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WATCH LIVE: Red Sox celebrate with parade

MLB.com

The Red Sox are celebrating their 2018 World Series championship with a duck-boat parade through the streets Boston.

Get World Series champs gear

The Red Sox are celebrating their 2018 World Series championship with a duck-boat parade through the streets Boston.

Get World Series champs gear

The parade goes down Lansdowne Street, takes a right onto Ipswich Street, a left onto Boylston Street to Tremont Street and onto Cambridge Street and New Sudbury Street.

It is being streamed live at MLB.com and redsox.com.

"This is an all-time great team that we had," said Boston mayor Martin Walsh. "Everybody contributed. ... Congratulations to the entire team for your resilience and your positivity, and the way you carried yourself on the field and off the field. These players are role models and we want to celebrate them in Boston style."

Tweet from @CityOfBoston: #RedSoxParade: We're getting ready to celebrate the @RedSox at tomorrow's #WorldSeries victory parade. View the parade route & parking restrictions at https://t.co/QsmUbZCLs2 pic.twitter.com/cc3F1odm4o

The city iencouraged fans to leave their cars at home and use public transportation. The MBTA has added service on all branches, as does commuter rail. The parade route is closed to traffic. A complete list of parking restrictions is avaible online at Boston City Hall.

"Boston has certainly set a new tone around celebrations," said Walsh. "We are a city of champions, so let's celebrate like champions."

With the parade also falling on Halloween, some fans may have chosen to dress up, but the Boston Police Department asked that fans be respectful.

"If you're in costume, we just ask you to act respectfully and please no costumes with replica firearms. It won't be tolerated," said Boston Police Commissioner William Gross. "It doesn't bode well for the festive atmosphere that we expect to enjoy."

The Dropkick Murphys, who performed during the 2007 and '13 celebrations, are leading the parade this year.

Tweet from @DropkickMurphys: Coach Cora said ���we need this parade to be special... it���s for the greatest team in Red Sox history ...we need a band to lead if off with a bang .!!!���We said ���give us the ball coach ...put us on duck boat number ONE we wanna set the tone for the best parade in Boston history.��� pic.twitter.com/PCOPIItcr8

There was no rain in the forecast, but after a chilly start in the morning, temperatures were expected to rise into the 50s.

The victory clinched the franchise's fourth World Series title since 2004 following an 86-year championship drought. First baseman Steve Pearce was named the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player after hitting a game-tying homer and a game-breaking double in Game 4, followed by a pair of homers in Game 5.

Alex Cora led the Red Sox to a franchise-record 108 regular-season victories and a World Series title in his first year at the helm, becoming only the fifth rookie manager in MLB history to win a championship.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Boston Red Sox

Here's what champs had that no one else did

Cora rose to occasion in unforgettable rookie season as manager
MLB.com

No manager in the history of the baseball postseason, not one, did a better managing job than Alex Cora just did with the Red Sox. At the end of it for the Red Sox, start there.

Dress like the World Series champs

No manager in the history of the baseball postseason, not one, did a better managing job than Alex Cora just did with the Red Sox. At the end of it for the Red Sox, start there.

Dress like the World Series champs

Of course, not everything Cora did was right. On the night when the Dodgers could have evened this World Series at two games apiece, Cora stayed with Eduardo Rodriguez one batter too long, Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer and the Dodgers led, 4-0. They hadn't lost a game all season in that situation. Now, they were three innings away from tying the 2018 World Series.

But the Dodgers were up against Cora's Red Sox, who proceeded to score the next nine runs of Game 3 to take a 3-1 lead over the Dodgers. Cora's Red Sox did that after losing a grueling and historic and heartbreaking 18-inning, 7 1/2-hour game that had ended after midnight in Los Angeles, and in the middle of the night back in Boston.

:: World Series schedule and results ::

And perhaps Cora, after all the games he helped win for his team with the creative way he had managed it in October, was at his very best after one it lost.

"It's not crushing at all," Cora said after Game 3. "I just talked to them. I told them how proud I am. The effort was amazing. That was a great baseball game. It's probably one of the best -- if not the best -- game I've ever been a part of."

One last time, the Red Sox took their lead from the brilliant young baseball man hired by ownership and by president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to lead them. Dombrowski was pretty brilliant himself in assembling the 2018 Red Sox. He traded for Steve Pearce, who would become the World Series MVP Award winner, in June, and he dealt for Nathan Eovaldi, the pitching star of October for the Red Sox, in July. But the best move he made for the '18 team was his first: Hiring Cora away from the Astros, where a year ago he had watched AJ Hinch do a pretty great managing job himself.

This is what Hinch says about his former bench coach now:

"Alex does a great job of balancing what he sees and the information analytically. That is so key this time of year. He's very prepared, knows his team inside and out and is staying convicted with his decision making. I'm really impressed with his balance. Maybe he took things from last year because it feels similar, but he is doing a great job handling it all."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Sox on Cora's rookie managerial season

Yeah, Cora took things from last year -- particularly from the way Hinch wasn't afraid to pitch his best starters in relief, starting with Justin Verlander in Game 4 of the 2017 American League Division Series at Fenway Park, where the Astros closed out the Red Sox. Then Cora watched as Lance McCullers Jr., another starter, finished Game 7 of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees, pitching in relief of Charlie Morton. Finally, Cora watched Morton pitch in relief of McCullers, who was Hinch's starter in Game 7 of the World Series.

"What I learned in the playoffs is that you worry about tomorrow, tomorrow," Cora said during the Red Sox-Yankees ALDS this year.

Cora's cool presence in Year 1 inspires Sox

By then, Cora had already pitched Rick Porcello, one of his starters and the 2016 Cy Young Award winner, in the eighth inning of Game 1 against the Yankees. Cora would pitch Chris Sale -- who would eventually strike out the side in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers -- in the eighth inning of Game 4 at Yankee Stadium, on the night the Red Sox closed out their division rivals.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora on winning WS in his 1st year

Cora had David Price warming up in the bullpen at the end of Game 4 against the Astros in the ALCS, then started Price in Game 5 and watched Price beat Verlander. Cora used Eovaldi as a starter and out of the bullpen, watching as everybody did as Eovaldi pitched six gallant innings at the end of Game 3 before Max Muncy finally beat him with his walk-off home run in the bottom of the 18th.

