The Red Sox can no longer count on the mystique of Fenway Park

BOSTON, MA - RED SOX SEPTEMBER 14: A view of the grandstand during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on September 14, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - RED SOX SEPTEMBER 14: A view of the grandstand during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on September 14, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Fenway Park used to be an impenetrable fortress for the Boston Red Sox but now it’s lost the mystique and is just another ballpark for away clubs.

After this past weekend’s series with the Jays, things feel like they could crash at any moment. Toronto is 20 games below .500 and they walked into Fenway Park like they owned the place. What was once a safe haven and fortress or the Red Sox has now become just another park for the opposition.

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With Sunday’s loss, the Red Sox have fallen to 18-19 at home this season. Less than a .500 record in what is one of the most home team friendly parks there is. With all the nuances of Fenway between the triangle and the Green Monster, it was once a nightmare for out of town teams. Not in 2019, though.

During their 2018 World Series campaign the Red Sox were 57-24 during the regular season with a whopping +146 RD. They dominated when they were at Fenway Park and made sure teams earned any victories that were achieved there.

Not only is Boston not performing overall like they would want to at home but they’re also touting a lowly +11 RD. So not only are they not getting the wins they’re also not pushing the runners across the plate. Which in common sense should go hand in hand but at this point, I’d take low scoring wins if it meant the home record would be better. Not every game needs to be a blowout.

Fenway Park used to have such a mystique to it with the Monster towering over the left fielder. Hell, Fenway has so much magic in its bones that it was a focal point in “Field of Dreams.” But something about this season just feels like the magic is gone. We can talk about the championship hangover all we want, but the field is the same, it shouldn’t be affected.

It feels as if the intimidation is gone. The Sox are performing at such a poor rate of play that their biggest asset and weapon isn’t even of concern to the opposition anymore. Like when the all-powerful juggernaut finally gets cut and a drop of blood begins to roll down its cheek. The Red Sox and Fenway Park have been cut and no longer do they give off the feeling of immortality.

This can obviously be turned around with an entire half of the season left to play but at this point, I just find it hard to believe. Boston lost just 24 times at Fenway last year, it’s the last week of June and they’re just 5 losses from that mark. And it’s not just that they’re losing at home but they’re losing to teams that in no way should beat them. Toronto taking 2/3 games in Fenway is just depressing.

If Boston wants to turn things around they’re going to need to dig deep and they won’t be able to rely on Fenway Park to help them out. Teams are storming the castle and the Monster can no longer keep them out. If the second half of the season is salvaged and the Sox once again remember what a weapon Fenway Park can be then there is still hope at October.

Nobody can play the outfield better than the battalion that the Red Sox march out there on a nightly basis. Andrew Benintendi plays the Monster as if he has been practicing on it his entire life. And there is nobody I trust more to patrol that centerfield triangle than Jackie Bradley Jr., he has an instinct for every inch and blade of grass out there. And how many times have we seen Mookie Betts rob a home run right in front of the bullpen?

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There is still some magic inside the bones of Fenway Park. It may not have the mystique and aura that it once did but the spirits can always be awoken. If the Red Sox want a true shot at defending their crown then they’ll need to once again remember what makes Fenway Park special or they’ll continue to spiral down. The team may not be able to rely on Fenway but with their energy and play, they can rejuvenate the cathedral that is Fenway Park.