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10/29/2007 09:40:00 AM

WS: Just Another Ring

By Joe Lemire

The Boston Red Sox are now just another team that wins championships.

Professional sports teams are defined by winning titles. Boston was one of baseball's first premier organizations, winning five of the first 15 World Series. Its 2004 title erased the so-called curse and restored the Red Sox to normal franchise status. The wearied jeers of "19-18!" disappeared in '04 because, after all, 1918 suddenly signified nothing more than another year Boston won the a title.

And the 2007 World Series win places Boston firmly atop 21st century baseball.

The Sox aren't used to being the best at anything, save chokes, heartbreak, men left on base and that season in 1989 when John Dopson balked 15 times. Last night proved that '04 wasn't a feel-good fluke: the Sox are a great baseball team. Two championships in four years can change a lot.

Consider:

  • The Sox haven't won two titles in such a short period of time since World War I.


  • Boston is the first team with multiple championships since 2000.


  • Rookies Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia only know the Sox as a team with a winning pedigree.


  • Terry Francona has guided the Sox to eight straight victories in the World Series.


  • They're now such veterans of winning the Series that Jason Varitek knew to stow the game ball in his back pocket to avoid another Doug Mientkiewicz-like ordeal.


  • While the '04 team was built to win that year, with hungry, aging veterans like Mark Bellhorn and Bill Mueller playing key roles, the '07 squad might be around for a while. All four starting pitchers earned wins, and only one is older than 27. J.D. Drew, Julio Lugo and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who many think underperformed their big contracts, all played well in the World Series and are locked in for several more years. Curt Schilling has repeatedly said he wants to return for one more season, and that's all Manny Ramirez has left on his deal, so the Sox can still make another run with them before finding new veteran cogs.

    Priority No. 1 needs to be re-signing Mike Lowell. Excuse me, World Series MVP Mike Lowell. GM Theo Epstein has done well in not offering contracts with too many years to past-their-prime veterans like Johnny Damon and Pedro Martinez, but Lowell might have just reached his prime, as odd as that is for a 33-year-old. He was an essential part of that lineup this year, even if he was originally a trade throw-in. That's changed. As one friend quipped in jest last night, "Remember when the Sox got Josh Beckett in that Lowell trade?"

    I can already predict the major theme of 2008 spring training headlines: Can the Red Sox win another and become a dynasty?

    The Boston Red Sox? A dynasty?




  • Last night's game story from the Boston Globe's Gordon Edes.


  • In the playoffs, Papelbon threw 10 shutout innings and asserted himself as a clutch closer.


  • The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla says even a sweep can't erase joy of Colorado's run.


  • Woody Paige says the Rockies were neither as good as 21 wins in 22 games or as bad as a four-game Series sweep.


  • Yes, Boston's previous series-clinching celebrations have been so wild, the Herald provides a party play-by-play. The Globe has a series of celebration photos.


  • Good thing they got insurance: Back in the early spring, Boston-area Jordan's Furniture offered free merchandise if the Sox won the Series, and they've had to waive the cost of some 30,000 orders.


  • The Rocky Mountain News' Bernie Lincicome says Colorado's run will be lost in the history books because of the disappointing World Series.


  • In Boston, 37 arrests were reported among celebrating fans.


  • Guess the Curse of Curtis Leskanic wasn't such a big deal. (Note: It's an Onion spoof.)


  • It's a new era for the Sox, writes Dan Shaughnessy.


  • The Herald's Steve Buckley says there's nothing better than Lester's triumph.


  • The Sox were not lacking in good news last night, but to cap a big night in Boston: Alex Rodriguez has reportedly opted out of his contract and will almost certainly not return to the Yankees.
  • Labels:

    posted by SI.com | View comments |

    Comments:

    Posted: October 29, 2007 1:37 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
    Team of the Century? There's another 93 years left in the century. It's a little early to make that kind of a statement don't you think? In the early 1900's, the Red Sox could've been called the Team of the Century too, winning 5 of the first 15 World Series. What happened the rest of the 20th century? Hmmmmm, how quickly we forget!
    woody paige is a moron, who picked the Rockies to win despite that fact they had not real pitching, didnt hit over .200 as a team. The Rockies were never good, its just that the NL is as big of a joke as the NFC in football. FRAUD!
    Posted: October 30, 2007 8:49 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion. I think it's worth noting, though, that no one outside the Boston area cares. They may think they're the new Yankess, but the myth of 'Red Sox Nation' has been exposed by their dreadful TV ratings. At least the Yanks got ratings for people wanting them to lose - and it didn't matter who the opponent was, so don't blame it on the Rockies. America apparently does not want this team crowned as its team of the century. I certainly don't. I was pulling for an Indians - Rockies series (I'm a fan of neither), but that would have been great baseball to watch.
    Posted: October 30, 2007 10:56 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
    The trouble with the curse of Curtis Leskanic is that he was a Rockie before before he joined the Sox. Fans in Denver probably still cringe ath the reminder of his gopher balls.
    Posted: October 30, 2007 11:52 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
    i'm glad this writer got on the bandwagon before it pulled away from the parade today. yeah, red sox are team of the century as much as bush is president of the century.
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