2003 Boston Red Sox season

2003 Boston Red Sox
AL Wild Card Winner
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) John W. Henry (New England Sports Ventures)
General manager(s) Theo Epstein
Manager(s) Grady Little
Local television WSBK-TV
(Sean McDonough, Jerry Remy)
(Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy)
Local radio WEEI
(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. 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.[1] They also had 649 extra-base hits, the most ever by one team in a single season.[2][3]


  • On November 25, 2002, Theo Epstein, 28, was hired as General Manager of the Boston Red Sox.[4] 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.[4] Larry Lucchino, Red Sox' President and CEO, wanted Epstein to be hired. Prior to the appointment, Epstein was Boston's assistant general manager.
  • October 9, 2002: Brandon Lyon was selected off waivers by the Boston Red Sox from the Toronto Blue Jays.[5]
  • November 6, 2002: Chris Coste signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.[6]
  • December 6, 2002: Wayne Gomes was released by the Boston Red Sox.[7]
  • December 31, 2002: Ramiro Mendoza signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.[8]
  • January 10, 2003: Bill Mueller was signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.[9]
  • January 22, 2003: David Ortiz was signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.[10]
  • February 15, 2003: Kevin Millar was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Florida Marlins.[11]

Regular season

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Yankees 10161 0.623 50–32 51–29
Boston Red Sox 9567 0.586 6 53–28 42–39
Toronto Blue Jays 8676 0.531 15 41–40 45–36
Baltimore Orioles 7191 0.438 30 40–40 31–51
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6399 0.389 38 36–45 27–54

Record vs. opponents

2003 American League Records

Anaheim 1–83–63–46–36–16–35–43–68–128–116–39–102–711–7
Baltimore 8–19–102–43–33–33–43–46–13–12–74–58–117–28–115–13
Boston 6–310–95–44–28–15–12–49–103–45–212–75–410–911–7
Chicago 4–34–24–511–811–811–89–104–24–52–73–33–46–310–8
Cleveland 3–63–32–48–1112–76–139–102–53–63–65–24–52–46–12
Detroit 1–63–31–88–117–125–144–151–53–61–82–41–62–74–14
Kansas City 3–64–31–58–1113–614–511–82–42–74–54–37–21–59–9
Minnesota 4–54–34–210–910–915–48–110–78–13–66–05–43–310–8
New York 6–313–6–110–92–45–25–14–27–03–65–414–54–510–913–5
Oakland 12–87–24–35–46–36–37–21–86–37–126–315–45–29–9
Seattle 11–85–42–57–26–38–15–46–34–512–74–510–103–410–8
Tampa Bay 3–611–87–123–32–54–23–40–65–143–65–43–611–83–15
Texas 10–92–74–54–35–46–12–74–55–44–1510–106–35–44–14
Toronto 7–211–89–103–64–27–25–13–39–102–54–38–114–510–8

Notable transactions

Opening Day Lineup

18Johnny DamonCF
12Todd Walker2B
  5Nomar Garciaparra    SS
24Manny RamírezLF
15Kevin Millar1B
29Shea Hillenbrand3B
25Jeremy GiambiDH
  7Trot NixonRF
33Jason VaritekC
45Pedro MartínezP


2003 Boston Red Sox cc
Pitchers Catchers



Designated hitters



Game log

2003 game log

Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CJason Varitek142451123.2732585
1BKevin Millar148544150.2762596
2BTodd Walker144587166.2831385
SSNomar Garciaparra156658198.30128105
3BBill Mueller146524171.3261985
LFManny Ramirez154569185.32537104
CFJohnny Damon145608166.2731267
RFTrot Nixon134441135.3062887
DHDavid Ortiz128448129.28831101

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Derek Lowe33203.11774.47110
Tim Wakefield35202.11154.09169
Pedro Martinez29186.21442.22206
John Burkett32181.21295.15107
Casey Fossum1979.0655.4763

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Byung-Hyun Kim4985163.1869
Mike Timlin726423.5565
Ramiro Mendoza373506.7536
Brandon Lyon374694.1250
Alan Embree654114.2545


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

Game Visitor Score Home Score Date Series
1 (12 innings)Boston4Oakland5October 11–0 (OAK)
2Boston1Oakland5October 22–0 (OAK)
3 (11 innings)Oakland1Boston3October 42–1 (OAK)
4Oakland4Boston5October 52–2
5Boston4Oakland3October 63–2 (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

1Boston Red Sox – 5, New York Yankees – 2October 8Yankee Stadium56,281[16]
2Boston Red Sox – 2, New York Yankees – 6October 9Yankee Stadium56,295[17]
3New York Yankees – 4, Boston Red Sox – 3October 11Fenway Park34,209[18]
4New York Yankees – 2, Boston Red Sox – 3October 13Fenway Park34,599[19]
5New York Yankees – 4, Boston Red Sox – 2October 14Fenway Park34,619[20]
6Boston Red Sox – 9, New York Yankees – 6October 15Yankee Stadium56,277[21]
7Boston Red Sox – 5, New York Yankees – 6 (11 innings)October 16Yankee Stadium56,279[22]

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Pawtucket Red Sox International League Buddy Bailey
AA Portland Sea Dogs Eastern League Ron Johnson
A-Advanced Sarasota Red Sox Florida State League Tim Leiper
A Augusta GreenJackets South Atlantic League Russ Morman
A-Short Season Lowell Spinners New York–Penn League Jon Deeble and Lynn Jones
Rookie GCL Red Sox Gulf Coast League Ralph Treuel



  1. 1 2 "2003 MLB Summary". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  2. "Red Sox announce 2004 Major League coaching staff". Boston Red Sox. January 9, 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  3. "MLB Team Hitting Statistics". MLB.com. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  4. 1 2 Shpigel, Ben (November 1, 2005). "Red Sox General Manager Ends a Memorable Run". The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
  5. Brandon Lyon Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
  6. Chris Coste Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
  7. Wayne Gomes Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
  8. Ramiro Mendoza Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
  9. Bill Mueller Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
  10. David Ortiz Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
  11. Kevin Millar Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
  12. Bill Haselman Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
  13. Gabe Kapler Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com
  14. Freddy Sanchez Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
  15. 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.
  16. "2003 ALCS Game 1 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  17. "2003 ALCS Game 2 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  18. "2003 ALCS Game 3 – New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  19. "2003 ALCS Game 4 – New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  20. "2003 ALCS Game 5 – New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  21. "2003 ALCS Game 6 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  22. "2003 ALCS Game 7 – Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  23. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
  24. Baseball America 2004 Annual Directory
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