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Sox Surprise: Unlikely But Deserving AL Champs

Major League BaseballBaseballDavid OrtizTorii HunterBoston Red SoxDetroit Tigers

Pat yourself on the back if you saw this coming. The Red Sox were an epic disappointment last year, finishing with 69 wins and 93 losses. They recalled the mediocre teams of yesteryear, when it was said that 25 players would take 25 cabs to the team's hotel. Last year's manager, Bobby Valentine, perhaps should have been driving one of those cabs.

The owners and general manager Ben Cherington responded by signing team players and an excellent field manager in John Farrell. The result has been astounding, a most pleasant surprise to the grumbling inhabitants of Red Sox Nation. The team won 97 games in the regular season, has finished off the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers in the playoffs, and now faces the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

The American League Championship Series against Detroit was taut, exciting baseball. We will all remember the photograph of Tigers' outfielder Torii Hunter's legs in the air as he tumbled over the bullpen fence going after David Ortiz's grand slam, and Boston police officer Steve Horgan with his hands shot into the air. From a certain angle, the legs and arms formed a "W." (Mr. Ortiz and Mr. Hunter are former New Britain Rock Cats, it should be noted.)

This year's group would share cabs. With the beards, they look like a throwback to the old House of David barnstorming teams. That may be appropriate because they play gritty, hard-nosed, wear-'em-down baseball. And they are doing it in a year when Boston, having endured the horrific Boston Marathon bombing, needs the lift.

So, all good. Whatever happens in the Series, it's been a year to remember.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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