The 2016 baseball season is officially underway! Red Sox pitchers and catchers reported to Fort Meyers, FL yesterday for the beginning of Spring Training. But the strong arms weren’t the only ones present in sunny Florida. 16 position players (including Hanley Ramirez) and several members of Red Sox management have already reported.
Needless to say, the Red Sox are ready to put their disappointing 2015 season behind them and set their eyes on 2016. And they aren’t the only ones. Both FanGraphics and USA Today have high hopes for the Sox this season. FanGraphics, a popular baseball stats site, projects that the team will win 92 games in 2016 and come out with the American League Championship. (And in case you’re wondering, the site picked the Cubs for the NL title.) USA Today projects the Sox will win 86 games for an AL East title. So are the Red Sox World Series bound? I’d like to think so.
The Red Sox have a couple new tricks up their sleeve to help get the job done. Dave Dombrowski is a new face to Fenway but not to baseball. Dombrowski spent 14 rather successful seasons with the Detroit Tigers, but with no more years on his contract and no world series titles, the Tigers released Dombrowski in a sudden fashion over the summer. The Sox picked up Dombrowski two weeks later in August to be the new President of Baseball Operations. John Henry is no stranger to Dombrowski, they worked together with the Florida Marlins in the late 90s. Dombrowski has his eyes set on a ring for the 2016 season.
But Dombrowski isn’t the only guy with a new job at Fenway. After the Sox parted ways with General Manager Ben Cheringotn, Dombrowski promoted Red Sox Assistant General Manager, Mike Hazen, to fill his spot. Hazen, born in Weymouth, MA, worked closely under Cherington and knows the organization well. And if you don’t remember, it was Ben Cheringotn who was assistant GM under Theo Epstein who got promoted and led the Sox to their infamous 2013 world series win. Are the Red Sox seeing a repeat of history?
The new President and GM duo are looking to do some serious rebuilding of this last-place team. And with the help of their now cancer-free manager, John Farrell, the Sox have their hopes set high. Let’s see if they can deliver! #thesoxsweetheart