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Red Sox seem to be copying Donald Trump’s ‘fake news’ approach to media relations 03.31.17 at 3:18 pm ET
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John Farrell denied this week the Red Sox's shoulder program was a factor in Tyler Thornburg's DL stint, even though he once said otherwise. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

John Farrell denied this week the Red Sox’s shoulder program was a factor in Tyler Thornburg’s DL stint, even though he once said otherwise. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

When Donald Trump wants to discredit the media, he’ll often reprimand outlets for reporting his words verbatim, claiming he never said what he did. The latest example of this phenomenon came last week, when he told Time Magazine his tweets about President Barack Obama wiretapping him weren’t meant to be taken literally.

As the 2017 season nears, it seems as if the Red Sox are developing a similar approach to media relations.

Earlier this month, reliever Tyler Thornburg told WEEI.com and the Boston Herald the team’s strenuous shoulder program played a role in his shoulder injury. After two Spring Training outings, he was shut down so he could acclimate himself to the regimen.

“Once we started working those muscles in the back that in depth and that much they really started to tire,” he said March 11. “I was doing a shoulder program on a certain day and all of a sudden I would pitch in the game and they would already be fatigued. It was one of those things where we decided to shut it down and let them relax as well as strengthen it at the same time. It was really hard to do it all at the same time. It’s a lot more than I was used to, for sure.”

When Thornburg was placed on the disabled list this week, he brought up the shoulder program again.

“If anything, it might have fatigued my arm a little bit before the first outing,” he said, via the Herald. “Or it possibly could’ve pointed out some weaknesses in my shoulder or something that wasn’t working properly. That’s all stuff we were figuring out in the last couple days.”

That sounds pretty cut-and-dried, apparently except to the Red Sox. They deny Thornburg ever mentioned the shoulder program. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday it was never part of the conversation.

“I’m not getting into that particular. It’s not the throwing program, OK? I wish you would just lay off of that, OK? We talked about that part of it,” he said, via the Herald.

Dombrowski lashed out when he was told Thornburg was the person who had originally mentioned it.

“No, it’s you pushing it,” he said.

Manager John Farrell, who also referenced the shoulder program March 10 when asked about Thornburg’s status, essentially called the reports fake news.

“There’s a lot been written targeting our shoulder program here,” he said. “I would discount that completely. He came into camp, he was throwing the ball extremely well, makes two appearances. They were two lengthy innings in which the inflammation flared up to the point of shutting him down. But in the early work in spring training, he was throwing the ball outstanding. So to suggest that his situation or his symptoms now are the result of our shoulder program, that’s false.”

As Trump has shown, if you repeat a lie often enough, your followers are likely going to believe it. A recent poll shows 74 percent of Republicans believe he was wiretapped, even though FBI Director James Comey says that wasn’t the case. A February poll from Politico found that 25 percent of voters believe Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter fraud as well.

Despite lying 69 percent of the time, Trump was able to ascend to the presidency. His success in the political arena shows truthfulness may not be all that important when it comes to public perception. It wouldn’t be surprising to see sports teams, which are private businesses and have no obligation to be transparent with the press, copy some of those tactics.

Instead of acknowledging reality, the Trump administration habitually presents “alternative facts.” The Red Sox followed a similar blueprint with Thornburg this week, denying the words that came out of his mouth.

Presidents affect culture in addition to policy. This week, the phrase “fake news” carried down from the White House all the way to Fort Myers. Maybe it will make its way to Fenway Park this season as well.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Dave Dombrowski, Donald Trump, john farrell
John Farrell on Kirk & Callahan: Last season left a ‘crappy taste in all of our mouths’ 02.21.17 at 8:43 am ET
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The Red Sox are entering Spring Training with high expectations. Manager John Farrell says he’s OK with that.

In an interview with Kirk & Callahan Tuesday, Farrell said the team is anxious to get back to work after a bitter ending to last season. Though the Red Sox won 93 games and retook the division, they were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Indians. You can listen to the full interview here.

