From Chumps* to Champs

by Jason Epstein

The 2013 season ended on this 2–2 pitch from Koji Uehara.

The 6–1 victory over the Cardinals gave the Red Sox and their delerious fans their third World Series title in ten years, one season after finishing in last place in the AL East. The ageless David Ortiz, who had a monster Fall Classic, was the obvious choice for MVP honors.

But let’s be clear: This was no perennial stinker that pulled off the impossible.

Only two years ago, Boston finished with 90 wins, a respectable number had it not been for a historic September collapse amid clubhouse discord. A championship trophy certainly did not seem likely in the cards (no pun intended) back in spring training, but this season’s triumph should not be mistaken for the Miracle Mets of 1969 either. Even after shedding more than $250 million in contract commitments in the August 2012 trade with the Dodgers, management knew that it still had the pieces in place to win and in the offseason spent the money needed to pull it off.

So congratulations, New England!

Enjoy the party . . . while the rest of us attempt to figure out how many days before pitchers and catchers report.

Right Field

Brief chronicles of our sporting times.