As of March 22, 2021 the state of Massachusetts will be opening its sports arenas to the great fans of this region for the first time since early March of last year. Stadium capacity is going to be limited to just 12%, but for Boston sports fans that is a much welcome number considering the amount of time that has passed since they have been able to enjoy their favorite teams from the many historical sports venues in the area.
Fenway Park, being one of those historical venues, is going to benefit immensely from this decision. With the decision still up-in-the-air, the Red Sox were threatening to host all of their home games at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, FL.
If this were to come to fruition then not only would the oldest baseball stadium be empty for the 2021 season, but the great fans located in Boston would not be able to take in a game for yet another year. Last season was strange enough, it would be overkill for fans if they were asked to endure a Red Sox season with the team hosting games at their spring training facility. That would be bad for both fans and the city of Boston.
Not only would the city lose out on possible revenue generated from the daily purse accumulated at each game, but it would simply lose its appeal. A summer in Boston without the lights of Fenway shining down on the players is no summer at all.
Thankfully, Massachusetts has decided to give the fans what they want and allow a limited capacity at all stadiums. Red Sox fans have had a lot to look forward to for the 2021 season and allowing people into Fenway Park is only that much more to be excited about. As for other exciting aspects of the team in 2021, the fans must look to the on-field production that is to come.
When Chaim Bloom was named Chief Baseball Officer for the Red Sox in October of 2019 the organization automatically created headlines. The “mastermind” behind the current Tampa Bay Rays success has come to Boston to rejuvenate the farm system and introduce his frugal ways of acquiring impactful players via free agency and the draft.
It is no secret that the Red Sox struggled in 2020. Their pitching was in the bottom five in the league and their on-field play left something to be desired. Fortunately, their offense was second in the big leagues in hits and with most of the positions' players returning, along with some key free agent signings, the team is looking to rely on its pitching staff to bounce back in a big way.
With guys like Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez expected to return and retain their spots atop the rotation, the staff can expect a much-needed lift from the two veterans. Tanner Houck impressed many in his stint with the team to end the 2020 season and Nathan Eovaldi as well as Martin Perez will be returning to the rotation which will provide the Red Sox with five guys who could take the ball every fifth day. Something that could not be said last season as fans were exposed to the philosophy known as “the opener.”
The help from within the organization, such as players getting healthy and prospects making their debuts, is great to see but it is the offseason additions that should have Sox fans elated. Notable acquisitions by Chaim Bloom:
Matt Andriese, SP (1-year deal)
Adam Ottavino, RP (acquired from the Yankees)
Garrett Richards, SP (1-year deal)
Hunter Renfroe, RF (1-year deal)
Enrique “Kike” Hernandez, UTIL (2-year deal)
Marwin Gonzalez, UTIL (1-year deal)
Garrett Whitlock (Rule 5 pick)
Having players like Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez coming back in 2021 gives the Sox a lot to look forward to, but it is the work that Chaim Bloom has done to sign guys like the ones listed above that could put the team in a position to contend immediately.