Well, which Red Sox acquisition was I most over the moon about? Beyond the most obvious choices, Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling, so many possibilities. But the reality is, most don't pan out. There are literally dozens to choose from. So let me go back to that fateful year 1978. After narrowly missing in 1975 then failing to make the post-season in 1976 and 1977, the Sox made 3 acquisitions to gear up for 1978. First, they filled a big need at second base, trading promising young pitcher Don Aase to the Angels for the hometown kid Jerry Remy. If that wasn't exciting enough, they took a bite out of the Big Apple, signing free agent pitcher Mike Torrez away from the dreaded Yankees. Lastly, toward the end of spring training, they sent aging righty Rick Wise along with promising youngsters Mike Paxton (P), Ted Cox (3B), and Bo Diaz (C) to the Indians for backup catcher Fred Kendall, and a young up and coming RHP, Dennis Eckersley.
Those additions, Remy, Torrez, and Eckersley FOR SURE would be enough to propel us past the Yankees and Orioles to another pennant and a shot at the first WS win in 70 years. Leading the Brewers by 8 games, and Yankees by 14 on July 4th, it sure looked like they were going to cruise! Well, we know how that turned out. Eck shut down the Blue Jays on the next to last day of the year for his 20th win. On the final day, Luis Tiant shut out the Jays to force a tie, setting up a 1 game playoff with New York. Torrez was on cruise control until the top of the 7th when Bucky "Bleeping" Dent hit a pop up that somehow made it over the wall scoring 3 and putting NY ahead 4-2. Remy did all he could to bring the Sox back. After Reggie Jackson homered in the 8th to put NY up 5-2, Remy led off the 8th with a double, sparking a 2-run rally, making it 5-4. In the bottom of the 9th, after Rick Burleson walked, Remy smoked a line drive to right that Lou Piniella lost in the sun. He recovered to barely snare it on a hop, and Burleson had to stop at second. If that ball gets past Piniella, Burleson scores easily, and Remy has a triple, if not a walk-off inside the park homer. Oh well. At least Manny and Schilling made us happy in 2004.