Manager John Farrell used the word “magical” Thursday night to refer to this year’s Red Sox after their second walk-off in less than 24 hours. Other people have been using that word recently, as well.
This Boston team started strong and hasn’t faded. Behind the usual suspects (Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz) and a set of new arrivals that have changed the energy surrounding the team, it’s not a stretch to say that the 2013 Red Sox look a little bit like the 2004 winners.
Let’s look at that and more in this week’s mailbag.
Is this team magical like the 2004 team? To me, they have the characters like the “idiots” of ’04. Do you notice that they are having more fun playing as a team and winning?
— Rob Dorris
Without question. It has been a long time since there have been this many character guys in the same clubhouse with the same goal every day. I was not sure early in the year if it would mean they would be successful. I think we now know the answer is yes. As the year goes on, the more personalities come out, and the better we get to know them. I think this is going to be a fun run for the remainder of the season.
How is the emotion different from last season and now that the Red Sox are in first place ?
— Josh Williams
Last year was such a strange year. In the 13 years I have been here, I cannot remember the feeling of never being in it. I guess my first season in 2001 was similar, but it was my first season, and I had nothing to compare it to. The thing that amazes me is how quickly Ben Cherington was able to completely change course and rebuild in one offseason.
Do you think the Red Sox should have signed Cody Ross instead of Shane Victorino?
— Mike Talon
If you had asked me that at the end of last year, I would have said Cody Ross. Now that I have had the chance to see Shane Victorino every day, I think the Sox made a good decision. He is a gamer who plays hurt and literally runs through walls for you. Don’t get me wrong — I love Ross and think he is a very good player and an even better guy — but there is a distinct possibility that you may need Victorino to be your center fielder next year or at the very least have that option.
What do you think of Jake Peavy’s performance, and what can he do further in August, September and the playoffs?
— Ariel Canito Coriano
Two weeks ago, in this very mailbag, I wanted the Sox to get Jake Peavy, and I am thrilled they did. I was very pleased with his first outing with the amount of pressure he was under to produce immediately after the trade. He is a perfect fit for this team on many fronts. He is veteran who is highly competitive and has much in common with the rest of the clubhouse. I think he is the type of guy on the stage of Boston who can take his game to the next level here.
Don, why didn’t you pursue an acting career?
— Mary K. Lewis
I did. Sadly, no one has called my agent to extend my acting career. I am still waiting.
Do you see another non-Red Sox MLB player who has the skill, dedication and honor similar to Dustin Pedroia?
— John @McFleigh
I always sort of felt that way about Cal Ripken. He spent his entire youth getting ready for what he did. The everyday thing always amazed me, especially in today’s game. I don’t think his record will ever be broken. The mindset I think was very similar to that of Dustin Pedroia — willing your way to win every day. Being around the Red Sox every day sort of limits me in speaking about the rest of players in today’s game.
Who did you see play for your first-ever MLB game?
— Red Sox Fan Nation
June 24, 1978. Boston Red Sox versus Baltimore Orioles. Luis Tiant versus Scott McGregor. Sat behind the screen in the grandstand area. I was 10, and, yes, Jerry Remy played second base that day. I think the thing that amazed me was the wall and how green everything was. One of the great thrills was on the Red Sox cruise some years ago that we split with Oriole greats, and both were on the cruise with me. It was a cool picture when I realized they pitched in my first game.
Photo via Instagram/redsox