If there are two more miserable people on the face of the earth than John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, I have no wish to meet them. In the face of another exhilarating walk off, extra inning playoff victory over the Yankees, the WEEI duo came on the air today to castigate Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, (Hitting a “soft .333″ – hard to drive guys in when nobody gets on in front of you.) Trot Nixon, Terry Francona, and even impugn that David Ortiz’s words to Steve Buckley last night were selfish and possibly the words of someone too full of themselves. (They seemed Larry Bird-esque to me…) While criticism of struggling players is going to happen, I don’t know that it’s warranted at 6:00 AM the morning after the huge win. At least there were no “Angry Bill” sightings during the time I had them on, although it seemed like they were hoping he would call. Give me a break. Enjoy the win, fellas.
Dan Shaughnessy has the game story from the front page of the Globe. Jeff Horrigan says this one will go down in history and be remembered by generations to come. Steven Krasner looks at the Red Sox once again refusing to concede the series. David Heuschkel wonders what destiny has in store for these clubs. David Borges looks at a series headed back to the Bronx. Bob Hohler notes that the series is right where last year’s was. 3-2 Yankees heading back to NY. Joe Haggerty has Pedro Martinez saying that Ortiz is the Yankees Big Papi. Ron Chimelis calls it “one of the most amazing postseason baseball games played in this generation, possibly ever.”
Bill Reynolds says that despite the dramatics, these last two wins were really for nothing but pride at this point for the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti argues that the Red Sox have proven that they have no intention of bowing out quietly in this series. Sean McAdam says that a whole lot of what has happened in this series already is against the odds. Bob Ryan doesn’t know where to start on this one, so much action, so many heroes. He also observes”
So the Red Sox are alive. Most baseball teams down, 3-0, get swept (20 of 25). Only two have ever gotten to a sixth game. None have gone farther than that. Curt Schilling will put on his Bill Buckner/Johnny Unitas high-top shoe tonight and make another attempt at shutting up 55,000 people. Should be fun.
Lenny Megliola wonders where we’re going to erect the statue of Ortiz. Jeff Jacobs has a column almost as long as the last two games. Kevin Gray writes that these Sox are showing that anything is possible. Jackie MacMullan looks at winning pitcher Tim Wakefield, who proved once again that he is always ready to pitch. Paul Teves and Steve Conroy also write about Wakefield getting the win. Garry Brown says that one game at a time, the Red Sox are climbing back into this thing.
Tom Yantz writes that Ortiz’s late momma has got to be proud of what Papi has done. Nick Cafardo looks at the amazing transformation of Ortiz since he has come to Boston. In this case, the headline topped the article, as the headline calls Ortiz the Sox “ultimate closer” something that doesn’t appear in the otherwise good article. Stephen Harris also has a piece on Ortiz, noting that the slugger is fueled by the desire to have the Red Sox win the World Series. Sean McAdam writes that what Ortiz has done the last two nights is not human. Jon Couture looks at what is turning into an amazing series, and concludes:
No team has ever come back from a three games to none deficit.
Baseball's never seen a team like the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
A win tonight will have a lot more people believing, as Curt Schilling attempts to write the pitching version of a Roy Hobbs-like storyline. Michael Silverman says Schilling is getting his wish of being back out on the mound against the Yankees. Bob Hohler has Schilling saying he couldn’t ask for anything more than just getting a chance to get out there again. Steve Buckley writes that Schilling is proving himself once again to be a tough, old school style pitcher, refusing to turn in his uniform.
