Happy New Year! It’s January 1, which means today many people around the world are telling themselves they are going to change something and then not stick with it. That’s not to say New Years Resolutions are bad or anything like that. If you have a way to improve yourself you should at least try it! Obviously! Still, there are always those cliche resolutions that are declared every year and just don’t happen.
Perhaps even more cliche is sportswriters writing a New Years resolutions for whatever topic about which they write. Everyone does this. It’s easy content! I’m pretty sure I’ve done it myself multiple times, though I’m too lazy to actually go back and see whether or not that’s true. Said laziness leads me back to the same ol’ well, too. This year, instead of just finding some things the Red Sox should do, I’ve decided to take nine of those aforementioned cliche resolutions and find a way to apply them to the Red Sox. Here are your cliche New Years resolutions for the Red Sox.
1. Lose Weight
There is no more cliche New Years resolution than losing weight, and specifically going to the gym. On this subject, don’t be that guy/gal complaining that the gym is more crowded after the New Year. No one likes that guy/gal. Anyway, the Red Sox version of losing weight is getting rid of one of their catchers. That this will happen is a foregone conclusion, but until it happens the possibility still hangs over the roster. Boston managed to win a World Series while keeping all three of their out-of-option catchers on the roster last year, but that just makes their year all the more incredible. They played a big chunk of the season with essentially a 24-man roster also featuring Blake Swihart. One of the catchers will be off the roster by Opening Day, and it will allow things to make more sense and run more smoothly.
2. Quit Smoking
Clearly there is no baseball-related activity that is equivalent to smoking, an act that will actually kill you. However, there is one thing the Red Sox do that may actually kill me, and that is their baserunning. Am I complaining about something from the best team in franchise history? I sure am! Apparently I need some improving, too. The Red Sox ran with an aggressive style all year long, and while I’m down with that strategy if for no other reason than it makes things exciting, they took it way too far more than a few times. They did get much better in this area over the second half, but still were among the league leaders in outs on the bases. Granted, a big part of that was that they were on base so much, but still. They can chill on some of these baserunning decisions.
3. Get Organized
This is one of my personal resolutions that certainly will not last the entire year, but it’s nice in theory! I’m very organized in the work portions of my life and....that’s it. But you also don’t care about this. For the Red Sox, this means coming into the year with a plan on how they are going to preserve their starting pitching. We know that Alex Cora isn’t going to head into this without some sort of plan of action, but they need to be ready for unforeseeable hinderances like injuries or underperformance. It’s impossible to be fully prepared for every scenario, but given the high workload of their starters in 2018 the Red Sox need to be extra organized with their planning in 2019. Fortunately, there’s little reason to expect anything else from them.
4. Spend more time with Family
This is always a fun cliche resolution, as it’s hard to fault anyone for it. The New Year has the added benefit of coming right after the holiday, which means many people just saw their family a bunch more than what is typical. They liked it, because they are human beings, and decided they want to do it more. For the Red Sox, this means signing their stars to extensions. That is going to be the biggest goal for 2019, and it is going to be the cloud hanging over the 2019 season all year long. With Chris Sale, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, among others, heading into free agency after this season and Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. among those potentially leaving after 2020, there’s a lot of family members who could be leaving. The Red Sox need to do everything they can to keep things together as much as possible.
5. Meet new people
Along with spending time with the people you’ve known the longest, it’s also cliche to try and spend more time with people you’ve literally never known. For the Red Sox, it’s not truly new people, but it will be for fans. That is, call up some of the young players this year. Now, obviously that’s not to say they should promote prospects just for the sake of doing it. Contending teams need the best rosters, not necessarily the most exciting. The flip side of that, however, is not hanging on to veterans and keeping someone like Durbin Feltman or Travis Lakins or Michael Chavis or Darwinzon Hernandez down in the minors. Hoarding depth is a valuable strategy that can pay off, but there’s an extent to which it can be done and be detrimental to the team. The Red Sox need to find a way to toe that line.
6. Be Better with Money
I feel like this is another one of those resolutions whose need is made greater by the holiday season. Many people obviously spend more money around the holidays, and then when they look at their bank accounts on New Years it’s....not encouraging. So, we try to be better with money! For the Red Sox, that means the opposite of what it means for everyone else. The Red Sox should spend more, because the Red Sox should always spend more. That is my selfish opinion. I don’t want to hear about luxury tax payments or payrolls or anything like that. I understand it’s not realistic and it’s just the way things are done now, and I understand the Red Sox do better at this than any other team, but today is a day for dreaming. Sign everyone to extensions.
7 & 8. Don’t Procrastinate and Sleep More
These two are being lumped together despite not being all that related in real life. There is some relation — procrastinating can lead to late nights which leads to less sleep — but they aren’t clear partners. More importantly, they are being lumped together because they are my selfish pleas for the Red Sox. For one thing, win blowouts where you take a lead early. Don’t make me sweat through regular season baseball and let me get recaps done early. If you can’t win blowouts, at least don’t play these long, extra-inning games. Please? My life is hard! (Not really)
9. Socialize More
In reality, there is only one real resolution for the Red Sox and that is win the damn World Series again. The Red Sox want to try partying more in the year ahead with more champagne celebrations, and that means winning divisions and playoff series throughout September and October. It was real fun in 2018, so let’s try it again in 2019, shall we?