Last year, after a disastrous 2020 season that was downright embarrassing, the Red Sox reclaimed their dignity. They played hard. They overachieved. And they pushed their season into mid-October before losing to the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.
But let’s not forget that the team nearly missed the playoffs and the margin for error was razor thin.
This year, that might be even truer.
After having four teams with more than 90 wins, the American League East looks loaded again in 2022 – and the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees may be even better. That means something like an 88-win season could result in a fourth-place finish and absence from the postseason entirely, even with an expanded major league playoff field.
So, how good are the Red Sox? What can they be? If things go right, the ceiling could be high. But if things go wrong, especially, in the late innings … well, the strength of the division won’t allow much latitude.
Here are five things to watch for: