With the Red Sox entering a decade of uncertainty, they leave the 2010s after winning two World Series for the second decade in a row. Here we rank the four most recent championships that they have won.
World Series: 4-0 vs Colorado Rockies
Key Batters: Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia
Key Pitchers: Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima,
Don’t get me wrong, this is one of the most talented teams on this list. A lot of players blossomed at the right time, each hitting their peak at a perfect time. In fact, this may be the most talented team thanks to an overall completeness of the team despite having the worst record here. The main reason it ranks last is just that it was simply less satisfying than the other three here due to how much weight the others carried.
This team had the second best offense in the league, thanks specifically to Ortiz and rookie Pedroia. Their pitching was roughly top five as well, led by starter Beckett and reliever Papelbon. But the clearly talented squad was expected to collect wins into the 100s, and they came up short of that mark. But they still were many peoples favorites for making the World Series and even possibly winning it all, and they didn’t disappoint.
The World Series saw Boston against the Rockies, a wild-card team that managed to go undefeated through the first two rounds of the playoffs. But Boston didn’t seem to care, as they swept them quite easily. This was thanks to multiple players batting .060 or greater than their regular season average, including Lowell, Ellsbury, Varitek, Lugo, and Drew, and all four starters allowing under a 3.40 ERA.
World Series: 4-2 vs St. Louis Cardinals
Key Batters: Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Shane Victorino, Jacoby Ellsbury
Key Pitchers: Clay Buchholz
This team probably has the best offense on this list, which helps when you have worse pitching than usual. Yet they were still above league average in that department, for the unit as a whole was strong, it’s just that there wasn’t really many clear stars.
But what really makes this years so satisfying is that the prior year they were literally worst in their division. In the off-season Boston’s front office re-imagined the team. They replaced manager Bobby Valentine with John Farrell, integrated four new starters in the batting lineup, added two new starting pitchers, and changed four of the main five relief pitchers. All of this was done through trades and small contracts to unappreciated veterans.
The team went through the playoffs relatively easily, though the World Series took six games instead of just four. The team was not expected to compete whatsoever, yet they did just that. It almost looks like the Sox front office tried to do this same thing this past offseason, which will be interesting to watch play out if the season ever starts.
World Series: 4-1 vs Los Angeles Dodgers
Key Batters: Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez
Key Pitchers: Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel
We knew the team would play good, we just didn’t know how good the season would turn out. The team was completely different than what we normally expect, though the team wasn’t exactly young. Looking back on the team, it felt refreshing to watch them in action. Their offense, while not amazing throughout, had exciting talent in Betts, Martinez, Bogaerts, and Benintendi. Their pitching was more even throughout, though Sale and Kimbrel were the clear stars.
This team deserves this spot because, to put it simply, it was technically the best season in Sox history. They beat the previous franchise record for most wins in a season by three games, and was the first Sox team to win over 100 games since 1946! The playoffs went relatively smooth as well, losing only three games in all over the three competitions. Definitely a run to remember.
World Series: 4-0 vs St. Louis Cardinals
Key Batters: Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Johnny Damon
Key Pitchers: Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, Keith Foulke
How could this not be the first one on this list. In fact, this might be the most valuable of the 20 championships since 2000, perhaps besides the 2016 Chicago Cubs. The team was definitely talented, with solid batting and pitching, along with the second best record on this list and sixth best in franchise history.
The offense had practically no weak hitters, besides shortstop Pokey Reese. All eight others who usually had a spot in the order batted above .263, with five even going above .290. Of course, Ramirez and Ortiz were the leaders of this group, as both batted over .300 with 40+ homers. All the pitching needed to be was average, and at the very least it was. There were a couple stars, Curt Schilling and Keith Foulk, but also a couple weak points, Tim Wakefield and Derek Lowe.
Though once they began playing like a championship team, they didn’t stop. They swept the Angels in the divisional round, scoring at least eight runs in all three games. But the Yankees put up the biggest fight, taking them to seven games. In fact, New York was up three games to none at one point, before the Sox offense woke up and go on to win the next four games in a row to advance to the World Series. At that point, they had seen it all, so the Cardinals were not much of a challenge. Thus after four chill games, compared to the prior series, the Sox had broken the curse.