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The Sports Edge Farewell to the 2016 Sox

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Farewell to the 2016 Boston Red Sox, a team that, in the never-to-be-forgotten words of former Vikings coach Dennis Green, were who we thought they were.

A fun team to watch, with star power, personalities, and compelling stories that made one want to watch how the season unfolded. The unparalleled final season from David Ortiz that solidified his position asone of the faces etched on the Red Sox's Mount Rushmore. The revival of Dustin Pedroia's career, as he returned to being an offensive force instead of just the inspirational streak hitter he'd become over the last few seasons. And of course, the continued development of the young core that will shape the future of the hometown nine.

Mookie Betts is a superstar, full stop. Xander Bogaerts is a steady middle-of-the-order bat whowill be in the race for the batting title for arguably the next decade or more. Jackie Bradley Jr. is a defensive savant who topped 25 home runs and had arguably the hottest single stretch of any hitter in major league baseball this season. And Andrew Benintendi, who has all of the promise in the world; he has a great start under his belt to build on going into next year and a burgeoning subset of fans that have been waiting for another Johnny Damon-like teen idol to love on.

And it would be hard to not point out Rick Porcello's season as another huge positive that will pay dividends down the road, as he is now the unquestioned number one starter for the club and a near-lock for this year's Cy Young Award.

The thing that I enjoyed the most, however, was how much this team reminded me of the Red Sox teams of my youth in the mid-1980s. I didn't notice it until about August, but this team was almost a throwback to those teams I remember so well. And I was reminded of exactly whyon Mondaynight, when Tito and his Friends of the Feather broke out their brooms and swept the Sox season into the river in three games.

They're back. All is right in the universe once again.

The Red Sox of the last couple of years, finishing in the AL East basement? That's not the Red Sox team I know. Winning the World Series? I know younger fans have been programmed to think that's the way things are up here, but I know better. The Boston Red Sox teasing their fan base with their potential, having runs of the highest highs followed by the lowest lows and yet still finding themselves in a great spot for a run at the World Series only to break the hearts of the Nation in the most baffling, confusing and unsettling ways?

That's the one.

That's the team that I know and love, the team that figured out new and interesting ways to torture their fans with thoughts of what might have been. That's my team; those are my Sox, and wearing them again, just feels right.


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