The 2004 Red Sox will always be, in my mind, the greatest red Sox team ever assembled. I don’t care if the stats nerds point to charts and graphs and tell me otherwise; the team that broke “the curse” and carried Red Sox Nation to the promised land will always stand as my favorite.
A close second? That’s easy.
The 2013 Red Sox didn’t stir much excitement coming out of spring training. But they turned out to be world beaters. A scruffy, bearded phoenix rising from the ashes of the USS Valentine. A team that literally pulled themselves from the shithouse to the penthouse, shaking off 2012’s lost season and about $200 million in bum contracts to restore hope and pride to a city that had been kneecapped by the Marathon bombings.
From the minute David Ortiz took mic in hand and dropped the world’s most family-friendly F-bomb, assuring us that this was, in fact, our city and that everything was gonna be alright, the 2013 Red Sox had their greasy mitts all over our hearts. Through the spring and summer, they provided the distraction we needed, and even though they finished the season with the AL’s best record — and tied the World Series opponents, the Cardinals, for the best record in baseball — I didn’t expect them to go far in the postseason.
But with every step, much like in 2004, it seemed they wanted it more than anyone else. This was a team that was crazy resilient in the postseason. In the ALDS, they beat Matt More and David Price. In the ALCS, they beat Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander (much, we are sure, to FOX’s chagrin). Then, in the World Series, they beat Adam Wainwright twice, and knocked Michael Wacha out in the fourth inning of the game six clincher.
As we should have expected, David Ortiz pulled more rabbits from that endless supply in his ass. But unlikely heroes helped push us over the finish line. Shane Victorino. Jonny Gomes. Koji. Taz. And who the fuck would have ever thought John Lackey would turn into a goddam Bud Light Wizard in the postseason, outlasting and outdueling Verlander in Comerica Park in game three of the ALCS, then stomping the Cardinals’ trophy dreams to powder in game six of the World Series. If you had two suitcases full of money to drop at a Tropicana online casino with those odds, you still wouldn’t have bet on that.
The Big Man was basically unstoppable. Clearly, Jon Lester had faith:
Bottom line: at a time when our city needed heroes, the 2013 Red Sox delivered. Obviously not as critical as the first responders, cops, firefighters and others who helped provide leadership and relief in that April maelstrom, but the healing power of that World Series run, nd the emotional uplift it gave us just when we needed it most, can never be denied.
Hell, they even kept the good vibes going after the final out on October 30, 2013. The parade stop at the Marathon finish line where the team honored the bombing victims. Mike Napoli’s epic shirtless run down Boylston later that cemented his status as a local legend. And of course, Jake Peavy buying up a duckboat to keep a little bit of Boston in his back yard. Who among us hasn’t taken a trans-atlantic flight and sought to capture the magic of the moment by purchasing the aircraft upon landing? It’s a pretty boss move and guaranteed to impress any ladies or financial planners within earshot.