Behind a gritty, bearded team, and a city that loves their baseball, the Boston Red Sox are World Champions. The team that finished with the worst record in the American League East a year before, completed their journey from worst to first on Wednesday, October 30th. The perfect combination of newcomers and wily veterans led this Red Sox team to the top.
Every move the Red Sox made this offseason seemed to contribute when they needed them the most. Whether it was Mike Napoli’s power to protect David Ortiz in the lineup, or every thing Shane Victorino did the for this team. Victorino ended up being the sparkplug the Red Sox had hoped he could be when they signed him. Victorino did it all for the Sox, and capped off his tremendous postseason with a series changing, bases clearing triple last night that gave the Red Sox the lead that they never relinquished.
Maybe the Red Sox’s most unsung offseason acquisition was the most important one, Johnny Gomes. When Johnny Gomes started in left field for the Red Sox they won, over the course of the postseason they only lost once when he started in left field for them. Gomes put his exclamation point on this series when he hit a no-way three run homerun in Game Five to shift the series in Boston’s favor. Or maybe it was Koji Uehara, the Red Sox’s nearly unhittable closer.
After the Red Sox original closer, Joel Hanrahan, went down with a season ending injury, the Red Sox needed someone to step up. That someone was Uehara, who eventually went on to win American League Championship Series MVP, and saved the game any time the Red Sox asked him to. Uehara gave the Red Sox their anchor in the pen when they desperately needed it.
But this World Series belonged to the ageless wonder David Ortiz. “Big Papi’’, as they call him in Boston, was nothing short of legendary this World Series. He batted a remarkable .688 this World Series and reached base 19 out of 25 plate appearances. He was named World Series MVP to no ones surprise, as the Red Sox leaned on him for clutch hits throughout the series to propel them to the championship.
The most important thing that Ortiz did this World Series did not occur on the field but occurred in the dugout in Game 5. With the Red Sox offense sputtering, Ortiz called all of his teammates around him and gave a resounding speech that energized the Red Sox to beat the Cardinals. “Big Papi” is a legend, and launched himself into World Series lore forever.
The Red Sox put the city of Boston on their back and pulled them through one of the biggest tragedies to ever hit their city. The city was vulnerable, but the Red Sox were strong. The city needed something to hold on to and the Red Sox were there to carry them. Whether you are a Red Sox fan or not, you have to appreciate what this team did, they lifted a city out of the ashes and into the clear. So thank you to the Boston Red Sox for showing this nation what sports are all about, bringing people together.