They did it. A Boston Red Sox team that was given up for lost in 2012 came back to win the World Series in six intense and exciting games against the St. Louis Cardinals.
For Red Sox fans, the 2013 season was a gift from the baseball gods, a magical year, 1967 with a happy ending. In '67, the long-mediocre Sox managed to win the American League pennant on the final day of the season behind the great Carl Yastrzemski, and then extend the Cardinals to seven games before bowing in the World Series.
This year it was the same play with a different ending. This time the Sox, featuring another slugger with a "z" in his name, folded the Cards in six games. Designated hitter/first baseman David Ortiz, Señor Octubre, led by example, smacking the sphere all over the greensward.
Who saw this coming? The season started with numerous uncertainties. But as April gave way to May and June , we saw a relentless and resilient team develop, a team that advanced runners, played defense and pulled games out in the ninth inning. The attitude reflected the play-hard-for-27-outs philosophy of the team’s unflappable, no-nonsense manager, John Farrell.
The Series was an extension of the season: taut, tough games made more entertaining by a host of quirky plays. There was the pop-up that dropped between the St. Louis catcher and pitcher, a play right out of the West Hartford Little League. We scratched our heads as a St. Louis runner was awarded home plate with the winning run for falling down (baseball needs to revisit the obstruction rule). Then there was the remarkable Koji Uehara ending a game by picking a runner off first base.
It will take us a few days to recover from — sleep deprivation can’t these games start earlier? — but it will be worth it. It’s been the kind of season you hope for, but almost never happens.