After that game, Cora and his players stood in the visitors' clubhouse. And you know what they all did? They cheered Eovaldi. And perhaps themselves. And perhaps reminded themselves that every single time they had been tested this postseason -- when it was 1-1 against the Yankees, when it was 1-1 against the Astros -- they had responded like champions. That same night, they came back from down 4-0 and looked like champions.

This all starts at the top. Sale threw the first pitch of this World Series for the Red Sox and the last pitch. When it was just assumed he would start Game 5, Cora went with Price. When the momentum of the ALDS seemed to be going the Yankees' way after they'd won Game 2 with a bunch of home runs, Cora put Brock Holt and Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez into the lineup, and they all hit like crazy -- Holt became the first man in postseason history to hit for the cycle -- and the Red Sox won, 16-1.

"We followed [Cora]," Pearce said in Los Angeles when it was over.

Other rookie managers have watched their team win the World Series before. No manager was better or more creative than Cora, who didn't worry about tomorrow until it came around.

Mike Lupica is a columnist for MLB.com.

Boston Red Sox

After 21 years, Dombrowski reaches top again

Red Sox president of baseball ops last won Series with Marlins in '97
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Dave Dombrowski gleamed on Sunday night as he roamed around the turf at Dodger Stadium in the aftermath of his Red Sox winning the World Series just a bit earlier with a 5-1 victory over the Dodgers in Game 5.

With his family and close friends next to him, Dombrowski said, "It took us a while, but we got it, didn't we?"

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Dave Dombrowski gleamed on Sunday night as he roamed around the turf at Dodger Stadium in the aftermath of his Red Sox winning the World Series just a bit earlier with a 5-1 victory over the Dodgers in Game 5.

With his family and close friends next to him, Dombrowski said, "It took us a while, but we got it, didn't we?"

View Full Game Coverage

It was the most Dombrowski thing ever to say. His triumphs and his losses are something he's always shared with those closest to him. This journey was also theirs, especially his wife, Karie, his daughter, Darbi, and his son, Landon.

Shop for Red Sox World Series champs gear

And this moment was particularly sweet for the architect of what is the winningest team (119-57 including the postseason) in Red Sox history.

2018 champs stand out as greatest Sox team

Dombrowski's first and only previous World Series championship had come 21 years earlier when he was running the Florida Marlins, who were in just their fifth season of existence.

:: World Series schedule and results ::

In the 21 years between celebrations, Dombrowski had come close a few times, especially with the Tigers, when they lost in the World Series in 2006 and '12, and also had a gut-wrenching American League Championship Series defeat to the Red Sox in '13.

The pain of those losses has been replaced by elation.

"This is why you're in the game," Dombrowski said. "It's the best feeling you can possibly have from a professional perspective, and sometimes you wonder if it's ever going to happen again. We've been close a lot of times. My family is here, too. It's just as good as it gets."

Though Dombrowski didn't take an at-bat or throw a pitch in the World Series, his fingerprints were all over the accomplishment.

Perfect ending for near-perfect Red Sox

Winning pitcher David Price -- from postseason failures to postseason brilliance in the blink of an eye -- was magnificent in the clinching Game 5. In his first Hot Stove offseason with the Red Sox, Dombrowski signed Price. At times, the move came under scrutiny. But Price came up big this regular season, and in October.

Price shuts down doubters with stellar Series

Chris Sale, who served as the closer in the World Series clincher, was the ace Dombrowski acquired in a blockbuster prospects-for-superstar trade with the White Sox a year after he got Price.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Red Sox celebrate World Series victory

World Series MVP Award winner Steve Pearce was the right-handed bat Dombrowski acquired at the end of June. His job was to belt lefties around. Pearce did a lot of damage against righties and lefties in the Fall Classic.

Pearce rides midseason trade to Series MVP

The emerging hero for Boston throughout this postseason was Nathan Eovaldi, the flamethrower Dombrowski got in July when everyone else thought he should acquire an impact reliever.

And let's not forget J.D. Martinez, the slugger Dombrowski signed during Spring Training to put a good team over the top.

When reminded of those moves, Dombrowski started being Dombrowski again and deflected the credit.

"I'm happy because I think they made us a better club, and I tip my cap to our scouts and big league staff that recommended them to us," Dombrowski said. "They were all involved in that. We made a lot of collective decisions at that time and we thought they'd help our ballclub as they ended up doing, and we knew we had a good club, so we were trying to see if we could make a difference at that time. It's apparent the way these guys performed."

Yes, the victory celebration made all of that very apparent.

Nobody enjoyed Dombrowski getting his due -- and another ring -- more than his close friend, Tony La Russa. The two men worked together with the White Sox what seemed like a lifetime ago, then went their separate ways and reunited this season, when Dombrowski hired La Russa as a special assistant.

"He's been so close," La Russa said. "He had a chance with Detroit, it looked like it was going to happen. The pressure was on him personally, because he wanted to be the leader of [another] world champion. Personally it was very important. The way he is, he shares it with everybody upstairs, everybody downstairs. He's not going to take any credit but he's a wonderful leader."

Red Sox owner John Henry had worked with Dombrowski when they were both with the Marlins and used to have a slogan back then, "In Dave we trust."

With Boston en route to back-to-back last-place finishes in 2014-15, Henry trusted Dombrowski again and hired him to run the Red Sox.

That decision worked out quite well.

"Well, look at who was the Series Most Valuable Player," said Henry. "Steve Pearce. Without him and David Price, we wouldn't be standing here right now. We wouldn't be standing here right now if David didn't turn in two outstanding performances. Nate Eovaldi did an incredible job.

"Look at the job Dave Dombrowski did. Steve Pearce. And we're set up for next year. Could we be better set up for next year?"

Once the parade is over on Wednesday, Dombrowski might take a deep breath or two. Then he will get started on that whole next-year thing.

But those thoughts were far out of his mind on Sunday, as Dombrowski took some time to savor the moment. He had only had one like it before in his baseball life.

"It's an emotion, and you don't get to this point very often where you can just let it go," Dombrowski said. "There's always that next pitch, next out, next game, and now it's next year, and we'll worry about that in a few days."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

Cora's cool presence in Year 1 inspires Sox

Rookie manager praised for tactical moves, clubhouse leadership
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski gushed about manager Alex Cora in the same glowing manner as the players, coaches and owner did following Boston's World Series clincher on Sunday, but with one slight caveat -- he focused a little less on the "rookie" part and more on the leadership.

