With the recent retirements of Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield, there are technically only two players remaining from the legendary 2004 Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz.
But as far as I'm concerned, there's really only one.
First of all, because it's far more fun and dramatic to look back and say: "Wooow, there's only ONE guy left from that team How did we get here?"
And second, because while Youkilis might have two rings, he was barely visible during that historic 2004 run. He had only two post season at-bats, and none after the ALDS. He was as much of a factor as Johnny Pesky.
Yes, he was on that team. But was he really part of it?
Do you have even one Kevin Youkilis memory from that 2004 season?
Actually, I do. And since I've spent the first part of this post blasting young Youk for no good reason. Let's give a quick tribute to the highlight of his rookie year
May 15, 2004: Kevin Youkilis makes his Major League debut, and blasts a fourth inning fastball (courtesy of Pat Hentgen) over the left field wall for his first career home run.
As the ball lands in the stands, Youk rounds the bases and jogs into the dugout, where he finds Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
No one will even look at him, never mind deliver a high five or trademark slap on the ass.
It was the old school silent treatment!
Eventually, Youk had no choice but to walk down and take a seat by himself on the end of the bench, as his teammates went about their business like nothing even happened.
A few seconds later, the team broke character, and offered up some love, but even if it was brief, the moment and the gesture were so memorable. It's something I'll always remember about Youk, no matter how old he gets or how many times he marries.
But I'll never remember him as a serious player on that 2004 team. And now, it's hard to believe that there's now only one guy left. It's weird, cool and depressing all at the same.
Honestly, how did we get here?