The incredible World Series run. The team that wouldn't quit. The pitcher that did so much to carry the Red Sox to the top.
Eight years later, though, Lowe is a footnote in the Major League Baseball landscape, with the only people perking up their ears when they hear his name the Sox fans who remember that great postseason.
Lowe knows as much, and he had great fun Wednesday afternoon poking fun at his most recent job — relieving for the Yankees — while recounting what it was like to have been such an integral part of a truly great team.
Lowe was picked up by the Yankees in August after stumbling to an 8-10 record with a 5.52 ERA in 21 games as a starter with Cleveland this season. New York immediately used him out of the bullpen, and Lowe appeared to be quite the addition, going four scoreless innings in his first outing and earning a save as the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 8-2.
But the Yankees have not been so sharp in recent weeks — a 12-15 stretch (and coughing up the division lead) that, coincidentally or not, came right when Lowe joined the club.
"I've brought a lot of losing to this team," Lowe said Wednesday, instantly making the connection.
As Lowe settles in with the Yankees, he has been keeping his eye on his former club, from the poor start this year to the recent megadeal that created several holes in Boston's roster while filling out another one of Lowe's former teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers. But Lowe says his opinions on the matter are merely anecdotal at this point.
"[I get asked all the time] just because you played for Boston eight years ago, and obviously it's changed. My opinion is generally worthless," he said. "[The Red Sox] clearly have a plan of what they want to do moving forward. But it's definitely a little eye-opening to see where they are in the standings."
Lowe spoke fondly of his time with the Red Sox, saying he had "nothing but positive memories of playing here."
He also shed some insight into what made that 2004 team so different.
"One, they were extremely talented," he said. "We had a lot of good players, a lot of different positions. You know, they had a belief system that was just — that I hadn't seen. We'd be down three-nothing. You'd just come to the park that day, and we just knew we were going to win. It was just an unbelievable belief of togetherness that we're going to find a way to win, and yesterday was yesterday, and we'll win more games.
"And that was the mentality, and everybody believed that we were going to win. We were a team that had been together for a majority of the time, so there was a definite commitment to one another."
Lowe has noticed a difference at least in how Fenway Park feels since returning. While Tuesday's walk-off win was exciting, he said 2004 was virtually untouchable when it came to the ballpark's energy.
"The place was packed when you were a starting pitcher — you'd go in 40 minutes before the game, and the place was full," he said. "They would stand every time you had two strikes. There was a little bit more excitement."
Lowe isn't expecting much of a reception if he takes the mound during the final game of this week's series, as he's mostly a bit piece reliever at this point.
"I don't think [Red Sox fans are] too worried about my role on this team," he said.
Maybe if he was starting or closing, he said, but seeing as he's just sort of putting up the tent poles before the professionals come in…
"Yeah," he said with a laugh, claiming no special spot in Red Sox fans' hearts.
At least he knows how to celebrate the past while being realistic about the future.
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