World Series

Red Sox ready for the challenge of repeating as World Series champions

Red Sox ready for the challenge of repeating as World Series champions

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Like a worn, scratchy old record, the question of how the Red Sox can win another World Series is on repeat. They hear it constantly, over and over.

No one's done it since the Yankees, who won three straight from 1998-2000. Manager Alex Cora, however, feels these Sox are built to handle the pressure. 

“We know where we play. The challenge of going out there and performing for this fan base and the media and everybody else is what gets us going.”

Cora also knows there are certain things you can’t control, like the health of a team. When he was asked about the 2008 Red Sox, who missed a chance to repeat when they lost the ALCS in seven games to Tampa Bay, Cora quickly pointed out that team was hurt. 

“Mikey (Mike Lowell) wasn’t playing. [Mark] Kotsay had to play first. [Sean] Casey was on one leg. Josh [Beckett] was banged up. Pap (Jonathan Papelbon) was banged up.”

Nathan Eovaldi, who secured cult status with his marathon relief stint in Game 3 of the World Series, knows banged-up bodies are the one thing that can derail another championship.

MORE SPRING TRAINING

“Everybody has to stay healthy, that’s the biggest thing,” said Evoaldi, “Getting overused at the beginning, like we talked about earlier, everybody is going to need to contribute.

Blake Swihart added: “I think just how long we play and that extra month of playing time. In the long run we want to play that extra month, but you lose a month of workouts and training.”

Which is why many of the players in the clubhouse adjusted their offseason routine. That's easier said than done for someone like Eovaldi, who's known for his work ethic. 

“It’s definitely hard for me," Eovaldi admitted. “I’ve thrown a couple bullpens and I’m frustrated with where I’m at right now. I have to keep reminding myself it’s a long time before the season starts.”

Swihart worked with a UFC trainer who monitored not only his workouts, but his rest. 

“You are still tired today, you are still worn out," he said. "So we would go based off that. I think a lot of guys have been doing that, listening to their body and just trying to do as much that day without over training.”

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Super Bowl victory would give Boston area an unprecedented double-double

Super Bowl victory would give Boston area an unprecedented double-double

Can it be? Our long regional nightmare of three months without a championship parade could be nearing an end. 

The Patriots' record-setting 11th Super Bowl appearance could result in their sixth victory, which would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the tops all time.

A sixth title would also cement Boston's position as Titletown, City of Champions, Sportsville, USA...call it what you want. 

As the folks at @BostonSportsInf point out, thanks to the Red Sox World Series title back in October, Boston has a chance to accomplish the Series/Super Bowl double in unprecedented fashion.

The lovable Idiots who ended 86 years of Sox fans frustration and the Tom Brady-led Pats who captured back-to-back Lombardi Trophies with a victory over the Eagles in SB39 would be matched by Alex Cora's record-setting Sox and another Brady-Belichick NFL title team. No city (or region, remember, they're the New England Patriots) can boast that kind of double-double.

The Patriots have another team from Los Angeles in their way, just as the Red Sox did last fall. It marks the first time in 50 years that baseball and the NFL's showcase championships have featured the same cities (OK, regions) competing in the same calendar year.

In January 1969, Joe Namath's Jets stunned the Baltimore Colts in SB III, eight months later, Tom Seaver and the "Miracle" Mets beat the Baltimore Orioles to win their first World Series. (different seasons: 1968 for the NFL, 1969 for MLB, but the same calendar year). 

While a few Dodgers dropped by the Rams practice facility Friday to wish them luck, the Red Sox are pulling for the Pats, as this video of J.D. Martinez watching the final moments of the AFC Championship can attest.

The Red Sox stopped by Gillette Stadium this season with their trophy, will a sixth Lombardi make its way to Fenway Park for Opening Day?

Get the Duck Boats ready...again.

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