Throwback Thursday: Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Champs

ImageTo start this Throwback Thursday off right we must first go back a bit before the 2004 World Series, and relive “The Comeback” that was the 2004 ALCS.

The Boston Red Sox finished the 2004 season in second place in the American League East Division behind the New York Yankees to earn a wild card birth. The season was riddled with uncertainty as injuries plagued the roster, young gun general manager at the time Theo Epstein made bold trades at the deadline (shipping Nomar Garciaparra away for Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz, later trading a minor leaguer for Dave Roberts) and they had a terrible mid-season slump falling more than eight games back of the Yanks at one point.


However, despite things looking dreary, the 2004 Boston Red Sox turned things around just in time to make the post-season as they won 22 of their last 25 games. Cabrera, Roberts and Mientkiewicz all played crucial roles in the Red Sox clubhouse during that stretch, and would continue to contribute in the postseason as well.


After sweeping the then Anaheim Angels in the ALDS the Sox looked poised to finally overthrow the “Evil Empire” as they entered the ALCS against their arch nemesis. As you might remember the series didn’t exactly start the way we had hoped. Boston fell into a 3-0 hole the size of the Grand Canyon and it looked like there was no way out.

But just when the Fenway Faithful thought all hope was lost…something miraculous happened. The Boston Red Sox came to life and roared back into the series. Over the next four games minds were blown, sports writers and analysts were baffled, history was being written right before our very eyes, but no one could even begin to believe it.

Game 4 had the Sox season all but over. Going into the bottom of the 9th Boston trailed 4-3 and The Bronx Bombers had star closer Mariano Rivera on the mound. After Rivera walked Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts came in to pinch run and made the steal that would start the improbable comeback. Roberts would score on a Bill Mueller single to tie the game, and an extra innings two-run blast by David “Big Papi” Ortiz would clinch the first of four victories for the Sox.


Game 5 was long and grueling, and was again capped off by Papi as he hit an extra innings RBI to score Johnny Damon. Game 6 had Curt Schilling and “The Bloody Sock”, in which Schilling put on an a brilliant pitching performance to capture another victory. Finally, Game 7 featured a grand salami from Johnny Damon which helped seal the crazy comeback, as the Sox won 10-3 and propelled themselves to their first World Series appearance since 1986.

To illustrate just how improbable this comeback was, it should be noted that only four teams in the history of sports with a seven game playoff series (MLB,NBA,NHL) have came back down 3 games in a championship series to win (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL, the 1975 New York Islanders NHL, the 2004 Boston Red Sox MLB, and 2010 Boston Bruins NHL, No NBA team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit).

After doing the unthinkable against the New York Yankees the Red Sox didn’t spend anytime relishing in defeating (and embarrassing) their rivals, but instead continued the calamity and swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.


I’ll never forget the final out made by then closer Keith Foulke. With two away and the Sox up 3-0 on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, you could certainly cut the tension with a butcher knife. We all remember where we were in that moment. The batter was Edgar Rentaria, who coincidentally donned the number 3 on his uniform, the very same number worn by Babe Ruth. Foulke got Rentaria to ground right back to the mound and the rest is history. Foulke flipped it over to Doug Mientkiewicz and those famous words, uttered by esteemed announcer Joe Buck, rang out on household televisions and sports bars across the country “Red Sox Fans have longed to hear it; The Boston Red Sox are World Champions”.


This wasn’t just an 86-year-old curse being broken, this wasn’t just our first World Series title since 1918, this was so much more. This was what generation after generation of Red Sox fans had spent their whole lives waiting for, this was bigger than baseball, this was the one night that washed away decades of pain and suffering, that overshadowed all the spring training whispers of “this could be the year”. There was no catch, no hold up, no disappointment, only joy, celebration, and triumph.

The 2004 Boston Red Sox were unlike anything the sporting world had ever seen. They wrote their way into the history books one game at a time, in the cold nights of October, winning baseballs fall classic and the hearts of millions.

What was your favorite 2004 ALCS/World Series moment? Leave a comment below.

Red Sox Legend DUI

By now, most of you have already heard that Red Sox great, Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk was arrested on charges of driving under the influence. He was found asleep behind the wheel in the middle of a cornfield. There was an open bottle of Vodka on the floor of his vehicle. Fisk was brought to the hospital and released from custody the next morning after posting bail.

During his 24 year playing career, Carlton Fisk is most remembered for running down the line, waving his home run fair during the 1975 World Series.

Farrell Introduced

John Farrell was officially introduced as the 46th manager of the Boston Red Sox today at noon. Everyone down the line from Owners, Chairmen, General Manager, and even former and current players were on board to congratulate Farrell. Most of them even stood up to say a few words about him and everyone spoke so highly of him. With much praise about his leadership skills and intelligence all around the game of baseball, it is no wonder why the Sox made this choice so quickly, as soon as they were given permission to speak to him from the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Sox Recieve Chris Carpenter in Return for Theo

Tuck it in Red Sox nation, not this Chris Carpenter.

Today, the Red Sox finally received some compensation for Theo leaving to go to the Cubbies. We received 26 year old righthander Chris Carpenter. Carpenter is a 6’4″ former third round pick that has spent the majority of his time in the minors as a starting pitcher. He had Tommy John surgery his freshman year at Kent State and had another elbow procedure his sophomore year. His medical history scared off a lot of teams on draft day and that is mostly why he dropped to the Cubs in the third round.He has consistently been ranked as one of the top 10-15 prospects in the Cubs farm, but has had control issues that have kept him from reaching the big leagues. Carpenter projects to be better suited out of the bullpen in the major leagues due to his pitching repertoire. He has a mid-upper 90’s fastball that can top out in triple digits. Although there isn’t much movement on his pitch, his height still makes a fastball coming at that speed difficult to handle for batters. Carpenter also has a solid slider, but frequently has trouble controlling it. Unless he can develop better secondary pitches, Carpenter won’t be much more than a 7th or 8th inning guy in the big leagues. In 10 major league appearances last year, Carpenter had a solid ERA (2.79), but allowed nearly 2 baserunners per inning.

I’m looking forward to see how Carpenter can develop in our farm system and hopefully get a shot in the majors this year. The key to him being successful this year is not working on developing a third pitch, but instead ensuring control of his fastball and slider and limit his walks (7 BB in 9.2 innings in the majors last year).I’m just glad to see we got some sort of compensation for Theo leaving as I really think the Sox butchered this one. I think they lost all power when they let Theo go before they had any compensation.


Theo Making Moves

Welp, it looks like Epstein is making moves on Red Sox prospects before they have a chance. Theo just snagged Milwaukee hitting coach, Dale Sveum, from the Red Sox short list of manager potentials, many saying that this was the Sox’s top choice. Now, besides the fact that this guy’s name is Dale and he has a whopping 7-5 record in his managerial career, I’m pretty excited to see how this guy can turn around one of the most dismal franchises in the MLB. He knows how to win – 2 championships in 2004 and 2008 – and he turned the Brewers into a hitting machine and a playoff team.

What does this mean for the Red Sox? Seeing how their prospective manager list is pretty dismal and none of their top three prospects have real managerial experience in the majors, I think it’s time to open up the interview process again. Now, Francona didn’t get hired until December in ’03, but after last season they need to bring in somebody who can raise the clubhouse drinking age to 40 so Varitek is the only one who can consume. And someone who can actually convert superstars into winners.

On a side note, new Sox GM Ben Cherington is heading out of the country for a much needed breather. Wait a second…who is Ben Cherington and what has he done so far?

Ugh oh Red Sox, Dan Duquette is coming back for revenge…