Sunday, April 4, 2010

What Made the Red Sox Great?

I was trying to think to myself why I don't enjoy watching the Red Sox as much recently as I have in the past. They are still a great team with powerful personalities. However, there's always something missing. I don't think losing a big bat like Manny Ramirez was a huge loss, but not replacing him with a similar character was.

While the start of the Red Sox organization was decorated with championships, there was an 86 year drought of championships. In this time, the Red Sox had great players and great opportunities to overturn this history. However, they failed for so long. Over this time, I think the fans developed a feeling of despair. It seemed like the team would never win again and the odds were constantly stacked against the Sox.

I think that was part of the appeal of the '04 and '07 Red Sox was their ability to overcome the worst of situations. In '04, the Sox went behind in both the divisional and AL Championship series. The outlook was not favorable. There was 86 years of history against them as well. In addition, several times, the Red Sox found themselves on the brink of elimination. They needed to make a play in the last possible opportunity of the game in order to keep playing. The odds just kept getting stacked higher.

In all of this, these two teams overcame. They rose to the challenge. They were able to push aside everything that was against them to win. I've loved players and teams of the past, but these two teams in particular stand out. It's not because they won the championship, but rather they disproved expectations and sentiments that I had grown up.

Today marks the opening of the 2010 season. I don't know which characters will step up, and help the Red Sox overcome. I don't know if the Red Sox have it. But I'll be watching. I will be enjoying. I will be rooting. There is an idea that sports teams come to represent the cities and places which they are located. I don't think any team exemplifies Boston more than the Red Sox. I hope that they represent us well in this year's Major League Baseball season.

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