I've never had to do this before. I'm sitting here with our season on the line and I can't be there. I could have thrown my last game, my last pitch for this team - or I could be pitching for our lives.He also emailed some thoughts to Gordon Edes:
It's very cut and dry. I either clutch up and do what they pay me to do or we go home, pretty simple really. As far as Josh is concerned, that was the most dominating eight innings I've ever seen, in any game. That's a hell of a lineup he just carved up, a damn good team.In talking about Schilling, Francona also said not having Curt on the plane after Game 5 "maybe saves 10 minutes of drag time".
Schilling said that Manny's comments are "one of those things that people don't want to hear, but that's the truth of it all. It isn't the end of the world." ... Francona said he couldn't care less:
The guy that shows up after getting in at 5 o’clock in the morning to hit, those actions are what I care about. He was here yesterday, hitting and taking grounders and flyballs ... whatever, just hit a couple of home runs and he can say whatever he wants.More Manny:
We play hard and we leave everything out there on the field and whatever happens, happens. Hey, I got a lot of confidence in my teammates, man. Like I say, we try to play hard every day. We leave everything out on the field and whatever happens, happens. That's it. ... We've got nothing to lose. There's no pressure, man. Like I said, we play hard.Dustin Pedroia's pre-Game 5 attire -- light brown pinstripe jacket and pants and a light blue button-down shirt -- were a gift from Manny. "He came up to me one day in Anaheim and said, 'Hey, I want to get you a suit.' I just got it in the mail."
Jim Donaldson of the Providence Journal asks with a straight face:
Which do you think was worse — Grady Little waiting too long to take the ball from his ace, Pedro Martinez, in Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS or Terry Francona refusing to give the ball to his ace, Josh Beckett, in Game Four of the 2007 ALCS, instead sending 41-year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to the mound?Possible Game 7 starter Daisuke Matsuzaka:
After I lost my last start, Beckett said to me, "You're going to have another chance to throw." I replied to him, "I would like that very much." Believing that I'm going to have another chance, all I can do is prepare for another start.Beckett also says he's ready to relive in Game 7, if necessary.
Sean McAdam wonders: "Can Josh Beckett start Game Seven Sunday on two days' rest?" McAdam mentions Jim Lonborg in 1967, but forgets that Derek Lowe started Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS on two days rest -- and pitched six innings, allowing one hit and one run.
Beckett now has the third-lowest ERA -- 1.78 -- in postseason history among pitchers with 50+ innings pitched, behind Mariano Rivera (0.77) and Sandy Koufax (0.95). In 23 post-season innings this year, Beckett has 26 strikeouts and one walk.
Rob Bradford of the Herald asks:
Do you understand what you are seeing in Manny Ramirez? Have you a clue that this player should be revered as one of the greats of all-time in Boston sports history? ...
"I think he's feeling confident," said Red Sox infielder Alex Cora. "He knows his role and he knows he has to expand it a little bit, along with David and Jason. I don't know if he's doing it on purpose but it makes it a little bit easier on the other guys." ...
Some will never jump aboard the Ramirez baseball immortality express. Fox announcer Tim McCarver, for instance, spent the entire time while the umpires debated whether or not Manny's RBI in the third had cleared the right field wall railing on the outfielder for not standing at second base. Not a mention of the clutch hit, just another opportunity to bust on Ramirez' previous day's quote. ...
[W]hen it comes to the game, nobody is taking it more serious than Ramirez. That was evidenced in his preparation, his performance and even his wardrobe. He was kidded about his tie.
"I'm trying to take this tie to Colorado," Ramirez said, pointing to his purple cravate.