By MyFM's Jake Archer - We're just over a week removed from football ending, but today we have our first glimmer of light in a dreary February. Pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training for the Red Sox today, and honestly it looks like the whole team is already there. Every year that the Sox don't take home a championship, I get bitter and annoyed with them at the end of the season and throughout the winter I kind of forget how much I love them and baseball in general. This year was a bit worse because the offseason was just so boring and frustrating.
Once I start seeing pictures of the players arriving to camp though, it's all over. I see videos of them playing catch and I remember how sweet the sound of a baseball hitting a glove is. The same goes for the crack of the bat as they take batting practice in the cage. It means warm weather is right around the corner and I'm officially excited. Let's get to my five bold predictions for this upcoming Red Sox campaign.
5. J.D. Martinez will ultimately sign with the Sox and show up to camp in two weeks time- Let's be clear, I do not want this to happen. I don't want Martinez after this whole mess that he has created this offseason. But it's going to happen because the Sox aren't smart enough to just pull their offer and look elsewhere for a bat. Yep, I'm starting this off on a really positive note.
4. The Sox will make a blockbuster trade at the deadline- Dave Dombrowski knows that he's got to take advantage of the roster he has right now while the window to win it all remains open. With a slim lead on the Yankees in the division, he'll try to really secure the team's spot as a serious contender by unloading a package headlined by top prospect Michael Chavis for another ace to add to the stable.
3. The team will be well represented at the midsummer classic- Chris Sale and David Price are both going to get the nod to go to Washington. Craig Kimbrel, Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts will join them. The man we paid the big contract to, J.D. Martinez? Nope. He is going to be very underwhelming.
2. Hanley Ramirez is going to announce his intentions to retire at the end of the year- I love Hanley, but he's kind of delusional. He's going to say this in the middle of the season like a weirdo and then expect a farewell tour. I don't think he knows he's not exactly Big Papi.
1. The Red Sox will win the World Series over the Nationals in 6 games- I'm not a homer when it comes to this team, even if picking them to win makes me look like one. I'm as critical of them as anyone. But I think the Sox are flying way under the radar this year in comparison to the Yankees, Astros and Indians. I see Cleveland and the Yankees falling short of expecations considerably, while the Astros will still be a monster. The Sox will win the AL East, take out Cleveland in an ALDS sweep, battle with Houston and then battle with Bryce Harper and the Nationals. I've got Rafael Devers as my World Series MVP.