What a difference a year makes.
The Boston Red Sox have completed the greatest single-season turnaround in Major League Baseball history with their World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Red Sox have completed biggest turnaround season in baseball history. No other WS champ had a win pct the year before as low as BOS' .426.—
Jon Shestakofsky (@Shesta_Sox) October 31, 2013
Red Sox were 69-93 (.426) in 2012. No team has ever won a WS 1 year after a win pct. that low. The lowest to date was the 1986 Twins: .438.—
Jon Shestakofsky (@Shesta_Sox) October 30, 2013
Boston lost 93 games last season, but after general manager Ben Cherington made some brilliant moves to add talent and depth to the 2013 roster, including the hiring of manager John Farrell, the Sox took the league by storm and won their first AL East title since 2007.
The signings of Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew were major factors in Boston making a worst-to-first improvement. Farrell’s experience as a pitching coach also had a substantial impact on the team’s rotation and bullpen, both of which were stellar all season. And of course, veterans from the team’s previous titles over the last nine years, including 2013 World Series MVP David Ortiz and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, came through in the clutch with their championship experience.
All of these ingredients resulted in the Red Sox finish the regular season with 97 wins, which tied the Cardinals for the most in baseball.
In the postseason, the Red Sox needed four games to beat the rival Tampa Bay Rays in the Division Series, six games to defeat the Detroit Tigers for the AL pennant, and six games to eliminate the Cardinals to capture the franchise’s eighth championship.
The Red Sox have now won three World Series titles in the 21st century, which is the most of any team. This year’s title was the first one to be clinched at Fenway Park since 1918, when Babe Ruth was still the star of the team.