World Series

Report: Red Sox' Steve Pearce, 2018 World Series MVP, now contemplating retirement

Report: Red Sox' Steve Pearce, 2018 World Series MVP, now contemplating retirement

Eleven months ago, Steve Pearce had gone from journeyman DH/first baseman/right-handed-bat-off-the-bench to riding a Duck Boat with his Red Sox teammates after his World Series MVP performance had lifted the team he rooted for a kid to its fourth World Series title in 15 years.

Today, he told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he's contemplating retirement.

Pearce, who counts all four American League East teams among the seven he's played for in the majors, signed a one-year contract worth $6.25 million after the World Series. He began the season on the injured list with a calf issue. He played only 29 games returning to the IL with a back injury. Then, while rehabbing in the minors, a knee ligament injury incurred after he fell in a game ended his season in mid-July.

If he does hang 'em up, Pearce and Red Sox fans will always have his remarkable World Series performance:

Game 4, eighth inning: Tying solo homer off Kenley Jansen.
Game 4, ninth: Bases-clearing double off Kenta Maeda.
Game 5, first: Go-ahead two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw.
Game 5, eighth: Solo homer off Pedro Baez.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

How did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?

How did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?

With a loss to the Rays and an Indians win over the Phillies, the Red Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention in a season following their World Series championship. 

Boston has won 4 titles in the last 15 years, a mark no other team has matched in the same time frame. But the last two times the Red Sox have won it all, they failed to make it past September the following season. 

After winning the World Series in 2013 with a magical bearded run following the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox finished with a 71-91 record, which was good for last place in the AL East. They followed up 2004's championship with a first-round sweep to the eventual champion White Sox and then fell to the Rays in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2008. 

Fortunately for the Red Sox, it's become pretty common for a World Series hangover to last an entire season after the fact. Boston is now the 10th team since 2000 to miss the postseason after hoisting that World Series trophy. 

Of course, we know what those teams did after they won it all, but what happened the year after they failed to get back? How many bounced back vs completely faded away?

2004 ANGELS

The Angels followed up their first championship in franchise history with a letdown year in 2003. They finished 77-85 and finished third in their division. However, they returned to form in 2004 and took back the AL West crown. The addition of Vladimir Guerrero certainly helped. The 29-year-old superstar won the AL MVP in his first season with the Angels, hitting .337 with 39 home runs and 126 RBI. The Angels would eventually get swept in the ALDS by the eventual champion Red Sox.

2005 MARLINS

The Marlins shocked the world by beating the Yankees in the 2003 Fall Classic, but finished third in the NL East the season after. Things didn't get much better for them in 2005 either. Sure, they had a better record, but they once again fell to third place and would eventually trade Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit and send ace Josh Beckett to the Red Sox. This is probably the path the Red Sox want to avoid. The Marlins have been one of baseball's worst over the last 10 years. 

2007 WHITE SOX

After winning the World Series in 2005, Chicago went 90-72 the following season. A strong showing, but the AL Central was a powerhouse that year. The Tigers and Twins made the postseason over them. The year following, the White Sox went 72-90 and haven't been a real threat in the American League since. 

2008 CARDINALS

St. Louis won its first championship since 1967 in 2006, but missed the playoffs the next two seasons after. Cardinals fans wouldn't be disappointed for long though, as they won another title in 2011 in an epic series with the Rangers. 

2012 GIANTS

Ah, the Giants. Kings of winning a World Series, missing the playoffs and then bouncing back to win another. The Giants missed the postseason after winning it all in 2010, but then came back the following year to beat the Tigers in the World Series. Few will forget Sergio Romo striking out Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to close out the series for San Francisco. 

2014 GIANTS

Look who it is! It's the Giants yet again! The 2014 run was how Madison Bumgarner became one of the best big-game pitchers of all time. He carried the Giants staff on an incredible workload to lift the Giants to their third championship in five years. They're the only team close to the Red Sox' level of success since the turn of the century. 

2015 RED SOX

The Red Sox were terrible in 2014, and while they weren't as bad in 2015, they still finished last in the AL East and below .500. Fortunately they would win the next three straight division titles to go with a World Series in 2018, but sometimes the reload takes a bit longer than you'd want from a team that was able to reach the pinnacle of their profession. Age most certainly played a factor for Boston here. 

2016 GIANTS

Everyone assumed the Giants would bounce back for the fourth time and win another World Series after missing the playoffs in an odd-numbered year. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, and the Giants would miss the playoffs for the second straight season. They have not been back to the postseason since. 

2017 ROYALS

The Royals took down the Mets in 2015 to finally get their World Series championship after falling to the Giants in 2014. The next two season would not be kind to the Royals, where they missed the playoffs both seasons with a record around .500. Kansas City is now one of the worst teams in baseball, but at least they got one. 

2020 RED SOX?

The Red Sox have a lot of questions to answer regarding their roster with Dave Dombrowski officially out as President of Baseball Operations. J.D. Martinez can opt-out of his current deal for a pay raise, and Mookie Betts' extension weighs over the franchise's head too. After a season like 2019, Boston needs to upgrade their pitching staff, but they might not be able to if they want to commit resources to their best players. Boston could be in trouble moving forward. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

MLB odds: How did trade deadline impact Red Sox' World Series chances?

MLB odds: How did trade deadline impact Red Sox' World Series chances?

The MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and with no post-deadline waiver period for teams to make more moves, the hay is in the proverbial barn.

That means we have a clearer sense of which teams are serious World Series contenders entering the final two months of the season.

Are the Boston Red Sox among those contenders after standing pat Wednesday? We'll let the latest 2019 World Series odds from SuperBook USA's Jeff Sherman speak for themselves.

The Red Sox have 30-1 odds to repeat as champs, tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the 10th-best odds in MLB.

That's down from the 25-1 title odds Boston had in mid-July, a sign that Dave Dombrowski's decision not to address his beleaguered bullpen may cost the Red Sox down the stretch run.

Boston's American League competitors also got better, especially the Houston Astros, who are the new World Series favorites after adding Zack Greinke to a loaded rotation featuring Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

The rival New York Yankees still have the third-best World Series odds at 6-1 despite staying relatively quiet at the deadline, while the Tampa Bay Rays, who sit 2.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the second Wild Card spot, also boast better odds than Boston at 25-1.

Dombrowski and the Red Sox front office are betting on their core players returning to last year's World Series form to help them make the playoffs, but it appears Vegas isn't quite keen on that bet.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.