Just a season removed from winning their fourth World Series championship since 2004, the Boston Red Sox come in at No. 92 in FanSided 250.
The ups and downs of being a Boston Red Sox fan were highlighted in 2019 when the team failed to make the playoffs following a 108-win season and World Series championship.
While fans predict and wonder whether the team will trade Mookie Betts, the slip to No. 92 among 250 fan bases ranked by FanSided and No. 6 ranking among MLB fanbases is more attributed to the baseball’s slide in popularity amongst the four major North American sports.
It can also be attributed to fans being a little spoiled and content with winning since breaking the curse of the Bambino back in 2004 with their first World Series Championship since 1918.
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It is not that the passion Red Sox fans have fueled up to winning that championship has died, it is just that the obsession in chasing that title has turned into an expectation to win titles. In fact, any fan born after 2000 hasn’t felt the pain of watching the baseball roll through the legs of the late Bill Buckner or Bucky Dent’s trot around the bases in 1978 that ended the season and playoff hope for the Red Sox right in front of the Fenway faithful.
Those same fans barely even remember Aaron Boone’s walk off homer in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series in 2003 as those rival New York Yankees once again ended dreams and caused tears for longtime sufferers who really believed Babe Ruth’s curse was real.
Since then, the Boston Red Sox turned that curse into nearly two decades of success. Not only did they overcome a 3-0 game deficit to defeat the Yankees a year later in a rematch, they have won four championships since.
There were some disappointing seasons and bad contracts mixed in there, but the team’s competitiveness and the fact they have won more championships than the Yankees during that period has sustained that fandom although it doesn’t feel as intense as it was prior to that 2004 season.
So, even if Mookie Betts lands elsewhere, the Boston Red Sox still have some current emerging stars fans are passionate about. Young, emerging third baseman Rafael Devers showed a glimpse in 2019 of just how good he can be and shortstop Xander Bogaerts had his breakout year. With all eyes on top prospect Bobby Dalbec in 2020, there are no shortage of talent to get behind going forward.
But, the big contracts of the past are now factors holding the team back a little when it comes to bringing in outside talent.
That dreaded luxury tax become major factor for the team causing them to miss out on big free agents this offseason and has them trying to figure out a way to dump some of those contracts in order to pay Mookie Betts the money he will demand.
With that, Red Sox Nation are not sure of where their team is heading, but the loyalty and hope is strong and as 2019 proved, no season can be taken for granted no matter how talented a team can be on paper.
With the St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nations, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees fanbases rounding out the top 5 in FanSide 250, we’ll take No. 6 this year, but Red Sox Nation is coming for that No. 1 spot in 2020.
It was a down year for the team and the fans, but all Boston sports teams, Red Sox fandom will roar stronger than ever.