Editor's note: NESN.com is teaming up with WhatIfSports.com to crown the greatest Red Sox team of all time with the "Red Sox Showdown for the Ages." For more information on the 16-team tournament, click here.
The 2004 Red Sox will long be one of the most beloved Sox teams of all time. That's what happens when you erase 86 years of heartbreak with one of the most memorable postseason runs of all time — in any sport.
Yet, would a computer-generated simulation think of the 2004 team in the same light? Apparently not.
Because in the first round of the "Red Sox Showdown for the Ages," a 16-team simulation tournament run by WhatIfSports.com to determine the greatest Red Sox team of all time, the 2004 squad was knocked out by Pedro Martinez and the 1999 team.
Terry Francona's 2004 team entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, and the 1999 team — the team that saw Martinez's memorable performance out of the bullpen in the Divisional Series at Cleveland — was one of the last added to the field as the No. 16 entry.
The top-seeded 2004 team apparently couldn't conjure up any more magic, as they lost a seven-game series 58.8 percent of the time in a simulation of 51 series.
See the rest of the results below, and click here for a more in-depth look at the results at WhatIfSports.com.
No. 16 1999 (58.8 percent) defeats No. 1 2004
A huge upset, as a team that fell in convincing fashion to the Yankes in the ALCS knocks off the team that finally ended the 86-year World Series drought.
No. 8 2008 (68.6 percent) defeats No. 9 1977
Strong pitching and a balanced lineup help a 2008 team that fell short against an upstart Rays team in '08 advance to the second round to take on the 1999 bunch.
No. 4 1915 (78.4 percent) defeats No. 13 1986
This series went seven games, but in the end, the legendary Babe Ruth proved to be too much for a 1986 team that saw their season end in heart-breaking fashion — in seven games.
No. 12 1946 (66.7 percent) defeats No. 5 2007
The 1946 team came oh-so-close against the Cardinals back in the middle of the 20th century, in what might have been Ted Williams' best chance at a World Series. They came up just short there, but here, they're able to knock off the most recent World Champion team, the 2007 squad.
No. 14 2003 (51.2 percent) defeats No. 3 1912
The 2004 team did what the 2003 team couldn't quite do, but in this tournament, the 2003 team is moving onto the second round against the 1912 World Champions, in a tight series.
No. 11 1967 (88.2 percent) defeats No. 6 1916
"The Impossible Dream" lives, at least in the Red Sox Showdown for the Ages, as the 1967 roles to an easy victory.
No. 7 1918 (58.8 percent) defeats No. 10 1975
Another Ruth-led team moving on, as Carlton Fisk can't muster any late-game heroics.
No. 2 1903 (68.6 percent) defeats No. 15 1978
The 1978 team doesn't see a lead slip away here, as they fall in just five games to baseball's first World Series champions.
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