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Historic Summer? - By Mike Lynch

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Historic Summer?

By Mid-August we had seen the Red Sox win in just about every conceivable manner. There have been multiple walk off wins, a near no hitter and a four game series sweep of the Yankees. The Sox have two MVP candidates, two men chasing the batting title and perhaps the Cy Young winner AND manager of the year. But it all will be forgotten quicker than summer if they don't win in October - which they haven't done in five years. By Mid-August, the Sox had won 85 games and with forty-one games remaining the Sox could actually go 20-21 and win 105 games which would tie the franchise record for wins.

 

In case you were wondering, the Red Sox won 105 games in 1912 and won the World Series. They won 104 games with Ted Williams in 1946 and lost the World Series to the Cardinals in seven games, 101 wins got them a World Series title in 1915. And if you are extra curious and wondering what the record is for the most wins in major league history - it is shared by the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Both clubs won an eye popping 116 games - the Cubs LOST the World Series, the Mariners lost in the American League Championship Series.

 

 So what does all of this mean for the 2018 Red Sox? Those who are old enough to remember are still looking over their shoulder at the New York Yankees, for in the summer of 1978 forty years ago, the Sox had a 14 game lead on July 18th.  They wound up tied for the AL East and lost a one game playoff thanks to a Bucky Dent Home Run. The good news this year is that Bucky Dent is 66 years old and won't be walking from the on deck circle.

 

The other is that this summer it is the Red Sox who have the swagger. It’s the Yankees who look intimidated - look no deeper than the sweep at Fenway the first weekend of August. The Sox have a deep staff, the best outfield in baseball and an uncanny ability to never be out of any game. Their manager lets them swing at the first pitch - which many times is the best pitch to hit. They keep sending players to the disabled list but always answer with resiliency.

 

Expectations are always high in Boston and this team has an entire region salivating. But remember the Sox won 93 games and the AL East in each of the last two seasons and both years were eliminated in the first round of the post season. It cost manager John Farrell his job. This year will be a failure if the Sox do not make it to the World Series EVEN if the Sox set a franchise or MLB record for wins. The only wins that count in this town come in the month of October. History has reminded us of that for over a century.

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Historic Summer? - By Mike Lynch