It may not be an Impossible Dream year for the Red Sox, but it has certainly been an improbable season.
A team of grizzled veterans and young talent finished with the best record in the American League, and they did it by overcoming adversity. The Sox came from behind at least 30 times to win games. They lost two relief pitchers but came up with Koji Uehara, a strike-throwing machine who makes them tough to beat in the late innings. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, still struggling with last season’s injury, recovered his form at the plate. Ace pitcher Clay Buchholz looked headed for a Cy Young until he was sidelined with an inflamed neck, but he has come back in fine form.
After two years in which the Red Sox left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, this year’s team left a smile on fans’ lips, while covering their chins with some memorable beards. They started the playoffs by beating the Tampa Bay Rays in four games. As they enter today’s Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers, the Salem News took to the streets to ask: Who is your Most Valuable Player on the 2013 Red Sox, and who is the team’s unsung hero?