By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Red Sox won 93 games in two consecutive seasons, claimed a pair of division titles, occasionally reminded us all of it. And yet, when we looked at them, many of us felt the same thing.
They were capable of more.
And now we all have proof.
And so now, for the fourth time in 15 years, the Red Sox are headed back to the World Series, wiping out the Houston Astros with a 4-1 victory last night to win the American League Championship Series by an identical 4-1 count. The Red Sox pitched some, hit some and played some stellar defense to complete their rampage through the 2018 American League, leaving little doubt about who they are or what they are capable of.
“It’s huge to be able to continue the trend of winning,” outfielder Jackie Bradley told reporters last night after accepting the ALCS Most Valuable Player Award. “Obviously we want to win it all. That’s what we set out to do. And we’ve got four more.”
Let’s get something straight here. Nobody ever doubted the talent of the 2018 Red Sox – or for that matter the ones of 2017 and 2016, too. We knew David Price had the physical ability to win in October. We knew Mookie Betts could pretty much do it all. We knew Xander Bogaerts could hit for average and power at the same time, and we have seen Bradley produce offense to go along with his defense, at least for relatively short bursts of time.
So why did these Red Sox go 1-6 over their first two trips into the postseason? Only heaven knows. Maybe the Sox choked a little. Maybe John Farrell was just the wrong personality for them. Maybe the Red Sox were just content to be what they were – good, not great.
But for whatever reason, the Red Sox couldn’t put it all together when it matters most, even just a little, which made them underachievers. Were they better than most everyone else? Sure. But they were never quite as good as they could be, which frustrated them, too, whether they want to admit it or not.
As for us, here’s a news flash: we’re spoiled. We have been for some time now. We’re demanding and almost impossible to please, and we’ll recalibrate now that the Sox have gotten through the AL. They will be favored in the World Series. They should win it. As a city, this is Boston’s whopping 16th trip to the Super Bowl (eight), World Series (four), Stanley Cup Final (two), or NBA Finals (two – and counting) since January 2002, and a run like that absolutely makes you forget how bad some other places have it.
But here, now, this is how it works. The Red Sox get pushed. Then they either push back or they don’t. The 2018 Red Sox have now won a staggering 115 games in all, and yet the truth is that we now want them to win four more.
Enjoy this? You bet.
At the same time, Game 1 is Tuesday night.