EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 1, 2007

Best is yet to come

This is now not about yesterday or today or tomorrow.

It is now about all of the above.

The rules have changed for the Boston Red Sox. They changed late Sunday night in Denver, Colo. when they defeated the Colorado Rockies, 4-0, to win their second World Series title in four seasons.

For literally decades, the goal was one. Just win one in our lifetime.

The Red Sox finally did it, in crazy fashion by overcoming a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees before sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004.

The celebration, it seemed, was endless. Tears flowed like champagne. Everybody shared in the joy, grandfathers and grandsons, mothers-in-law and sons-in-law, complete strangers, it didn’t matter.

The reverberations of that victory lasted a few months, if not longer.

Honeymoons were handed out to everyone associated with the Red Sox. General manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona got mulligans.

But the one last week was different. It was different because of age. The core of the 2007 Red Sox is led by six players 27 years old or younger | Josh Beckett (27), Jonathan Papelbon (26), Daisuke Matsuzaka (27), Dustin Pedroia (24), Jon Lester (23), Manny Delcarmen (25) and last, but definitely not least, Jacoby Ellsbury (24).

If you add in Kevin Youkilis, who is 28, that’s eight pivotal players who are entering … yes, entering, the prime of their careers.

With David Ortiz around for at least three more seasons along with Manny Ramirez, who has either one or three years remaining based on the Sox picking up the last two years of his contract, the Red Sox are in position to do this again. And again.

Dynasty is a strong word. Even in the watered-down version in the 21st century; three titles in four years, maybe four in six years or even five in 10 years would mean dominance. That’s a modern day professional sports dynasty. And particularly with the Yankees around, you can’t count on anything.

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