Celtics

And then there was One(ish)

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And then there was One(ish)

With the recent retirements of Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield, there are technically only two players remaining from the legendary 2004 Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz.

But as far as I'm concerned, there's really only one.

First of all, because it's far more fun and dramatic to look back and say: "Wooow, there's only ONE guy left from that team How did we get here?"

And second, because while Youkilis might have two rings, he was barely visible during that historic 2004 run. He had only two post season at-bats, and none after the ALDS. He was as much of a factor as Johnny Pesky.

Yes, he was on that team. But was he really part of it?

Do you have even one Kevin Youkilis memory from that 2004 season?

Actually, I do. And since I've spent the first part of this post blasting young Youk for no good reason. Let's give a quick tribute to the highlight of his rookie year

May 15, 2004: Kevin Youkilis makes his Major League debut, and blasts a fourth inning fastball (courtesy of Pat Hentgen) over the left field wall for his first career home run.

As the ball lands in the stands, Youk rounds the bases and jogs into the dugout, where he finds Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

No one will even look at him, never mind deliver a high five or trademark slap on the ass.

It was the old school silent treatment!

Eventually, Youk had no choice but to walk down and take a seat by himself on the end of the bench, as his teammates went about their business like nothing even happened.

A few seconds later, the team broke character, and offered up some love, but even if it was brief, the moment and the gesture were so memorable. It's something I'll always remember about Youk, no matter how old he gets or how many times he marries.

But I'll never remember him as a serious player on that 2004 team. And now, it's hard to believe that there's now only one guy left. It's weird, cool and depressing all at the same.

Honestly, how did we get here?

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE