Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shades of 1988 (Part I)

While we march towards the 30th(!) anniversary of the seminal modern-day Red Sox/Yankees game (the 2 October 1978 one-game playoff, of which more later), this year also marks the 20th anniversary of 'Morgan Magic.'

John McNamara was a year-and-a-half-removed from Game Six in Shea Stadium, but a disappointed 78-win season in 1987 (collective hang-over from the World Series, personified by Bob Stanley's 4-15, 5.07 ERA, 1.572 WHIP campaign.)

With the 1988 edition stuck in mediocrity (43-42), then-GM Lou Gorman fired McNamara, and gave the helm to local son (and Sox-lifer) Morgan while Gorman interviewed 'real' managers to take over. But when the Sox won 12 in a row, and 19 of 20, the former snow-plow driver dropped the "interim" label.

The 1988 team won the division, but faced the Canseco/McGuire-fueled A'steam in the ALCS.

Morgan led the team to another title in 1990, and again the Sox were swept by the Bash Brothers; but the manager also known as "the other Joe Morgan" still brings a smile to Red Sox Nation.

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