The year began with Alex Rodriguez — with the heir apparent to Willie Mays' throne as the world's greatest baseball player — admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs. Although he came clean (so to speak) to the public in the hopes of gaining acceptance, his plan backfired and the baseball purists still appear to hold a grudge against him for the scar he left on the game.
Just as the media circus around Rodriguez slowed to a murmur, the news that Manny Ramirez also reportedly used PED's broke. Ramirez served a 50-game suspension — then the rumors started to swirl about David Ortiz. When the news broke that Big Papi also used steroids, Red Sox Nation stood by its legendary slugger with the utmost confidence. Papi weathered the storm and his production — which had, at one time, been in the dumpster — promptly turned around and Ortiz finished with the traditional Papi numbers.
The season forged ahead, and the Red Sox made the postseason as the AL wild card, drawing the Los Angeles Angels in the first round. It was the creaky Vladamir Guererro who, in Game 3, sent the home team packing with a base knock up the gut — and just like that, it was officially hockey and basketball season in the Hub.
The Bruins dealt Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they felt "The Thrill?s? absence throughout the first few weeks of the campaign. Wins were few and far between but as the season progressed, the Black and Gold got back to their winning ways.
The Celtics kicked off the year with a newfound hunger to reach the mountaintop once again, and despite injury setbacks, head coach Doc Rivers now has the Green playing up to expectations.
Then, early on the morning after Thanksgiving, Tiger Woods' public image changed forever. He was in a car accident outside of his Florida home — and eventually it was disclosed that the world's No. 1 golfer had been involved in an extramarital affair. Elin Woods has reportedly filed for divorce, and Tiger's future in golf seemingly hangs in the balance.
Finally, the '09 sports calendar wrapped up with Fenway Park readying itself to host the third annual Winter Classic. Marco Sturm's overtime goal to give the B's their biggest win of the season so far was pretty special, but more than t hat, being able to host an event like this was most definitely a moment to remember and cherish for years to come.
2010 has the potential to top anything that occurred this season, and I can't wait for all of the great things that are on the horizon — maybe a Patriots Super Bowl championship? The Commissioner's Trophy making its way back to Fenway? How about the Stanley Cup back in the Hub? All sound like great endings to an already awesome beginning.
See you at one of the parades in ?10.