Red Sox

MLB Notebook: Reliving the highs and lows in the last decade of Red Sox history

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It's that time of the decade again.

Time, that is, to look back on the last 10 years of Red Sox history, a span that saw both great highs and unimaginable lows.

We'll take a look at the top five moments first, followed by the worst. Remember, these are specific moments, not games.


1. David Ortiz's grand slam, Game 2, 2013 ALCS

There can be little doubt that Ortiz was the Sox' signature player of the decade — even if he retired and missed the final three seasons — and, by extension, this was his most memorable moment. There were more heroics to come later that October in the World Series, when the Cardinals continued to defy logic by pitching to him. But this was vintage Ortiz: rescuing the Red Sox from sure defeat, while completely altering the trajectory of the series. The Detroit Tigers were on the verge of going up two games to none and returning home to finish off the Sox. Ortiz changed that narrative in the eighth as the Red Sox rallied from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game when Ortiz went deep off Joaquin Benoit. Torii Hunter fell into the home bullpen in a futile attempt to catch the ball and a Boston cop became a folk hero for his "touchdown'' celebration. The Sox didn't win the game until an inning later, but the series — and entire postseason — pivoted on the blast by Ortiz, a clutch player doing clutch things again.

2. Ortiz's speech

Days after the Boston Marathon terror attack paralyzed the city, the Red Sox returned home to Boston from a brief road trip in Cleveland. The Friday game which was to begin the homestand was canceled as the city was under "shelter in place'' edict as the second bomber was apprehended. On a bright spring day, the city sought a return to normalcy. An emotional pre-game ceremony at Fenway featured scores of public officials saluting the memory of the fallen and honoring the work done by first responders. It was Ortiz, however, who seized the moment and stole the day, noting that Boston was "our (expletive) city,'' and that no one was going to "dictate our freedom.'' It was at once a rallying cry for a wounded region, a reminder of the healing power of sports and a springboard to a season in which the Red Sox would be powered by a mission to demonstrate the meaning of "Boston Strong.''

3. The final out of Game 5, 2018 World Series