Monday October 29, 2018
What Glory, Price! Red Sox Win 9th World Series Title
Another baseball season is done and for the ninth time in its history the Boston Red Sox are world champions. That moves them ahead of the Giants (8) and ties them for third all-time with the Athletics. Second is the Cardinals with 11. First is the Yankees with 27. It's still no contest.
You know what I would worry about if I were a BoSox fan? They‘ve never won a title after the 19th year of a century. All of their titles are clustered at the beginning of each century: 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918 and then nothing for 80+ years. Then: 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018. Smoke ’em if you‘ve got ’em, I guess. But it couldn't happen twice. Could it?
I'm bummed for Clayton Kershaw, who takes the “Can't pitch in the postseason” mantle into another off-season. I'm happy for David Price, who shed his mantle in the last two weeks. After winning the pennant-clinching game against the Astros (his first postseason victory), he started two of the five World Series games, going 2-0 in 13.2 innings with a 1.98 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. Has any pitcher had such numbers in such a short series and not won the MVP? Instead it went to Steve Pearce, whom the Sox picked up on June 28. The Red Sox were his 7th team in 11 years. He did well for them (.279/.394/.507) and in the series went 4 for 12 with three homers and a double. He walked four times and drove in eight. He scored five runs.
Who decides the MVP? “A committee of reporters and officials in attendance.” For some reason I thought pitchers won it often but this century it's happened only four times: 2001 (RJ/Schilling), 2003 (Josh Beckett), 2008 (Cole Hamels) and 2014 (Madison Bumgarner). My brain must still be back in the ‘80s and ’90s. From 1987 to 1997, pitchers won it every year but two (Pat Borders and Paul Molitor in the two Blue Jays years). Back then, it was like QB for Super Bowl MVP.
Alex Cora, meanwhile, becomes the 11th innaugural-year manager to win the World Series since the advent of the playoff system in 1969. It's the most common tenure for a World Series-winning manager. Go early and often, I guess.
Mostly, though, the Red Sox victory solidified their claim as Team of the Century. Since 2000, the Yankees have been to the postseason most often (15 times), and are tied with the Cardinals for the most LCSes (9). But then it's a four-way tie for most pennants (4) between Yanks, BoSox, Cards and Giants. Cards and Yankees have two World Series championships. Giants have three. Boston is on top with four.
Of course, the Red Sox were the Team of the Century in 1918, too.
Here are MLB's longest current droughts:
- World Series championship: Cleveland Indians (1948)
- Pennant: Washington Nationals (b. 1969), Seattle Mariners (b. 1977), Pittsburgh Pirates (1979)
- LCS appearance: Washington Nationals (1981 as Montreal Expos)
- Postseason appearance: Seattle Mariners (2001)
Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13.