Boston Red Sox: Late wins against Yankees reminiscent of 2004

BOSTON, MA - JULY 10: Jeter Downs #20 of the Boston Red Sox hits an RBI single during the sixth inning of a game against the New York Yankees on July 10, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 10: Jeter Downs #20 of the Boston Red Sox hits an RBI single during the sixth inning of a game against the New York Yankees on July 10, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

The two late wins against the Yankees by the Boston Red Sox last weekend bring back fond memories of another great comeback scene in the groundbreaking year of 2004.

For younger fans, that was the Year of the “curse-breaking” Red Sox who won their first World Series in 86 years.

Now, comeback wins against a team still 14 games ahead in the American League East standings are not exactly groundbreaking events, for certain.

Yet, any reminiscence of those halcyon days of 2004 is a good thing, and who knows, maybe they’re a harbinger of things to come.

And who’d have thunk a guy named “Jeter”, Downs, in this case, would have a big role in those wins. So what’s going on with the Boston Red Sox and what do two fairly standing-meaningless games mean in the overall scheme of things? The answer is, maybe a lot more than meets the eye. Let’s take a look.

Boston Red Sox are capable of magic each and every year

So, the Boston Red Sox still sit 14 games behind the powerhouse New Yawkahhs even after two nice comeback wins following two losses at home in a big four-game series. Two and two aren’t going to make up any ground on that great team in New York.

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The more applicable impact of such a development, however, is that the Red Sox made a statement, once again, to the mighty team from the Bronx. That statement is, never, evahhh, take the Boston Red Sox for granted. You do so at your peril.

Older fans will never forget the Yankees had essentially mentally at least dismissed the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS being up three games to two and just about ready to cash in their chips to a World Series berth being ahead in game 4 in the ninth inning with the immortal, Hall-of-Fame reliever Mariano Rivera on the Hill.

As fate would have it, Dave Roberts (yup, now the Manager of the LA Dodgers), a pinch-runner,  oh-so-closely stole a base and Bill Mueller hit a lazy grounder up the middle to score the speedy Roberts from second.

The fate of that series and the future of Red Sox/Yankees baseball changed forever. The Sox won four straight and went on to win their first World Series win since Babe Ruth played for the club.

So, New York should be no stranger to that dynamic having also been summarily dismissed in the Wild Card game last season by a surprising, and surprisingly good Red Sox club. That bunch defied all expectations and made its way to the ALCS only losing to a better team, the Houston Astros,  4-2.

Now, in 2022, the Red Sox, after some questionable offseason decisions indeed, still seem to have a way of confounding both critics of their personnel moves and those who would deign to rule out this bunch after a really poor start to the 2022 season.

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Do so at your own risk! Why is that? First, the Boston Red Sox has a top baseball man they hired as their Chief Baseball Officer (again, that title, can’t you do better, Mr. Henry?), Chaim Bloom. Every offseason he seems to stumble, but every season he seems to get right back up and get back in the race.

In addition, and this is always a bone of contention (but not in this space), the Red Sox have the indomitable Alex Cora as their baseball manager. Alex Cora is a guy you’d like to have as a friend and a neighbor. In addition, he’s one heckuva manager!

He’s not only an astute players’ manager but also a penultimate nice guy. What could be better? And oh yes, by the way, he has already won a World Series in Boston and taken the team to another ALCS, as well.

So, to sum all this up, the Sox are way down in the AL East standings, but they’ve again, heated up. No problem. Now, they are in the first position in the American League Wild Card standings, a game and a half (as of this writing) ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays.

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In addition, they have 10 or so players out injured, including their best pitcher, their possibly other best pitcher, and their best player.

The moral of this story is, never, evahh count out the Boston Red Sox. If you do, you’ll likely find yourself kicked out of the payoffs by them or beaten in a key series that leaves you on the outs and the Sox in. If you have any doubts, look back to 2004. That ought to convince you.