2004 – The Boston Red Sox ended a legacy of shame and disgust with the greatest comeback in playoff sports history against the Yankees in the ALCS, and a sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The Pirates finished 17 games below .500 again. Bonds won his 7th and final MVP in what would be his last relevant season, hitting 45 homeruns and capturing the batting title again with a .362 average. Outkast’s “Hey Ya” also became the most annoyingly catchy song of all-time, while Anchorman gave legions of frat boys and blog commenters a lifetime of comedy quotes.
2005 – The Chicago White Sox ended their own franchise run of sadness and gloom with a sweep of the Houston Astros in the World Series. The Pirates finished in a three-way tie for the second worst record in baseball at 67-95, good enough for last in the NL Central. Bonds played in just 14 games in 2005, but he earned $22 million for his efforts. Meanwhile, Brokeback Mountain forever changed the way we look at cowboys and was probably the worst thing to happen to Tony Romo.
2006 – Despite being just 5 games over .500, the Cardinals won the World Series, which their fans truly deserved because they are recognized as the most intelligent and classiest in baseball. The Pirates had very few fans left, finishing 28 games below .500. Still, they were a game better than the Chicago Cubs. Bonds made $20 million to play in 130 games and hit 26 homeruns and 77 RBIs, but he managed to break Hank Aaron’s all-time NL homerun record and that was truly special. In movies, Sacha Baren Cohen’s Borat refueled the comedy tanks of frat boys and bloggers.