The 2013 Red Sox have won my heart

Published On May 7, 2013 | By Jill Saftel

Last night, I found myself fighting off sleep as the Red Sox fought to hang on to a 5-4 lead over the Minnesota Twins in the top of the ninth inning of the game.

The Sox couldn’t hold on, and thanks to a 5-5 tie at the end of nine, they headed to extra innings. Free baseball is great, but man was I tired. But there was a 10th inning…and then one more, and so while I was tired, it was worth it, wasn’t it?

If you stayed up to watch Stephen Drew‘s walk-off to win it in the 11th inning last night, I’m willing to bet you didn’t mind the extra cup of coffee or the few extra yawns at work this morning. This Red Sox team is fun to watch. Seeing Will Middlebrooks muss up Drew’s hair as the team celebrated was just awesome. These are guys you can root for. These are guys you’ll stay up an hour late to watch, win or lose.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia crossed home plate Monday night for the winning run, drove in by Stephen Drew. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia crossed home plate Monday             for the winning run, drove in by Stephen Drew. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

If you’re still searching for someone specific to root for, take a look at Drew. The beginning of the season was filled with fans and media alike complaining that Drew was more or less useless. He was last in the batting order with a batting average under .200, but last night he went 4-for-5, had three RBI, and of course, was the night’s hero in Boston’s 6-5 win. Not a bad little comeback.

You’ve got the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedro Ciriaco stealing bases, or at least trying to. You’ve got the new guys like Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli making an impact. Through it all, there’s been David Ortiz, the lone member of the team still standing with both 2004 and 2007 World Series rings.

And sure, it’s always good to see your team win. It was good to see the Red Sox win last season, though those wins came few and far between – but it wasn’t quite the same. Would I have lost sleep for that team? I don’t think I did.

But we can get excited about the 2013 Sox. Their astonishing April start gave everyone hope after the debacle that was the 2012 season, but it’s not just their ability to win (hellooo, 21-11 record!) that makes them fun to watch.

I like this team even when they’re losing. They hold themselves accountable, they’re putting effort in, and you can see it. I don’t know these guys, I don’t watch them practice, but they have an undeniable likability. You can feel it in Fenway Park and you can feel it in your living room when you’re watching on NESN – it’s just there.

And yes, I know it’s only May 7. We’ve got a lot of baseball to play and I’m not saying this team is the 2013 World Champion, but they could be. And isn’t that a nice notion to have?

 

 

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About The Author

Jill studies journalism at Northeastern University, covers Hockey East for College Hockey News and is the sports editor for The Huntington News. You can follow her on Twitter at @jillsaftel, just don’t ask her to choose between hockey and baseball, it’s impossible.