THE INTERREGNUM, 1919-2003

1919: Ruth a disruptive influence as Red Sox finish 6th.

1920: Ruth sold to Yankees. Sox finish 5th. See, he was disruptive.

1921-1929: More players sold to Yankees. Red Sox finish 5-8-8-7-8-8-8-8-8 in decade. Suddenly, disruption no longer seems so bad.

1930-1937: Bosox finish 8-6-8-7-4-4-6-5. Yawkey buys team in 1933.

1938: Sox decide to leave Ted Williams in Minneapolis for the year. They finish in 2nd Place, 9.5 games out. Meanwhile the Allies sell out Czechoslovakia at Munich. Not a great decision either.

1939: Williams called up. Sox finish in 2nd again, 17 out. Over in the other league, Hitler invades Poland to start World War II.

1940-1943: Sox stay competitive for a while, then sink as players get drafted.

1944: A good pennant run was decimated by a patriotic Boston draft board. St. Louis's draft board was far more understanding of baseball's unique contributions to America's morale in her time of peril. The World Series that year: St. Louis Browns versus St. Louis Cardinals.

1946: After a wretched 1945, the 1946 team wins the pennant. Williams gets hurt in a postseason exhibition and bats .200 in the World Series as the Sox lose. Pesky unfairly blamed for holding the ball during Slaughter's dash.

1948: Boston finishes 3rd in 1947, then blows a lead to Cleveland in September. They knock the Yankees out of the race then rally to tie the Indians and force a playoff game. Cleveland shells starter Denny Galehouse to win the pennant and defeat the Braves in the World Series. Boston's last best chance for a Trolley Series.

1949: Red Sox go into Yankee Stadium needing one win in two games to get the pennant. They lose both. Bill James's Baseball Book 1991 has a good critique of Halberstam's error-ridden Summer of '49, and wonders correctly about the accuracy of his books on subjects such as Vietnam.

1950: Williams gets injured in the All-Star Game and loses half a season. The Sox still hit .302 as a team (the last major league team to do so) and finish 3rd despite poor pitching.

1951-1958: Basically, a middle of the pack team dogged by bad pitching. Yawkey stops trying to buy a pennant as the Sox finish 3-6-4-4-4-4-3-3.

1959: Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays were not good enough to play for the Red Sox. Pumpsie Green was. The Red Sox finally integrate, over a year after the Bruins. Later on, Green flirted with the idea of becoming the best infielder in the Israeli League.

1960-1966: Hard hitting, 25 guys-25 cabs teams stay near the bottom of the league, finishing 7-6-8-7-8-9-9. Expansion helps keep them out of the basement.

1967: The Impossible Dream. Boston comes out of nowhere to win the pennant. They lose the World Series in seven games as Gibson shuts down Sox bats and Lonborg gets hammered. Considering the strength of the St. Louis team, it is a wonder that the Bosox made it to Game 7. Conigliaro's injury mars a wonderful season. Yaz last to win Triple Crown.

1968-1971: Strong teams couldn't catch stronger Detroit and Baltimore ones. Yaz the AL's only .300 hitter in 1968.

1972: Red Sox needed to win two in Detroit to take the division. They win one. They lose one of the others when Hall of Famer Luis Aparacio falls down on the basepath to home.

1973: End up 2 games behind Baltimore.

1974: Boston 7 ahead of Baltimore on August 30. They finish 7 back.

1975: Sox win the pennant but fall to Cincinnati in 7 games. Boston has a 3 run lead in Game 7 but lose it when Lee throws an eephus pitch to Perez and Johnson pulls Willoughby for Burton. Idiots. Game 6 does leave a nice memory though. Boston's noble loss saves baseball in America.

1977: After a lackluster 1976, Sox lead by 3 in August but finish 2 out.

1978: Sox up by 14 in July and 6 in September. They fall 3 behind the Yankees but rally to tie them. They lose the playoff game thanks to Bucky Dent among others. Yaz makes the last out.

1979-1985: Mediocrity reigns though Houk keeps them competitive in 1981 and 1982. Lynn and Fisk escape. Leroux's attempted coup is good for laughs.

1986: Sox return to the World Series after a phenomenal ALCS Game 5 comeback against California. Boston seems certain to win until blowing Game 6. Thanks John, Calvin, Bob, Rich and Bill. The designer of Pursue the Pennant, perhaps the most accurate baseball simulation ever, replayed the situation to see if he could get the Mets to win. He did, after 279 tries.

1987-1991: Morgan Magic brings division titles in 1988 and 1990, but Sox swept in ALCS by Oakland. Boston also competitive in 1989 and 1991.

1992-1993: Red Sox decide Morgan is not good enough and bring in Butch Hobson. Sox, and Hobson's personal life, go into a tailspin fast.

1994: New divisional format inspires an Eddie Andelman song:
Wild card!
That's why we play hard!
A pennant would be groovy.
Wild Card!
Oops. Wait a second. Players strike cancels World Series. Never mind.

1995: Sox win the division. Swept in ALDS by Cleveland.

1996-1997: Nondescript seasons.

1998: Sox win a Wild Card! berth. Lose ALDS 3-1 to Cleveland.

1999: Sox win another Wild Card! berth. They finally beat Cleveland, then lose ALCS 4-1 to New York.

2000-2002: Finish out of the playoffs by 2 games in 2000. They go nowhere in the next two years.

2003: Boston rallies to win 3 straight in the ALDS against Oakland. They take on the Yankees in the ALCS, leading 5-2 in the 8th Inning of the 7th Game. Grady leaves Martinez in. Oh well, at least they burnt out the Yankee bullpen for the World Series.

Postscript

2004: Terry Francona sells his soul to the Dark Side. Boston Red Sox defeat the Yankees in the ALCS, rallying from an 0-3 deficit. Then Boston wins the World Series in 4 games.

2007: Yawn.........another World Series win.

2011: Red Sox go 7-20 in September to blow a commanding wild card lead. Things might be back to normal.


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