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Thursday, October 28, 2004
YES!!! Red Sox complete sweep, win first Series since 1918. "En route to eight consecutive postseason wins, the Sons of Tito Francona simply destroyed a Cardinal team that won a major league-high 105 games in 2004. The Sox did not trail for a single inning of the four-game sweep. No Cardinal pitcher lasted more than six innings and St. Louis's vaunted row of sluggers was smothered by the likes of Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, closer Keith Foulke, and Lowe. The Cards batted .190 in the Series with cleanup man Scott Rolen going 0 for 15." (Boston Globe)

Red Sox 3, Cardinals 0. Game 4 recap. (Yahoo!)

As we'd expect, it was wild ride.
What a sweet ride it was. Has any team ever sent its followers on such a manic (sweeping the Angels), depressive (losing those first three to the Yankees), euphoric (each and every one of the last eight games) postseason journey? It's not possible.

So there it is. No more crying, hear? No more whining, hear? No more "Whys?" The Boston Red Sox are champions of the world.

There is only one thing left to say.

"Go Cubbies!"
(Boston Globe)

Speechless. "The Cardinals fans were extremely kind -- I can't emphasize that enough. The only ones who even said anything to us were congratulating us. There were thousands of Red Sox fans in the stadium, and of course they stayed well after the end of the game. At one point after the victory, a 'Yankees suck' chant got started, but then it seemed like everyone collectively realized, 'You know what, who gives a damn about the Yankees? We just won the World Series. The Yankees don't matter right now.'" (THT Live)

When I was growing up, the Red Sox were simply a part of life. We'd have the games on the radio throughout the house all summer long. The Red Sox were the only thing that could interrupt dinner. We couldn't take phone calls or watch TV once dinner had been served until we were all done, but the Red Sox could stay on the radio while we ate.

People say that so much of a Red Sox fan's identity is wrapped up in 1918 and the suffering that has gone on every year since then, but I never felt that. I just felt that it was a good thing to listen to the games, and a better thing when the Red Sox won those games. Even as I got older and realized the immensity of the period since the last championship, I never thought that being a Red Sox fan meant dealing with failures.

People who say that Boston fans secretly want the Red Sox to keep losing for whatever reason have no clue what they're talking about. I wanted the Red Sox to win so that I'd feel the joy of having set out at the beginning of the year with a dream, of having nurtured that dream throughout an entire season and of having that dream come true at the end of the season. That's all I wanted, and I got that this year.
(The Hardball Times)

For Epstein, actions speak just as loud as words. "He had one spectacular offseason, clearly outdoing his Yankee counterpart, Brian Cashman, who, despite landing Alex Rodriguez, couldn't land a superstar pitcher. Epstein was able to close the deal for Curt Schilling on Thanksgiving Day at Schilling's Arizona home in what turned out to be a more significant signing." (Boston Globe)

Bad Time for a Slump. "I'm not going to sit here and ignore [the Red Sox'] payroll, mind you. The guys spent roughly $50 million more than the Cardinals this season. And baseball purists don't have to completely go crazy over this. After all, they can still cling to their 'pitching wins championships' blanket. But still - Theo Epstein is evidence of what can happen when you combine 'Moneyball' with actual money. So, my hat is off to them. They out-played the Cardinals in just about every aspect of the game." (Random Redbird Reasoning)

The real Cards never showed up.
In retrospect, the demise of the Cardinals' starting pitching was predictable. We could see it coming. We could see the increasing strain of this rotation late in the season and into the playoffs. Losing Chris Carpenter was a blow. And that's no excuse, just the simple reality. A resourceful starting staff that pitched above its ability level all season finally crashed. They didn't have enough. There is no shame in that.

There is no excuse, however, for the mistakes on the base paths. And there is no rational explanation for the missing offense. The offensive futility was remarkable.

So Taguchi had an RBI in this World Series. Albert Pujols did not. How could that be? Scott Rolen went 0 for 15. How? Jim Edmonds was one for 15, and the hit came on a bunt. How?
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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