“[Last season] left a pretty crappy taste in all of our mouths, as abruptly as it finished,” Farrell said. “Winning the division is certainly something that we’re all proud of. And with this particular team, I think a building block. Because of the taste it left in our mouths, we come back here and we’re hungry. The pace and the energy has been shown here in Spring Training. We are looking forward to the work ahead.”

For the first time in 15 years, the Red Sox will start a season without David Ortiz. While his production in the lineup will be missed, Farrell said the void his absence leaves in the locker room will be have to be replaced as well.

“Let’s say we go through a stretch where things aren’t clicking and there’s a little bit of a rallying point in our clubhouse –– David was always a guy who stood up and spoke,” he said. “I think a number of players would look to him because of his experience and the number of ups and downs he’s gone through or we’ve gone through in this city. And he was a voice of reason and a sounding board for a lot of guys. And more than anything, I think he exuded a lot of confidence for others to feed off of.”

One of the keys to the Red Sox’s success in a post-Ortiz world will be the performance of Pablo Sandoval. After only playing in three games last season, he showed up to camp in better shape this year. While that’s encouraging, Farrell said Sandoval will have to earn back his everyday spot in the lineup.

“It’s his job to reclaim,” he said. “The one thing about our team is, we like the versatility and depth that’s in this roster. If that’s Brock Holt at third base platooning with Josh Rutledge, then that’s an alternative. But the most important thing is, Panda is well understanding of what’s ahead of him. He’s done a great job of getting himself back in the conditioning he needs. That’s the first step. So the next step is going between the lines and reclaiming [it].”

David Price’s first season in Boston wasn’t a failure –– he led the league in innings pitched and struck out 228 batters –– but he fell short of delivering on his Cy Young expectations. His disastrous start against the Indians in the playoffs, in which he allowed five runs in 3.1 innings, rekindled questions about his ability to pitch in October as well (his career postseason record as a starter is 0-8). Farrell said Price understands his shortcomings, and is in a position to improve.

“Last year, I thought he had a good year for us,” he said. “I wouldn’t say a great year, obviously. But when you look at 230 innings pitched, 17 wins, a career high in strikeouts, there’s a lot of things that have gone well for him. And yet, since the expectations are very lofty at times, it might have fallen short on some people’s part. But I would expect with David, knowing him now after a year, knowing the environment we’re all working in and pitching in, he’s going to be a little more comfortable than a year ago.”

Chris Sale will join Price and Cy Young winner Rick Porcello at the top of the rotation this season, giving the Red Sox perhaps the best 1-2-3 punch in the league. Though Sale just arrived in camp, Farrell said he can already see why the lefty is such a dominating force on the mound.

“You look at the stuff, the age that he is, the stuff that he has, the consistent performer he is,” he said. “Watching him here for the first time –– standing behind the cage and watching –– it’s a very uncomfortable at-bat, and you’ve got a fierce competitor inside the person. So you combine it with the physical abilities, he’s going to be an extremely successful pitcher here.”

With Sale, Price and Porcello at the top of the rotation, Farrell may not have to go to his bullpen too often. But when he does,  his moves will be heavily scrutinized. At several points last season, the Red Sox skipper came under fire for his befuddling in-game moves. In response to that criticism, Farrell said he’s always looking to improve.

“I think if there’s anybody that’s committed to their craft, regardless of their walk of life, if they don’t self-reflect, self-review, maybe they’re just looking to pass time and move on through. So yeah, I look at that,” he said. “I’ll say this: in response to your criticism, I don’t know that you have all of the information available for those decisions that are made during the game. I understand there’s going to be two sides, and the great thing about our game is that it’s debatable.”

Read More: Boston Red Sox, john farrell,
Thinking Out Loud: Erin Andrews benefits from celebrity with $55M jury award in stalker case 03.11.16 at 5:20 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Terry Dehere.

