EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 31, 2013

BOSTON STRONG

2013 World Series champs a truly special team

BOSTON — Three very good baseball teams thought, for a good chunk of their time going against the Boston Red Sox over the last four weeks, they were the better team.

And nobody could blame them with incredibly talented pitchers like Matt Moore, David Price, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anabal Sanchez, Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha pitching near no-hitters and/or striking out Red Sox batter after batter.

But they all left saying what a disgusted Cardinals shortstop Daniel Descalso said, “They pitched really well and got the timely hitting.”

While it sounds so basic, and probably rings true, it wouldn’t be fair to the Red Sox, the 2013 World Series champs after last night’s convincing 6-1 in Game 6.

It doesn’t explain the journey. It doesn’t explain the meaning of those bushy beards, the camaraderie, the desire, the leadership and the sheer enjoyment this group of men had and shared from March through Halloween.

If you didn’t love that strange act of pulling each other’s beards or the all-out chasing of some of the latest Red Sox player who got the walk-off hit, you need to drink a case of Red Bull.

“I love baseball,” said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “But I’ve never had such a blast playing as I have this year. Never ... It’s special.”

There were so many reasons to doubt this 2013 team, which couldn’t be worse than its 2012 brethren, which won a paltry 69 games.

Find a baseball prognosticator and I’ll show you the Red Sox picked to finish fourth or fifth ... in their division.

And to be honest, could you blame them?

David Ortiz was coming off an Achilles injury.

Three of the “nice guy” acquisitions, all making $13 million per year — Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster and Mike Napoli — were coming off career-worst seasons.

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