On Wednesday the duck boats will roll through the streets of Boston with another championship parade. It will be the last time the 2018 Boston Red Sox gather as a team.

And what a team it was. Under first-year manager Alex Cora, the Sox won 119 games between the regular season and playoffs. They beat a pair of 100-win teams in the playoffs and eliminated the two pennant winners from 2017.

In 2013, Shane Victorino helped lead the Red Sox to an improbable championship. That October he walked up to the plate to Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” as all of Fenway sang “every little thing is gonna be alright.”

This year’s team could have played to the tune of another Marley song. “Redemption Song” would be the perfect soundtrack to what the 2018 Red Sox did in October.

David Price, one of the least popular athletes in Boston for much of the past two years, wound up exorcising his postseason demons and performing brilliantly on the biggest stage. Price had yet to win a postseason start before Game 5 of the ALCS in Houston. Since then he’s 3-0. He was the winning pitcher in two of Boston’s four World Series victories, and easily could have been the MVP of the Fall Classic.

That award, of course, went to Steve Pearce. A guy who calls himself “Late Lightning” because he’s usually on the bench ready to pinch hit late in a game. By the end of this World Series he was starting. And hitting home runs. Three of them in the final 11 innings of baseball. A guy who has kicked around six teams in his career will now get himself a nice contract as a free agent. And will probably start a lot next year.


Jackie Bradley, Jr. was the player most fans wanted traded for a reliever before the July 31 deadline. Fans said he was brilliant on defense but couldn’t hit. He hit enough in the postseason, and was the ALCS MVP with nine two-out RBI against the Astros. He’s a Gold Glover in the field and an opportunistic hitter at the plate. The Sox wouldn’t be riding duck boats without him.

When the regular season ended, Joe Kelly was in danger of being left off the playoff roster. He had an ERA of 8.31 after Aug. 31, the third month out of four he had an ERA over 8.00. Not only did he make the roster but was a key part of the team’s late-inning relief setup. He appeared in each of the five World Series games, throwing six scoreless innings.

Chris Sale has long been one of the best pitchers in baseball. He hasn’t had to redeem himself from anything. Yet people questioned his health over the final two months of the season and started questioning him again when he was pushed back from a Game 5 start. Yet there he was on the mound to close out the final game of the season. He threw the first and last pitches of the World Series, adding to the legacy he has built as a fierce competitor.

Brock Holt has been labeled a utility player for years. Yet he proved himself worthy of starting for a championship team. His double started the ninth-inning rally in Game 4 and he was on the field in the ninth inning of Game 5 when Sale struck out Manny Machado to end the game and start the celebration.

Finally, Dave Dombrowski was roundly criticized for not adding a reliever at the trade deadline. He believed this team had enough to finish the job. Clearly he was right. He has every right to enjoy this victory lap as much as his players. His goal was to build a champion, which is exactly what he did.

In the days and weeks ahead, Dombrowski will have to deal with building the 2019 roster. There will be challenges as players head to free agency and the team gets closer to losing control over key young players. There’s no doubt next year’s team will look at least slightly different.


Fenway Park will look a little different, too. It will have a new banner hanging on the wall.

The fourth championship banner of the past 15 years.

Victorino was right. Every little thing is gonna be alright.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

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