Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox!!!!
What can I really say about this season that hasn't already been said? There's a couple people I'd like to thank...
Josh Beckett: You pitched so well all year, then you turned it up a notch for the post season. When we went down 3-1 against the Indians your start was the one beacon of hope that kept us all sane. You turned the tide, you did everything we could've asked of a pitcher and more.
Hideki Okajima: You made it interesting those last two games, but you were our workhorse in the bullpen all season long. Every time you came out late in the game in a close game we felt good because we knew you were throwing everything you had into every single pitch. Through hard fought inning after hard fought inning Dice-K's stable pony became the stud and we love you for it.
Jonathan Papelbon: You were truly born to be a closer. Your tremendous energy and exuberance brings a fun quality to the game that really makes it worth watching. We've watched you flourish from a promising young prospect in the minors to one of the most dominant closers in the game.
Dustin Pedroia: How stupid do we feel after we asked Terry to sit you down for Alex Cora early in the season. Those first few months must have been really tough up at the big ball club, but you never let that get to you and you fought and ground out at bats and somehow managed to bounce back to finish the season with numbers that make you worthy of Rookie of the Year consideration.
Jacoby Ellsbury: I remember when a friend of mine who's more familiar with the Red Sox farm system told me about you. I thought he was exaggerating, your ability to get big hits, your defensive skills, your speed on the basepaths. Minor league stats! Little did I know you were even better than advertised. When you finally got that spot in the ALCS it seemed like every time the Red Sox needed a boost, there you were to give it to them. I am really going to enjoy seeing what you can do in a whole season up at the big club.
Manny Ramirez: You make every pop fly to left an adventure, feel the need to flip of your helmet every time you run the bases and sometimes it seems like you don't care; but I know we never could have done it without you. There were times where your bat just carried our team through the tough times. That three-run walkoff homer against the Angels was huge.
Big Papi: Maybe the numbers were down this year, but everybody knew you were playing through alot of pain. Even through all of that, your presence at the plate never wavered, you still came through with big hits throughout the post season. I can't wait to see you bounce back from knee surgery and see you come back strong.
Mike Timlin: You did more than any of us could have expected this year. Brendan Donnelly was supposed to be our setup man, but that didn't work out, then it was supposed to be Eric Gagne, but that didn't work out, then the job fell to you and Manny Delcarmen and you came through when it mattered. You were great in the second half and great in the post season. You filled the gap between the starters and Okajima so well.
Kevin Youkilis: You were just great all year long. No longer are you the Greek God of Walks, you still get a decent amount of walks, but you've become a dangerous hitter. You got hot at the plate at just the right time, to the point where I was claiming your bat to be more indispensable than Big Papi. Your defense has been gold glove caliber all season long.
Mike Lowell: I'm not sure if you'll be back, the Yankees might make you an offer you can't refuse. The Red Sox also might decide that the money is better spent on the likes of Alex Rodriguez now that the Yankees are no longer available for a bidding war. Just like with Johnny Damon, I won't like it, but I'll understand. You came to us as a throw-in with Josh Beckett, but you've been every bit as valuable. We all knew you had great skills with a glove at third base, but we didn't know you were going to have such a potent bat. With Ortiz and Manny having down years your bat made up the difference and earned you the love and respect of the Boston faithful.
JD Drew: Thanks for the grand slam and some nice hits in the post season.
Julio Lugo: Thanks for some nice hits in the post season and not making one too many errors against the Indians.
Coco Crisp: Thanks for a solid season and not making a fuss when you were benched for the rookie. I'll always remember that smile on your face as you hobbled to the dugout after catching that pop fly to end game 7. I wish you luck wherever you end up next year.
Jason Varitek: Real fans know that what you did with the pitchers this year and your leadership in the clubhouse was the real contribution more so than your bat or your defensive skills. Thanks for another solid year.
Bobby Kielty: Thanks for 1/1 HR in Game 4. You didn't know it at the time, but that was the difference. Way to make it count.
Dice K: I know everybody's saying they overpaid for you, but that's what they said about Josh Beckett last year. Considering that Beckett went 16-11 his first year in Boston 15-12 doesn't look so bad. I expect big things from you next year. You gave us what we needed in Game 7 when everybody thought you couldn't do it.
Curt Schilling: I hope it's not, but if this is your final game in a Red Sox uniform, thanks so much for everything. It was amazing to see flashes of brilliance like your near no-no in Oakland and the extra gear you seemed to kick it into for the post season. Your physical tools aren't what they used to be, you recognized that and you worked around that and managed to be effective anyways.
Jon Lester: You might be THE feel good story on a team full of feel good stories. We were all inspired by your fight to beat cancer when we weren't sure we'd ever see you in a Red Sox uniform again. Yet, there you were in Game 4 pitching your heart out and getting out of some tough jams. You never complained when you were done rehabbing but Tito stuck with Julian Tavarez and showed some real class. I'm looking forward to seeing you as an every day guy next year.
Clay Bucholz: It's a shame we didn't get to see you dominate the post season the way you did in the regular season. Your no hitter was a true inspiration coming from a pitcher making just his second big-league start. I can't wait to see what you can do next year with a whole year at the big leagues to work with.
Julian Tavarez: You were just a mini-Tim Wakefield this year. You did everything we needed. Need a spot start on short rest? Why not Julian? Need a long reliever? Why not Julian? If we needed a closer I'm sure you would have been up to the task and done a halfway decent job in the process. Your versatility, your performance and your humble attitude were crucial.
Tim Wakefield: I think Mike Timlin said it all when he butted into Tim Wakefield's post game interview after Game 4 of the World Series. This win was all about you. You've been with us for so long it's hard to imagine what it'd be like to have Red Sox baseball without you. You had a great regular season. I can't imagine how hard it was for you to admit you were too banged up to pitch in the World Series, but you put the team ahead of your own personal wants and allowed John Lester to go out there and pitch a great game to wrap up the series. I sincerely hope the Red Sox can see what a bargain it would be to pick up your option for another year. With your versatility there's no way it won't be money well spent.
Terry Francona: You do such a great job of managing in a town where it's so tough to be a players manager. There's a million people second guessing every move you make when you manage the Red Sox, and you always respond with respect and professionalism. When Red Sox nation was calling for your blood after Game 4 of the ALCS, you kept a cool head and you stuck by your guns. Not an easy thing to do.
Royce Clayton: Thanks for showing us the way to dupe Taco Bell out of additional free tacos.
It was a great season and I can't wait till spring training...