Why No One Should Feel Sorry for Boston Anymore

Zeke FuhrmanAnalyst IIINovember 6, 2008

Oct. 27, 2004. The day the whining from the East Coast should have stopped. The Boston Red Sox had finally won their first championship in 86 years. It was understandable at the time why the world, minus residents of New York, were happy for Boston.

After all, would you have been happy if the franchise you had beaten up on the last nine decades had come back from a three-games-to-zero deficit to advance to the World Series while destroying you in Game Seven, then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

During the 2004 ALCS, Boston began a streak of 13-straight elimination game wins, something the Sox from 1918-2003 would have never been able to accomplish.

From 1918 to 2004, the Red Sox saw some of the most horrific and humiliating losses in baseball history, most notably the Bucky Dent and Aaron Boone home runs, and the Bill Buckner error. The end results of these games over the years ended in an 86-year championship drought, leaving such Boston legends as Ted Williams, Carl Yastremski, and Carlton Fisk without rings.

I live eight hours from the north side of Chicago, and sometimes I can't get to sleep at night from all the noise of whining Cubs fans who are running 100 years strong without a Cubbie Blue parade in Chicago.

The ChiSox brought Chicago's title drought to an end in 2005, beating the Houston Astros in the World Series, quietly ending an 88-year title drought. But few people noticed from all the complaining that Boston had been doing the previous 86 years.

During Boston's title drought of 1918 to 2004, the New York franchises (Yankees, Mets, and Giants) won a combined 34 titles, the St. Louis Cardinals won eight titles, the Athletics franchise (Philadelphia and Oakland) won six titles, while Cincinnati and the Dodgers (Brooklyn and LA) both won five titles.

While Boston won nothing. Even two of the four expansion franchises from the '90s won titles before Boston did (Arizona in 2001, and Florida in 1997 and 2003), and the only teams not to make it to the World Series in the 86 years were the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals franchise (the Washington Senators won the title in 1924, but the team moved to Minnesota in 1960), and the Houston Astros.

The Astros went to the World Series in 2005 (losing to the Chicago White Sox), and the Rockies and Rays, both expansion franchises, have since gone to the World Series, the Rockies in 2007 (losing to Boston) and the Rays in 2008 (losing to Philadelphia).

But when the Red Sox won, it was one of those things you'll always remember. People remember where they were when JFK was shot, when 9/11 happened, and when the Red Sox finally won the World Series.

But now, with one of the highest payrolls and the best team that baseball can buy, Boston is slowly turning into the New York Yankees, like the time they spent $81M on Daisuke Matsuzaka before he threw a pitch in the U.S.

People argue that if the Red Sox wouldn't have spent the money, the Yankees would have got him and he'd pitch against the Sox...Which is why baseball needs a salary cap. But that is a different issue. Another example is how Boston can deal an elite player like Manny Ramirez, and still make it to the ALCS, be down three games to one and force a Game Seven, losing their first elimination game since 2003.