Red Sox redemption

2003 loss just a momentary setback

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Even in the pain of last year's collapse, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was confident Boston will someday win the World Series.

"But we might not have a chance to come through Yankee Stadium to win it," he said. "Now, here we are, just a year later."

The Red Sox will play for their first World Series title since 1918 after beating the New York Yankees 10-3 in Game 7 of the AL championship series on Wednesday night. The victory was Boston's fourth in a row, making it the first baseball team to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games.


It was that much sweeter that the comeback was against the hated Yankees, who have won 26 World Series titles since Boston last won. New York has won seven consecutive AL East championships; the Red Sox have been second each time.

Boston battled New York down to the final day in 1949 and forced a one-game playoff in 1978, won by New York on Bucky Dent's popup home run that cleared Fenway Park's Green Monster. The Red Sox then faced the Yankees again in the 1999 playoffs but lost 4-1.

But few disappointments can match last year's disintegration at Yankee Stadium, when Red Sox manager Grady Little opted not to remove tiring ace Pedro Martinez in the eighth inning as a three-run lead withered away. The Yankees tied the game to send it into extra innings and won when Aaron Boone homered off of Tim Wakefield in the 11th.

Little was let go, and the Red Sox began a tumultuous offseason in which they added star pitchers Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke.

Although Boston's ultimate goal remains a World Series title, they have already made history with their comeback.

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