Originally written on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Red_soxrangers_ad29
In a city like Boston, pride heals wounds. After the blow of the bombings last week at the Boston Marathon, the city’s grief was met with unmistakable pride. Facebook posts and Tweets vowed that the city would quickly recover from the attacks and that police would catch the perpetrators swiftly, which they did. Nothing instills pride in us Bostonians like our sports teams. When talking about why our city is the best, we have four simple words for you: “Sox, C’s, Pats, B’s”. That’s really all you need to know. For us, the argument starts and ends there. Knowing this, Boston would never fully be able to recover until the sports teams took the field again. Enter: David Ortiz. On Saturday, April 20, the Sox took the field at Fenway Park for the first time since the attacks that prior Monday. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving bomb suspect, was taken into custody the previous night, so the city could finally breathe a little. The baseball game was a big deal because it signaled that Boston could now return to a state of normalcy, but it also marked David Ortiz’s return from the disabled list and first game of the 2013 season. His 11 seasons on the team, his leadership role, and his Big Papi persona all gave him the necessary clout to address the crowd and the city before the game. “All right, Boston,” Ortiz told the crowd. “This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say ‘Red Sox.’ It says ‘Boston.’ “We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job that they did this past week. This is our f*****g city, and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong. Thank you.” It was exactly what we had been saying to each other, but we needed to hear it from someone like Big Papi. And from a city that is very knowledgeable in the subject of swearing, that f-bomb wrapped up the whole message beautifully. While some people dismissed it as crude and distasteful, Bostonians heard it as the key to our hearts. That was exactly what we would say if we were given the microphone in front of the Fenway Faithful. David Ortiz is Boston. He was a big reason why the Red Sox broke an 86-year World Series drought in 2004. For the past few years, until this past offseason, the Boston front office seemingly lost sight of the fact that players like Ortiz, the ones who exemplify the city, are the ones who perform the best once on the Red Sox. The 2004 World Series Red Sox had a great deal of players that fit that description. Guys like Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Mark Bellhorn, Orlando Cabrera, Bill Mueller, Pokey Reese, Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Trot Nixon, and of course, David Ortiz had comparable skill to other players in the league with big names and flashy contracts, but were overlooked because they did not play in cities that contained the Empire State Building or the Hollywood sign. But, these Boston players who may have lacked big city luster, made up for it with grittiness and desire to win by any means necessary. This video of Kevin Millar basically convincing himself and the rest of the team that they would come back from the 3-0 deficit to the Yankees in the ‘04 ALCS is exactly what I am talking about. You will never see A-Rod do something like that. To win in Boston, you need a team full of overlooked, prideful, and tough players. The blueprint for a winning team in Boston comes from within the city. But these past three seasons, Boston’s front office disregarded this blueprint and brought on big names like Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and John Lackey. These guys - good players on their previous teams - were not wired to succeed in Boston. This past offseason, the front office returned to where they found success before. They signed good-character veterans who can play on the big stage of Fenway Park. These additions included Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew, Ryan Dempster, and Joel Hanrahan. None of these guys will make your eyes expand, but like the ’04 squad, will get the job done. And in the MLB, that is all that matters. I wrote an article last week listing in detail the eight characteristics a team needs to come as close as possible to guaranteeing a World Series. Of the eight attributes, the 2013 Red Sox can check off seven. The only thing they are in need of is a bonafide ace and an elite slugger. Fortunately for them, they do have an owner with giant sized pockets, so those should not be too hard to find. The dilemma is making sure they stick to the Boston blueprint. They need to stay away from Adrian Gonzalez and John Lackey, but rather find players like Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling. No, it is not necessary to own all eight characteristics, but I don’t trust the current Boston pitching rotation to go deep in October. I give the Red Sox one offseason to transform into a legitimate World Series contender again. By: Matt Levine Twitter: @Matt_TFJ
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Pats employee taking footballs into bathroom on video

Greg Anthony caught offering $80 to undercover officer for sex

Robert Kraft wants apology from NFL if nothing found

NFL may be very close to returning to Los Angeles

Report: Kobe definitely returning next season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Yankees don't want to pay A-Rod home run bonuses

Browner wants Patriots to injure Sherman, Thomas

Report: Rams, other teams interested in Nick Foles

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt' in Deflategate controversy

Odell Beckham Jr. says he played with two hamstring tears

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early B1G predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Allenby rang up $3,400 strip club bill on night of 'kidnapping'

Brady's dad: QB's relationship with Pats 'will end badly'

WATCH: Skittles Super Bowl commercial looks ridiculous

The five best Super Bowl defenses of all time

Mark Brunell explains why he got emotional over Deflategate

NFL was profiting off Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab

NFL finally getting its own YouTube channel

20 most amazing stats in Super Bowl history

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early Big Ten predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Pats employee took footballs into restroom?

Report: Kobe not retiring

More questions about Allenby's story

Yanks don't want to pay A-Rod bonuses

Looking back at Super Bowls 1-48

Super Bowl MVPs through the years

The five best Super Bowl defenses

Burnell explains why he got emotional

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.