Back in February, Alex Cora took a different approach to preventing the dreaded World Series hangover: Rather than turn the page and move on from their magical 2018 season, the 2019 Boston Red Sox would write a new chapter.
Spoiler: That approach hasn’t worked.
After bringing back essentially the same squad from last season and failing to make any roster upgrades at the MLB trade deadline (no, Andrew Cashner doesn’t count as an upgrade), the Red Sox are six games out of a Wild Card spot and a long shot to make the playoffs.
Those developments apparently has president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski second-guessing how the Red Sox approached this season.
“We had the thought process of, why not bring this group back together than won 119 games and a World Series?” Dombrowski recently told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. “But I guess if you had to look back, maybe you need a player or two that are hungry to win again, or win for the first time.”
Dombrowski then referenced a conversation he had with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, suggesting the Red Sox perhaps would have benefited from Belichick’s strategy of poo-pooing anything but the current task at hand.
“I don’t know the answer, but I do think that in the general form of organizational perspective is that after you win — and Bill Belichick was great telling me this — you think things are going to be OK,” Dombrowski said. “You see things that maybe catch your eye in the spring, and then it’s like, ‘Yeah, but we’ll be OK. We’ll get through that.’
“You talk to Belichick, and he doesn’t act that way. He never refers to last year. He talks about this year right now, and that’s it. Once you win, you don’t think it’s going to translate into any type of attitude (problems) into the next year, but maybe it does.”
Belichick’s Patriots have reaped the benefits of that mindset, appearing in each of the last three Super Bowls and winning two. The Red Sox, meanwhile, will need no extra motivation to put this disappointing season behind them as they turn the page to 2020.
Dave Dombrowski admits Red Sox could have adopted this Bill Belichick lesson originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston