Congratulations, and thank you.
Thank you, first, to Theo Epstein, architect of two World Series titles in five years, and to the ownership group that gave him the money to do it. After years of the Red Sox crying poor, we should never forget the luxury we have of employing a competent general manager with the resources to put the team he wants on the field. Without question, he has put the best team there, twice.
Thank you to Terry Francona, the only manager in the 103-year history of the World Series to win his first eight games
eight straight games. He was masterful in manipulating the lineup and bullpen, keeping the Red Sox on top, particularly as the Rockies came back in Games 3 and 4. The Sox trailed for only three of the final 63 innings they played against the Indians and Rockies, in large part because of Francona.
Thank you to Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, the team’s regular season MVPs and the MVPs of the ALCS and World Series. They came to Boston in the same trade, they both have had to answer questions about whether they could succeed in Boston. They can; they did.
Thank you to the youngsters — Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury. Add young veterans like Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and we could be seeing the first of several World Series under this core group.
It’s been a year to remember, for sure. From Mother’s Day to Clay Buchholz’s September masterpiece. From an outstanding April and May to a troubling June through to a fretful August and September. All wrongs are righted in the afterglow of a championship. Boston Red Sox, for the first time ever, you are division champions and world champions in the same season.