Here at BA we are all big sports fans, and most of us root for the Red Sox. So after watching Big Papi and his bearded associates win the World Series last night, I started to think about some of the lessons that entrepreneurs and young companies can learn from Boston’s championship run.

Worst to first. Starting with their epic collapse in September 2011 and ending with a last-place finish in the AL East last season, the Red Sox suffered through an awful 12-month stretch, but overcame it this year to win it all. Similarly, a down year should not spell doom for a young company. Sometimes recaps, onerous bridges or significant restructuring are necessary, but patience with the right team and strategy can help companies triumph over adversity.

Mistakes happen – identify, fix and move on. Before the 2011 season, the Red Sox signed free agents Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to mammoth contracts. And before the 2012 season, the Sox hired the often-controversial Bobby Valentine as manager. All three were busts. And by October of last year, all three were gone. Flashy hires make for good PR, but if a key hire does not fit in with the culture of your organization, don’t be afraid to get rid of them.

Don’t fear stiff competition. During their playoff run, the Red Sox faced and defeated some of the best pitchers in baseball: Matt Moore and David Price (2012 Cy Young) of the Rays, Justin Verlander (2011 Cy Young and MVP) and Max Scherzer (likely 2013 Cy Young) of the Tigers, and Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha of the Cardinals. So what if Apple, Google, Oracle or Cisco have a competing product? If you can do it better, go after them and beat them.

It’s all about leadership. One of the biggest differences between the fried-chicken-and-beer Red Sox of 2011 and this year’s World Series champs is the change in leadership. After the 2011 season, the Sox named Ben Cherington as General Manager, and he hired John Farrell to manage the team after the 2012 season. Numerous players credited the team’s dramatic turnaround to the management of Cherington and the steady hand and direction of Farrell. Likewise with companies of all sizes and stages, a strong management team is critical and can overcome many weaknesses in technology or products.

We love that dirty water – Congrats to the 2013 Red Sox!