Coming off a disappointing and all-around unnatural season in 2020 for the Red Sox, there is a lot to forget about the late 60 game stretch and oddity that was the pandemic baseball season. With Ron Rhenokie leading a team that was previously managed by Alex Cora who was serving a suspension in 2020, many fans passed on the short season and waited for the team to do a full search for a new manager in the offseason. After finishing 24-36, it was all eyes on 2021 with a new manager and full season on the horizon.
The team went back to their roots and rehired Cora who led the team to a title and franchise record in wins during the 2018 season. Despite his role with the 2017 Astros, Cora was granted a second chance in managing and has let the media and fan base know that what happened 4 years ago is not who he truly is. Some fans welcomed AC back with open arms as he is well respected in the clubhouse by the younger players. The older generation of fans is a little more hesitant on the rehire of the former manager. There were no guarantees that Cora would be back with the Sox for 2021 as Chaim Bloom had a full offseason to search for a manager instead of promoting from within the organization so quickly with little time to spare.
After 2017 Astros manager AJ Hinch was hired to manage again by the Detroit Tigers for the 2021 season, it felt all but official that Alex would be back. Cora was rehired two weeks after the LA Dodgers and Mookie Betts won the World Series and a virtual press conference took place at Fenway Park. Chaim Bloom nailed down the manager, then went to work and started making roster moves to improve the 26-man roster. With a top 5 offense in 2020 and no record to show for it, the front office went to work on improving a decimate pitching staff.
The Sox got their ace back in Eduardo Rodriguez, who missed the entire 2020 season due to heart complications from COVID-19. A healthy E-Rod and Nathan Eovaldi along side a returning Martin Perez should lead to much better starting pitching. The addition of Garret Richards is an interesting one as he has had a very up and down career. A cycle of Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta to round out the 5 spots in the rotation. With fans having their fingers crossed for a mid-summer return of Chris Sale, this rotation is a sure improvement from last season.
Mother nature had a say on when the season would begin in Boston, as Opening Day against the Baltimore Orioles was pushed back a day following a rainy April day. The extra day of preparation did not help as the Sox found themselves at 0-3 after an Opening Series sweep from the underdog O’s. Next up was the Tampa Bay Rays who were coming off a World Series loss in 2020 and the Red Sox found themselves having to bounce back early as their felt a certain need for this team to get off to a hot start. After two dominating wins and a walk off comeback against the AL Champs, the Sox found themselves back at .500 and looking to get revenge on Baltimore as they looked to spoil their Opening Series at home this past weekend. Boston dominated with E-Rod spoiling the first game of the season in Baltimore as he had a solid debut for 2021. After a comeback win again in the new format extra innings on Saturday, the Sox had won five in a row and looked to get sweeping revenge on the Birds as Baltimore swept the Sox just a week prior. JD Martinez returned after missing a game due to a COVID scare and stayed red hot as he cranked 3 homers by himself as he became the 5th player in MLB history to have a 3-homer game with 3 different MLB clubs. Rafael Devers stayed hot as he hit 2 homers as well and the Red Sox continued to roll with their sixth win in a row. Boston currently sits at the top of the division just over a week into the long season. The Red Sox will look to keep the streak going when they take on the Minnesota Twins for a four-game set in Minneapolis. Martin Perez is scheduled to start the series with all games currently scheduled to take place in the afternoon as the city goes through the George Floyd trial and now the Daunte Wright death.
Bouncing back was huge for this team coming off a season where they just traded Mookie Betts and had to watch him win the World Series after a 60-game season in which Boston never got rolling. To have this team be competitive all season long for 162 games would be a huge upgrade from the previous season and so far, Alex Cora and the Sox have bounced back early and kept it rolling and will look to do so in the mid-west.