November 1, 2013

The Biggest Turnaround In Baseball History

The 2013 Boston Red Sox went worst-to-first in the American League East, going from 69-93 in 2012 - their worst finish in 47 years - to 97-65 this year. But they did far more than that.

The 2013 Red Sox completed the biggest turnaround season in baseball history, because no other World Series champion had a winning percentage the year before as low as Boston's .426.

Alex Speier, WEEI:
You can call it luck, you can call it magic, you can call it a sense of purpose or determination or alchemy or chemistry -- but know that it was something.

Make no mistake -- talent wins. And the Red Sox compiled a roster of players with established track records that represented the sort of skill sets the team believed would contribute to the restoration of some (unknown) degree of success in 2013.

But by their own admission, they didn't expect THIS.
WEEI's Conor Ryan presents the Top 10 Plays of the 2013 World Series.

Jonah Keri (Grantland): Boston Strong (Game 6 and the entire season)

Bill Simmons (Grantland): This Is Our Papi

Two things bugged me about Simmons's article. One, Simmons says he found it "fascinating" that fans at Fenway were expecting a comeback in ALCS Game 2 even before the rally that culminated in Ortiz's grand slam began. Why is that "fascinating"? The team had been coming back in games all season long. Wasn't Simmons paying attention?

Two, Simmons notes that Ortiz was never booed at Fenway during his slumping seasons of 2008-10; rather, he was met with mere "awkward silence". That is a lie. I heard (while watching NESN) plenty of boos myself during several games. (Here is a 2008 article that reports the booing was "pretty loud". Google can help a curious reader find many others.)
Larry Lucchino says the core of the 2013 champions will remain next season.

One player that many observers think will not be in a Boston uniform next spring is center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

Jerry Spar, WEEI:
According to a report from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will have an MRI on his left hand after playing through the injury in the postseason.

Ellsbury's hand was discolored and severely swollen up to the forearm, the report indicates, leading to surprise from teammates that he was still playing.
Buster Olney, ESPN:
According to sources: After the 2011 season, for which Ellsbury finished second in the American League MVP race, the Red Sox offered him a deal that fell slightly short of $100 million. The counter-offer from agent Scott Boras, according to sources, was for a deal of about $130 million. The gap in the negotiations was too large to bridge at that time.
OTM picks up the story from there.


allan said...

Raising the new flag outside of Fenway!

laura k said...

Mistakes like those make me distrust a writer. Of course, I have yet to find any reason to trust Simmons.

Ellsbury playing hurt? Boston media, take note.

laura k said...

Raising the new flag outside of Fenway!

Doesn't this warrant a post of its own??

9casey said...

Ellsbury playing hurt? Boston media, take note.

L, they would just turn into him playing for a contract.

Ignacio Cifuentes said...

Wasn't Simmons paying attention?
he never does... only pays attention down the stretch... when they are winning...

laura k said...

L, they would just turn into him playing for a contract.

True. Silly me.