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Boys Just Want To Have Fun

The 2018 Boston Red Sox already have a problem: Mookie Betts and his teammates just want to have more fun. Cyndi Lauper would be proud. The team who’s won the division two straight seasons and hasn’t shown up in the first round of the playoffs has diagnosed its problem: The team wasn’t having enough fun last season. Let’s not discuss the fact that the team lacked a true middle of the order bat or that its “ace” Chris Fail...I mean Sale, couldn’t maintain his first half dominance in the second half of the season yet again. It was apparently a lack of fun that was responsible for its demise.

I do have to give the Red Sox some credit for making a managerial change. It was clear that John Farrell had to go. His inability to relate to the younger players on the roster certainly had an affect on the end result, but with that said, having more fun in 2018 isn’t what’s going to lead to playoff success. Betts is just another player in a long line of players in today’s game that have decided to emphasize a need for more fun in baseball. There’s a belief that if the fans see the players enjoying themselves more on the field then the fans will tune in every night and increase ratings. There’s also a belief that if you remain positive at all times, you’re going to have more success on the field and in life. If you think negatively then negativity will prevail. 

That belief system seems awfully convenient in this situation. There is a lack of accountability and a lack of  hunger to be great that is missing from this roster. Having more fun isn’t going to change that problem. At the end of the day, the games on the field are reality and the way you play over a span of 162 games is indicative of what type of team you really have. If your team wins a division two years in a row and then doesn’t make it out of the first round each time, it means you don’t deal well with pressure when your season is on the line. You fix that problem by bringing in proven playoff performers. The Red Sox decided not to do that. They decided to bring back the same exact team and hope for the best. 

Hoping for the best could work. Praying more could also work. Maybe God is watching down on our 2018 Red Sox and is going to bless them with great fortune, however, that also doesn’t sound too promising. You fix real problems with real solutions. You put real players on the field who aren’t going to fold when things get too tough. This is hardly a groundbreaking strategy. A World Series winner usually consists of a roster with several players who put on their hard hat in October. Your 2013 Boston Red Sox were a perfect example of this type of team. As we’ve gotten further away from that season, the Red Sox organization has lost its way and an unwillingness to address the real problem on the field hasn’t taken precedence. 

As opening day draws closer, we are now left with a roster full of players who still don’t want to face reality. We are still dealing with a very immature group of players who want to bring a little league mentality to the field. The Red Sox have won championships with players who were willing to put everything on the line to win. This current version of the Red Sox still smells like a team that just doesn’t want it enough. Having more fun worked when we were children. Having more fun doesn’t work when you’re an adult. You have to dig deep and challenge yourself to be better than your competitors. Until this attitude changes, you can still enjoy another good regular season, however, when the calendar shifts to October you might as well turn the television off. Your 2018 Boston Red Sox aren’t going to fight to hoist that trophy. They’ll have more fun and bring that fun with them to the golf course. 

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