|2003 Boston Red Sox|
|American League Wild Card|
The Red Sox celebrate their clinching of the 2003 AL Wild Card with a victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
|Major League affiliations|
|Divisional place||2nd (6 GB)|
|Owner(s)||John W. Henry (New England Sports Ventures)|
|General manager(s)||Theo Epstein|
(Sean McDonough, Jerry Remy)
(Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy)
(Jerry Trupiano, Joe Castiglione)
(Luis Tiant, Uri Berenguer, Juan Pedro Villamán)
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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, who went on to win the AL championship. 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. They also had 649 extra-base hits, the most ever by one team in a single season.
- 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.
- 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.
- December 6, 2002: Wayne Gomes was released by the Boston Red Sox.
- December 12, 2002: The Red Sox acquired second baseman Todd Walker from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for two minor leaguers.
- December 15, 2002: Jeremy Giambi was acquired by the Red Sox from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for pitcher Josh Hancock.
- 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.
|New York Yankees||101||61||0.623||—||50–32||51–29|
|Boston Red Sox||95||67||0.586||6||53–28||42–39|
|Toronto Blue Jays||86||76||0.531||15||41–40||45–36|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||63||99||0.389||38||36–45||27–54|
Record vs. opponents
2003 American League Records
Sources:              
- April 11, 2003: Bill Haselman signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox.
- May 29, 2003: Byung-Hyun Kim was acquired by the Red Sox from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Shea Hillenbrand.
- June 28, 2003: Gabe Kapler was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Colorado Rockies.
- July 22, 2003: Scott Sauerbeck and Mike Gonzalez were acquired by the Red Sox from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez.
- July 30, 2003: Chad Fox was released by the Red Sox.
- July 31, 2003: Scott Williamson was acquired by the Red Sox from the Cincinnati Reds. Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez were traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jeff Suppan. The Red Sox also re-acquired Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez.
- August 4, 2003: David McCarty was acquired off waivers by the Red Sox from the Oakland Athletics.
- August 28, 2003: Lou Merloni was acquired by the Red Sox from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league pitcher Rene Miniel.
Opening Day Lineup
|2003 Boston Red Sox cc|
|2003 game log|
Starters by position
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
ALDS vs. Oakland Athletics
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
|1 (12 innings)||Boston||4||Oakland||5||October 1||1–0 (OAK)|
|2||Boston||1||Oakland||5||October 2||2–0 (OAK)|
|3 (11 innings)||Oakland||1||Boston||3||October 4||2–1 (OAK)|
|5||Boston||4||Oakland||3||October 6||3–2 (BOS)|
ALCS vs. New York Yankees
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 take 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
|1||Boston Red Sox – 5, New York Yankees – 2||October 8||Yankee Stadium||56,281|
|2||Boston Red Sox – 2, New York Yankees – 6||October 9||Yankee Stadium||56,295|
|3||New York Yankees – 4, Boston Red Sox – 3||October 11||Fenway Park||34,209|
|4||New York Yankees – 2, Boston Red Sox – 3||October 13||Fenway Park||34,599|
|5||New York Yankees – 4, Boston Red Sox – 2||October 14||Fenway Park||34,619|
|6||Boston Red Sox – 9, New York Yankees – 6||October 15||Yankee Stadium||56,277|
|7||Boston Red Sox – 5, New York Yankees – 6 (11 innings)||October 16||Yankee Stadium||56,279|
Awards and honors
- Nomar Garciaparra, reserve SS
- Manny Ramirez, starting OF (did not attend)
- Jason Varitek, reserve C (fan vote selection)
The Portland Sea Dogs replaced the Trenton Thunder as the Red Sox' Double-A affiliate. The Red Sox fielded two teams in the Dominican Summer League, while not participating in the Venezuelan Summer League, following the Venezuelan general strike of 2002–03.
- "2003 MLB Summary". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
- "Red Sox announce 2004 Major League coaching staff". Boston Red Sox. January 9, 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
- "MLB Team Hitting Statistics". MLB.com. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
- Brandon Lyon Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Chris Coste Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
- Shpigel, Ben (November 1, 2005). "Red Sox General Manager Ends a Memorable Run". The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
- Wayne Gomes Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Todd Walker Statistics and History - Baseball–Reference.com
- Jeremy Giambi Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Ramiro Mendoza Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
- Bill Mueller Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- David Ortiz Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
- Kevin Millar Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Bill Haselman Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Byung-Hyun Kim Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Gabe Kapler Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
- Scott Sauerbeck Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Chad Fox Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Freddy Sanchez Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Dave McCarty Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Lou Merloni Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Nowlin, Bill; Silverman, Matthew (June 28, 2016). Red Sox by the Numbers: A Complete Team History of the Boston Red Sox by Uniform Number. Sports Publishing. ASIN B01GNC7FQA.
- "2003 ALCS Game 1 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 ALCS Game 2 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 ALCS Game 3 – New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 ALCS Game 4 – New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 ALCS Game 5 – New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 ALCS Game 6 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 ALCS Game 7 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Edes, Gordon (April 16, 2003). "Red Sox Notebook". The Boston Globe. p. F3. Retrieved September 22, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
- Baseball America 2004 Annual Directory
- Dunne, James (June 30, 2020). "2003 Draft Retrospective: The picks". SoxProspects.com. Retrieved June 30, 2020.