| Grady Little|
| Theo Epstein|
John W. Henry
| 2005 Boston Red Sox, 1903 Boston American, 1915 Boston Red Sox|
The 2003 Boston Red Sox season was the 103rd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 67 losses, six games behind the New York Yankees. The Red Sox qualified for the postseason as the AL wild card, and defeated the American League West champion Oakland Athletics in the ALDS. The Red Sox then lost to the Yankees in the ALCS.
The Red Sox led the major leagues in nearly all offensive categories, including runs scored (961), batting average (.289), on-base percentage (.360), and perhaps most impressively, a .491 team slugging percentage, which set a new record previously held by the 1927 Yankees.
On November 25, 2002, Theo Epstein, 28, was hired as General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. The vacancy occurred because Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane accepted the Red Sox job and then resigned shortly afterward. Epstein's hiring made him the youngest general manager in major league history. Larry Lucchino, Red Sox' President and CEO, wanted Epstein to be hired. Prior to the appointment, Epstein was Boston's assistant general manager.
October 9, 2002: Brandon Lyon was selected off waivers by the Boston Red Sox from the Toronto Blue Jays.
November 6, 2002: Chris Coste signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
December 6, 2002: Wayne Gomes was released by the Boston Red Sox.
December 31, 2002: Ramiro Mendoza signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
January 10, 2003: Bill Mueller was signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
January 22, 2003: David Ortiz was signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
February 15, 2003: Kevin Millar was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Florida Marlins.
April 11, 2003: Bill Haselman signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox.
June 28, 2003: Gabe Kapler was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Colorado Rockies.
July 22, 2003: Scott Sauerbeck was acquired by the Red Sox from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
July 31, 2003: The Red Sox acquired Scott Williamson from the Cincinnati Reds. Freddy Sanchez was traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jeff Suppan.
August 4, 2003: David McCarty was acquired off waivers by the Red Sox from the Oakland Athletics.
2003 Boston Red Sox season Wikipedia
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
As the AL wild card, the Red Sox entered the first round of the playoffs against the Oakland Athletics. Despite losing the first two games in Oakland, Boston rebounded with two dramatic wins in the late innings at Fenway Park to even the series. When the series returned to Oakland, the Red Sox held off a late Oakland charge to win the series in five games. In doing so, they joined the 1995 Mariners and 1999 Red Sox in coming back from a two-game deficit to win a best-of-five ALDS.
Boston wins the series, 3–2
The stage was set for a classic showdown with longtime division rival, the New York Yankees. The teams split the first two games in the Bronx before the real drama unfolded in Game 3 at Fenway Park. A highly anticipated matchup between Sox ace Pedro Martínez and former Sox' pitcher Roger Clemens turned ugly early on. Karim García was hit in the back by a Martínez fastball. Words were exchanged and Martínez threateningly gestured towards Yankee catcher Jorge Posada. When Garcia was forced out at second, he slid hard into Todd Walker. The following inning, Manny Ramírez took exception to a high Clemens pitch and charged the mound. Both benches cleared, but the resulting brawl turned surreal when 72-year-old Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer charged Martínez. Martínez sidestepped and threw Zimmer to the ground. After a thirteen-minute delay, Clemens struck out Ramírez and proceeded to pitch effectively as the Yankees took a 2–1 series lead. The Red Sox won Game 4, but the Yankees won Game 5 to takes the series' lead back to New York. But Boston proved resilient, and their offense came alive for the first time in the series to the tune of nine runs on sixteen hits to force a seventh game. With a 4–0 lead early on and Martínez pitching, Boston appeared to be on the brink of winning the pennant. But more late-inning drama unfolded when the Yankees tied the game 5–5 with three eighth-inning runs off Martínez, sending the game on into the October night. Yankee closer Mariano Rivera pitched three scoreless innings, and in the bottom of the eleventh, Aaron Boone turned on the first offering from Tim Wakefield and sent it into the frenzied bleachers of Yankee Stadium, sending the Yankees on to the World Series for the fifth time in six years. This game further cemented the legend many believed was The Curse of the Bambino.
New York wins the series, 4–3