I have to admit that Brandon and I picked the St. Louis Cardinals to win it all. The Birds were more consistent throughout the season and postseason and I just couldn’t believe that the Red Sox couldn’t finish this fairy tale story of a season by hoisting the MLB World Series trophy over their heads, that would be just too perfect.
CEO Larry Lucchino recommend former manager Bobby Valentine after Terry Francona presided over the awful September 2011 collapse, when it was clear the Red Sox needed more of a disciplinarian in the manager’s office so the boys wouldn’t get away with chicken and beer during the game.
What seemed like a right decision turned out as wrong as wrong could be. The general manager, Ben Cherington, said he accepted the management choice and endorsed Valentine at the time of his hiring, but it was clear Cherington and Valentine were not on the same page the entire 2012 season, which included a record number of injuries and players with questionable attitudes such as Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett, who were jettisoned to Los Angeles Aug 2012.
Taking over a team that finished last in the AL East in 2012, John Farrell left a team that came in last in the division this season in the Toronto Blue Jays. Farrell stood by Francona six years ago and soaked in champagne as the Red Sox pitching coach during Boston’s 2007 World Series championship run. Farrell was acquired from the Blue Jays in a trade last winter and completed a remarkable turnaround for the Red Sox, who finished last in the American League East with a record of 69-93 in 2012 under Valentine, but won 97 games during the season and defeated the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers in the postseason to reach their first World Series since 2007.
You didn’t have that “cowboy-up” comeback charm of “The Idiots” from 2004, who swept St. Louis to end an 86-year title drought. There wasn’t that cool efficiency of the 2007 team that swept Colorado. You had the “Band of Brothers” mentality where the team gathered the troops, circle the wagons, grew their beards and took on the world while backing each other up during every game in the playoffs and World Series. Everybody had a part on making the right plays at the right times; everyone from David Ortiz, Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia to John Lackey, Jon Lester, Koji Uehara and Jonny Gomes. I am a die-hard Chicago White Sox fan, but you can’t help but love what you saw in the Red Sox as they took on all competition that came their way and how they stuck together to put them down and move on to the next challenge and ultimately to the World Series trophy.
David Ortiz, the MVP of the World Series and the only player remaining from the 2004 champs, batted .688 (11 for 16) with two homers, six RBIs and eight walks — including four in the finale — for a .760 on-base percentage in 25 plate appearances.
Boston was a 30-1 underdog to win the World Series last winter but joined the 1991 Minnesota Twins as the only teams to win titles one season after finishing in last place. After falling behind 2-1 in the Series, the Red Sox ended with three straight wins.
Now, the Red Sox will raise another championship flag before their home opener next season, April 4 against Milwaukee. Congrats to the Boston Red Sox.