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Summertime Magic

                                                                          Courtesy of bostonherald.com

Before we jump into the article, I’d like to take a second to send love to Jerry Remy and all his friends and family.  Most of you are probably familiar but if you’re not, Jerry is the tv announcer for the Boston Red Sox.  He has been in a back and forth battle with cancer for some time now and was recently diagnosed with the horrible illness once again.  On behave of the entire BSoT team, we would like to wish you the best, keep fighting and we hope to hear you back in the Sox booth once again.  Now let’s get into it…

The last couple months have been some of the most memorable of my life.  I started writing for BSoT, which has been incredible if I may say so myself and I also visited Disney for the first time in like 20 years.  But as the season begins to wind down, I will always remember summer 2018 as the “summer of weddings.”  Including my own I have been to four weddings…FOUR!  One in May, one in June (that was mine), one in July and I just attended the August wedding.   All the weddings were phenomenal and each had its own individual and beautiful characteristics.  If you saw me at any of the summer weddings, you could clearly see that I enjoyed myself...perhaps a little too much. 

Weddings are always such a good time, and when you’re partying with awesome people it is fun on another level.  I had an absolute blast going to every wedding.  Dinner after dinner after dinner after dinner was delectable.  I had steak, fish, butternut ravioli, and appetizers fit for five star restaurants.  I created memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  Outdoor weddings, indoor weddings, DJ’s, and bands…these weddings had everything and more.  Looking back I can’t help but feel so lucky to have had a summer like 2018.  I danced with the people I love most, I took hilarious pictures in photo booths, I was able to see some of the prettiest venues around, and believe it or not I even grabbed the mic at one point and sang “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.  Best of all, I became a married man and I couldn’t be happier.  On my wedding night as the fireworks lit up the sky, yes actual fireworks, I took a look around and was filled with joy and gratitude.  Huge shout out to everyone that made this wonderful summer possible.  Getting the chance to celebrate such extraordinary occasions with even better people is a feeling like very few others.       

My summer will forever be known for all the amazing weddings I attended but it will also be known as the summer of the Boston Red Sox.  And just like the baseball season I’m not done with the wedding season...I will be attending two weddings in September.  I can’t wait and hopefully the rest of the Sox season will be as awesome as the weddings will be. 

Whata summer it has been for Boston’s baseball team.  This year’s squad has been so much fun to watch.  First of all, winning is always fun and the Red Sox have been doing a lot of that.  Each and every night you have the chance to see them score a bunch of runs.  Led by potential MVP winners JD Martinez and Mookie Betts, their offense is scorching hot and terrorizing opposing pitchers.  You don’t own the best record in the MLB with only having 2 good players.  Their hitters are talented up and down the lineup.  Their starting pitchers are also having an incredible summer.  Chris Sale has been the staff’s ace all year.  I’m excited to have him back this Sunday.  If you want to see a whole lot of strikeouts, be sure to tune into NESN and watch his first game back from injury.  Sure the season isn’t over, and they have bullpen questions, and maybe the overall competition in the American Leagues is down but if you just dwell on the past or worry about the future you forget to take in the present.  And without a doubt Boston is  having themselves one of the best seasons in Red Sox history.   
  
As I’m writing this now, they have the most wins in the MLB.  Their record is an outrageous 81-35.  The Sox have 81 total wins and we’re barely into August.  Want to hear something crazy?  Of course you do…if the Boston Red Sox lose every single game from here on out they would finish the season with a .500 record.  Obviously they were the first team to accomplish the feat of reaching 80 wins in 2018.  Boston’s 2007 team was also the first to win 80 games that season and then that same bunch went on to win the World Series.  The team’s winning percentage currently sits at .698 which puts them on pace for 113 wins.  That would put them only 3 games shy of the most ever in a single season.  Seattle’s 2001 team won 116 games.  Unfortunately the Mariners lost in the 1st round of the playoffs so I don’t know if it really matters that you win the most games ever.  But as a fan I want the Sox to win the most games ever AND capture the World Series title.  I have been fortunate enough to experience the best run in Boston’s sports history so expectations are always high.  The Red Sox have played 116 games and they have been victorious in 81!  That is the most wins through 116 games in their long franchise's history.  You can NEVER count this team out.  Even when they are behind they keep battling.  So far this season they have 34 comeback victories, 1 less than their total amount of loses.  This team ends the night with a win more than anyone else in baseball.  With only a couple months left of the season, the Red Sox will have a chance to make history.  It’s time to sit back and see if the Sox can continue this winning brand of baseball. 