— It isn’t my intention to be flippant here, but does anyone else think Erin Andrews received the amount of money ($55 million) she was awarded due to her popularity in the first place? In other words, if she weren’t “Erin Andrews,” there’s no way that kind of a price tag would have been attached to this decision?

— It is undoubtedly a very trying, emotional situation — having to deal with a stalker and deal with the aftermath of a peephole video on the Internet for the rest of her life. But $55 million? There’s absolutely zero chance she ever receives the full amount — especially since her stalker (Michael Barrett) is on the hook for just over half (51 percent) of that.

— Not for nuthin’, but it doesn’t seem as if the exposure here (no pun intended, really) harmed Andrews’ career in the least. Most plaintiffs in civil lawsuits don’t receive anywhere near the kind of compensation she was awarded. Our legal friend Michael McCann (SI.com) pointed out this week an average award in the wrongful death of an adult female is $3 million. And that’s with someone dying.

— If anything, the notoriety of the case helped her gain favor with her new employers at Fox, as they won a bidding war over ESPN for her services. And, by the way, she now hosts ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” too. The defense attorneys in the case made this argument, however, to no avail.

— I have some sympathy over the lack of privacy/invasion of privacy issue, sure. But at what price do we cap monetary awards for alleged humiliation and degradation? This entire “story” was over the top. So was the money. Hope the nude pictures were worth it, fella. But they were kinda pricey, if you ask me. Just sayin’.

— As for the story that has gained traction on Red Sox manager John Farrell and CSNNE’s Jessica Moran having a “relationship,” I concur with ESPNBoston’s Jackie MacMullan. It’s not a good look for either side.

— MacMullan took both Moran and Farrell to task on WEEI this week, and it was deserved. How many times does the business of journalism — especially women reporters — need to be degraded by unthinking, selfish narcissists who allow themselves (and the industry, not to mention employers) to become involved in a situation where no one wins? Except for gaining a few, fleeting moments of pleasure?

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Read More: Erin Andrews, Jessica Moran, john farrell, Kris Dunn
Bruce Bochy baseball’s best manager according to survey, Terry Francona third 07.14.15 at 11:19 am ET
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Bruce Bochy

Bruce Bochy

According to a recent survey done by ESPN.com, Bruce Bochy is the best manager in the MLB.

The survey consisted of 50 scouts, front-office executives, big-league coaches and media analysts. Respondents rated each manager on a series of categories, with longevity, championships and leadership cited as the most important qualities.

Bochy emerged victorious, earning 24.2 percent of the vote. Behind him were Buck Showalter (21.5 percent), former Red Sox manager Terry Francona (12.8 percent) and Joe Maddon (12.5 percent). No other managers earned a double-digit percentage, but some other highlights included Joe Girardi, who finished eighth with 3.5 percent, and current Red Sox manager John Farrell, who rounded out the top third with 2.2 percent.

According to one National League executive, Bochy instills confidence in his players and gives them the tools to succeed.

“His players play hard and buy into what’s best for the team,” the executive said. “He’s a great strategist, and he’s able to use young players and castoffs with confidence. He has a calm demeanor, but he knows when to create urgency and play the hot hand.”

As the Giants manager, Bochy owns a 713-672 record over nine years. His playoff record is stellar at 34-14 and he has led the team to three titles in the last five years.

Aside from best overall manager, survey respondents weighed in on a variety of other classifications. Bochy was also voted “Best at Handling a Pitching Staff,” meanwhile Showalter was regarded as the “Best Tactician.” Otherwise, the “Best at Relating to Players” was Francona and the “Best at Using the Entire 25-man Roster” was a tie between Showalter and Bochy. Maddon earned the title of “Most Creative Manager” in a landslide and Clint Hurdle was voted “Best at Developing Young Players.”

