Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 4/27/13
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
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Pat Murphy won't be back as Padres manager next year

Marshawn Lynch won't play against Lions on MNF

DeMarco Murray unhappy with role in Eagles' offense

Big 12 admits officiating error in Oklah St-K State game

George Karl apologized to DeMarcus Cousins for trade comment

Jason Whitlock, ESPN part ways again


Devonta Freeman is scoring touchdowns at a historic rate

Joe Philbin not worried about being fired

NFL deciding how to share random PSI data during season

Report: LeSean McCoy has tear in hamstring

Report: Jay Cutler expected to play hurt against Raiders

Report: Marshawn Lynch not likely to play against Lions

Don Orsillo gives moving farewell to Red Sox fans on NESN

WATCH: Ichiro Suzuki takes the mound for the Marlins

Clay Matthews taunts Kaepernick with Russell Wilson line

Jay Feely shares thoughts on why NFL kickers are struggling

Female reporters blocked from entering NFL locker room

Pierre Garcon makes awesome game-winning TD catch

WATCH: Mario Williams obliterates Rashad Jennings

WATCH: Ed Dickson scores TD on crazy fumble recovery

WATCH: Nelson Agholor makes incredible one-handed catch

London PR guy has hilarious reaction to angry Suh

Former LSU staffer had championship rings stolen from home

Giants LB Devon Kennard makes incredible interception

Andrew Bogut lost 22 pounds thanks to sugar documentary

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Ichiro Suzuki pitches for the Marlins

Philbin not worried about job status

London PR guy trolls Suh

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Time for Neymar's Barcelona

Seth Rollins, WWE depth, Divas and winning

Madison Keys and the future of women’s tennis

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker