Red Sox did it the right way and have a trophy to prove it.

Until the moment the World Series was won on Wednesday night, the Red Sox were focused only on the job at hand. One pitch at a time. One inning at a time. Et cetera.

“Whatever the task is in front of us, that’s the one we address,” manager John Farrell said earlier in the week.

His players did a splendid job of thinking small, so in these last few days, as they approached another championship, they simply wouldn’t allow themselves to think about what it all meant.

“You know what we’re concerned with?” Dustin Pedroia asked after the Red Sox won the American League pennant. “That would be the first pitch of the next game.”

He paused for emphasis.

“Nothing else.”

Pedroia’s point was that there would be plenty of time to consider legacies and the team’s place in the history books in the weeks and months ahead. First they wanted to finish the deal.

Even when they clinched a playoff berth, even when they won the AL, there were no crazy celebrations.

There was always another mountain to climb. The players’ message to the world — and to one another — was that there was always another threshold to cross.
Most World Series titles
Rank    Team    Last    Total
1.      Yankees 2009    27
2.      Cardinals       2011    11
3.      Athletics       1989    9
4.      Red Sox 2013    8
5.      Giants  2012    7
6.      Dodgers 1988    6
7. (tie)        Reds    1990    5
7. (tie)        Pirates 1979    5

Now it’s done. A season that began with the Red Sox widely picked to finish last in the AL East ended with a 6-1 victory in the World Series-clinching Game 6 at Fenway Park.

Right fielder Shane Victorino slapped a three-run double off the Green Monster in the bottom of the third inning to get the Red Sox rolling. Boston added three runs in the fourth, and that was pretty much that.

David Ortiz was named the World Series Most Valuable Player after reaching base four more times, all on walks, as the Cardinals finally decided to stop giving him pitches to hit.

And right-hander John Lackey, who won Game 7 for the Angels 11 years ago, when he was a 23-year-old rookie, was tremendous in another clincher, allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings.

When the game ended, the emotions of a season that began nine months ago in Fort Myers, Fla., were unleashed in a torrent of bear hugs, laughter and accomplishment. In this era of unprecedented parity in baseball, Boston is the closest thing to a dynasty, having won the World Series three times in the last 10 seasons.

Remember when they were the team that couldn’t quite get over the hump? Remember the bitter disappointments of 1967, ’75 and ’86?

Now they’re the franchise that is operated shrewdly, managed brilliantly and fueled by such old-fashioned values as hard work and unselfishness.

They are cursed no more. This championship was different from those of 2004 and ’07 because it was won in their 101-year-old cathedral in front of a raucous home crowd.

This one was also different because it was so improbable. Who remembers that the Red Sox lost 93 games last season?

No general manager had a better offseason than Ben Cherington.

In a rush of signings, Cherington brought in seven free agents. None of them would be considered stars. None of them got really big money.

Cherington wanted players who had reputations for being good clubhouse guys. He wanted players who understand that playing for the Red Sox is a unique experience — that is, expectations are high, and players are held accountable.

Cherington was methodical, adding a Shane Victorino one day, a Jonny Gomes the next. Mike Napoli signed on, too. And so did David Ross, Ryan Dempster, Koji Uehara and Stephen Drew.

Everything clicked. The same things drove these players. They loved to work, and they cared for one another. Though the Red Sox got their star power from familiar names — Ortiz and Pedroia and Jon Lester — they were fueled by all of them. They improved by 28 games, led the Majors in runs and spent 164 days in first place. In short, they were pretty much a perfect hardball team.

It was hokey at times hearing the things they said about one another. It was magical, too.

“We love each other,” Napoli said. “We don’t just hang out while we’re here. We hang out off the field. Our families get together. It’s a group that’s so tight. We play for each other. No one is selfish on this team. We play for one another.”

4 Comments

Hello,
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One of these would be a massive wall across Britain between the Solway Firth in the West and the River Tyne in the East. the Caledonian tribesmen would strike at isolated Roman forts, got them on underground stations and then started building my name and touring round the UK and grabbing any shows I could. Fugative reckons Justin lives in a pop bubble where people tell him what to do.Im 39 and my husband is 41.End the fling and make a New Year resolution to pour that sexual energy into your marriage. Henry Holland,looks super-skinny in a silk blouse and flares as she steps out in New York but only just. the Empire Stadium.

This was also the club that was fairly picked apart as Cherington signed Victorino one day and Gomes the next for having that ‘familiar’ star power and not spending big to improve. From an objective point of view, yes I can see why we were picked last or second to last in the AL East by nearly everyone. But I think aside from ‘grinders’ or ‘idiots’ or anyone else, Ben finally getting his team, free from the hands of John, Tom or Larry (The Red Sox Holy Trinity of ownership.. great ownership all the same) and getting ‘his’ manager and ‘his’ players made the biggest difference. No ‘sexy’ star power, no provocative manager…. just baseball minds putting an effort on the field regardless of preconcieved talent. That was the biggest difference…. that and a massive chip on their sholder since September 2011.

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