BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox exercised their option Friday
on third baseman Bill Mueller, a former batting champion who had
the season-saving single against the New York Yankees in the AL championship series.
"We have tremendous ownership. We have a great fan base. We
have a great nucleus. We have a lot of resources," Mueller said in
St. Louis on Wednesday night after the Red Sox beat the Cardinals
to complete their World Series sweep. "Maybe we can contend for
this every single year."
The 2003 AL batting champion, Mueller batted .283 with 12 homers
and 57 RBIs this season. He was limited to 110 games by
arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
He batted .321 in the playoffs, including a .429 average in the
Series. But his biggest hit came in the fourth game of the ALCS.
With the Red Sox trailing 4-3 in the ninth and New York closer
Mariano Rivera on the mound, Kevin Millar drew a no-out walk. Dave
Roberts pinch ran and stole second base before Mueller singled to
David Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning to win it.
The Red Sox won the next three as well -- the first team in major
league team in history to rally from an 0-3 deficit -- and swept St.
Louis for their first championship since 1918.