Thursday, October 31, 2013
Now, you can hand it to them.
In a mostly anticlimactic finish, the Red Sox shoved the Cardinals out the Fenway Park door and into the Charles River, bombing St. Louis Sensation Michael Wacha for 6 runs in 3.2 innings and cruised from there with a 6-1 victory to clinch the World Series Championship in front of their home fans who were bouncing off the walls probably since about 4 in the afternoon.
This will end up being remembered as a bit of an uneven World Series. The Cardinals got off the mat after a Game 1 beating and won a pair of thrillers, and the Red Sox responded with a pair of close victories of their own, bringing it back to Fenway Park on Wednesday night for the 6th game. Game 6 of the World Series often seems to be a haven for Baseball's most bizarre moments, and the Cardinals and Red Sox certainly have had their dalliances with such moments. But the Red Sox, who looked shot out of a cannon last night, stopped the Cardinals dead in their tracks before they ever had a chance to make the game interesting. Shane Victorino once again was the showstopper; his 3-run double that clanged halfway up the Green Monster broke the ice and in one fell swoop hung more Earned Runs on Wacha than he'd allowed all October. True, it was only three runs and we've seen much stranger things happened, but if a game ever felt over in the 3rd inning, that was certainly one of those moments.
Given the remainder of the game, that's not much of an arguable point. Stephen Drew led off the 4th with a Home Run, a few batters later Wacha was out of the game and the Red Sox tacked on a couple of more runs and the rest of the game was academic.
Ultimately, you'll be hearing stories focusing on the Red Sox formula of building around chemistry and character as opposed to simply buying the biggest names, and that's certainly proved itself a good means to success. But let's not ignore that these are talented players that the Red Sox bought in. Guys like Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes are all players that are worthy of starting roles. There's plenty of good character guys out there and certainly many of them have come across the radar of the Mets. Hell, Joe McEwing and, more recently, Alex Cora just for a couple of examples, were wonderful clubhouse guys. They were also generally useless as everyday Major League ballplayers.
The point here is that it doesn't always take a complete makeover to bring a team from misery to a Championship. The Red Sox lost over 90 games in 2012 and were worse than the Mets. In 2013, they're World Series Champions. The Mets still stink and who knows what they're going to do this offseason (probably something stupid like deal talented character guy Ike Davis and hand useless loaf Lucas Duda the 1st Baseman's job), but if the 2013 Red Sox have shown us anything, it's that if you look in the right places and bring in legitimately talented players who can play together, anything's possible. You hear me? ANYTHANG'SPOSSABULLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!"