Accentuate the Red Sox positive for 2016

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Sep 27, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts (50) and second baseman Dustin Pedroia (third from left) celebrate a victory against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The fans

Red Sox Nation is not some marketing concoction that was dreamed up around a bar stool – it exists and is alive and well despite three for four in last place finishes.

"Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable. – Voltaire"

A figure that pops up is 94.8% and that is not some exotic metric, but the percentage of capacity that the Red Sox had for Fenway Park in 2015. That means third place in MLB behind the Giants and St. Louis. The figure is actually higher than the 94.4% of 2013 and a World Series team.

So what about this nation?

The Red Sox road capacity figure was 73.8% and that was seventh in MLB and second – behind the Yankees – in the American League. Historically Boston is a valued drawing card on the road and that means fans on a road trip or drawing from the area Boston is playing in. As a fan who occasionally takes some road games in I can attest that much of that percentage is siphoned from the area the Red Sox are playing in. Red Sox fans are like gnats at a summer picnic – they are everywhere.

The Red Sox are a marketing machine and that could not happen without a loyal, knowledgeable and passionate fan base. That is a key to this team and the disappointment of both 2014 and 2015 had virtually no impact on road attendance and minimal on home.