When better than the first day of spring to begin unveiling the Globe’s baseball preview content for 2019?
Our baseball writers have spent the past couple months in Florida covering the day-to-day activities of the Red Sox as they prepare to defend their World Series championship. They’ve also been busy gathering material for our annual baseball preview section, which will appear in the Globe’s print editions on Sunday.
This year’s preview section was produced with heavy hearts following the loss of our beloved colleague, the great Nick Cafardo. But he was in on the early planning stages of this, and I think he’d be pleased with how it turned out.
We’ll start with a look at the Red Sox outfield — is it one of the best ever? Reporter Peter Abraham had the idea to focus our preview on just how valuable this Red Sox outfield could be as they pursue another title, and we have several stories that explore a variety of angles related to the outfield.
We will also have predictions from our staff, columns by Dan Shaughnessy and Tara Sullivan, and a look at all the Red Sox, plus what to expect across major league baseball this season.
Below is the schedule for online publication of the features in this year’s baseball preview. We hope you enjoy it, and thanks for reading the Globe:
■ Season predictions by Dan Shaughnessy, Tara Sullivan, Peter Abraham, Alex Speier, and Chad Finn. (Read more)
■ League-wide story lines to watch this season, plus some superlatives, by Peter Abraham. (Read more)
■ Dan Shaughnessy: Where is the Red Sox Clown Show of my youth? (Read more)
■ An appreciation of the ballclub’s dynamic outfielders, by Chad Finn. (Read more)
■ For three years now, Mookie Betts has been the most productive, respected, and well-liked professional athlete in Boston outside of Tom Brady. As Betts ascends within his sport, he has carefully cultivated his growing celebrity, turning down business opportunities with the idea that less now will lead to more in time. A profile of Betts through this lens, by Peter Abraham. (Read more)
■ Jackie Bradley Jr. never appears to be worrying — he could teach a master class in even-keeled countenance and unshakeable demeanor. The equanimity that defines his personality infuses his professional profile, making him the type of calm, steadying influence that can be so valuable in a clubhouse, one of those glue guys that coaches know they can’t do without, whose presence is as valuable as his skill set. A profile of Bradley from this perspective, by Tara Sullivan. (Read more)
■ Andrew Benintendi is not about shrines or celebrity. He does not have the Gold Gloves or the whopping salaries of Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. as they approach free agency. In a Liverpool talent outfield with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Benny is George Harrison. He is the quiet Beatle. “I’m pretty boring,’’ he admits. “I’m not a big talker.’’ A profile of Benintendi, by Dan Shaughnessy. (Read more)
■ Bradley, Betts, and Benintendi weren’t close to being born when Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn, and Jim Rice made up the best outfield in the game from 1975-80. But they have come to know and respect their accomplishments. A piece on the last great Red Sox outfield, by Peter Abraham. (Read more)
■ Outfield defense: How the three Bs play their positions, by Alex Speier. (Read more)
■ Tara Sullivan: To repeat, the Red Sox have to forget. (Read more)
■ Chad Finn media column: Sean McDonough is back where he belongs — calling Red Sox games. (Read more)
■ On one hand, J.D. Martinez spent more time as designated hitter last year than he did in the outfield, filling that role in 93 games. But he played 32 additional contests in left field and another 25 in right. So what is he? The subject is at times the subject of amusement around the Red Sox. A piece on Martinez as the Sox’ fourth outfielder, by Alex Speier. (Read more)
■ A player-by-player breakdown of the roster and lineup, by Peter Abraham. (Read more)
■ The Red Sox schedule, annotated with what you need to know about key dates. (Read more)
Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.