Dress like the World Series champs

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LOS ANGELES -- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski gushed about manager Alex Cora in the same glowing manner as the players, coaches and owner did following Boston's World Series clincher on Sunday, but with one slight caveat -- he focused a little less on the "rookie" part and more on the leadership.

Dress like the World Series champs

View Full Game Coverage

"Forget that everybody says first-year manager," Dombrowski said. "He's a manager."

:: World Series schedule and results ::

Dombrowski has a point. Cora may have started the season with no managerial experience, but it didn't take long for him to establish himself as a legitimate leader of a team with high expectations and enormous talent, in a city where every move, pitch and loss is scrutinized 11 ways by the passionate fan base that comprises Red Sox Nation.

How did Cora respond to those expectations? He guided the Sox to their best season ever -- 119 wins in the regular season and postseason combined, against just 57 losses. Cora became just the fifth rookie manager in MLB history to win the World Series, and the first since Bob Brenly guided the D-backs to a championship in 2001. Cora also is the first Puerto Rican to manage a team to a World Series title and only the second Latino, joining Venezuelan Ozzie Guillen, who accomplished the feat with the 2005 White Sox.

"I give him all the credit in the world," Red Sox owner John Henry said. "We had unity this year that was unlike any I've ever seen in the clubhouse before. Alex brought these guys together, he did everything right on every level. Can you tell me where he made a mistake?"

With a historic winning percentage, it's hard to find flaws. Cora's tactical skills were rarely questioned. Players swore by him inside the clubhouse. And, throughout the postseason, it seemed that every button Cora pushed, every chance he took, every against-the-grain decision he made, worked.

That included Cora's late decision to start David Price on short rest for Game 5, instead of Chris Sale, who had previously been announced as the starter.

Of course, it worked.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Sox on Cora's rookie managerial season

"If A.C. had asked me to start every game, I would have done it," Price said. "I wanted to be out there."

Cora has won a World Series as a player, a coach and now as a manager. Boston's Game 5 clincher fell on the 11-year anniversary of when he earned a ring with the 2007 Red Sox, and he won this one at the same venue as he did last year, as Astros manager AJ Hinch's bench coach. Houston beat Los Angeles in seven games in a 2017 World Series that also ended at Chavez Ravine.

This year, Cora's team had to get through the defending champs to have a chance at the title, which the Red Sox did quite handily, beating the Astros in five games in the American League Championship Series to capture the pennant.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora congratulates team, Sox pop bottles

Hinch lauded Cora for his efforts as a first-year manager.

"It is so impressive to see what he accomplished this year," Hinch said. "He went from the World Series with us right into building his own staff, building relationships, and setting an incredibly good tone for his team. Hard to top the proud feeling of managing a World Series winning team, and he's really earned it. I'm happy for him and impressed with the way he did it."

Video: Red Sox finish off Dodgers to win 9th World Series

The respect among the Red Sox's players is seemingly unanimous.

"He's been great," Sale said. "The entire season, he's been calm, cool and collected. I've said it a million times, it can be 10 to nothing or 1-1, he's the same guy. When you can look at your manager and he's over there just eating sunflower seeds, having a good time, ready for the next big thing to happen, it sends a shock wave through the dugout and helps you relax a little bit."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora commends effort of Pearce, Price

Cora's approval rating is sky high, from the dugout all the way to the very top of the organization.

"Phenomenal," Dombrowski said. "He had a grasp of the personnel so quickly. To be able to communicate with them and connect with them, it was really a phenomenal job."

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Boston Red Sox

Price shuts down doubters with stellar Series

Veteran lefty collects two wins with 1.98 ERA in Fall Classic
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- David Price had heard the criticisms, the questions, the doubts about his ability to perform on the big stage. He had, in fact, been carrying it with him for years. But that is all gone now, erased by a stellar seven-inning, one-run performance at Dodger Stadium on Sunday that helped the Red Sox clinch the World Series in five games with a 5-1 victory over the Dodgers and their ace, Clayton Kershaw.

Dress like the World Series champs

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LOS ANGELES -- David Price had heard the criticisms, the questions, the doubts about his ability to perform on the big stage. He had, in fact, been carrying it with him for years. But that is all gone now, erased by a stellar seven-inning, one-run performance at Dodger Stadium on Sunday that helped the Red Sox clinch the World Series in five games with a 5-1 victory over the Dodgers and their ace, Clayton Kershaw.

Dress like the World Series champs

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"It was tough, absolutely," Price said of carrying that burden. "To answer that question in Spring Training ... over and over and over and over, anytime it got to September, playoffs.

"I hold all the cards now. And that feels so good. That feels so good. I can't tell you how good it feels to hold that trump card. And you guys have had it for a long time. You've played that card extremely well. But you don't have it anymore, none of you do, and that feels really good."

Tweet from @DAVIDprice24: 🤫🤫🤫🤫... #Iholdthecardsnow

:: World Series schedule and results ::

Red Sox manager Alex Cora gambled on Price in Game 5, moving him up to start on short rest in place of left-hander Chris Sale, who ended up closing out the victory. So the gamble worked out on both ends.

Cora had a hunch that Price would be just fine on short rest, on the road, in a potential Series-clinching game -- and if it didn't work out, heck, the Red Sox would have two more chances to get it done at home, with some powerful pitchers lined up to make sure this Series didn't escape them.

As it turned out, there was no need to plan for anything beyond Game 5. No need to turn to Sale or Nathan Eovaldi, or to make any plans for a return trip to Fenway Park for anything other than cleaning out lockers and getting ready for a World Series parade. Price capped a tremendous October with his best start yet on Sunday, holding Los Angeles to one run over seven-plus innings, leading Boston to its fourth World Series title in 15 seasons, and its first since 2013.

Price opened the game by yielding a homer to Dodgers leadoff hitter David Freese. From there, the lefty was dominant, allowing three baserunners until he walked his final batter, Chris Taylor, to lead off the eighth inning.

"I'm very proud of him," Cora said. "There's a lot of people that gave up on him throughout the season. A lot of people that gave up on him after his outing against New York [in the American League Division Series]. But we knew that he's one of the best pitchers in the big leagues, and he cares, he wants to win, and finally -- his World Series win."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Price retires 14 straight in WS clincher

Price's World Series numbers -- MVP-worthy, if not for Steve Pearce's Superman-like Series at the plate -- aligned with some of the best performances in Fall Classic history. Price finished with a 1.98 ERA and 10 strikeouts over two starts and one relief appearance, cumulatively allowing three runs and six hits.

Pearce rides midseason trade to Series MVP

Price became the first pitcher since Hall of Famer John Smoltz in 1996 to allow fewer than seven hits while pitching at least 13 2/3 innings in a World Series.

Video: MLB Tonight: David Price's Game 5 performance

Given how Price's postseason began -- he pitched poorly in Game 2 of the ALDS, allowing three runs over 1 2/3 innings -- the turnaround was stunning.

What did he prove?

"That I can win a big game," Price said. "I don't know, I haven't reflected on it. I am 33 years old now, and the last time I was in this type of situation was when I was 23 [in 2008, with the Rays]. So a lot of things have changed since then. To be able to come out on top and to be able to contribute in October, that's why I play the game."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora on Price's growth and leadership

It did not start out that way. Price was roundly criticized for his performance against the Yankees, which wasn't the first time he had pitched poorly against the Red Sox's biggest rival. He has sparred with media in the past, and his first two starts in the postseason -- he also struggled in his first start against Houston in the AL Championship Series -- didn't help quiet the critics.

But throughout October, something changed in Price, beginning with his six shutout innings against the Astros in Boston's pennant-clinching game in Houston. Price found a new feel for his changeup and struck out nine Houston batters, while walking none. Astros hitters said later it was the most dominant changeup they had ever seen.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Price on adjustments he made on delivery

"What I noticed was once he got done with that Houston game, there was just a relief off of him, something off his back," said Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. "I saw a little different demeanor. The same determination, the same abilities, just that different feeling that he was ready to take charge."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Price on Sox's season, winning WS title

Price followed that outing in Houston with a solid six-inning performance in Game 2 of the World Series, holding L.A. to two runs over six innings. He recorded two outs in the 18-inning marathon of Game 3, and something in Cora's mind told him Price was up to the task to put the World Series to bed in Game 5.

Price tears up after World Series win

"He enjoys being available," Cora said. "And he was available the whole time, the whole time, from the Division Series to the Championship Series to the World Series. There was a text, 'I'm ready for tomorrow. Count on me. Use me.'"

Cora took him up on the offer, and Price delivered, in the most important game of the year.

"We're World Series champs," Price said. "That's special. This is a very special team. We rallied together all year long starting in Spring Training. So we'll see them all at that duckboat."

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Boston Red Sox, David Price

Team of this century? Sox win 4th title since '04

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The baseball season ends just as the discussion about this Boston Red Sox club's place in the sport's long and layered history begins. It's not enough to simply state that the Red Sox put the finishing touches on their ninth title -- and fourth since 2004 -- with a clear and convincing 5-1 victory over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

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LOS ANGELES -- The baseball season ends just as the discussion about this Boston Red Sox club's place in the sport's long and layered history begins. It's not enough to simply state that the Red Sox put the finishing touches on their ninth title -- and fourth since 2004 -- with a clear and convincing 5-1 victory over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

Get World Series champs gear

View Full Game Coverage

:: World Series schedule and results ::

No, a team this talented, a march this methodical deserves a deeper appreciation. The Red Sox began 2018 by blowing an eighth-inning Opening Day lead and sending their fans into a Twitter tizzy. Then the club with a rookie skipper named Alex Cora won 119 times in all -- a mark bested only by the 1998 Yankees (125) and the 2001 Mariners (120). The Red Sox needed just one game north of the minimum each to take down the 100-win Yankees in the American League Division Series, the defending World Series champion Astros in the AL Championship Series and the two-time National League champion Dodgers in the Fall Classic.

"We're not cocky," said shortstop Xander Bogaerts, "but we know who we are. We have one of the best teams [in history], especially in Red Sox history."

2018 champs stand out as greatest Sox team

Their solitary setback in this best-of-seven World Series was the 18-inning extravaganza that was Friday's Game 3. To repeat: It took the equivalent of two baseball games to beat these Red Sox. And even in the wake of that lone loss, there was a standing ovation in Boston's clubhouse for Nathan Eovaldi's outrageous relief effort -- another signal of the closeness, camaraderie and confidence that carried this club.

Perfect ending for near-perfect Red Sox

"Everyone just cares for each other," impact offseason acquisition J.D. Martinez said. "It's a family. It really is, man. People get more excited when someone else steps up than when they step up. It's so rare to see that. And it just wasn't in the playoffs. It was all season long."

Video: Red Sox finish off Dodgers to win 9th World Series

Glory arrived on a Southern California night in front of a crowd littered with some untold-but-notable number of red shirts breaking up the blue in the stands.

Pearce named World Series MVP

It arrived behind the short-rested-but-no-less-effective arm of David Price, who had already shaken off his October blues and was now back to cementing his Boston legend with seven-plus magnificent innings in which he was touched up only by a first-inning homer from a familiar Series source in David Freese. It arrived with a trio of damaging dingers against Clayton Kershaw -- the two-run blast belted by World Series MVP Steve Pearce in the first, the solo homer that snapped Mookie Betts' cold spell in the sixth and the center-field swat delivered by Martinez in the seventh. Pearce's second shot, off Pedro Baez in the eighth, was a resounding capper to a breakout postseason for the veteran journeyman.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Red Sox use homers, Price to clinch WS

This was a bit of a tensionless tilt -- one polished off by a perfect ninth from staff ace Chris Sale.

Red Sox join exclusive club with 4th WS title in 15 years

"They have a lot of depth up and down the lineup," Kershaw said of the Red Sox. "You saw their starters out of the bullpen, starting [on] short rest, whatever they did, and their bullpen guys were throwing the ball great. They're a great team."

After Series loss, Kershaw ponders opt-out

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Kershaw tips cap to Red Sox after loss

These two franchises had not met on the Series stage in 102 years, but you know what they say about the past informing the present. The 1916 Red Sox, colorfully characterized by one New York Times account from the time as "the carmine-hosed Boston warriors," took Games 1 and 2 at home, were defeated in the first road tilt, erased a deficit to win Game 4 and then finished off the Series in Game 5.

Dodgers proud despite 'brutal' Series losses

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Roberts on Kershaw, congratulates Red Sox

If the long-ago result is replicated in the modern day, then the description fits, too. But even in Red Sox lore, which of course includes a 2004 team that killed a curse and captured imaginations well outside the borders of Red Sox Nation, this 2018 squad has a special, perhaps singular, place to claim. Sunday's Series finale -- a game that, to once again borrow a vibrant line from the Times circa 1916, "resembled a tug of war between an elephant and a goldfish" -- only confirmed it, and now the process of putting this season in perspective will be left to the historians.

Price shuts down doubters with stellar Series

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Pearce on Price's performance in playoffs

"It's almost overwhelming," said Dave Dombrowski, team president of baseball operations, "because you just never think that you'll be associated with a club that can do that. [To go] 119-57? Those numbers are mind-boggling. It's winning more than two-thirds of your games over the year, so, no, I don't think you can really grasp it, and I think it's a tribute to all these guys. You don't get to that point unless you're talented and you grind, you really work through things, you bounce back, you're resilient and you're tough. And that's this group."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora, Dombrowski on Pearce winning MVP

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Freese frame: As if the sight of Freese homering in a World Series game hadn't already evoked memories of Game 6 in 2011, in the third inning he tripled on a fly ball that was misplayed by the right fielder. In '11, it was Nelson Cruz. On this night, it was Martinez, who simply lost the ball in the L.A. haze. With Freese on third and one out, Price was in a bit of a bind, but he got Justin Turner to ground out on the first pitch. And when Enrique Hernandez sent another fly ball to right, Martinez made the catch in foul territory to end the threat. When he got back in the dugout, Price made it a point to give Martinez the ol' Bash Brothers forearm bump -- a nice show of appreciation between two teammates.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Red Sox strand Freese after triple in 3rd

Smooth Sale-ing: A key element of Boston's October run was Cora's aggressiveness in employing his starters as setup men. But in Game 5, he altered the assignment for Sale. After Joe Kelly turned in another resplendent relief outing in the eighth, Cora gave Sale (whose starting schedule had been pushed from Game 5 to the potential, and ultimately unnecessary, Game 6) the opportunity -- the privilege, really -- of closing it out in the ninth, which he did by striking out Manny Machado.

Good and bad, Manny leaves impact on Dodgers

"It was so surreal," Sale said. "I throw a pitch, next thing I know I got [catcher Christian Vazquez] in my arms and just the first thought of being a World Series champ ran through my mind. It was unbelievable. I appreciate the fact that they handed me the ball."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Sale strikes out the side to clinch WS

SOUND SMART
Cora became just the fifth manager to win the World Series as a rookie skipper, joining Bucky Harris (1924 Senators), Eddie Dyer ('46 Cardinals), Ralph Houk ('61 Yankees) and Bob Brenly (2001 D-backs).

"First of all, [the Red Sox] gave me a chance," Cora said. "They saw me as a capable manager, and they gave me a chance. It's funny, because when they announced it, we were flying to L.A. last year between the [AL] Championship Series and the World Series [when Cora was the bench coach for the Astros], and ironically enough, we win it here. So it goes full circle."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora on winning WS in his 1st year

This game marked just the second time in World Series history that both teams homered in the first inning. The other was Game 5 in 1948, between the Boston Braves and the Indians (Bob Elliott and Dale Mitchell).

Pearce became, per the Elias Sports Bureau, the first position player to be named World Series MVP with 50 or fewer regular-season games for the winning team in his career (at the time of the Fall Classic) and just the second midseason acquisition to win the honor, joining Donn Clendenon of the 1969 Mets.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Pearce receives World Series MVP Award

Freese has now hit both a leadoff homer and a walk-off homer (Game 6, 2011) in the World Series. The only other player with both is Derek Jeter. Freese now has twice as many career games with both a homer and a triple in the World Series (two) as he does in the regular season (one).

Freese adds to October legend with leadoff HR

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Freese crushes a leadoff homer to right

The Red Sox's four World Series titles in the past 15 seasons equals their total number of World Series titles in the 100 seasons that preceded 2004.

Video: Red Sox collect 4 World Series titles in 21st century

HE SAID IT
"It's an instant shot. Every hair on your body is standing up and you don't feel a thing." -- Sale, on what it's like to win a World Series

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Mookie Betts, David Freese, Clayton Kershaw, J.D. Martinez, Steve Pearce, David Price, Chris Sale

2018 champs stand out as greatest Sox team

Club went an astounding 119-57 in regular season and postseason
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The team that had gone generation after generation and decade after decade (86 years in fact) without winning a World Series now stands alone as the only squad in the 21st century to win it all four times.

But these 2018 Red Sox -- who did their final bit of damage by taking out the Dodgers, 5-1, in the clinching Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday at Dodger Stadium -- won't merely be blended in to what will be looked back on as a golden era of Boston baseball.

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LOS ANGELES -- The team that had gone generation after generation and decade after decade (86 years in fact) without winning a World Series now stands alone as the only squad in the 21st century to win it all four times.

But these 2018 Red Sox -- who did their final bit of damage by taking out the Dodgers, 5-1, in the clinching Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday at Dodger Stadium -- won't merely be blended in to what will be looked back on as a golden era of Boston baseball.

View Full Game Coverage

This group will stick out for the magnitude of its greatness, which started with a franchise record of 108 wins in the regular season and continued as the Red Sox steamrolled three worthy postseason opponents (the 100-win Yankees, the 103-win Astros and the back-to-back National League champion Dodgers).

Shop for Red Sox World Series champs gear

"I feel that this was the greatest team I've seen play," said Red Sox owner John Henry. "They were strong in every department. The bullpen was maligned and went through a really tough period [late in the season], but overall, just from Day One, this team started 17-2 and never let up."

:: World Series schedule and results ::

What they were was a wagon.

"It just shows that it takes 25 guys to win," said superstar outfielder Mookie Betts. "We proved that. We've got a great group of guys, and I love each and every one of us. I think that's kind of how we work. Everyone wants to chip in and do their part to win games."

The Red Sox were headlined by their stars (Betts, J.D. Martinez, David Price and Chris Sale), their role players (World Series MVP Award winner Steve Pearce) and their fearless rookie manager (Alex Cora), all of whom made fitting contributions to their crowning victory -- the one that made them a jaw-dropping 119-57 wire to wire.

Pearce rides midseason trade to Series MVP

Yes, 119-57, which calculates to a .676 winning percentage. That happens in the NBA or the NFL, but it's not supposed to happen in the marathon sport that is baseball.

