Who would have ever thought that Mr. ALCS, David Ortiz, would have only hit .200 with one home run — a huge home run — against the Detroit Tigers while the Boston Red Sox were pulling out the series win in six?
I know I wouldn’t have. But the power seemed to be in the beards. No matter how big (Jonny Gomes) or small (Shane Victorino), the scruffy warriors all took their turns contributing to the World Series cause. Ortiz set things off with a game-tying grand slam while Victorino finished the series off the same way.
But, in between is were all the magic happened. Through the one-point victories to the epic pitching duels, the one thing the team did was snag a little help from everybody. Mike Napoli blasted homers, Jarrod Saltalamacchia brought in runs, Jacoby Ellsbury stole bases and Dustin Pedroia was a defensive monster. Let’s not forget the fact that the Red Sox are 4-0 since a “hunch” put Gomes back in the lineup.
It was a lifetime away from the days of the chicken and beer clubhouse controversy, and thankfully a change from the Bobby Valentine debacle. Credit that to new manager John Farrell letting the Sox be themselves.
“He wants to win, that’s what’s important,’’ said third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the Boston Globe. “He doesn’t care if we dye our hair purple. If that’s what’s going to bring us together — that we are going to win ballgames — then that’s what it’s about.’’
The bushy beards, tattoos and the jewelry gave them an identity, sort of like MLB version of Duck Dynasty meets Sons of Anarchy. Or the 2013 version of Terry Francona’s “Idiots.”
“In ’04, I desperately wanted our team to get a personality — you know, one personality,’’ recalled [old Red Sox skipper] Francona. “And that’s kind of what happened. And that looks like what’s happened [under Farrell], too, from the outside. Everyone is going in one direction, and that’s kind of what you strive for with a team — get everyone going in one direction.’’
Now they can say: we went from worse to World Series, while trying to add champs to the end.
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