Read More: Bruce Bochy, Buck Showalter, Clint Hurdle, Joe Girardi
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 2: Red Sox finish in last place after previous year’s World Series title 12.31.14 at 10:13 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 2: Red Sox finish in last place after previous year’s World Series title. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Xander Bogaerts' inability to make the leap to productive full-time player was a key to the Red Sox' struggles. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts’ inability to make the leap to productive full-time player was one of the keys to the Red Sox‘ struggles in 2014. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Expectations for the 2014 Red Sox were as high as ever going into spring training in Fort Myers, Florida. But the play on the field during the season never matched the performance from 2013.

A year after the Red Sox won the World Series, many thought Boston could contend for another title — or at least be competitive. Before the regular season started, team president Larry Lucchino spoke about his faith in the team.

“There were so many sources of satisfaction,” Lucchino said of 2013. “And of course the Boston Strong element that came into it. It was terrific. But there’s also down here right now — and maybe as a consequence of that, and because of the people we have in leadership positions here — there is a good vibe coming out of camp. There’s a good feeling down here.”

Catcher David Ross echoed the front office’s sentiment and said the Sox could pull off consecutive titles.

“Let’s get another championship under our belt, and then, hey, we’ve been rolling pretty good since ol’ No. 3 got here,” Ross said. “Maybe I’ll start that campaign.”

What started as an encouraging year quickly began to fall apart. The Sox dropped the opener to the eventual division champion Orioles, then were swept by the Brewers during their first series of the year at Fenway Park. The home opener, where the Sox players and coaches collected their World Series rings, was marred by a ninth-inning meltdown from newly acquired reliever Edward Mujica.

The Red Sox played fairly well through the first two months, but injuries and inconsistent play from younger position players like Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. pushed the Red Sox lower into the American League East standings.

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Read More: Ben Cherington, Jackie Bradley Jr., john farrell, Jon Lester
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Despite Red Sox’ issues, MLB commissioner Bud Selig touts replay rollout as ‘remarkable’ 04.16.14 at 7:55 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Wizards at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Mavericks at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Lightning, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Blue Jackets at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Stars at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Sunderland at Manchester City, 2:45 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Copa del Rey final, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, 3:25 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Red Sox manager John Farrell likely would disagree, but Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig called the first couple of weeks of expanded instant replay “remarkable.”

Heading into Wednesday’s games, there had been 89 challenges, with 30 being overturned, 33 confirmed as accurate and the rest left to stand due to a lack of “clear and convincing evidence.” One such call occurred in Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees game when replay officials could not access the same feed that showed television viewers evidence that a call against the Sox should have been changed (MLB later acknowledged its mistake). Farrell was ejected from Sunday’s game for complaining about the replay system after a call was overturned in New York’s favor, although that one appeared to be the correct decision.

“We’ve had really very little controversy overall,” Selig said Tuesday at the MLB Diversity Business Summit in New York. “Everything in life will have a little glitch here and there where you do something new. And are our guys on top of it? You bet. But I’m saying to you again, you’ll hear about the one or two controversies, but look at all the calls that have been overturned.”

Calls are analyzed in at the offices of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and MLBAM chief executive officer Bob Bowman said the process needs time to work better, while tweaking ESPN in his comment.

“Technology takes a while to work,” Bowman said. “I don’t know if you ever bought a new car. You don’t know how all that stuff works right away. And if you ever get a new phone, it takes you a while to learn it. We’re under 30 days old, and I know we’ve arrived because ESPN is already criticizing us. And it must be great to be perfect the way ESPN is.”

— The NCAA took a step toward being more accommodating toward athletes when its legislative council approved a proposal to allow Division 1 schools to provide unlimited meals and snacks to all athletes, including walk-ons.

UConn guard Shabazz Napier brought the issue to the forefront during the Final Four when he complained that he sometimes went to bed “starving” because he could not afford food.

Schools had been allowed to provide three meals a day or a stipend to scholarship athletes. Assuming the board of directors approve the measure at its April 24 meeting, schools would be able to provide more meals and snacks to all athletes.

