News

Boston bond, beards drive Red Sox to triumph

Boston bond, beards drive Red Sox to triumph

WORLD CHAMPIONS: ; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell hoists the World Series championship trophy after game six of the MLB baseball World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. The Red Sox won 6-1. Photo: Reuters

By Larry Fine

BOSTON (Reuters) – Red Sox manager John Farrell said a special connection struck between his players and the city of Boston helped them achieve their ultimate goal of a World Series title on Wednesday.

A team carefully patched together and dedicated to bouncing back from a last-place finish in 2012 bonded in an emotional partnership with a city on the mend after April’s deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon.

“In a time of need, in response to a tragedy, I go back to our players understanding their place in this city,” Farrell said after Wednesday’s 6-1 victory at Fenway Park clinched a 4-2 World Series triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals.

“For lack of a better way to describe it, they get it. They get that there’s, I think, a civil responsibility that we have wearing this uniform, particularly here in Boston.”

Farrell said the spirit began to grow when players reached out to individuals who had suffered in the tragedy and made hospital visits to bring cheer and comfort to the hundreds of wounded.

“I think our fans, they got to a point where they appreciated the way we played the game, how they cared for one another,” the manager said. “And in return they gave these guys an incredible amount of energy to thrive on in this ballpark.

“I’m sure that everybody in our uniform … they’ll look back on the events that took place and the way things unfolded as a special year. There’s no way we can say it any other way.”

Farrell, pitching coach on the Boston team that won the 2007 World Series, left his managing job with the Toronto Blue Jays to return to the Red Sox and help turn around the team.

In concert with general manager Ben Cherington, he set about adding veteran players with past playoff success — such as Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes and David Ross — to the mix.

“We felt there was a very good core group of players here, that finished last year with injuries, and a number of returning players that were driven and motivated to rewrite their own story,” Farrell said.

“There was a tremendous feeling of embarrassment here a year ago, and guys came into spring training determined.”

With Gomes and Napoli leading the way, the team began promoting their brotherhood by growing bushy beards and soon just about the whole team had throw away their razors.

The easy-going spirit of the team, epitomized by slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz, took hold, but then came the serious business of helping a city heal from the Boston Marathon attack.

“It just so happened we were dealing with a tragedy at the same time,” Farrell said about the team finding its identity.

“Their want and willingness to connect with the fans in the city here, we were thrust into that, so it sped it all up very quickly.

“I think as an organization we couldn’t be any more proud with the way they responded.”

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Gonzaga and UCLA prepare for rematch in NCAA Sweet 16

Fresh
FILE - At left in a Feb. 28, 2015, file photo, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few instructs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against BYU in Spokane, Wash. At right, in a Feb. 11, 2015, file photo, UCLA head coach Steve Alford directs his team against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles. Gonzaga and UCLA play on Friday, March 27, 2015, in the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in Houston.

The Bulldogs battle the Bruins at 4:15pm on KPUG 1170AM.

in Local Sports

Avalanche end 3-game skid, top Canucks

Fresh
FILE - In this file photo taken Sept. 17, 2012, the NHL logo is seen on a goal at a Nashville Predators practice rink in Nashville, Tenn. The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, and if a deal with the players' association isn't reached soon the whole season could be lost. The league wiped out all games through Dec. 30 in its latest round of cancellations. Negotiations between the league and the players' association broke off last week, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday the sides are trying to restart talks this week.

Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist, and Reto Berra made 33 saves to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday night.

in Local Sports

Mariners drop 2 Cactus League split squad games

Fresh
Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon swings against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game Monday, March 23, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hernandez throws 6 sharp innings in Mariners' loss to Royals. Davis, Jimenez hit grand slams as Brewers beat Mariners 15-1

in Local

Ferndale WWII POW profiled in advance of French award

Fresh
Joe Moser in WWII

Seventy-one years ago, Ferndale resident Joe Moser was shot down over France, captured by Germans and sent to Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

in Local

Two Whatcom residents find out punishments

Photo provided by Whatcom County

Sentences are handed down for a child molester and an arsonist.