The Boston Red Sox are in the midst of an August slump, but one of the best players in team history is confident a bounce-back will happen.
Red Sox legend David Ortiz knows what it's like to face adversity late in the season. He's optimistic the 2021 Red Sox will be a stronger team after struggling over the last month and losing first place in the American League East division as a result.
“The team is good,” Ortiz said Wednesday on "Gresh & Keefe" during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. “There were so many things going in the right direction that it’s hard to believe where they’re at right now and what they’re going through right now. But sometimes, believe it or not, that is needed. Especially before walking into a playoff situation. It’s because it's good to experience those type of things before you walk into the playoff atmosphere because you learn from it. You learn from the mistakes you make, you learn your weakness, you learn what you need to get stronger at. And once you walk into the playoffs, which is something that’s going to happen pretty soon, I guess you are concerned about those things and you take care of them better than if it never happens.
“So, I know the guys are going to bounce back. I know they’re going to put themselves in the situation they were in before. But it’s a long season, and everything was going extremely well. When everything is going so well like that, this is expected, you know what I'm saying?
“But I’m pretty sure (Red Sox manager Alex Cora) and the whole team are going to navigate through it. They’re going to let things flow because the talent is there. The guys know how hard it is to play in that division, the American League East. That division is the toughest division in baseball, I would say. And you don’t get away with anything in that division. Keep it tight, people, keep it tight. Don’t give up. Keep the faith. The guys are going to regroup soon.”
The Red Sox' next five games are against the Twins and Cleveland Indians -- two very beatable opponents. It's a tremendous opportunity to build momentum and improve the team's playoff chances before having to play the first-place Tampa Bay Rays seven times in 12 days from Aug. 30 through Sept. 8.