For starters, looking at this Red Sox team it is easy to realize that they were never really that bad. Both Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury are star players. David Ortiz is aging, but can still get the big hits in the clutch. Jon Lester is still one of the best pitchers in the division, despite an off season in 2012.
Those four have been a base for the Red Sox for a few seasons now and should not have been so overlooked at the start of the season. Also not deserved to be so overlooked is the additions the Red Sox made this past offseason. Mike Napoli, Ryan Dempster and Shane Victorino are all game-changing players. Victorino is especially proving key and is currently batting over .300.
The Red Sox also made an improvement at the catcher position this offseason. Since Jason Varitek’s age forced him to give the position up a few seasons ago, the Red Sox struggled to find a suitable replacement. Johnny Gomes and David Ross were both brought in to split duties with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and while neither has played exceptionally well, both have done their jobs. Gomes is getting on base when the Red Sox need him to while Ross is playing strong defense.
Another thing helping this Sox team is the emergence of Daniel Nava. Most remember Nava as someone who came up to the big leagues in 2010 and hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw. This season, Nava is proving that he was not just a one trick pony. He is currently leading the team in batting average and hit a game winning home run in Saturday’s game, the Red Sox’s first home game since the Boston Marathon.
It may be only April, but this Red Sox team has come out and made a statement that they are not a last place team. A strong April record is also something that Red Sox teams that have struggled in recent seasons have lacked. The Red Sox look like they are ready for the 2013 season, which is music to Boston’s ears.
Boston is a city passionate about its sports teams and they always cheer hard for them. In light of recent events there, they will be cheering even harder than usual. “Sweet Caroline”, a song that is a Fenway Park tradition, has become a rallying cry for the city this week. It looks right now like the Red Sox want to make sure that rallying cry is heard all the way into October.