The Red Sox ended the 1990s with an ALCS loss, and with little success in the first two years of the 2000s. They had the best pitcher in the game in Pedro Martinez, but couldn't get over the hump of winning it all. 2001 was a disaster, as the Sox were a dysfunctional team who fired a manager and replaced him with someone who never managed before. It was a rough time to be a Red Sox fan, with the Behemoths From The South (you know who they are) winning pennants and World Series.
But the end of 2001 brought in new management and a house cleaning at the top. Finally, someone who seemed to care about the fans and about winning. Fenway Park was saved and renovated, and is the crown jewel of all baseball parks.
What followed is like a gift from the heavens. Six of the last seven years have brought postseason baseball to Boston, something that never happened before. And of course, two World Series championships, with the most amazing comeback in the history of postseason baseball in the 2004 ALCS. And nothing could make it any better than to have put the choker tag on the New York Yankees.
It has been like a golden renaissance of baseball in Boston. The Red Sox have been competetive every year since Theo and The Trio took over. And that's all I want as a fan. A team that will go out and play and give the fans hope of seeing another title. We've seen two this decade, the first time since the 1910s that that has happened in Boston.
I DO NOT expect a championship every season (unlike some unnamed team's fans who expect it every year and feel is their birthright). The Boston Red Sox have given me some thrills this decade that I will remember and appreciate for the rest of my life. Naturally, I am disappointed that there won't be a championship flag flying over Fenway Park next season.
But I am really proud of my team, and really proud to call myself a Boston Red Sox fan.
It didn't happen in 2009. That's the way it goes sometimes. We'll get 'em in 2010.