Red Sox

Rick Porcello details challenges Red Sox will face defending World Series

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Rick Porcello details challenges Red Sox will face defending World Series

The Boston Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 games and the World Series in 2018, but they'll face an even more difficult task in 2019 of repeating as champions.

The last team to win back-to-back World Series titles was the New York Yankees in 2000, when they pulled off a three-peat. 

The Red Sox now face that uphill climb, and with it comes some unique challenges.

"You take away what we felt coming away from that last win in L.A.," Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello said at spring training, per NESN. "It's a fine line, and there's a balance. You have to turn the page, too, and focus on what's in front of us: 2019. The ball clubs that we're going to be playing are going to feel differently about playing us. We're going to have a bit of a target on our back. We're expecting to get everyone's best game every night. We're going to have to play our best to stay where we want to stay."

The Red Sox have had mixed results in their three most recent World Series title defenses.

Boston was eliminated in the 2005 American League Division Series after a historic run in 2004. The Sox lost in Game 7 of the 2008 American League Championship Series following a dominant 2007 campaign, and they failed to even make the playoffs in 2014 as defending champs.

Repeating as World Series winners will be incredibly difficult for the Red Sox, but it's certainly not an impossible task given the fact they've brought back almost the same roster that won it all last season. 

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Red Sox continue to clean house after Dave Dombrowski firing

Red Sox continue to clean house after Dave Dombrowski firing

Dave Dombrowski's firing was only the beginning of a mass exodus in the Red Sox organization.

On Thursday, the Red Sox let go of front office executive Frank Wren and scout Eddie Bane, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. It's no surprise they parted ways with Wren as he's close with Dombrowski.

Heyman notes there likely are more changes to come, specifically in the amateur department.

These moves are the icing on the cake for what's been a tremendously disappointing season for Boston. The defending World Series champions are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Along with the front office, there could be a roster shakeup coming for the Red Sox this offseason as well. Mookie Betts' future in Boston is uncertain, and it remains to be seen whether J.D. Martinez will opt in to his contract.

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David Ortiz writes message for fans in first tweet since June shooting

David Ortiz writes message for fans in first tweet since June shooting

Slowly but surely, David Ortiz is returning to the lifestyle he had prior to the shooting in the Dominican Republic that left him hospitalized for two months.

The Boston Red Sox legend finally is back to eating the foods he loves, plus he made his long-awaited return to Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Sept. 9.

On Thursday, Ortiz took the next step by sending out his first tweet since the shooting. The three-time World Series champion wrote a brief message thanking his fans for their support.

Welcome back, Big Papi.

Ortiz recently held an invite-only press conference in which he reflected on the shooting and whether he'd eventually return to his home country. "Now, I guess, once I'm down there, I guess I'm going to have to have my security," Ortiz said. "I never did it because I thought it was too lousy and I never thought anybody would do anything like that to me, or to anyone. But you learn."

The 43-year-old has hired former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis to further investigate the shooting, which was ruled a mistaken identity by Dominican officials.

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