Monday, July 24, 2017

Thirteen Years Ago Today "The Nation" Was Re-Born

It was the seminal moment of the 2004 regular season—a campaign that would end with the first championship ring in 86 years. Thirteen years ago today, Jason Varitek—protecting Bronson Arroyo—gave Alex Rodriguez a shot upside the head and a magnificent brawl ensued. It was one of the best Yankee-Red Sox skirmishes ever. When the dust cleared, Boston was down by a run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Bill Mueller—who in October would plate the biggest RBI in Red Sox history—launched a two-run HR into the bullpen off Mariano Rivera, giving Boston an 11-10 win. It set the tone. Then-manager Terry Francona presciently stated, "I hope we look back a while from now and we’re saying this brought us together. I hope a long time from now we look back and say this did it." Indeed it did. I remember listening to this game on a rental car radio heading up the I-5 to a client meeting in California. Obviously, I didn't see the famous A-Rod-Tek confrontation—so the Mueller HR was what made me pump my fist in the air 3,000 miles away from the action. But it was the totality of this game that truly re-ignited the flame. We should all remember this day.