LOS ANGELES — They were the real deal. From start to finish.
The Boston Red Sox dominated the regular season, winning a franchise-record 108 games and turning out the lights in the AL East, seemingly, in July.
But not many people thought they were actually that good.
Maybe it was just our natural, born-in, New England fatalism. Or, you know, the fact that most people experienced the Red Sox ripping their hearts out of their chests for decades and those deep-seated scars never really ever go away, even after three titles. Long-time Red Sox fans think another 86-year drought is right around the corner.
Besides, since when does any team that doesn't include Bill Belichick and Tom Brady just plow through the competition and win world championships with seeming relative ease?
No, you start to look for flaws or potential potholes. Chris Sale hadn't been right in months. David Price ... he'll never win a postseason game. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts hadn't accomplished anything of note in the postseason. The bullpen ... hide your eyes. Who's going to play third ... or second?
Oh, and just for good measure, the Red Sox were probably going to have to go through the Yankees and the defending champion Astros to win a world title.
A walk through the park ... this was far from that.
But it was. Actually, Boston was even more dominant in the postseason.