The committee also agreed to reduce the penalty for a first positive drug test as long as the drug is not performance-enhancing (such as marijuana). The proposal cuts the penalty from a full season to a half-season.

— Boston University guard Maurice Watson is transferring to Creighton. The 5-foot-10 sophomore, who earlier this month announced plans to leave BU, signed a letter of intent for the Nebraska school and will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season.

“We are excited to welcome Maurice Watson Jr. to the Creighton basketball family,’€ Creighton coach Greg McDermott said in a statement. “Maurice has proven over the course of the last two seasons at Boston University that he is an unselfish point guard who also has the ability to score the basketball. I believe he will excel in our up-tempo system. He comes from a tremendous family and possesses the core values in terms of character and passion that our program has come to expect. We can’€™t wait to get him on campus!”

Watson averaged 13.3 points and 7.1 assists last season and was a first-team All-Patriot League selection after leading the Terriers to the Patriot League regular-season title in BU’s first season in the conference. The Philadelphia native said moving to the Big East was a major part of his decision.

“This is a big stage, with great fans, an amazing arena and a new practice facility,” he told the Omaha World-Herald after visiting Creighton over the weekend. “Everything I wanted is right here.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 16, 1977, which Red Sox pitcher made his major league debut by pitching four innings of relief and earning the save in the first of 637 career appearances for Boston?

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Read More: bud selig, john farrell, Maurice Watson Jr., Shabazz Napier
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2013, No. 3: Red Sox go from worst to first, win World Series 12.30.13 at 9:24 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 13 stories of 2013 in Boston sports. This is No. 3: Red Sox go from worst to first, win World Series. To see the previous entries, click here.

As John Farrell sat in front of the Boston media on Nov. 22, 2012, for his introductory press conference as manager of the Red Sox, it became apparent that expectations were not necessarily at an all-time high for the 2013 campaign.

Boston had just come off of a nightmare of a season, as the Bobby Valentine-led Sox finished in last place in the American League East with a 69-93 record. It was the first time that Boston had finished a season with less than 70 wins since 1965.

Despite the pessimistic atmosphere surrounding the once-proud Boston franchise, Farrell maintained a positive outlook on the upcoming year, even hinting at a possible playoff berth.

“There’s a lot of quality players that are currently here, and yet the won-loss record doesn’t reflect that. It’s my job and my intent — and I’m eager to get started — to identify what took place and how do we best address it and correct it,” Farrell said. “I think this has got an opportunity to be a fairly quick turnaround and get to the point of contending next year.”

While Farrell was optimistic about his team’s chances going forward, not even he could he have predicted what was about to transpire in 2013. Less than a year after that press conference, Farrell celebrated a World Series win, Boston’s third title in 10 years, in front of over 37,000 rabid fans at Fenway Park on a chilly October night.

“You know, still trying to take all this in,” Farrell said after the series-clinching victory. “When the fireworks went off at the presentation of the trophy out there, when the ballpark was filled with smoke, it was completely surreal. To be in this position, given where we’ve come from, reflecting back a year ago at this time, there’s been a lot that’s happened in 13 months.”

The groundwork for Boston’s incredible season was established during the 2012 offseason, as Sox general manager Ben Cherington stuck to a conservative, albeit very crafty game plan during the hot stove season. Rather than pursuing big-name free agents such as Josh Hamilton and Zack Grienke, Cherington instead focused on bringing in low-risk, high-reward players such as Mike NapoliKoji Uehara and Shane Victorino. Cherington, looking to reverse a toxic atmosphere that permeated through the Sox clubhouse over the last few seasons, also made it a point to sign players known for their positive influence in the locker room, inking contributors like Jonny GomesRyan Dempster and David Ross to short-term deals.

While the new-look Sox started off hot out of the gate, posting an 11-4 record over their first 15 games, many still doubted the legitimacy of the team. The team showed its resolve on April 20, as the Sox played their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent manhunt and capture of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

After two straight years of rolling out a collection of players who seemed like they could care less about each other, let alone the city they play for, the 2013 Red Sox adopted the “Boston Strong” movement, as David Ortiz‘s rallying address to the Fenway faithful prior to the game against Kansas City still reverberates throughout the entire city to this day.

