31 October 2013

Well done, Gentlemen

By now the cliche is being embroidered on pillows:
From "worst" to "first"

Mike Napoli, infielder
But the succinct motto couldn't be truer: a 2012 season that had them losing 93 games, followed by a 2013 push to the World Series where they soundly beat the Cardinals in two games on St. Louis turf, and then delivered the coup de grâce during Game Six on the Fenway Lawn.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, catcher
2013 was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and no one really expected much. 

David Ross, catcher
But against the odds, the Red Sox not only became a cohesive team,
but also one to be reckoned with. 

Jonny Gomes, outfielder
This was not a roster of super heroes, but a bunch of scrappy talented players—some very young, some approaching that "past their prime" benchmark—whose combined talents, experience and energy came together in a fashion that was postively alchemical. 

John Lackey, pitcher
Even their new manager, the protective and mannerly John Farrell—baseball's equivalent of the fatherly Claude Julien, for those who know a little about Boston Hockey—had some history he wanted to shake, after a not so wonderful tenure with his previous team.   

Jon Lester, pitcher
But despite their different skill sets and impediments they all had something in common: a love of the game, a quirky commaraderie that had everyone but Farrell looking like an extra on Duck Dynasty, and a desire to prove all the nay-sayers wrong. And prove it, they did. 

Stephen Drew, infielder
Despite loading the bases at least twice during Game 6, the Cardinals were left stranded where they stood as Red Sox starting pitcher, John Lackey, closed one inning after another.  Holding the Cardinals to one run, he was rightly hailed as a hero as he stepped off the mound for the last time in the middle of the 7th inning.

Shane Victorino, outfielder
Making his way to the dugout, he had the class to tip his hat to the appreciative crowd, knowing that some of them were the same fans who had yelled cat-calls and boos at him only two seasons earlier.

Koji Uehara, closer

 Boston is a sports town, no getting around it.  Home of the Bruins, the Celtics, and the hapless Red Sox who either shoot themselves in the foot mid-season or march relentlessly to glory.

David Ortiz, D.H.
This is a glory year. 
And grabbing the brass ring on home soil makes the win even sweeter.

Dustin Pedroia, second baseman
The most recent World Series wins came to them in Missouri (2004) and  Colorado (2007). 

Jacoby Ellsbury, outfielder
 The last time they won the Series in a home game was in 1918.
Needless to say, not one person who saw that game is here to talk about it.

John Farrell, manager
 But now, the citizens of Red Sox Nation have something to talk about.

"Boston Strong"

Not only did our team win, they won at home.
Photos from USAToday, C.H. Monitor, Sports Illustrated, Naples Press, and CNN.

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