2013 Red Sox are Something Special
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 16:09
As of Monday the Sox sit with a nine game lead over the Rays in the AL East and have a magic number of four before they clinch a playoff spot. To say that the season has been good is a vast understatement as the Red Sox already have more wins so far on the season than they have had since 2009 (they had 95 that season). Should the Sox make the playoffs, and they will, they will have made their first playoff appearance since 2009, and it would be the first time they clinched the division since 2007.
So what has changed between the 2012 disaster and the 2013 success? Well there are many factors and you could probably write a book on them, but I don’t have room for a book so let’s break down just a few.
The biggest change in the Sox this season is their attitude. In 2012 they looked like a tired band of divas that felt showing up was half the battle. It was the Bobby Valentine show 24/7 as the Sox fell apart
and watched their post season
dreasm die with each passing day. In 2013 they have a hunger and desire to win, it doesn’t matter if they are down four runs in the ninth they have the sheer determination to rise up and win. Much of the change starts with the new manager John Farrell who demands the best from his players, and the utmost respect for the game, the rest comes from the players.
The Sox brought in the likes of Jonny Gomes and David Ross in hopes that it might instill a better team environment in the Sox clubhouse. 151 games later and the entire starting nine have grown beards together, pick each other up, and refuse to lose. When newly acquired pitcher Jake Peaavy came to town he asked Gomes how he was
doing, thre response? “Just one day closer to the parade” Gomes said.
While they started out looking like the cast of Major League theyare ending the season as the best team in the MLB, an unstoppable
force that just keeps on getting better. In 2011 they went 7-20 in September, in 2012 they were almost
as bad having gone 7-19. But the
2013 Red Sox have been hotter than ever, going 11-3 so far on the month as they keep the momentum going strong.
As if things could get any better
the Sox pitching staff has been
excellent. John Lackey looks like a new man, as does Jon Lester as the two staff aces have put the Sox on their backs all season. Clay Buchholz looked Pedro-esque before he got hurt, but now that he is back from the DL he has picked up right where he left off. Even Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster have stepped up to carry the Sox when needed. And don’t get me started on Koji Uehara and his downright nasty 1.06 ERA and 10.44 K/BB ratio. The combination of Uehara and Craig Breslow or Junichi Tazawa at the back end of the bullpen spells death to any late inning rally by an opposing offense.
When you put it all together what you get is a winning team; a team that can win no matter what and has proven time and time again that they are the real deal. Sure the Sox may get knocked out of the playoffs but even if they don’t win it all they showed us something: that Boston is still a baseball town. The Red Sox have been at Fenway since 1912 and they aren’t going anywhere, enjoy it while it lasts because a season like this does not come every year, these Sox are something special.