The Sox also showed off their flair for dramatic in the game, a reoccurring theme for the entire season and subsequent playoffs, as Daniel Nava slugged a go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning to give Boston a thrilling 4-3 win. After such a stirring victory over the Royals, it became apparent that this season would be very, different from 2012.

The Sox steamrolled through the regular season thanks to a resurgent pitching staff and a balanced lineup, finishing the year with a 97-65 record, improving their 2012 win total by 28 games.

Offensively, the Sox were once again carried by Ortiz, as the 37-year-old designated hitter led the team in batting average (.309), home runs (30), RBIs (103) and on-base percentage (.395). Ortiz continued to add to his already impressive resume during the year, as the slugger passed Harold Baines for most hits by a DH (1,689) on July 11 against the Mariners.

On the mound, the Sox pitching staff was anchored by Jon Lester, whose post All-Star break stats (7-2, 2.57 ERA) were a far cry from his disappointing 2012 splits (9-14, 4.82 ERA). Out of the ‘pen, the Sox received a huge boost from Uehara. Signed as a free agent in 2012 with the purpose of pitching in the seventh inning and supporting Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan, Uehara was thrust into the role as closer after both Bailey and Hanrahan went down with season-ending injuries.

Despite only accumulating 14 saves in his career prior to signing with Boston, Uehara put together one of the most dominant seasons for a reliever, as the 38-year-old closer recorded 21 saves while posting a microscopic 1.09 ERA and punching out 101 batters in 74 1/3 innings of work.

By the time the regular season had concluded on Sept. 30, the Sox had wrapped up the best record in the AL while winning the AL East for the first time since 2007.

Boston opened up its first entry into the postseason since 2009 by taking on its division rival, the Rays, in the American League Division Series. The Sox outscored Tampa by a 19-6 margin to get out to a commanding 2-0 series lead, but the Rays would not go quietly, as the Joe Maddon-led squad forced a Game 4 after Jose Lobaton crushed a walk-off home run in Game 3 off of Uehara.

Game 4 was a bizarre affair, as Maddon utilized nine pitchers during the contest after pulling starter Jeremy Hellickson in the second inning. While Tampa held a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning, the Sox once again put together some late-inning magic, scoring two runs in the seventh and one more in the ninth to win, 3-1, and advance to the American League Championship Series, where they faced off against the Tigers.

After almost being no-hit in Game 1, the Sox seemed well on their way to being down 2-0 in the series, as Detroit built a 5-1 lead in Game 2 going into the eighth inning. However, in what was perhaps the turning point of the postseason, Ortiz stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and drove the first pitch he saw from Joaquin Benoit past a leaping Torii Hunter and into the Sox bullpen, tying the game in dramatic fashion.

Boston evened up the series at one game apiece just an inning later, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in Gomes with an RBI single in the ninth inning to complete the 6-5 comeback.

While Boston took a 2-1 series lead after John Lackey outpitched 2011 AL MVP Justin Verlander in a 1-0 Game 3 win, Detroit would answer back with a convincing 7-3 victory in Game 4. After the Sox put themselves on the brink of a series victory with a 4-3 victory in Game 5, Shane Victorino delivered his biggest hit of the postseason in Game 6, crushing an 0-2 curveball from Jose Veras over the Green Monster for a grand slam, giving Boston a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Uehara closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning, sending the Sox to the Fall Classic for the first time since 2007.

Boston’s final opponent in 2013 was the NL champion Cardinals, who, like the Sox, led their league in wins with 97 on the year. It was the first time since 1999 in which both teams in the World Series finished the regular season with the best record in their respective leagues.

