Another World Series is in the books and with that another baseball season. With a 6-1 win on Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox were crowned champions of baseball, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in six games.
The World Series this season offered many opinions and I noticed them constantly as I followed the series. It started before the first pitch.
It’s been over a month since the Phillies played their last game of 2013. Many of you come here for Phillies news and notes and comments and there hasn’t been too much to talk about in the past month, so things have been quiet. But throughout the playoffs, as the underdogs fell to the powerhouses of baseball, more and more Phillies fans and fans of other teams as well, became disinterested because it felt predictable and like watching the same series.
Sure, this was the Cardinals and Red Sox once again. Is it sometimes a tired match? Absolutely.
But this was a battle of the best two teams in baseball, and if the only reason for losing interest is that you’re jealous of their success, then you have no excuse for watching.
It’s been five years since the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, and I remember it like it was yesterday. It is by far my favorite Philly sports memory and the one thing in sports I treasure most of all. However, in every year that the Phillies have slipped from greatness, and another team has won, I have found a way to make it relate to the current state of the Phillies and something to take away from the winning team.
Twice, the Phillies lost in the early playoffs rounds to the eventual World Series winner, and both times, it was a matter of destiny catching the Phillies. In the past two seasons, it has been about will and good construction of a roster. It is a GM pulling all the right strings and assembling a little of the old, a little of the new and a little of the unknown to make the perfect group of players.
The Red Sox were more than just the perfect group of players – veterans, rookies, unlikely heroes – they were a team of the people. They played for a city in need after tragedy and they dedicated every step of the run to the people, the fans who cheer for them, support them and forget the world by watching them.
It is a story of unlikely odds. No expectations after a 69-93 season, one of the worst in recent Red Sox history, and the very next season – a whole host of new players, a new manager, a new mindset – and they are World Champions.
It provides some hope to me. Are the Phillies going to turn into a contender overnight? Hardly. But with the right moves, a smart mindset and returning to the state of 2008 – not being the favorites, not being expected to win, but playing for the people – if that could happen, there is hope.
I feel like that’s the one thing the Phillies have lost over the years. It’s not the poor decisions with management, leadership and players on the field. It’s the players lacking the strong-willed spirit the Red Sox had.
They took that tragedy to heart. They made it their job to win for the city. Any time a team rallies around a city, it is inspiring and magical.
That’s the story of the 2013 Red Sox. An April attack on the beloved city, just 12 games into the season, became the rally cry for October.
And it lasted all the way to October 30, when the Red Sox returned to the top of the baseball world in front of the very people they were playing for.