Boston Red Sox: Best players on the worst teams the last 20 years

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Jul 25, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) and manager John Farrell (53) look on from the dugout during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Not all Septembers are like last September for the Boston Red Sox. Though the Sox have been a competitive franchise going all the way back to the Impossible Dream season of 1967, there have been years when their chances have been derailed by injuries, poor chemistry, or just plain old bad baseball.

2014 has been one of those years. Things just haven’t worked out for Boston. The result: a September with an assembly of young guns and veterans playing out the string and anticipating a hard and fast end date, while teams in other cities ready themselves for baseball well into the autumn.

A real fan doesn’t just click off the TV or radio in September and wait ‘til next year. A real baseball fan finds some solace in the performances of players who keep on trucking despite the collective face plant of their teammates. In 2014, that player has been David Ortiz, who, at 38, has not-so-quietly compiled one of his best campaigns (34 home runs) amidst personnel shifts and the general inability of any of his teammates to drive in runs.

Let’s take a look at some of the players who have held up their end of the bargain, even if the rest of the team has fallen apart, over the past 20 years.