“We’€™re going up against a very complete team,” Farrell said. “They have very good young pitching, they have good pitching in general. Just what I’ve looked at so far, they are well-balanced, they hit with runners in scoring position like no other and they look to put guys in motion with the hit and run quite a bit. They are a complete team.”

The Cardinals certainly did not make a good impression in Game 1, as St. Louis committed three errors while their ace Adam Wainwright was spotted for five runs over five innings of work. Meanwhile, Lester was superb, shutting out the Cards for 7 2/3 innings en route to a 8-1 victory.

Boston’s hot start would not transfer over to the next day, as St. Louis’ pitching corps of Michael WachaCarlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal held the Sox to just two runs and four hits while striking out 12 as the Cardinals evened the series with a 4-2 victory in Game 2.

Game 3 was a back-and-forth affair, as the Sox came back to erase a two-run deficit in the eighth inning to tie the game at 4 heading into the ninth inning. What followed next was classic postseason baseball, as a controversial obstruction call on Will Middlebrooks in the bottom of the ninth sent home Allen Craig, giving St. Louis the 5-4 win and a 2-1 series edge.

Game 4 followed the same format as the previous two games, as Boston and St. Louis spent most of the game deadlocked at a 1-1 tie, until the Sox broke the game open in the sixth inning with a clutch three-run home run from Gomes. The game once again ended on a bizarre note, as Uehara picked off Kolten Wong at first for the final out, sealing the 4-2 win for Boston. It was the first World Series game to end on a pickoff.

The Sox were lifted once again by Lester in Game 5, as the southpaw held the potent Cardinals offense to just one run over 7 2/3 innings as the Sox won, 3-1, setting the stage for Boston to clinch the World Series title at Fenway Park for the first time in 95 years.

Boston made sure that Game 6 would not be a tension-filled contest, as the Sox scored six runs in the third and fourth innings to give themselves a comfortable cushion. Uehara was brought into the ninth inning with a 6-1 lead and easily retired the first two batters, bringing Matt Carpenter up to the plate.

With a packed house at Fenway standing as one, Uehara struck out Carpenter to end it. As the Fenway Faithful roared, an ecstatic Uehara jumped into the arms of Ross before being swarmed by their teammates.

“In the first two minutes I was in the clubhouse, the words, ‘€˜We’€™re going to win the World Series’€™ was spoken by both [Gomes and Saltalamacchia] — on August 1,” said Sox pitcher Jake Peavy after the game. “When those words came out of their mouth, instantly I believed. … It’€™s what I’€™ve played for since I’ve played [as a kid] — to be a champion. To do it here, in this city, with this group of guys, with this fan base. It’€™s unbelievable.”

Ortiz, who posted an incredible line of .688/.760/1.188 with six RBIs during the Fall Classic, was named World Series MVP. Ortiz is the first non-Yankee to win three World Series titles with one team since Jim Palmer did so with the Orioles in 1966, 1970 and 1983.

Three days later, the world-champion Sox loaded onto the ducks boats and paraded in front of thousands of fans from Fenway down to the Charles River. The highlight of the parade undoubtedly had to be the a touching moment near the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street, as Gomes and Saltalamacchia placed the Commissioner’s Trophy at the line and draped it with a Red Sox jersey that read “Boston Strong — 617.” The emotional tribute was capped off with a stirring rendition of “God Bless America” by tenor Ronan Tynan.

It was a fitting, if not symbolic ending for this determined and lovable Sox team. Despite having many doubters at the start of the season, the Sox remained focused throughout the long 2013 campaign, keeping their clubhouse loose while maintaining excellent play on the field.

After the devastating Marathon bombings, the team recognized its importance and connection to the city and took up the role as a savior, an escape for people of a shaken community who needed to get their minds off the dreary news surrounding their city.

It likely still seems like a dream to most, but yes, despite how improbable it was, the Sox are champions once again, proving to both their fans, their city and to themselves that they truly do embody everything it means to be”Boston Strong.”

