Boston Red Sox

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

The parade is over, the confetti has been swept off of Boylston Street, and the 2018 Red Sox nothing but a memory.

All that’s left to determine now is where this team ranks in franchise history.

There’s an argument to be made that the 2018 Red Sox are not only the best team ever assembled in the 118 years of the franchise, but one of the greatest teams in the history of the sport.

No Boston baseball team has ever dominated the way the 2018 team did, steamrolling their way through the regular season with a franchise record 108 wins and making easy work of October with an 11-3 record. In the process, they became the first team ever to beat two teams with 100-plus wins on their way to a World Series.

The Red Sox are now just one of seven teams in baseball history to win 108 games or more and go on to claim a championship. They join the 114-win 1998 Yankees, the 1986 Mets, the 1975 Reds, the 1970 Orioles, the 1961 Yankees, the 1927 Yankees, and the 1909 Pirates as the only to accomplish that feat.

That list is a who’s who of baseball royalty, and the Red Sox are now apart of the family.

Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA: Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora hoists the Commissioner's Trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA: Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora hoists the Commissioner’s Trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite joining a group of the most elite teams in baseball’s past, many will argue that the 2018 Red Sox are not the greatest team in franchise history, even if they might be one of the most successful teams in baseball history.

That title, in the hearts of many, will forever belong to the 2004 team.

Despite being littered with Hall of Fame talent, the 2004 Red Sox never dominated the way the 2018 squad did. It took the midseason trade of Nomar Garciaparra to alter the course of their year and propel them to a Wild Card spot, and eventually the World Series.

But the 2018 team never had to deal with the weight of the 86-year winless drought the 2004 team was tasked with breaking. Rallying from a 3-0 series deficit against the Yankees still seems nearly impossible to this day. It remains the greatest comeback ever seen in baseball.

There is no way the 2018 Red Sox will ever mean as much to fans as the 2004 team. That year will be forever remembered as the most important year in the history of Boston baseball.

We will remember the 2018 team as the most successful in franchise history. We will remember the 2004 team as the greatest.

The 2004 Red Sox were about winning just once. The 2018 Red Sox were about winning more than ever before.

In the context of baseball history, the 2018 Red Sox are the better team.

In the context of Red Sox history, no team will ever top 2004.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.