You already know about the seasons that Betts and Martinez are having.  And if you are not aware than you should go check out the article I wrote last week.  JD and Mookie’s season one is going as well as anyone could have expected.  But they are not alone in this lineup. 

Mitch Moreland was one of the FIVE Red Sox players that made the all-star team.  He has since come back down to Earth a bit but he’s still coming up with bit hits for the team.  

Andrew Benintendi has taken the next step in his career this season and was almost the sixth Sox all-star.  I still can’t believe we didn’t #VoteBenny enough to get him in there.  Ah whatever, he is batting over .300 and beginning to drive the ball all around the ball park.  You must have seen him bring in the game winning run to sweep the hated Yankees.  Side note, winning four in a row against New York was absolutely incredible.  AB is a former 1st round pick and he is a major force at the top of the lineup. 

In my opinion Xander Bogaerts should have been an all-star but it is what it is.  Just like his teammate Benintendi, X has developed into a really good ball player.  He is exceptional at hitting grand slams and his defense at short stop has also been way above average this year.  I’m sorry but I just have to say it…”X gonna give it to yaaa!”

Chris Sale will be back from his “shoulder inflammation” on Sunday.  He has been everything the team thought he would be and more.  Sale has been the pitching staff’s ace.  The big lefty starter has already struck out 200 batters, his WHIP is still under 1 and his ERA is just a tick over 2.  He is one of the best pitchers in the league.  Before he went on the disabled list he had only given up 1 run in his last 39 innings.  And in his last 9 games started he struck out at LEAST 10 batters in 7 of them.  In the other 2 starts, he struck out 9.  He is on such a hot streak and I hope it continues when he returns this weekend. 

Role players have stepped up whenever needed all season long.  The new guy in town, Steve Pearce just wacked 4 home runs against the Yankees last weekend.  Ian Kinsler looks like he can help the Red Sox lineup get even deeper when he gets back.  Kinsler has already flashed the leather as well.  Players like Devers, Nunez, JBJ, Brock Holt and even Sandy Leon have all been important gears in the Boston Red Sox machine. 

I would say that it is mainly the players who are responsible for this special summer but you have to give credit to their manager.  Alex Cora is still in his first year but has clearly made a tremendous difference in this clubhouse.  He is able to keep the team lose, allows them to have fun and they are really enjoying the game.   Their young core has definitely taken to his methods.  Virtually all of the younger players have gotten better since last season.  If they can continue this magical run Cora will be the first rookie manager to win 100 games since Art Howe did it with the Oakland A’s in 2002.  At this pace he will win more games than Howe, who won 103 that season.  Keep your fingers crossed that Cora follows in the footsteps of former Red Sox managers John Farrell and Tito Francona.  Both guys won the World Series in their first year as boss.  Alex Cora is still getting the most out of this ball club.  The Red Sox are 25-6 in their last 31 games.  They just keep on rollin, rollin, rollin, rollin...what!??!  I’m so sorry about that. 

This summer has been one for the ages.  From epic series with the Yankees, to comebacks you didn’t see coming.  Mookie Bett’s grand slam against the Blue Jays gave everyone the feeling that this team could be something special.  Jackie Bradley Jr makes catches in the outfield that don’t seem humanly possible.  My favorite moment this year was when JD Martinez hit an opposite field bomb against the Orioles.  It was my favorite because I was in attendance and maybe a tad buzzed.  But that’s neither here nor there. 

For Sox fans everywhere this has been one amazing ride and no one wants to get off of.  Bring on the rest of the year!

Even after dancing like a mad man all summer I think I will be dancing some more come October when the Red Sox are hoisting the World Series trophy.  And if they win, I guarantee you I will be dancing.

Follow me on Twitter @Matty_wests1de
P.s. I will post my World Series dance move there

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