From Last to First

Of course, this title refers to the Boston Red Sox. The 1991 Minnesota Twins are the only other team to win a championship one year after finishing in last place.  What a tremendous WS we have just witnessed!  Yes, there were some strange endings to games like a game ending with a walk off obstruction call and a game ending with a pickoff. For you Yankee fans that ignored this WS it was your loss. Being a Yankee fan myself, I debated whether to switch my attention to football or stay involved with baseball. I am glad I chose the latter. However, I was in a win-win situation. As I mentioned two blogs ago (which you can still read), my new formula to predict a team’s winning percentage based on a team’s runs scored and allowed for an entire season had the Red Sox as number one and the Cardinals as number two. If Boston won, my prediction would come true and if Boston lost, it would ease my remorse of watching my Yankees fail to make the playoffs. Excuse me for patting myself on the back but my formula worked.

Since 2000 the Red Sox can now lay claim to being the most successful baseball team. They are the first team in the 21st century to win three World Series (2004, 2007, and 2013). This year’s WS win was extra special since this was the first year since 1918 that the Red Sox clinched the WS by winning the final game at Fenway Park. Winning the final game at home allows everyone from custodians, groundskeepers, and office personal to share in the Red Sox celebration. Hopefully these behind the scene workers for the Red Sox will have a pleasant surprise in their paychecks. On this Saturday, there will be a celebration parade that will cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Red Sox WS win-loss record of 12 and 2 is also the best since 2000. Probably, the Red Sox’s David Ortiz (Big Papi) could claim the title of best WS hitter since 2000 and maybe one of the best five WS hitters of all-time. Many of his critics bring up Ortiz’s PED use. After all, his name appeared on the secret but not so secret 2003 list of players who tested positive for using various performance enhancement drugs. A couple of years ago he was considered washed up and then all of a sudden (suspiciously) he turned his career around to again become a feared hitter. As a Yankee fan my entire life, what I say next will surprise you. In researching Ortiz’s alleged use of PEDs and listening to Ortiz’s words about being careless in taking certain nutrients that may have contained these now illegal substances, I am willing to attribute his transgressions to carelessness. I based my decision on the fact that as far as I know since 2003 he has not tested positive and has not been linked with any of the people found guilty of distributing these drugs. Yes, his situation is different from Alex Rodriguez’s situation. It was Big Papi who six months earlier had taken a microphone at a Fenway tribute to first responders of the Boston Marathon bombing and pronounced Boston as “our f**king city.” It became an instant battle cry.

Here are some of Ortiz’s awesome 2013 WS batting statistics along with his rank all-time for one WS. He BA was 0.688 (rank 2), his OBP was 0.760 (rank 2), his SLG was 1.188 (rank 8), and his OPS was 1.948 (rank 7). For his three WS appearances with Boston, his BA was 0.455 (career rank 5), His OBP was 0.576 (career rank 2), his SLG was 0.795 (career rank 5) and his OPS was 1.372 (career rank 4). Without Big Papi, the rest of the Red Sox team had a BA of .168 and an OBP of .225. Yes, Big Papi deserved the MVP Award and probably punched his ticket to Cooperstown. He also joins Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski as Boston Red Sox legends. Finally, as a Yankee fan, even though I hope Big Papi strikes out every time he comes to bat, I have a great deal of respect for him and actually like him.

Original Comments:

1 Comment(s):

Martin Cobern said…

Thanks for your gracious comments about Big Papi. Although I despise the Yankees I respect and admire Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, two class acts and first-ballot HoF inductees. Somehow, from early in the season until the end of Game 6 there was a sense of inevitability about this championship.

November 5, 2013 05:50:21



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