 

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Boston Sports Stories of the Year 2013, cardinals, David Ortiz
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2013, No. 9: Jacoby Ellsbury leaves Red Sox to sign with Yankees 12.24.13 at 9:14 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 13 stories of 2013 in Boston sports. This is No. 9: Jacoby Ellsbury leaves Red Sox to sign with Yankees. To see the previous entries, click here.

Just over a month after picking up his second World Series ring with the Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury swapped out the uniform he has worn since 2007 for a set of pinstripes.

The center fielder, whom the Red Sox picked up in the first round of the 2005 draft, became the 14th-highest-paid player in baseball on Dec. 3 when he agreed to a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees. Ellsbury’€™s agreement also included the option for an eighth season that would make his deal worth $169 million.

The Sox reportedly let Ellsbury know early on that they had no intention of coming close to his asking price or contract length.

“I’€™m excited to be a New York Yankee,’€ Ellsbury said during a press conference at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 13. ‘€œDefinitely very excited for my family and I. I know [my wife] Kelsey is excited to be here. You guys have treated me so great, all day. I’€™m very appreciative.

“I’€™m excited for this opportunity, coming to a storied franchise. Looking outside today, seeing the banners on the wall, seeing the great players that have played here, this is a truly honor. … It’€™s an honor and I’€™m excited to go out there. Can’€™t wait to get to spring training, get to work, meet my teammates. And hopefully when it’€™s all said and done, we can hoist that trophy above our head. With that being said, I’€™m excited to be here.”

In seven seasons with the Sox, Ellsbury had a .297/.350/.439 line. The leadoff hitter’€™s best year came in 2011 when he had career numbers for games played (158), RBIs (105), home runs (32) and OPS (.928).

During his final year with the Sox, Ellsbury led the league with 52 steals while putting up a .298/.355/.426 line with nine home runs and 53 RBIs. He went on to hit .344 during the playoffs.

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Read More: Boston Sports Stories of the Year 2013, Carl Crawford, Jackie Bradley Jr., Jacoby Ellsbury
Coaches with local ties help raise $95K for Positive Coaching Alliance 06.19.13 at 11:41 am ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell, Notre Dame football coach (and Boston-area native) Brian Kelly, new Boston College football coach Steve Addazio and WNBA Connecticut Sun coach Anne Donovan joined up for the second annual Coffee with the Coaches breakfast and panel discussion Tuesday morning at Fenway Park’s State Street Pavilion that raised $95,000 for the Boston chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance.

WEEI afternoon co-hosts Michael Holley and Mike Salk moderated the discussion.

Madison Park High School football coach Roosevelt Robinson received the PCA’s Double-Goal Coach Award for striving to win while also pursuing the important goal of teaching life lessons through sports.

“I was so proud to, once again, join this group of accomplished sports leaders for our second annual fundraiser,” PCA founder Jim Thompson said. “Their advice and opinions are priceless assets in the development of our young players and teams. PCA deeply values this devotion to educating and inspiring young athletes in Boston and beyond.”

Read More: Brian Kelly, john farrell, Steve Addazio, Tommy Amaker
Rockies manager Jim Tracy resigns 10.08.12 at 9:38 am ET
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Rockies manager Jim Tracy resigned on Sunday after the team lost 98 games this season, a franchise record. The Rockies said they would begin a search for a new manager immediately.

Tracy became manager in Colorado in 2009 after being promoted from bench coach and was voted NL Manager of the Year after leading the team on a playoff run. This season, however, Colorado was last in the NL West at 64-98.

“I was surprised,” said Bill Geivett, the team’s director of major league operations.

Asked why Tracy was leaving the club, Geivett said, “I don’t think there was any one thing in particular that seemed to stand out, but you’d have to ask him that.”

The Rockies join the search for a manager along with the Red Sox and Astros. The Indians also had an opening but they filled it when they hired Terry Francona.

Read More: Jim Tracy, john farrell, MLB, Rumor Mill