Scott Cordischi On Sports: Playoffs a Certainty For Sox?
Thursday, September 05, 2013
21 games to go and a 5 ½ game lead. It’s looking pretty good for the 2013 Boston Red Sox.
This was a team of which not much was expected when the season started, yet they have been on top of the American League Eastern Division standings from nearly start to finish this year. How have they done it? Great question!
They have no one on the roster who is even close to being a legitimate MVP candidate nor do they have anyone who will threaten to win the Cy Young Award this season. Contrast that to the team they just played a 3-game series with at Fenway – the Detroit Tigers – and it’s amazing!
Detroit has the reigning AL MVP in Miguel Cabrera who is likely on his way to winning the award for a second straight season. They also have three legitimate front-of-the-rotation aces in Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander.
So, how has Boston managed to keep pace with the most talented team in the American League in terms of wins and losses? Four letters: T-E-A-M!
While postseason awards may elude those wearing red stockings this fall, maybe team awards like, dare we say, an American League or World Championship will not?
To appreciate how incredible this run the team is on, just look back to the disaster that was the 2012 season. A more talented team managed to win just 69 games finishing dead last in the division. Why? Because they were completely dysfunctional. From upper management which didn’t support their enigmatic manager Bobby Valentine to the bad attitudes of players like Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford, little did we know that this team was doomed from the start.
But, thankfully, management learned their lesson and has taken a different approach this year. They jettisoned Valentine after just one miserable season, not because what happened last year was his fault, but because he clearly wasn’t the right man for the job. They also rid themselves of the clubhouse cancers and replaced them with good, team players.
How the 2013 season will end for the Boston Red Sox is anyone’s guess. But, in the eyes of most, that doesn’t matter because it has already been a resounding success.
-One big reason for Boston’s success has bee the team’s ability to settle down the closer’s role after the team’s top two closers performed poorly and were hurt. Koji Uehara has been sensational in the role of closer which has made a huge difference for the club.
-And if they do happen to meet the Detroit Tigers in the postseason, does that 20-4 beat-down of Detroit Wednesday make you feel any better about their chances?
-Congrats to Big Papi on career hit #2000.
-Another day and more damning evidence against former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez. He has now been directly linked to the two men who were killed in Boston in the summer of 2012 having been seen with them the night of their murders. According to the Hartford Courant, Hernandez was seen with Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado on surveillance cameras hours before they were killed. Not good.
-Have you seen the new Old Spice ad on-line with Denver Broncos’ WR Wes Welker sticking out of what looks like an alligator or giant lizard's mouth? Apparenty, Dr. Leonard did a better job on his receding hairline than we thought!
-For those who followed the tragic story of Brown men’s basketball player Joe Sharkey’s assault which left him in a coma last spring, I am thrilled to report that Joe has made tremendous strides and is back at Brown University where he will take a class or two this fall. If anyone has a question about what a fierce competitor and determined young man Sharkey is, his amazing recovery should be enough of an answer.
-Providence Friars and Rhody Rams fans will be waiting anxiously for this Saturday’s announcements from the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston where prized recruits Jared Terrell (6-4 G) and Malik Abu (6-7 PF) will announce where they will go to college. Abu has narrowed his choices to Providence, UConn, NC State and Florida. Terrell is choosing between URI, Providence, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State.
-Speaking of college basketball, the men’s basketball schedule for the new Big East is scheduled to be released today at 2pm.
-Patriots minus-10 at Buffalo. Who do you like?