Seventeen

The magic number for the Red Sox to clinch the AL East Division title is now seventeen. Any combination of seventeen Red Sox wins and Yankee losses will give the Red Sox the title.
The Yankees have 17 to go before a season-ending series with the Red Sox. It is very possible (and personally? probable) that we will have the division sewed up by then. The Yankees have to play 17 games, and they’re not going to go 17-0. 10-7 is a much more realistic expectation, so that means we’d only have to win ten games before the Yankees series. Considering our schedule, and how it favors being at Fenway, and it’s doable.
I know the Red Sox love to tug at my heartstrings (violently) but can we clinch before the final series so I don’t have a heart attack?
In commemoration of the magic number being seventeen, here are some interesting tidbits about each number remaining and its relation to the Red Sox.
17 – Dick Radatz’s number (1962-65) … Last year on April 17, Curt Schilling defeated the Yankees 5-2 for the first time as a Red Sox. On October 17th, the Red Sox won Game Four of the 2004 ALCS.
16 – Joe Kerrigan’s number (1997-2001) … Jimy Williams was fired on August 16th, 2001.
15 – Billy Rohr’s number (1967 – one of three to wear 15 in that year) … 1915 was Tris Speaker’s final year with the Red Sox, when he batted .322/.416/.411.
14 – Jim Rice’s number (1974-89, 95-2000) … Ernie Shore had 14 complete games in 1917. On June 23rd, Babe Ruth was ejected after walking the first batter. Ernie Shore came on in relief, got the runner out on base immediately, then pitched a perfect game.
13 – John Valentin’s number (1992-2001) (was first worn in 1939 by Elden Auker and never worn again until Reid Nichols in 1980, then Billy Joe Roubidoux in 1990) … Boston wins the first ever World Series on October 13th, shutting Pittsburgh out 3-0 on Bill Dineen’s gem.
12 – Pumpsie Green’s number (1959-62) … The 1912 Red Sox, in brand new Fenway Park, had the most wins in Red Sox history, going 105-47 and winning the World Series under Jake Stahl.
11 – Tim Naehring’s number (1990-97) … The Red Sox’s record in 2004 when scoring 11 runs: 9-0. They were 0-2 when the opposition scored 11 runs.
10 – Lefty Grove’s number (1934-41) … Fred Lynn (6/18/75) and Nomar Garciaparra (5/10/99) have both driven in 10 runs, most by an individual playing for the Red Sox.
9 – Ted Williams’ number (1939-60) (retired) … The Red Sox have had nine MVP’s – Jimme Foxx, Ted Williams (2), Jackie Jensen, Carl Yastrzemski, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Roger Clemens, and Mo Vaughn. Make that 10 soon.
8 – Carl Yastrzemski’s number (1961-83) (retired) … Manny Ramirez signed an eight-year contract in 2001, but what most people forget is the Red Sox hold club options for 2009 and 2010 – $20M option in both years … yeah, that’ll get picked up. My opinion? If Manny is still a Red Sox in 2008, the Red Sox will certainly seek an extension and rip up the club options.
7 – Dom DiMaggio’s number (1940-42, 46-53) … The 1907 season featured four managers (Cy Young, George Huff, Bob Unglaub, Deacon McGuire) and a 59-90 record.
6 – Johnny Pesky’s number (1942, 46-52, 61, 75-present) (soon to be retired, obviously) … The Red Sox have won six World Series – 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004.
5 – Brady Anderson’s number (1988) (and you know who) … David Ortiz has stolen five bases in his career – and only been caught twice, both coming in the same year, 2002 which was his final year with the Twins.
4 – Joe Cronin’s number (1935, 37-47) (retired) … The most balks by a Red Sox pitcher belongs to John Dopson, who in 3.2 IP, balked four times on 6/13/89. He walked five, gave up six hits and five runs, uncorked a wild pitch, and struck three out.
3 – Jimmie Foxx’s number (1936-42) … In 1903, Sox basher Doc Gessler led the Red Sox with three home-runs. They hit 14 HRs that year, and stole 167 bases.
2 – Jerry Remy’s number (1978-84) … How many home-runs David Ortiz hit last night, and the MVP place he should place no lower at.
1 – Bobby Doerr’s number (1938-44, 46-51) (retired) … This would be Terry Francona’s first time as a manager of a division-winning club.