Perfect ending for near-perfect Red Sox

"When you say that, it's almost overwhelming, because you just never think that you'll be associated with a club that can do that -- you talk about 119-57, those numbers are mind-boggling," said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. "You think you have a good club, you might win 105 or something with the postseason and you're really satisfied.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Red Sox celebrate World Series victory

"But you start talking about it, it's winning more than two-thirds of your games over the year, so no, I don't think you can really grasp it. I think it's a tribute to all these guys, because you don't get to that point unless you're talented and also you grind, you really work through things, you bounce back, you're resilient and you're tough, and that's this group."

After 21 years, Dombrowski reaches top again

Look no further than the final chapter of the joyride.

Betts and Martinez, the co-MVP regular-season forces who had gone a combined 0-for-18 in Games 3 and 4 at Dodger Stadium, both went deep Sunday night. It was particularly sweet for Betts, who ended his career postseason homer drought at 86 at-bats.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Betts, J.D.'s late homers

Perhaps it was also karma. In the hours after the Game 2 victory at Fenway Park, Betts went to a homeless shelter near the Boston Public Library and delivered tray after tray of food.

"That's not the first time. It wasn't supposed to get the media that it got," said Betts. "It's kind of something that me and my family take pride in the blessings that we have. Blessing other people is something that we like to do."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Betts on winning his 1st World Series

And what to say about in-season acquisition Pearce? The gritty first baseman -- a platoon player who emerged into a force when it counted most -- belted two more homers in Game 5 to give him three in the World Series.

"Best feeling in my life," said Pearce. "This is what you grow up wishing -- that you could be a part of something like this. With that special group of guys out there, to celebrate with them, that was awesome."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Red Sox use homers, Price to clinch WS

Then there was Price, who changed his October reputation more than anyone possibly could these last few weeks. After going winless in the first 11 postseason starts of his career, Price finished off the Dodgers by winning his third straight start. This one came just four days after he beat Los Angeles in Game 2, and two days after he helped the bullpen out with two outs in the 18-inning loss in Game 3.

Price shuts down doubters with stellar Series

"I mean, Steve Pearce was the Most Valuable Player, but it was really a toss-up between Steve and David Price," said Henry. "David Price and Steve, those two performances are why we're standing here tonight."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Price on what he proved after WS title

To close it out, Cora, in his last masterful stroke in a season full of them, turned to Sale, who disposed of the Dodgers in 15 nasty pitches -- 11 of them strikes. All three outs in the ninth came on strikeouts. L.A. didn't come close to hitting any of them.

Sale was supposed to start Game 5, but Cora vaulted Price in front of him for the second straight series and was again rewarded for the decision.

Cora's cool presence in Year 1 inspires Sox

In becoming the first rookie manager to win a World Series since Bob Brenly with the D-backs in 2001, just how much did Cora play a role in all this?

"On every level," said Henry. "In every way. What did he do wrong this year?"

As the champagne flowed and the cigar smell wafted through a packed clubhouse, there was much to reflect on.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora on winning WS in his 1st year

Four championships for the Red Sox in 15 seasons for a team that hadn't won in the 86 years prior to that? It was an amazing thing for the man who closed the sale of the Red Sox on a February day in 2002 to consider.

"Well, it's tremendous," said Henry. "I don't know what it is about these Boston teams. In the World Series, what are we, 16-3 against the best teams in the National League. But this one, in my mind, was easily the best."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

Mookie, J.D. homer off Kershaw in G5 clincher

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Mookie Betts was probably due for that one.

The Red Sox's leadoff hitter and likely American League Most Valuable Player Award winner took Clayton Kershaw deep in the sixth inning of Boston's 5-1 victory in the Game 5 title-clincher of the World Series on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

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LOS ANGELES -- Mookie Betts was probably due for that one.

The Red Sox's leadoff hitter and likely American League Most Valuable Player Award winner took Clayton Kershaw deep in the sixth inning of Boston's 5-1 victory in the Game 5 title-clincher of the World Series on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

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Dress like the World Series champs

:: World Series schedule and results ::

Betts' first career postseason homer snapped an 0-for-13 slide.

J.D. Martinez joined Betts with a leadoff homer off Kershaw in the seventh, giving Boston a 4-1 lead. It was his third home run of the postseason, but just his second extra-base hit of the World Series and first hit since Game 2.

Even with their heavy hitters not producing, the Red Sox found ways to win against the Dodgers, with contributions coming from all over the roster; World Series MVP Steve Pearce hit two home runs in Game 5.

Betts and Martinez deferred credit to their teammates after the game.

"Everything I did is kind of irrelevant," Betts said. "We proved that it's not just one guy. We put everything together and played a great Series."

"It's a family, it really is," Martinez said of his club. "People get more excited when someone else steps up than when they step up. It's so rare to see that, you don't really see that. And it just wasn't in the playoffs. It was all season long."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Betts on winning his 1st World Series

Prior to Game 5, Betts was slashing .207/.303/.276 with a .579 OPS this postseason. He was hitless in his first two at-bats against Kershaw on Sunday, flying out to center both times. Betts started all 21 Red Sox playoff games since 2016 and had five hits in 23 at-bats in the World Series.

Martinez had fared better in the postseason -- he hit .313/.415/.531 with two home runs and nine RBIs in the AL Division Series and AL Championship Series -- but was just 3-for-14 in first four games of the Fall Classic.

Video: Red Sox finish off Dodgers to win 9th World Series

"It's so hard to win a World Series," Martinez said. "So many things have to go right, and to get to this point, you know, it's a blessing. You really gotta stay healthy, you've got to have clutch hits, you've got to have clutch performances.

"Everyone had to step up. I think you saw that this whole postseason. From top to bottom, it was a complete effort. We had 25 guys, we used 25 guys."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez

Freese adds to October legend with leadoff HR

Dodgers have choice to buy out veteran infielder or pick up option for '19
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- David Freese did it again. It just wasn't enough.

The veteran infielder with the knack for getting big hits in the postseason had another fine night in October, only this time it was in defeat, as the Red Sox cruised to a 5-1 victory in Game 5 to win the World Series on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

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LOS ANGELES -- David Freese did it again. It just wasn't enough.

