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Brian Hines (@BringLesterBack)
Contributing Writer

Around this time last year the Red Sox just finished pulling off the unthinkable. After a dreadful 2012 year of sitting in last place in the AL East, they bounced back and beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 to win the World Series. It was an unforgettable year to be a fan or player, lets go back in time and relieve the 2013 magic.

The Offseason

Source: http://www.thestar.com

The Red Sox just finished last in the AL East. Its time for change, starting with the manager. Bobby Valentine had to go. The manager that seemed to be the perfect fit? The old pitching coach, John Farrell. Farrell was brought in from Toronto and him and the front office immediately started making changes. They took an unusual approach to the offseason. Instead of paying big money and putting together a team with the highest level of talent they could, they brought in a bunch of guys that knew how to have fun and do the little things to win games. They brought in players like Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and many others that relaxed the clubhouse while b ringing some talent to the field.

Spring Training 
The beardless Gomes early in the year
AP Photo/Steven Senne

As spring training rolled in the Sox had an interesting roster. Analysts, reporters and almost everybody else picked the Red Sox to finish dead last again, but our players believed in themselves. From day one of spring training their goal was winning the World Series. Jonny Gomes would walk into the clubhouse everyday and tell the guys there "one day closer to the parade." They were going to do the fundamentals of the game and do whatever they needed to win games. The boys bonded and had fun on the diamond which ultimately lead to them winning games. One day in spring training Jonny Gomes proposed a challenge to the rest of the guys: Don't shave until the end of the season. The players bonded over their facial hair throughout the season, especially in the playoffs, It brought them together and helped them perform out on the field.

April 15
Source: http://heavy.com

The Red Sox started out strong in 2013, About 20 games into the season they were playing on Patriot Day. It was beautiful day at Fenway and the Red Sox got a walk off win, a great start to the day for Bostonians. But later in the day at the marathon finish line all of Boston received awful news, two explosions went off taking some lives and injuring hundreds. It was a crazy an awful next few days in Massachusetts as everyone was chasing and trying to find the bombers. One was killed and another was eventually caught but not before they left there mark on this city. Boston was hurt, they needed someone, something to take their mind off that awful day. They turned their eyes to the team that was in first place in the AL East, the Red Sox.

Source: http://www.catholicvote.org
The Red Sox took this as motivation. Their goal to win the World Series was even bigger now as they wanted to help Boston heal and recover by bringing a championship home. It was another thing for the team to bond over as the Sox rallied around the "Boston Strong" slogan, and as the city rallied around them. The players had 617, Boston Strong jerseys stitched up and hung them in their clubhouse. In the first major event in Boston since the bombs, the Red Sox were taking on the Royals. The Sox did a touching video about everything that has happened over the last few days and congratulated all the first responders and many people affected by the bombs. After all of it was over Big Papi took the mic. He delivered a short but effective speech from the heart, that touched Boston and rallied them even more


“This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox, it says Boston,” Ortiz began. “We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week.”
“This is our f****** city!” Ortiz exclaimed, drawing wild applause from the stands. “And nobody going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong,” he concluded, lifting a fist in the air and the cheers went up in the crowd and he walked off the field to begin the game. 

Source: http://conservativehaven.com
The Red Sox went on the win the game thanks to a Daniel Nava home run late in the game. The Red Sox season was looking bright and it was only just beginning. 

The Trade Deadline

Peavy was brought in at the deadline to help
 make the push for the championship
Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America
Advancing now to the deadline, the Sox are still in first and our starting to shape as contenders. The players are still growing beards and doing the fundamentals of the game. The Sox are still using what happened in April as motivation as the city is starting to rally around them more and more. The deadline is approaching and the Sox need one piece for their postseason run, another middle-of-the-roataion pitcher. They went out and got their man in Jake Peavy in exchange for young shortstop Jose Iglesias. A move many fans questioned as Iglesias was the Sox next top shortstop, But with the Sox having Drew at Shortstop and Bogaerts awaiting the call-up,            trading for Peavy and going for the World Series was a smart  move. 

September 20, 2013

Jon Lester mistaking the mound against the Blue Jays. A win secures the AL East after securing a playoff ticket against the Orioles a few nights before. Lester was his usual self giving up 1 run in 7 innings of work as the Sox won 6-3. The Sox went worst to first in their division in one year and as the players were happy and excited, this wasn't there main goal. 

After finishing in last place in 2012, the Sox won the AL East in 2013
Source: http://www.pinterest.com
Playoffs: ALDS
Opponent: Tampa Bay Rays

The Sox got a familiar opponent in round one as the Tampa Bay Rays came into town, another AL East team. Sox players and fans were thrilled that playoff baseball was back in Boston, especially after last season. The players were ready and still rallying around "Boston Strong" and their beards still growing. Even the fans were starting to get into the whole beard thing. The ALDS started quite nicely for the Sox as they won the first two games with a strong performance from David Ortiz. In game three they went to the Trop to try to close things out. The Rays got a walk off win as they took Koji deep and the series was now 2-1. Game 4 was a defensive and pitching duel but the Sox were able to squeak by and garb the series, advancing to the next round. 

