The Boston Red Sox are a nationally prominent team, with a following across the nation; the team’s official fan club is even known as “Red Sox Nation.”
They are one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball over the last 15 years or so, having won the World Series three times during that span. In addition, because they are in a large market and have a large national following to boot, they carry one of the highest payrolls in the game. They have ranked in the top five MLB payrolls in every season since 2001, and sometimes have been as high as second. The Red Sox are very much one of the “haves” in the world of Major League Baseball.
The combination of all of these things makes the Red Sox very polarizing among baseball fans. Fans of the Red Sox naturally love them, but people who are not Red Sox fans dislike them, either because they’re fans of one of the Red Sox’ major rivals (the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays or Baltimore Orioles), or simply because their team lacks the ability to just spend money to recover from a bad season (the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013, a year after finishing last with a 69–93 record, by signing a bunch of free agents who all proceeded to have great seasons).
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