The 2018 world series is being played between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the first time since 1916 that the two teams will be squaring off in the world series, when the Dodgers were known as the Brooklyn Robins. The Red Sox won that series in five games. Game 1 was played last night and it was intense. The Red Sox led for the most of the game and in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and two runners on base, Eduardo Nunez hit a three run home run that blew things open 8-4.
Besides playing baseball the two ball clubs carry many franchise connections through blockbuster trades, players, and head coaches. Both teams are also known to have the highest payrolls in the MLB, Boston ranking at number 1 and Los Angeles falling in at 3.
The first connection is the fact that both head coaches Alex Cora and Dave Roberts each played for both the Red Sox and the Dodgers at some point in their careers. Alex Cora who is currently the Red Sox head coach spent his first seven seasons running the infield with the Dodgers. In 2005 he was then sent off to the Cleveland Indians where he played 49 games before being shipped off to Boston. In Boston Cora played from 2005 until 2008 and he was apart of the 2007 Red Sox World Series Championship team, which is his only ring for now.
On the other hand, Dave Roberts was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 47th round of the 1993 MLB draft. After the three seasons in Cleveland, Roberts was dealt to Los Angeles where he was utilized more as a player. In 2004 he was traded to the Red Sox in the middle of the season. Roberts would appear in 45 games with the Red Sox but most importantly he would go on to play a big role for the Red Sox in the 2004 postseason as a pinch runner.
14 years ago, the play that is known as “The Steal” occurred. The Red Sox were down 3-0 to the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth Roberts was subbed in to pinch run. When he was subbed in everyone in the world knew that he was going to steal the bag and he proceeded to successfully do that. After he stole the bag he came around to score on a hit to tie the game. This play was known to save the Red Sox from elimination that year. It also helped them build momentum to make the greatest comeback in baseball history and go on to end their 86-year drought without a world series title.
Another connection that both teams have is Manny Ramirez. Ramirez is one the greatest hitters to ever play the game. He had one of the most natural swings of all time which is why he hit 555 home runs. Ramirez landed in Boston in 2000 after spending his first eight seasons in Cleveland. Ramirez would then go on to spend seven seasons with the Red Sox helping them win world series titles in 2004 (World Series MVP) and 2007. Ramirez was a juggernaut for Boston.
Unfortunately, in 2008 the Red Sox traded the slugger Ramirez to the Dodgers due to conflicts in the club house. Ramirez went to the Dodgers and picked up right where he left off. He finished the 2008 campaign hitting .396 with 17 home runs in just 53 games. After three seasons he would then be shipped off to the Chicago White Sox.
Boston and Los Angeles agreed to one of the biggest blockbuster trades in 2012. According to NBC sports in Boston, the Red Sox “dumped an enormous amount of salary onto the Dodgers by trading Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers for James Loney, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands, and Iván De Jesús. While none of those players panned out with the Red Sox, the salary dump was enough to make the trade worth it. L.A. agreed to cover $258 million of the $270 million owed to the players they received.”
Both teams are very well connected through past history but don’t think they will be tonight when they square off in Boston for game 2 of the 2018 World Series.