Both Cherington and Farrell got it right.
But, this time it feels different, as if there was a feeling of redemption and healing to this title.
If the Red Sox team in 1967 was called the “Impossible Dream” then this 2013 squad should be called the “Improbable Dream.” Coming after an 18-month period where the Red Sox had become unlikable and unaccountable, it stands as a remarkable turnaround.
This is truly the most unlikely team to win a World Series in Red Sox history. No one saw this one coming; it was simply a magical season for a good team. It was redemption for a team and organization that had seemed to lose its way over the past couple of years.
The Red Sox stood at the bottom of the AL East at the end of the 2012 season, suffering through a season where the team lost 93 games and had managed to alienate most of Red Sox Nation through the behavior of the players and former manager Bobby Valentine.
The offseason was spent signing role players with character like Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli, something that instilled very little confidence in the fanbase through the winter and into the spring.
Boston and general manager Ben Cherington were able to see the big picture last season with the trade of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers. This title doesn’t happen without that trade. Moving those salaries allowed Cherington to infuse a talented but under-performing roster with players that would help rebuild the image and performance of the team.
Manager John Farrell had a tremendous impact on the entire organization, keeping everything together and pulling all of the right strings. Farrell drove the team to 97 wins in his first season at the helm, getting the most out of this roster. Even when the Red Sox struggled during the postseason, Farrell never panicked.
The horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon gave the Red Sox an opportunity to try to heal and embrace the city of Boston. The Red Sox players' response to a grieving city was perfect, displaying an awareness that few athletes and teams possess. The players got it. They understood what "Boston Strong" meant to the city.
Players like Jon Lester, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz can finally put chicken and beer and the collapse of 2011 behind them, once and forever. Players like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia have cemented their legacies in Boston for the remainder of their careers.
The Red Sox may not have been the most talented team in baseball this season, but they were the best team. This Boston team consistently showed that the sum was far more than the individual parts. It was a roster that lacked the star power of previous Red Sox squads, but made up for that with heart and character.
Even in this postseason, the Red Sox faced challenges on the way to winning this title.
The Detroit Tigers starting pitching was stellar for almost the entire series against Boston. The loss to the Cardinals in Game 3 on the obstruction call was one of the more crushing losses that I have ever seen a team endure. For this team to rebound in St. Louis and win both Games 4 and 5 without Victorino and Napoli being able to contribute speaks volumes.
The Red Sox have plenty of decisions to make in the coming days concerning the future of players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew, but those are things to talk about in the coming weeks. Right now it is time for parades and celebrations.
It was a season with a perfect ending for the Red Sox.