No Theo Epstein. No Terry Francona. No Manny Ramirez. No problem. The Boston Red Sox didn’t need to relive their glory days with a ton of old players to climb their way back to the top of MLB’s American League.
But for some reason, the fun-loving nature of this new crew reminds people of the jovial group playfully known as the “the Idiots.”
After the collapse of 2011, many people looked at this as a rebuilding season. It was the year to get from under the disaster of the short-lived Bobby Valentine reign, the mega-trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the mistake of moving Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox.
From the outside looking in, the Red Sox were building around an aging David “Big Papi” Ortiz, an injured Dustin Pedroia and a ton of young kids from the minor leagues. Then they went out and started spending money.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t understand the Shane Victorino deal (silly me), but he and Mike Napoli have saved the Sox on many occasions and had fun doing it. Toss the trade for former Cy Young award-winning Jake Peavy in the pot, and you could see management crafting a recipe to win now.
By combining the newbies with the well-known, new skipper John Farrell was able to give fans a product that they could cheer for — one that’s first in runs, on-base percentage, slugging and second in batting average. Fans have even witnessed the reemergence of the beards and wild hair of “the Idiots” era.
The balance of the team gives Boston hope for a calm future. But in the present, people might be seeing a World Series in the same year that Big Papi reached his 2,000th hit.
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