The veteran infielder with the knack for getting big hits in the postseason had another fine night in October, only this time it was in defeat, as the Red Sox cruised to a 5-1 victory in Game 5 to win the World Series on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

:: World Series schedule and results ::

Freese led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run to right field on the first pitch from Red Sox starter David Price to shave the early Boston lead to 2-1 and get the crowd on its feet. The Red Sox had jumped ahead on a two-run home run by Steve Pearce off Clayton Kershaw in the top of the first.

Freese, who was acquired by the Dodgers on Aug. 31 from the Pirates for the express purpose of boosting the offense against left-handed pitching, did just that. He finished with eight hits in 21 at-bats this postseason and was a threat every time he stepped into the batter's box against one of Boston's lefties. Los Angeles has a club option to retain Freese for $6 million in 2019 or buy him out for $500,000.

Freese's round-tripper was the sixth postseason leadoff homer and third to begin a World Series game in franchise history. He joined Chris Taylor (Game 1, 2017 vs. the Astros) and Davey Lopes (Game 6, 1978 vs. the Yankees) as the only Dodgers to achieve the latter distinction.

With Sunday's knock, Freese also became the second player in history to have a walk-off home run and a leadoff homer in the World Series. The Yankees' Derek Jeter also accomplished the feat, leading off Game 4 in 2000 against the Mets, and ending Game 4 in 2001 against the D-backs.

Video: Jeter, Freese hit clutch World Series homers

"I was just trying to drive something over the second baseman's head. I caught it and it went [out]," Freese said. "It fired us up and got us back. Obviously, the two-run homer in the top of the inning was tough, but coming back and getting that run right away sparked us back."

In the third inning, Freese recorded a triple when Red Sox right fielder J.D. Martinez lost the ball in the sky to become the second player in MLB history to homer and triple in the same World Series game on two occasions. He also accomplished the feat in Game 6 in 2011. Hall of Famer Paul Molitor did it in Games 3 and 6 in 1993.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Freese triples over Martinez's head

The play was actually somewhat reminiscent of Freese's 2011 triple, a ball he also hit to the opposite field and that Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz misplayed.

"I wasn't running as fast as I could, but I was running pretty good," Freese said. "I was just trying to play the game the right way. Maybe in mid-July, I'm running a little slower, but you have to play the game the right way. Bottom line."

Freese's history of success is well documented. In the 2011 National League Championship Series, he hit .545 with three home runs in six games for the Cardinals against the Brewers and was named the series' Most Valuable Player. He later earned the World Series MVP Award.

"You think about the guys in here that don't have [a World Series title], or the guys who have one and want two," Freese said. "I try not to think about myself in that situation because it's really not about yourself, it's about everybody else in the organization. It's tough. Guys are crushed and disappointed, but we are all so proud of what we accomplished."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers, David Freese

Sale fans side to bookend World Series for Sox

Outing takes lefty back to early days as a reliever
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Sunday night represented a bit of a throwback for Chris Sale.

The Red Sox's ace, whom many expected to start Game 5 of the World Series, instead pitched the final frame out of the bullpen, calling back to the beginning of his career as a reliever with the White Sox. He struck out all three Dodgers batters he faced -- dropping Manny Machado, the final batter, to one knee with a wicked slider -- to secure the Red Sox's 5-1 victory and clinch Boston's fourth championship in 15 seasons.

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LOS ANGELES -- Sunday night represented a bit of a throwback for Chris Sale.

The Red Sox's ace, whom many expected to start Game 5 of the World Series, instead pitched the final frame out of the bullpen, calling back to the beginning of his career as a reliever with the White Sox. He struck out all three Dodgers batters he faced -- dropping Manny Machado, the final batter, to one knee with a wicked slider -- to secure the Red Sox's 5-1 victory and clinch Boston's fourth championship in 15 seasons.

View Full Game Coverage

:: World Series schedule and results ::

"I got a chance to go old school," Sale said, clutching the Commissioner's Trophy to his chest in right field at Dodger Stadium. "I got to throw the last pitch in the World Series, so I can't complain."

After a stellar performance by starter David Price, who earned the win with seven innings of one-run ball, manager Alex Cora turned to Joe Kelly -- who pitched six scoreless innings and struck out 10 batters in the World Series -- and Sale for the final six outs. The many Red Sox fans in attendance roared as Sale ran in from the right-field bullpen.

"I don't think [the Dodgers] wanted to see that," shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. "That was the last guy they wanted to see on the mound."

"It's an instant shot [of adrenaline]," Sale said of entering out of the 'pen. "Every hair on your body is standing up and you don't feel a thing. I appreciate the fact that they handed me the ball."

Get World Series champions gear

The big left-hander struck out Justin Turner, Enrique Hernandez and then Machado, all swinging, and threw his hands in the air upon securing the final out. Catcher Christian Vazquez leapt into his arms, and the rest of the 2018 World Series champions joined them in celebration on the mound.

"It was so surreal," Sale said. "I throw a pitch, next thing I know I got [Vazquez] in my arms and just the first thought of being a World Series champ ran through my mind. It was unbelievable."

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Sale K's Machado, Sox win World Series

Boston closer Craig Kimbrel said he didn't offer Sale any advice for his first relief appearance since 2012. He didn't see the need.

"He's one of the nastiest pitchers in the game," said Kimbrel, "and for him to go out there and get those last three outs, it was pretty awesome to see."

In what was billed as a Game 1 pitching duel between Clayton Kershaw (whom the Red Sox beat in Game 5 to clinch the title) and Sale, neither starter made it past the fifth inning. Sale was tagged for three runs on five hits and two walks and struck out seven batters over four frames.

Sale only took the mound in the opener and clincher, but made his presence felt in the dugout in Game 4 with an emotional outburst that preceded Mitch Moreland's pinch-hit home run that sparked Boston's late comeback. Several of his teammates cited Sale's rallying cry as the spark they needed.

Video: WS2018 Gm4: Sale tries to fire up the dugout

"I look like an idiot if Mitch doesn't hit that home run," Sale said. "That wasn't me, that was them kicking it in gear. I didn't say anything we already didn't know."

Had the Dodgers sent the Series back to Fenway Park with a win Sunday, Sale would have started Game 6.

"He's a gamer. Always wants the ball," Kelly said. "He was ready for another start, but we wanted him right there. And he came out firing some BBs."

