainty as free-agent transactions and trades pick up again following the end of the 99-day lockout, Millar said he thinks this squad has what it takes to go all the way to the Fall Classic after a deep postseason run (six games into the American League Championship Series) in 2021, and it all starts at the top with manager Alex Cora.
“Well, I know one thing: (Cora is) expecting to compete … and get to that promised land, which is the postseason,” Millar told NESN.com. “And then from there, it’s hard to predict what they’re going to do because I don’t think all of the rosters and teams are set. There’s a ton of free agents out there. We have a DH now in both leagues. I love me some Kyle Schwarber. So hopefully we’ll see if this man can come back and do his thing.
“But I think that this team has a chance to win the World Series, and the parity in baseball, I think, is neat. Because it’s not just two or three teams. I think you have, you know, 12 teams that can compete, and the Red Sox are right in that mix. We’ll see if they can become the best team. I know the Dodgers are going to be a factor. The Yankees are always a factor. The Rays have done such a great job. The Blue Jays are a great, talented team. So that East is always tough, and they’re going to have to play well, but I think they’re going to add arms to the back end of that bullpen, I think offensively you’re plugging a guy here and there, and we’ll see how they do in the free agent market. But right now, this team?s built to win.”
The Red Sox were active prior to the lockout, signing a slew of pitchers who have the potential to be either back-end starters or bullpen depth in Michael Wacha, James Paxton (who is recovering from Tommy John surgery) and veteran Rich Hill. They also brought Jackie Bradley Jr. back to Boston via a trade that sent Hunter Renfroe to the Milwaukee Brewers. But they have not been active in the latest round of transactions just yet.
At this stage, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Red Sox at 22-to-1 to win the World Series, meaning a $100 wager would profit $2,200. The Los Angeles Dodgers (+700), New York Yankees (+900) and Houston Astros (+900) are atop betting boards at this time.
Boston opens the season April 7 against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The home opener is scheduled for April 15 against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.