Echoes of 1995 with the 2013 Red Sox

The 1995 season is a dividing line of sorts when evaluating recent baseball history. It is the year immediately after the disastrous strike that cost baseball the 1994 races and World Series. It was also the first season of the current three divisional format.

Kevin Kennedy was AL Manager of the year in 1995. He was
gassed after the '96 season, and never managed again.

Since that time the Red Sox have won the AL East exactly twice: the World Series championship season of 2007, and the aforementioned 1995 season. On paper it is way too early to compare the 2013 club to the 2007 juggernaut, but there are some eerie similarities to the 1995 club.

Both clubs had a first year manager and a second year general manager. While Kevin Kennedy was fired from his previous job with the Rangers, John Farrell may well have been if the Red Sox didn't inquire about his services.

Going into both seasons expectations wee muted as the team was coming off several forgettable seasons. Both Dan Duquette and Ben Cherrington made small to medium sized moves aimed at improving the club as opposed to making a big splash. The biggest move Duquette made prior to the 1995 season was acquiring Jose Canseco. Dollar-wise Ben Cherrington's largest move was signing Shane Victorino.

In 1995 the Red Sox didn't quite lead wire to wire, but it was fairly close. They maintained a large lead over the heavily favored Yankees most of the season as the Yankees practically collapsed out of the gate. The Red Sox coasted easily to the division crown that season. For the 2013 club to win the division they may need to build a similar lead.

If Toronto gets their act together or Tampa finds an offense either club could go on a tear. The Orioles and even the misfit Yankees can't be discounted at this early stage either. The summer of 1995 was an unexpected surprise for Red Sox fans, and that club was a blast. With any luck the 2013 club will have a little of that magic.

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