Another Sox anniversary: Four years since last playoff win


Another Sox anniversary: Four years since last playoff win

This season was all about anniversaries for the Red Sox. It was the 100th anniversary of the first game played at Fenway Park, the 10-year anniversary of John Henry and friends buying the team, the unforgettable eight-year anniversary of the 2004 World Series, and, of course, the six-year anniversary of Larry Lucchino having his heart replaced with a crab apple.

With that, heres another anniversary for Larry and Dr. Charles Steinberg to run up their marketing flagpole. Today is the four-year anniversary of the last time the Red Sox won a playoff game! (Cue the music, rolling rally and Wally the Green Monster dance routine.)

The victory came on October 18, 2008, at Tropicana Field, in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Rays. And while we all know how much things have changed since that last playoff win, here's a frying-pan-in-the-face reminder: Of the 25 players on the 2008 playoff roster, only three Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester are still with the team. Although David Ortiz lingers as a potential fourth, and Clay Buchholz was on the team but not on the playoff roster.

Can you name the other 21 active Red Sox that day?

If so, you not only deserve a prize, but I'd say you're more qualified than Lucchino to run baseball ops. Here they are: David Ross, Kevin Cash, Jason Varitek, Jed Lowrie, Alex Cora, Kevin Youkilis, Sean Casey, JD Drew, Coco Crisp, Mark Kotsay, Jason Bay, Manny Delcarmen, Dice-K, Josh Beckett, Paul Byrd, Hideki Okajima, Javier Lopez, Tim Wakefield, Mike Timlin, Jonathan Papelbon and Justin Masterson.

Anyway, back to Game 6: Josh Beckett was on the mound and was so-so for the Sox giving up two runs over five innings but the bullpen (Okajima, Masterson and Papelbon) pitch four scoreless inning in relief as the Sox held on for a 4-2 victory. The Sox runs came on solo home runs by Varitek and Youkilis, an Ortiz single and a Youkilis RBI ground out. Jamie Shields up four runs (three earned) over five and two-thirds innings for Tampa, while Carl Crawford went 1-4 in the fifth spot.

All in all, it was a fantastic night for the Sox as they fought back from a 3-1 series deficit to force Game 7. But it was all downhill from there and it's been four years since we've tasted the sweet juices of a playoff victory.

But hey, nothing a few more pointless anniversary celebrations can't fix.
Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists


Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists

Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Mookie Betts in right and Dustin Pedroia at second base are the Red Sox' finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards.

The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar and the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier are the other A.L. center field finalists. The White Sox’ Adam Eaton and Astros’ George Springer are A.L. right field finalists. Joining Pedroia as second base finalists are the Mariners’ Robinson Cano and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler.

Peoria has won four Gold Gloves. Bradley and Betts have yet to win one.

The full list of finalists is here.  The awards will be presented on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Red Sox sent out a series of tweets backing each player’s candidacy.

Betts is also a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player.


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.