I used to joke that Josh Beckett was the best pitcher alive in the odd-numbered years, and until his arm disappeared this season in Los Angeles, it seemed to mostly be true. He was a monster in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and even 2011, seemingly using up all his energy in one year that it took him another 12 months to recover.

I used to think that about myself a little bit, that the even-numbered years were were it was at. 2004 was great, 2009 was a nightmare, and so on, but that idea has disappeared. Since 2010, I don’t have much to complain about, and I’m not about to complain about being mostly content. The idea of trading in that zig-zagging chart for more consistent attempts at success is appealing.

2013 was great on a number of personal levels, and to go into them here now would be unnecessary. But to address the baseball side of things, 2013 was flat-out amazing, led by the resurgent Boston Red Sox playing the game with vigor every night, led by Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli and Jon Lester and Shane Victorino and, most of all, David Ortiz. (more…)