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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Red Sox World Champions

The Red Sox had an awesome year. They were the best team in baseball (both leagues) almost the whole time yet they never took anything for granted. Their longest winning streak was hardly more than 5 games (I didn't look it up). They kept going out every day and playing baseball. They had some setbacks with pitchers and they adjusted. They brought young players up from the minor leagues. Mike Lowell worked hard. Kevin Youkilis worked hard. Dustin Pedroia worked even harder. They wanted to win. Even Manny seemed to be able to do what he needed to do (especially on the field) when he needed to do it.

When it came time for the World Series, Francona realized it wasn't about the super stars, it wasn't about who had played which position all year, and it wasn't about where the money had been spent. It came down to putting together the best team with the players that had the most to offer. Wakefield and Coco sat on the bench. Jacoby Ellsbury played center field and Jon Lester got the start. Pinch hitters and runners were used. I know the MVP had to go to a player, but I think Francona deserved it, too.

The fact that we were playing the Rockies goes to show that baseball is still a game. You can spend billions of dollars and end up with a team that fizzles. That would be the Yankees. You can spend a lot less money and manage a team that can come from behind and win 20 games in a row and make it to the World Series. That would be the Rockies. I give a lot of credit to the Rockies manager. In the end though, I think the team that consistently works the hardest is going to win. It certainly helps to have an ace pitcher or two. It helps to play with the Green Monster. It helps to have a nation on your side. It helps to have won a World Series title recently. And it certainly helps to have a DH who will go out and keep getting hits and getting on base even when he can't hit as many home runs because of knee problems.

It was a lot of fun. We listened to most of the games on the radio because we don't have satellite TV. Sometimes we were out on a date and driving home. Sometimes we were falling asleep as Ortiz hit one over the fence. Sometimes I was doing dishes or getting supper ready. My kids thought I was crazy. Baseball is boring, they say. Maybe. But in a world that is already moving too fast, what's wrong with sitting through 9 innings and having your team win? What's boring about being down a few runs with 2 outs and counting the balls and strikes? And what's more exciting than anticipating your team winning a pennant and going on to win the World Series? Spring is just around the corner!