Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Tony Lazzeri,
of the 1927 World Champion New York Yankees
Eric Ortiz (presumably no relation to the Red Sox' big fat lying cheating bastard David "Big Papi" Ortiz), NESN.com (New England Sports Network), January 2, 2011:
The Red Sox have won 100 or more games three times in their 110-year existence.
They will make it four in 2011.
In fact, the Red Sox have won 88 games, with 8 still to play. If they maintain their current winning percentage, they will win 93. A good total, to be sure, but not 100. Even if they win all their remaining games, they will have won 98, and will win at least the American League's Wild Card, but that still might not be enough to win the AL Eastern Division, as the Yankees have already won 92.
Eric Ortiz continues:
But this team has the potential to accomplish something even bigger than winning 100 games... 100 wins doesn’t just appear plausible. It seems downright inevitable. So does a date with history.
The Red Sox have no intention of suffering a similar fate. The way they are constructed, they could surpass the 116-win mark, but nothing less than a World Series title will make Boston happy.
The 2011 Red Sox possess all the pieces to have a season for the ages. If everything falls into place and the breaks go their way, they could do more than set records and become champions. They could do more than take their place on Immortality Peak and end up being mentioned in the same sentence as legendary clubs of the past: the 1929 A’s, the epic Yankees teams of the ‘30s, the 1970 Orioles, the 1976 Reds.
The 2011 Red Sox could accomplish a feat that has never been done. They could unseat the 1927 Yankees as the greatest major league team of all time.
That would be something to celebrate.
Then there's what Mike Lupica -- New Hampshire native, Boston College graduate, Red Sox fan, and New York Daily News columnist, wrote this past Sunday, September 18, 2011:
Of all the injuries in the American League East, the one that made the most difference - and maybe all the difference for the Red Sox - was the one that lost them Clay Buchholz for the second half of the season.
It's more important than A-Rod, more important than Phil Hughes being gone from the Yankees as long as he was.
If Buchholz is healthy, I believe the Red Sox win the East easily, instead of fighting to the finish for a wild card the way they do.
John Lackey is 12-12, with an ERA of 6.49 and a WHIP of 1.630. Tim Wakefield is 7-7, with an ERA of 5.08 and a WHIP of 1.327. Admittedly, Wakefield is 45 years old, and shouldn't be able to pitch like a 30-year-old ace. But the fact that a 45-year-old knuckleballer, who debuted in the major league when George Bush the father was President, is in your rotation suggests you've got problems. (In 1985, Ron Guidry was the Yankees' ace, winning 22. Phil Niekro won 16, but he was a 46-year-old knuckleballer, and shouldn't have been the Yankees' Number 2 pitcher.)
Before he got hurt, Buchholz was pitching very well. But suppose he was available. He couldn't take the place of Lackey and Wakefield, could he? Not unless the Red Sox want to go back to the days when men were men, and pitched every 4th day, instead of every 5.
The bottom line is that the Yankees have had A.J. Burnett pitch poorly again, and 3 major come-back-from-injury question marks in Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes, and a then-unknown quantity in Ivan Nova.
And the Yankees have won 92 games, with 10 to play, and are 5 games ahead of the Red Sox, 6 in the loss column.
No one was saying the 2011 Yankees were going to approach the 1927, or 1936, or 1941, or 1953, or 1961, or 1998, or even 1978 Yankees. But they've already won 92, which is as many as the 1996 World Champion Yankees won in the regular season.
So Lupica is saying that one injury is the reason the Red Sox aren't beating the Yankees over the course of 152, soon to be 162, games?