Impressions of the Red Sox’ magical run to the 2013 World Series championship as I continue to rub the sleep out of my eyes after staying up late for most of October:
This Red Sox run has to be as good as the Impossible Dream team of 1967. I wasn’t yet born for that season but from what I know and have read, this worst to first turnaround by the Sox rivals that of ’67. Some of my elders should help me out with confirming that.
But this one is even better because this time the Cardinals didn’t have Bob Gibson and the Sox took the final step and won the World Series as well as the American League pennant. Let’s call it the Impossible Dream II.
When you’re a long time Red Sox fan and you understand their history, confidence can sometimes be in short supply.
Yet, going into Game 6 I had never felt more confident about this team winning a game. There was something about this team that whenever they felt anyone was doubting them, they always rose to the occasion.
Can’t hit for one full game plus seven innings in the next? That’s OK, Papi will pop a grand slam in the eighth inning of Game 2, ALCS to avoid the 2-0 hole with Verlander looming. Same deal in Game 6, ALCS? No problem. Shane Victorino will slam another one to put them in the World Series. Lose a Game 3 World Series heart breaker on an unprecedented obstruction call? No sweat, Koji will just end Game 4 and tie the series by picking a guy off first base. They. Always. Found. A. Way.
The reason for this new found confidence must be because the world changed on eight fall nights back in October 2004 when first the Evil Empire in New York was conquered and 86 years of zero championships was finally interrupted. The earth was turned on its axis and the baseball world would never be the same.
Speaking of that ’04 team, their victory will always be the most satisfying because of how it was accomplished. The ’07 affirmation team of the ’04 title now has to take a backseat to this ’13 squad. The bearded clan is now number two because their run was so unlikely and unexpected.
Indeed, these are not our father’s Red Sox. They are the now the equal of any team in the sport and that includes the Cardinals and Yankees. Two Series wins vs the Redbirds and the improbable ALCS comeback vs the Bombers from 3-0 down will do that for a team.
I’m so happy for John Lackey, the winning pitcher in the Game 6 clincher. Maligned throughout his Boston career as a clubhouse cancer and underachieving bum, the well deserved glory now belongs to him. Congrats, John. You’ll never pay for another beer in this town. Feel great for Felix Doubront, too. Clutch work in St. Louie.
Wonder what Blue Jays fans are thinking about John Farrell now? Red Sox Nation is lucky to have him as the leader and voice of this team. His calming influence was badly needed after last season and he brought it from day one of spring training.
Thank you, Papi and Pedey. You are both the pulse and identity of this team and you lead by an example that is easy to follow.
Thank you, Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, David Ross, and, of course, Shane- the Flyin’ Hawaiian. You filled in whatever was missing in this town and because you did it in your first seasons here, you will never be forgotten.
Thank you, Lester, Buchholz and Lackey for buying back in to the Farrell and Juan Nieves pitching program. It got you all so very far.
Thank you, Koji and Breslow who resurrected your careers beyond comprehension when the pitching staff had to have it. Like Keith Foulke before you, you both laid it all on the line no matter how many times you were called upon.
If this your last hurrah in a Sox uniform Jacoby Ellsbury well, let’s just say thanks. I’m sure you don’t want to leave but, we all understand by now that it is a business.
Thanks, Ben Cherington for having the foresight to bring all the above guys together to make this magical run possible and doing it your way this time.
Finally, thanks to all the other Red Sox I didn’t mention by name for winning a title for a city that so badly needed it based on the real life events of last April. Boston Strong!
November approaches quickly. NOW we can all sleep peacefully. You did it!