Commentary

Red Sox doing what the Yankees aren't: sticking to their plan

Updated: September 24, 2008, 1:23 PM ET
By Peter Gammons | Special to ESPN.com
Theo EpsteinAP Photo/Jack DempseyAs Boston's chief architect, Theo Epstein's job is to make tough decisions -- no matter how unpopular.
There was a time when the Yankees were IBM, and the Red Sox were the Yawkey Trust Fund kids.

Dan Topping and George Weiss did not dawdle in nostalgia and sentiment; they won. Bottom line: 14 trips to the World Series in the 16-year period from 1949 through 1964. They could trade Billy Martin or fire Casey Stengel and be called ruthless, while Tom Yawkey's players called him the best, most benevolent owner in baseball, a man who kept Pinky Higgins in his employ for more than 20 years as the team went 21 years between pennants while Boston sports cartoonist Vic Johnson referred to The Olde Towne Team as "The Little Rich Kids."

Oh, how times have changed, as the Red Sox ended their 86-year world championship drought in 2004 and four years later the only remaining players from that team are David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Mike Timlin and Kevin Youkilis.

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