If Schilling and the Sox are unable to extend the series to a game seven, last night could possibly have been the last appearance in a Red Sox uniform for Pedro Martinez. While Mark Blaudschun describes last night’s outing as “workmanlike” for Martinez, Sean McAdam notes that Pedro once again couldn’t hold a lead against the Yankees and that “if the Yankees are the ultimate yardstick, then Martinez has fallen short too often.” Howard Bryant says that Pedro did enough to keep the game close and give the Red Sox a chance to stay alive. Art Davidson terms it a “quality start” for Pedro last night. Paul Doyle gives us the final tally on Pedro’s tenure in Boston:
So if he is gone, here's the final tally on Pedro in Boston: 117-37, 2.52 ERA in 203 games, with 1,683 strikeouts in 1,3832/3 innings. He won two Cy Young Awards, was selected for four All-Star Games, and was part of four playoff teams in seven seasons.
His future will be addressed after the season, I say you have to find a way to keep him here. He’s not the same pitcher as the one who put up the bulk of those numbers above, but he’s better than most of what is out there on the market this winter.
The Sox bullpen picked up Martinez with eight (count ’em…EIGHT) shutout innings. Michael Silverman says the bullpen delivered in the zero hour. A big part of that was Keith Foulke, who Paul Doyle notes, got four huge outs in his second consecutive appearance. Alex Speier looks at the exhausted pitching staffs on both sides. Steve Britt says the Boston bullpen was bottomless last night. Garry Brown wonders what the winner of this series is going to have left in the tank. Bob Hohler has Derek Lowe looking at his possible exit from Boston after the season. Nick Cafardo and Kevin McNamara look at the continued struggles of Johnny Damon, who promises to start hitting again. Tonight would be a good time for that. Tom Yantz looks at Dave Roberts having a huge role in the series without picking up a bat.
Gordon Edes’ notebook has John W Henry hoping for a rainout tonight. I don’t know that would be the best scenario…keep the momentum going. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Jason Varitek having a few rough moments with Tim Wakefield knuckleballs. Kraz’s Corner looks at Varitek trying out hitting right-handed against Mike Mussina. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on the long night for Varitek. Borges’ notebook also looks at Varitek. Speier’s notebook looks at the continued struggles for Johnny Damon.
John Powers looks at the Yankee celebration being put on hold for at least another day. Karen Guregian says the Yankees go back to NY hoping the familiar surroundings of the Stadium get them back on track. Kevin McNamara looks at the failures of Mariano Rivera the last two nights. Don Amore has a piece on the surprising contribution of Esteban Loaiza last night. Stephen Harris looks at tonight’s starter, Jon Lieber. Jack O’Connell looks at the sudden struggles of the Yankee offense. Peter May writes about the Yankee bullpen giving up another lead. O’Connell also writes about the supposed quotes of Gary Sheffield that became bulletin board material for the Red Sox. Guregian’s notebook has more on the Yankees leaving men on base. Power’s notebook looks at the importance of game five. Amore’s notebook looks at the state of Joe Torre’s bullpen.
Kevin Mannix has his weekly Patriots report card. A’s, B’s, and C’s across the board for the Pats. Jim McCabe looks at the Patriots stingy defense. Alan Greenberg and Chris Kennedy also look at the Red Zone defense for the Patriots. Rich Thompson compares the running backs in this weekend’s matchup; Corey Dillon and Curtis Martin. Tom E Curran says that Dillon’s presence gives Charlie Weis a whole new bag of tricks. Michael Parente says that Dillon is thoroughly enjoying life away from the Bengals.
Parente also has a report card for last Sunday’s game. Mike Reiss looks at Daniel Graham doing it all in earning a game ball on Sunday. George Kimball looks at Dan Klecko adding another chapter to his versatility. Thompson’s notebook has more on the Red Zone defense. McCabe’s notebook looks at the attention that Corey Dillon is getting on a winning team. Curran’s notebook looks at the home field advantage of Gillette. Reiss’ notebook has more on the Red Zone.
Shira Springer looks at Celtics rookie Al Jefferson as he tries to figure out life in the NBA. Mark Murphy has a piece on Marcus Banks, who remains confident despite his coach’s concerns about his play.
Bill Griffith looks at FOX’s broadcast from Gillette this past Sunday, and has a number of other media notes.
FOX has Red Sox/Yankees at 8:19.