Then, Dave Roberts stole second base in Game Four of the 2004 ALCS, and the rest was history. Literally.
Now, nearly five years removed from their first World Series win in 86 years, the mood in Boston has changed—from defeatist to elitist.
That mood has been justified this season, as the Red Sox have walked all over the Yankees to the tune of eight straight wins this season—nine wins dating back to the last regular season game of last year.
On WEEI’s “Planet Mikey Show,” Mike Adams went so far as to say that any team sweeping any other team eight games in a row is a fluke. He went on to say, “If you play the Nationals eight times, they are going to win at least one of those games.”
Red Sox fans would like to believe that it’s simply a changing of the guard.
On paper, the pitching match-ups (AJ Burnett vs. Josh Beckett, Chien-Ming Wang vs. Tim Wakefield, and CC Sabathia vs. Brad Penny) seem to outlandishly favor the Yankees.
Penny gave up no runs and just one walk while striking out five in six innings.
Sabathia? He allowed a homer and four earned runs in his seven innings of work.
Adams went on to say later in the show that the Red Sox have simply begun to out-think the Yankees in terms of free agency and the draft. They realized that they couldn’t play the Yankees’ game (spending lots of money on free agents) because they didn’t have the money to spend that the Yankees do.
Tim Kurkjian of ESPN said it best when he said that the Red Sox are beating the Yankees every way possible. They’ve won blow-outs, close games, they’ve come from behind, they’ve beat their ace, and the Yankees just can’t put together that perfect game (which is what it seems it will take for them) to beat the Red Sox.
The Red Sox did it on both sides of the plate, from cooling off their red hot bats, to flustering their top-flight pitching.
The Sox are averaging nearly seven runs a game against the Yanks this season, while the Yankees are averaging a paltry 3.8 per game.
Though it’s too early to talk of curses, one has to wonder if $200 million is enough to buy a World Series.