The World Series title capped what's been a remarkable start to Sale's Red Sox tenure. Since joining Boston via trade prior to the 2017 season, he's gone 29-12 with a 2.56 ERA in 59 regular season starts across two All-Star campaigns. He finished as the runner-up for the American League Cy Young Award last season and is again in the mix for the award this year.

Video: Red Sox finish off Dodgers to win 9th World Series

After leaving the FOX postgame set, Sale retrieved the Commissioner's Trophy and carried it into right field to pose for a photo with his family, the people he credits for helping him along this journey. His World Series moment, he said, was every bit of what he dreamed it to be growing up in Lakeland, Fla.

"Every second of it. Sitting in my bed, throwing a ball against the ceiling, playing catch with my dad, my mom dragging me all over the state of Florida my entire life," he said. "This goes out to a lot of people. There's a lot of people that got me to this point and I appreciate every single person. …

"Right when I saw [my parents], I said, 'This is what we've worked our entire life for.'"

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Boston Red Sox, Chris Sale

Perfect ending for near-perfect Red Sox

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Take a long look at these Boston Red Sox as they celebrate winning yet another World Series, because you may not see a team as good as this one for a long time. This is perfection. Or as close to perfection as a team can get.

The Red Sox were a work of art from start to finish, and this magical season ended with them defeating the Dodgers, 5-1, in a clinching Game 5 of the 2018 World Series on Sunday night.

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LOS ANGELES -- Take a long look at these Boston Red Sox as they celebrate winning yet another World Series, because you may not see a team as good as this one for a long time. This is perfection. Or as close to perfection as a team can get.

The Red Sox were a work of art from start to finish, and this magical season ended with them defeating the Dodgers, 5-1, in a clinching Game 5 of the 2018 World Series on Sunday night.

View Full Game Coverage

Get World Series champions gear

:: World Series schedule and results ::

Sometimes, everything works just so. The Red Sox were shrewdly constructed and smartly managed. Their ownership is baseball's gold standard, their on-field talent off the charts.

Beyond those things, these Red Sox have a collective heartbeat. Amid the wild clubhouse celebrations, Boston was resolute in the belief that the team-building work the club did last spring set the team off on this path.

"You see how much fun they have, playing against them all the time and how good they are," said World Series MVP Steve Pearce, a June trade acquisition from the Blue Jays who homered once in Game 4 and twice in Game 5. "And to come over and be a part of that team, the chemistry that they had, they welcomed me with open arms from Day 1. And they made it very easy for me."

Pearce rides midseason trade to Series MVP

Where do the 2018 Red Sox rank among the all-time greats? That's a good debate for the offseason ahead. They won for the 119th time on Sunday. Only the 1998 Yankees (125) and the 2001 Mariners (120) won more games.

They breezed through the postseason, winning 11 of 14 and eliminating two other 100-win teams -- the Yankees and Astros -- before the World Series. Boston's 108 regular-season victories were the most in franchise history and MLB's most since Seattle won 116 in 2001 (and then didn't get to the World Series).

The Red Sox finished eight games in front of a 100-win Yankees team, taking over first place in the American League East for good on July 2. They spent 141 of 186 days atop the division and were never more than two games out.

"This is the greatest Red Sox team ever," principal owner John Henry proclaimed.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Sale K's Machado, Sox win World Series

Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. added, "I'd put us up against anybody."

This final game -- David Price's seven-plus dominant innings and Pearce's two home runs -- was a microcosm of an entire season. Boston used every avenue to find talent, and plenty of it was on display at Dodger Stadium.

First, a salute to ownership. Everything changed for the Red Sox -- literally the entire historical arc of a century-old franchise -- in late 2001, when a group headed by Henry and Tom Werner purchased the team.

No longer would the Red Sox be the team that broke fans' hearts in October. Since they arrived, only the Yankees have won more regular-season games. And their four World Series titles over the past 15 seasons are more than any other team (the Giants have won three).

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Betts on winning his 1st World Series

Henry and Werner have hired smart people and given them the resources and freedom to do their jobs. This 2018 championship began to take shape with the development of homegrown talents like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Bradley.

But Boston also made smart trades (Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, Rick Porcello) and spent big on free agents (J.D. Martinez and Price) when necessary. In plenty of ways, the Red Sox are the model for every other team.

"It wasn't as easy as what people think," rookie manager Alex Cora said. "But it starts with ownership."

Few decisions were more important than the hiring of one of baseball's most respected executives, Dave Dombrowski, as president of baseball operations three years ago. It was his signing of slugger Martinez last spring that created a super lineup, and then his in-season trades for Pearce and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi were the finishing touches.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora, Dombrowski on Pearce winning MVP

Game 5 of the World Series was a reflection of all the work. Three years ago, Boston gave Price one of the largest free-agent contracts in history, and in the biggest start of his career, he allowed Los Angeles one run on three hits and pitched into the eighth inning.

Video: Red Sox finish off Dodgers to win 9th World Series

Once the guy who supposedly couldn't win in October, Price posted a 1.98 ERA over three World Series appearances.

Price tapped his heart as he walked slowly off the mound in the eighth inning with the large contingent of Red Sox faithful at Dodger Stadium giving him a standing ovation he's likely to remember forever.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Red Sox use homers, Price to clinch WS

As for Pearce, he arrived via trade in June to deepen a lineup that was already the best in baseball. And he finished October with a home run and four RBIs in Game 4 and two home runs and three RBIs in the clincher to earn World Series MVP honors.

To some, Pearce seemed to be an unnecessary addition. His two-run homer off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the top of the first inning on Sunday got the Red Sox off to a fast start. Pearce added a solo shot in the top of the eighth.

Betts, the crown jewel produced by one of baseball's best Minor League systems, homered in the sixth, adding a line to a 2018 resume likely to include the AL Most Valuable Player Award.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Cora congratulates team, Sox pop bottles

When Dombrowski went looking for a new manager last offseason, he hired the Astros' 43-year-old bench coach. On his way to becoming the fifth rookie skipper to win a World Series, Cora became the prototype of the modern manager by building unshakable relationships with players.

"Since Day 1, this was the goal," Cora said. "They've been very consistent. There are no egos. They play the game the right way. They deserve this. This is amazing. It's just very gratifying to be part of it."

And on a beautiful night in Southern California, the Red Sox finished their quest in style.

"This is a very special team," Price said. "This is why I came here. This is what I envisioned, this feeling right here, being World Series champs. I'm happy we were able to do it."

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

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