The Sox knocked off the Rays to advance to the ALCS
Source: http://www.craveonline.com
Playoffs: ALCS
Opponent: Detroit Tigers

http://www.wlwt.com
The powerful Tigers come into Boston for round two lead by there pitching and of course, Miguel Cabrera. The Red Sox were embarrassed in game one as they were no hit until the ninth by Justin Verlander a few bullpen pitchers. They lost game 1 and needed to win game 2 to stay out of some trouble. Max Scherzer came up in game 2 and hammered the Red Sox. This series was turning ugly real quick for the Red Sox as they were loosing 5-1 in the eighth with only a few hits. A big eighth inning loaded the bases for Big Papi. The Tigers made pitching change and brought in Joaquin Benoit. First pitch was a fastaball. Benoit was hoping to get Ortiz on strike one but Ortiz had other plans. He drove it past Tori Hunter in right field into the bullpen and all of a sudden the game was tied. The Sox ended up winning it in the ninth thanks to a Saltalamacchia RBI single. The Sox ended up taking 2 out of 3 in Detroit and came home for game 6 with a 3-2 series lead. The Sox found themselves down again until the struggling Victorino came up to the plate with the bases loaded. He belted a grand slam over the monster and with a save from Koji, the Sox were AL Champions and going to the World Series. 
Behind Koji's strong performance, the Sox advanced to the World Series
Source: http://www.theblaze.com

Playoffs: World Series
Opponent: St. Louis Cardinals


Nap congratulates Gomes on his three run homer #GetBeard
Source: http://connecticut.cbslocal.com
The World Series is back in Fenway and the Red Sox were 4 wins away from there Spring Training goal. They needed to keep doing the little things, growing their beards and rallying around "Boston Strong." The Red Sox beat up Adam Wainwright and the Cards as Lester pitched a gem on the other side. But in game 2 the Sox had no answer for the Cards young stud Michael Wacha and surrendered game 2. The series was tied going back to St. Louis and the Red Sox needed to steal some from the Cards in St. Louis. An odd obstruction call on Middlebrooks in game 3 ended it with a Sox lost. The Sox were down 2-1 going into game 4. Game 4 was what you could call a must win for the Sox. They got down early but Jonny Gomes hit a big there run homer to give them the 3-1 lead. In the ninth the Cards got a man on and had the tying run at the plate. Koji picked off Kolten Womg to end game 4 and tie the series at two. Game 5 approached and as usual, David Ortiz was the only one hitting the ball. He rallied his team with a speech in the dugout and his team responded. David Ross hit an RBI double which helped push the Sox over the Cardinals and take game 5. The Sox were going home with a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 arrived. The players were excited, the Red Sox fans had the taste of victory in there mouths. Fenway hadn't witnessed a championship in 96 years and believe me, it was ready. On the mound was the veteran Lackey vs the rookie Wacha. Wacha found himself in some trouble early as the bees were loaded with Victorino up. Victorino belted a three run triple off the monster and the Sox never looked back. They were up 6-1 in the ninth when their lights-out closer came in, Koji Uehara. Koji retired the first two batter which then brought Matt Carpenter up. The fans were on their feet, the players were ready to get the final out, Fenway was ready to witness another championship, the Red Sox were about to pull of the unthinkable. Carpenter was down to two strikes. What happens next is hard to put into words. I'll let Joe Buck explain it for you (last out at 4:00):



The Red Sox turned it around and officially went worst-to-first. Papi took the MVP honors as he carried this team throughout the postseason hitting .688 in the World Series. It was a season to remember as a Red Sox player or fan. After a rough season this year hopefully the Sox can go Worst to First to Worst to First, and do it all again.
MVPapi Source: http://boston.cbslocal.com
MVPapi Source: http://blacksportsonline.com


















Thoughts or comments? Let me know on twitter or leave a comment below.

Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America“This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox, it says Boston,” Ortiz began. “We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week.”
“This is our fucking city!” Ortiz exclaimed, drawing wild applause from the stands. “And nobody going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong,” he concluded, lifting a fist in the air and the cheers went up in the crowd and he walked off the field to begin the game. 
 “This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox, it says Boston,” Ortiz began. “We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week.”
“This is our fucking city!” Ortiz exclaimed, drawing wild applause from the stands. “And nobody going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong,” he concluded, lifting a fist in the air and the cheers went up in the crowd and he walked off the field to begin the game“This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox, it says Boston,” Ortiz began. “We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week gw

Brian Hines 11/01/2014 03:48:00 PM Edit
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