This article appeared in the October 30, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Why Boston keeps winning

Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Oct. 28.

Boston wins again?

Almost every year over the past two decades, a New England pro baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or soccer team has won – or contended for – a championship.

What’s behind this Beantown run?

ESPN’s Peter Keating made a compelling case: It’s the “geek” factor. As the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics each shifted from being family-owned to investor-owned, data drove more decisions. In 2004, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein used statistical analysis (the “Moneyball” approach) to break the 86-year World Series “curse.” The Celtics and the Patriots (five wins in eight Super Bowl trips since 2002) have also become more reliant on analytics.  

But it’s more than numbers. Rookie Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn’t just build a team, he built a family. The first Puerto Rican coach to win a World Series knows his players like a father, reading every shoulder shrug, and moved players on and off the field with uncanny success.

Finally, there’s one more ingredient: Success creates its own momentum. You see it elsewhere with Jamaican sprinters, Cuban boxers, and the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team. “This is a place that has winning in their blood...,” Red Sox pitcher David Price said upon signing. “This is a place that expects to win. That’s what I want to be a part of.”

In short, Boston’s success formula could be summarized as confidence, science, and heart.

Now to our five selected stories, including a look at the role of presidential rhetoric, paths to a safer world, and building community in Toronto.

This article appeared in the October 30, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 10/30 edition
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