Sox 88 – Season Rundown

On Christmas Day 1988, John Powers of the Globe gave a recap of the campaigns of the Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins and Patriots during the previous 12 months. Though his words on the Sox had some positives, the last paragraph is pessimistic. After tracing the team's fall and rise with Johnny Mac and Walpole Joe, Powers wrote: "The adrenaline ran out early, as Boston lost 6 of its final 7 and clinched by default. Once Wade Boggs stranded 7 runners in the playoff opener against Oakland, the handwriting was on The Wall. With the heroes of 86 (Baylor and Henderson) on the other side this time, the Sox were broomed out in four. By Christmas, Hurst was gone, Boggs' days seemed numbered, and Roger Clemens was grumbling in Texas. The Titanic sails every year."
The Globe also listed a chronology of the Bosox' ups and downs. First a few of the downs. April 4– Lee Smith takes the opening day loss to Detroit on an Alan Trammell homer. May 2– Sox strand 14 runners in a 2-0 defeat. June 6– Boggs palimony suit announced. June 20– Boggs and several players clash in a Cleveland hotel in a fight related to Adams' allegations. Now the most momentous. July 14– McNamara fired as all-star break ends. Third base coach Joe Morgan takes over as interim manager (the interim will soon be removed.) Finally,  a few of the ups. July 15– Clemens fans 16 as Sox sweep Royals. July 24– Sox make it 11 in a row as Bruce Hurst tops Chicago 3-2. July 29– Sox acquire Mike Boddicker. August 12– Sox beat Tigers 9-4 to extend Fenway winning streak to 23. September 5– Dwight Evans knocks in 3 as Sox win 3-1 in Baltimore to take sole possession of first place. September 29– Boddicker fires a 3-hit shutout as Sox bomb Cleveland 12-0. Magic number drops to 1 with 3 to play. September 30– Although Sox lose to Indians, Tigers beat Yanks and A's top Brewers, clinching AL East title.
1988 was a year of highs and lows for the Townies. But it will forever be remembered as the year of Morgan Magic. Often when a managerial move is made, a team improves, but only for a short time. The 88 team proved that a change could resurrect an apparently lost season.

About Matt O'Donnell