No Major League Baseball team has repeated as World Series champions since the New York Yankees‘ three-peat ending in 2000, and the Boston Red Sox haven’t accomplished the feat since World War I.
The Red Sox enter the 2019 season as the defending World Series winners. Going back-to-back will be an extraordinary challenge, especially with the American League having so many quality teams, but one of Boston’s retired legends is pretty optimistic about his old club reclaiming October glory.
“Why not?” Ortiz told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “And the confidence level is even better than last year. You look at these guys. I’ve been talking to the hitters side, J.D. (Martinez), Mookie (Metts), (Xander) Bogaerts, (Jackie Bradley Jr.). I had a five-minute conversation with all of them and all they want to do is listen. They are in that beast mode where it’s beautiful. I love seeing that.”
The Red Sox have returned most of the roster that won a franchise record 108 regular season games and ultimately beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. The only major piece missing is closer Craig Kimbrel, who remains unsigned on the free-agent market.
With the roster largely intact and the team motivated to keep its top rival, the Yankees, from reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009, the Red Sox should again be one of baseball’s top teams in 2019.
“To be honest with you, this ballclub looks so good, man, from head to toe,” Ortiz said, per Browne. “It’s like you walk into that clubhouse and you can feel the good vibe, you can feel that. If there’s one person who can explain that, it’s myself because I was in the clubhouse for a long time, and I have an even better feeling this year than the feeling I had last year.”
These comments from Ortiz should encourage any Red Sox fans worried about a possible letdown after such a historic 2018 campaign. And a lot of credit goes to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who created and maintained a player-friendly environment last season that clearly had a positive impact on the clubhouse and the team’s on-field performance.
It sounds like, at least judging by Ortiz’s comments, that Cora has his players in a locked-in mindset with the goal of doing everything possible to repeat as champions.
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