Lowell Deeds

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October 10, 2008

The Greatest Team of the Century?

by @ 4:00 pm. Filed under Current Events, History

On the day that the American League Championship Series is about to start, some might argue that the Boston Red Sox have been the most successful major league team of the Twenty-First Century. As evidence, here’s a review of the past five years:

2003 – The “Cowboy Up” season. The Sox came back from a 0-2 deficit to defeat the Oakland A’s in the ALDS. Tied 3 games to 3 against the Yankees in the ALCS, Pedro Martinez had a 5-2 lead after 7 innings when manager Grady Little inexplicably sent his starter back to pitch the 9th. The Yankees tied the game and eventually won it with an Aaron Boone home run off of Tim Wakefield. Here’s the opening day lineup for the Sox:

Johnny Damon – CF
Todd Walker – 2B
Nomar Garciaparra – SS
Manny Ramirez – LF
Kevin Millar – 1B
Shea Hillenbrand – 3B
Jeremy Giambi – DH
Trot Nixon – RF
Jason Varitek – C
Pedro Martinez – P

2004 – The “Idiots” added Curt Schilling to the starting rotation and Keith Foulke as closer. On July 31, they traded Nomar to the Cubs, receiving shortstop Orlando Cabrera and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz in return. They also picked up speedy reserve outfielder Dave Roberts from the Giants. After winning the Wild Card, the Sox swept the Angels in the ALDS but quickly went down 3-0 to the Yankees. Ahead 4-3 in the ninth inning of game four, Yankee closer Mariano Rivera walked Kevin Millar. Pinch runner Roberts stole second and scored the tying run on a Varitek single. David Ortiz won the game with a 2-run home run in the 12th. The Sox won game five in 14 innings on an Ortiz rbi single. Game six was Schilling’s “Bloody Sock” win that included a 3-run home run by second baseman Mark Bellhorn. In game seven, Derek Lowe threw a 1 hit, 1 run masterpiece. The Sox swept the Cardinals in the World Series. The 2004 Opening Day lineup:

Johnny Damon – CF
Bill Mueller – 3B
Manny Ramirez – LF
David Ortiz – DH
Kevin Millar – 1B
Gabe Kapler – RF
Jason Varitek – C
Mark Bellhorn – 2B
Pokey Reese – SS
Pedro Martinez – P

2005 – The Red Sox made it into the ALDS but were swept in three games by the White Sox. The Opening Day lineup:

Johnny Damon – CF
Edgar Renteria – SS
Manny Ramirez – LF
David Ortiz – DH
Kevin Millar – 1B
Jason Varitek – C
Jay Payton – RF
Bill Mueller – 3B
Mark Bellhorn – 2B
David Wells – P

2006 – This team finished third in the AL East and did not make the playoffs. The Opening Day lineup:

Coco Crisp – CF
Mark Loretta – 2B
David Ortiz – DH
Manny Ramirez – LF
Trot Nixon – RF
Jason Varitek – C
Mike Lowell – 3B
Kevin Youkilis – 1B
Alex Gonzalez – SS
Curt Schilling – P

2007 – The Sox swept the Angels in the ALDS and beat the Indians in the ALCS after falling behind 3 games to 1. They swept the Rockies in the World Series. The Opening Day lineup:

Julio Lugo – SS
Kevin Youkilis – 1B
David Ortiz – DH
Manny Ramirez – LF
J D Drew – RF
Mike Lowell – 3B
Jason Varitek – C
Coco Crisp – CF
Dustin Pedroia – 2B
Curt Schilling – P

2008 – to be continued.

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