BOSTON – Several members of the 2004 World Series Red Sox team-- Jason Varitek, Mike Timlin, Keith Foulke, Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez, Kevin Millar and Trot Nixon -- threw out ceremonial first pitches before Game 2 at Fenway Park Thursday night against the Cardinals, the same opponent they swept to snap Boston's 86-year championship drought.
That bunch of “idiots” bears a similarity to the current group of bearded brethren. Both teams have a camaraderie and looseness.
“It's really important because it gets you away from all the attention of the negativity that's around,” Martinez said. “I think it's important that you maintain your focus while you're playing. But when you have some time off, there's nothing wrong with having fun. The season is too long. All of these guys are grinding by this time. And a lot of them are sore.
“So your comfort zone is when you get with your teammates and you're on the field. And why not spend that time having fun and trying to forget about the things that might be going wrong for you?”
Of the current team, Martinez had this to say:
“This team has a lot of character. It's a team that looks pretty much like us, yes, because they can't wait to get to the field. It's a team that wants to play. They want to leave it all out. And I don't know if you guys have been noticing the way they play the game. They play the game like a wolf pack, that's how I describe the whole team, like a wolf pack. They draw a plan to kill and to feed everybody . . . .
“They go after the kill. A little baby animal that's hurt or something like that, the easiest catch.”