After a pandemic-shorted Major League Baseball season in 2020, which saw the Boston Red Sox as the fourth-worst team — ahead of the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates — in baseball, the 2021 Alex Cora-managed squad has turned play around and again is one of the best in the game.

With the abrupt turnaround for Boston, the new MaineStay Media/Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports poll asks: Are you surprised how well the Boston Red Sox, one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball in 2020, has performed thus far this season, even being ranked at or near the top of the American League East Division?

Click here to vote.

Thus far with the regular season nearly halfway over, the Red Sox sport a 44-29 record — winners of five of their past seven games — and sit first in the American League East standings ahead of Tampa Bay, as of June 22.

In the previous sports poll, the sports staff focused on the front office and head coach changes of the Boston Celtics. The organization made said changes a day after Boston lost in their first-round series to the Brooklyn Nets, as Danny Ainge, longtime president of basketball operations, retired, and was replaced by head coach Brad Stevens.

Fifty-three-point-eight percent of voters agree with the changes, while 30.8 percent believe Stevens should have stayed in his head coach role and Ainge should have retired. Seven-point-seven percent of voters believe Ainge should have stayed in his role, while Stevens left, and the other seven-point-seven percent do not agree with the changes.

Stevens made his first move as president of basketball operations on Friday, June 18, when he traded point guard Kemba Walker, 16th pick in this year’s National Basketball Association draft and 2025 second-round selection to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Al Horford — a former starter for Boston — Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round draft selection.

To read about the trade, click here.

Courier Publications’ sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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