Before the season began, I knew this was the best shot the Red Sox would ever have at winning the World Series. They had the players and the money to get the job done.
The only problem was the "Curse of the Bambino" and the New York Yankees standing in their way. Rewind 11 days ago when the Red Sox trailed the Yankees 3-0 — and 4-3 in the ninth inning — with the great Mariano Rivera standing on the pitchers mound. Kevin Millar walked and was replaced by Dave Roberts to run the bases. Roberts quickly stole second base. Bill Mueller then singled up the middle to score Roberts and the Red Sox found new life, taking their first steps to becoming World Series champions. They ended up winning that game 6-4 in 12 innings and never lost again.
The eight-game winning streak that Boston put together is the greatest in baseball history. It took 86 years for the Red Sox to win the World Series and it might take another 86 years for another team to put such an amazing miracle run. They even traded Nomar Garciaparra at the trade deadline and still got the job done.
Manny Ramirez took over in the World Series, going 7-for-17 with a home run and 4 RBIs. To think that Ramirez was once waived by the Red Sox -- and put on the trading block before the season began -- is hard to imagine. He struggled at times playing defense, but proved that he is a future Hall of Famer in earning his World Series ring.
Derek Lowe was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Yankees, and won Game 4 of the World Series against St. Louis. He was pitching for his Red Sox legacy and a new contract, and could be the happiest pitcher currently looking for a job. Curt Schilling was a pure sports warrior who fought off a serious injury to win two big games for Boston, and Pedro Martinez looked out at every Yankee fan that ridiculed him and refocused to win his first and only World Series start.
The 2004 Red Sox were a team of destiny and came back from the dead when most of their fans thought that they were finished. They were able to handle the pressure of postseason play better than any team in modern baseball history. This team will make several changes in the offseason and may not repeat next year, but all that counts is that the "Curse" is dead and the Red Sox are finally proud champions again.
The St. Louis Cardinals should be thrilled that they lost to the Red Sox, because no one will remember who lost to Boston in years to come. The Cardinals rolled over and showed no pulse in their home ballpark in the World Series.
They looked confused and scared and never held the lead at any point in the entire series. What a letdown to the fans in St. Louis after thinking that they had enough to win it all. Maybe they should have picked up a pitcher instead of Larry Walker. You still need a great pitcher who is peaking at the right time if you want to win the World Series.
I'm not going to say that the Red Sox will not win another title until 2090, or that they will run into a new curse in the near future, but I want to remind everyone that this was a baseball miracle. You don't go from winning the wild card and then crawl out of an 0-3 deficit to beat the Yankees without some good luck.
The Red Sox also need to thank Bud Selig for gift-wrapping them home field advantage in the World Series because the American League won the All-Star game. Normally a wild-card team doesn't get that type of break when they are about to take on the best team in the National League that just won 105 games in the regular season.
It will take a few more months for me to recover from this sports experience, but I'm actually happy that so many great Red Sox fans got to realize what was only a dream for their parents and grandparents.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.