That’s Amaury News and Commentary: MLB: First Two Decades of the XXI Century — the Winners

photo from: chron.com

By Amaury Pi-González

By the time Major League teams report to Spring Training in Arizona and Florida, the last two decades will be history. And of all the MLB teams during those past 20 years, nobody has won more hardware than the Boston Red Sox.

1. Boston Red Sox Four World Championship Titles. (2004-2007-2013-2018)

Boston, a city where baseball is more than a game or sport, is like a religion. They have been playing at the oldest park, Fenway Park, since it opened in 1912. Their passionate fans had to endure a wild roller coaster ride during the past two decades. Founded in 1901 as one the American League’s eight charter franchises. When the first pitch is thrown at Fenway Park in 2020, the Red Sox would be playing their 108th season at that same location.

2004: It took the Boston Red Sox 86 years to win their first World Series since 1918.The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games. The pitching of Curt Schilling and the hitting of Manny Ramírez and David “Big Papi” Ortíz guided them, but also a great comeback in the American League Championship Series down 3-0 to the New York Yankees. They became the first team in baseball history with such a comeback.

2007: Sensational Japanese pitcher and rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka as well as great performances by also pitchers Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon and great hitting, swept the Colorado Rockies in four games. Between 2007 and 2012, they made history when in 2011 they lost a nine-game lead in the Wild Card standing over the course of the final month of the regular season. That was the worst September collapse in the history of Major League Baseball.

2013: Boston Strong. On April 15, they played an early game that started at 11 AM, and beat the Tampa Bay Rays. It was Patriot Day, a traditional day when the Boston Marathon takes place, and not long after the Red Sox victory, the Boston Marathon was shocked by the bombing. The team was motivated to bring another title to that city. They rebuilt in the off-season and rebounded to win 97 games (best in the American League) under first year manager John Farrell, and found themselves back in the Fall Classic. They defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games for their eight championship. Next season(2014), they fell like a rock again — from the top of the game to lose 91 games to last place in the AL East.

2018: It took them five years to get to the World Series again.It was coming since 2016 when they rebuilt again and won the division title,but they lost in the division series as well as in 2017. This year was special as they won a franchise-record 108 games during the regular season and had it on”automatic pilot”through the postseason. They only lost three games in three playoff series going to the World Series again as they took care of the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games. Boston will have a new look in 2020 as free agents All-Stars J.D. Martínez and Mookie Betts might sign with other teams.

2. San Francisco Giants. Three World Championships Titles (2010, 2012, 2014)

2010: It took the Giants 52 years to win their first championship in San Francisco since they moved from New York in 1958. Giants won the Western Division in a close race ending with a 92-70 record, just two games on top of the San Diego Padres. A lot of good stuff happened this year like signings of Free Agents Aubrey Hoff and Mark DeRosa, promoting Buster Posey in May from AAA Fresno (who was the Rookie of the Year), signing free agent Pat Burrell and claiming Cody Ross from the Marlins via waivers. It all culminated with a giver (5) games World Series defeating the Texas Rangers.

2012: They won it all by sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. After winning the West with 94-68 record defeated Atlanta in the Wild Card game the Cincinnati Reds in the Divisional Series and the St. Louis Cardinals in the Championship Series. An excellent pitching staff with Matt Cain,Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelson and a strong bullpen led the way.

2014: Giants won their third World Series in six years when they beat the Kansas City Royals in seven games. Giants fans talked about winning a World Series every two seasons, but the fantasy was just that. Unfortunately, they have been in decline with the attendance altogether since then. The last three seasons they have finished consistently under .500. The 2019 season, the Giants were under three million in attendance for the first time since 2010. The front office has a lot of work to do this off season in a division dominated by the Dodgers with the young and talented up and coming Padres.

3. Each of these teams won two World Championship titles: St. Louis Cardinals 2006 and 2011 and New York Yankees 2000 and 2009.

These teams won one World Series from 2000 to 2019: Arizona Diamondbacks, LA Angels, Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

By the way, the Red Sox have company with another team that plays in their area. The New England Patriots, who play their games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, 30 miles south of Boston, have made 11 Super Bowl appearances the most of any NFL team, and during the current decade, have won six Super Bowls. Those six Super Bowl wins are the most in the NFL tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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