The 2022 season for the Boston Red Sox can be described as nothing short of a failure. The issue isn’t necessarily just missing the playoffs, or even the last place AL East finish, it is the fact that the team took a back seat to rising divisional teams that appear poised to contend for years to come.
The Red Sox should be in that conversation. The roster is filled with talent of all ages and could be described as just “a few pieces away” from being a force to be reckoned with. However, the lack of consistency and success makes getting those pieces harder than most would hope. Why would a free agent hoping to contend for a championship go to a fifth place team?
The way to combat this is to show that they are not really a fifth place team. That is exactly what a strong finish can do.
The Red Sox have six games remaining. They just won a series against the Baltimore Orioles, who sit in fourth place in the decision, and now play two division rivals who are likely heading to October.
Boston Red Sox must show up against the division
An away series in Toronto followed by a series against the Tampa Bay Rays look inconsequential at the surface, but can be a huge selling point for potential free agents. The Red Sox look at themselves as the class of the East, alongside the New York Yankees, so finishing strong against these opponents would be huge.
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Boston Red Sox must reward fan engagement
Despite a season filled with struggles, the Red Sox faithful consistently showed up. More than 2.5 million people filtered into Fenway Park in 2022, good for the eighth best attendance in the league. This is despite having the most expensive fan experience in MLB, so it is clear that the devotion to this team is high.
The team needs to reward this commitment from the fans. Finishing the season strong can do that, so this should be more than enough to motivate the team to keep pushing.
The Boston Red Sox won’t be playing October (or at least deep into it) so a break is coming sooner or later. Finishing strong and leaving on a good note should be the top priority.