You know how Jordan’s Furniture has been known to offer free furniture if the Sox win the World Series? Well, the company is well advised to renew their insurance policy to cover the cost of giving away all those sofa beds and dinette sets again this year. That’s because the Sox are a virtual shoo-in to win the World Series in 2017.
It has nothing to do with the fact that now, with the addition of proven lefthander Chris Sale, they have four dependable, marquis starters. And it’s not because they have one of the deepest line-ups in the league and an exceptionally strong defense.
Nope – the reason they will win is because they acquired relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers. Thornburg is a hard-throwing 28-year-old right hander, who put up some impressive numbers in 2016: 2.15 ERA, 13 saves and 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 67 appearances. And he took over as Milwaukee's closer after Jeremy Jeffress was dealt to the Rangers at the trade deadline. The Red Sox say Thornburg will be cast as the set-up guy, but watch out, Craig Kimbrell.
Regardless of his specific bullpen role, it’s highly likely that Thornburg will make a big contribution to Boston’s success this season. But still, you say, there is no way one relief pitcher can assure a team of a World Series Championship. If the team is the Boston Red Sox, sure he can. But not because of his talent. Because of his resume.
You see, Tyler Thornburg played one summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Brewster Whitecaps. Bingo.
Track with me now: the Boston Red Sox have won three World Series Championships in the last 100-plus years, right? Well, there was one common element across all three of those wins. Each and every time, the team had a former Brewster Whitecaps player on the roster. Mike Myers in 2004, Bobby Kielty in 2007 (when he hit the game and Series winning home run against Colorado) and David Ross in the magical, preposterous 2013 campaign.
So there it is. Put it in the bank. Lock it up. Lead-pipe cinch. Sewn up. Done deal. Get Vegas on the phone, you can’t lose. In Brewster, we’re already planning the victory party. But wait, you say, has there ever been a Whitecaps player on a Red Sox team that didn’t win the World Series?
What the heck kind of a buzz-killing question is that?
Go Sox in ’17. It’s going to be a Whitecaps four-bagger. Bet on it.
-- Jim Decker
Brewster Whitecaps Communications Director