July 25, 2021

The lesson the Boston Red Sox can take from the Washington Nationals (Over the Monster)

One of the common themes we see all across the sports landscape is when, at the end of every season, teams and analysts look for lessons to take from the most recent champion. I think we hear it the most with respect to the NFL, but it is certainly said about every league at one point or another. “It’s a copycat league.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard that I would have a totally unmanageable number of nickels.

For baseball, there is certainly some sort of overarching lesson that (rightly or not) has been taken from each champion. The Royals ushered in an era of bullpen-dominated playoff teams. The Astros and Cubs were the success stories teams needed to move forward with extreme tanking plans. The Red Sox in 2018 were seen this year with the Nationals with the aggressive managing in which starters are pushed to the brink with their postseason usage.

Obviously, this phenomenon is not exactly the most rational thought process in the world. In baseball in particular but really all around sports, for most seasons a champion is just one small break away from being eliminated at some point earlier, at which point an entirely different lesson would be learned by…

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