After concluding a disastrous 2012 season with a mere 69 wins, the idea of the Red Sox surpassing that win total by Aug. 7 this season seemed unthinkable in the spring.
However, it's become reality. The Sox currently sit 21/2 games atop the American League East and appear primed for their first postseason appearance since 2009. On paper, the Red Sox didn't look like a 90-win baseball team, but have taken all of baseball by surprise.
Given the low expectations, does it even matter what happens to the Sox from here?
Michael Felger and Marc Bertrand would already call this season a success; playoffs or no playoffs.
"I think all anyone wanted was respectability," Felger said on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Felger & Mazz" show. "A team that showed up, and played hard, and played it the right way, and competed and brought professionalism back to a team that had lost it for a two-year stretch. From the end of [Terry] Francona and that group, which was obviously a bad group, and the insanity of last year and Bobby Valentine and just that clown show. At the very least I think everyone wanted them to go back to being a legit professional baseball team. No matter what happens at this point going forward, barring some [disaster], that's in the books.
"They are a professional, hard-working team that is likable and competes and has a chance to accomplish a heck of a lot more than those things I just laid out," Felger said. "But at the very base of it is they just returned to a very professional, respectable team, and that no matter what happens at this point forward that's in the books."
Bertrand couldn't agree more.
"For the players on the team, this group of guys and John Farrell who is leading them, even though there are plenty of things to nitpick with him and the decisions he makes, as a group if this doesn't turn out well or they don't make it to the ALCS or the World Series or any of those things, I don't think it's because they quit or had any lack of effort, so to speak," he said.