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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees writer gives David Ortiz lone 1st-place AL MVP vote; Doc Rivers praises Kate Upton’s tweets 11.18.16 at 8:22 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Golden State at Boston, 8 p.m. (CSN; ESPN)
NBA: LA Clippers at Sacramento, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Memphis at Cincinnati, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: UNLV at Boise State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Loyola Chicago at Saint Joseph, 12:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oral Roberts at Mississippi, 3 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Women: UConn at LSU, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Montana at NC State, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington State at Creighton, 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— David Ortiz got one first-place American League MVP vote in this year’s balloting, and it came from an unlikely writer.

New York Daily News Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand gave Ortiz the first-place vote, and he explained why in a column published on Thursday.

“After much deliberation, I voted David Ortiz in the top spot on my ballot. And I don’t regret it for one moment,” Feinsand wrote. “Before you ask, yes, I’m aware that he doesn’t play in the field. Voting for a designated hitter was not something I did without serious thought, but after examining all the numbers, talking to players, coaches and managers around the league and crunching the numbers some more, I felt Ortiz was the most impactful player in the AL this season.”

Feinsand said his vote was swayed partially by a comment someone once made to him about Ortiz.

“One manager told me something that stuck with me as I struggled with my vote. ‘Every time Betts comes up with two guys on base and two outs, I feel confident that my pitcher will get him out,’ the manager said. ‘When Ortiz comes up with two on and two out, if I’m dumb enough not to walk him, the only question is whether he’s going to hit a double or a home run. He’s terrifying.'”

Feinsand said he believes Mike Trout, the AL MVP winner, deserves the award, but he believes Ortiz deserved it more.

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Read More: David Ortiz, doc rivers, Von Miller,
Thinking Out Loud: Bill Belichick offers further proof of his supremacy 09.23.16 at 5:44 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Mikey, and does he still like it?

— Lou Merloni tweeted this week: Would the Sox get more attention if Brady weren’t suspended? Maybe, but hey, Lou? Would the Sox get more attention if they weren’t up against the Patriots playing?

— Or if most MLB games didn’t last more than three hours? Or if the season were shorter? Or if players stayed in the batter’s box? Or if pitchers stopped scratching and adjusting themselves before pitches? Or if the sport actually allowed home plate or basepath collisions to happen again? Just sayin’.

— We now resume our regularly scheduled football discussion. Find me on Twitter under the hashtags #killeverybodytour and #scorchedearthtour.

— What did we witness Thursday night? Two things, the way I see it. One, if there was ever any doubt that Bill Belichick is one of the best to have ever plied his trade (I’m looking at you, Steve in Fall River), it has been snuffed out. Or, you’re just ignorant (again, straight at ya, Steve).

— Two, Houston, you still have a problem. Turtling in big games won’t earn you any more respect than those letter jackets you wore a couple of years ago.

— I love Thursday night games. And I hate them, too. I’ll wager if you polled NFL players on “love or hate,” hate would conquer overall. Part of that is, of course, the short recovery time they get after a Sunday beatdown.

— Chris Gasper of The Boston Globe wrote an excellent piece this week on the double standard the league has with instituting new injury prevention rules and making $$$ on Thursday nights. All you need to know is if the league really cared about its on-field employees’ health and well-being, they’d do away with TNF. Spot-on stuff.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Jimmy Garoppolo,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: President Barack Obama calls David Ortiz post-Marathon bombing speech ‘one of my proudest moments’ 03.23.16 at 8:11 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:
NHL: Bruins at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Raptors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Knicks at Bulls, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Lakers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Florida at George Washington, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Georgia Tech at San Diego State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While attending the Rays-Cuban national team exhibition baseball game Tuesday in Cuba, President Barack Obama gave David Ortiz a shout-out, saying the Red Sox outfielder’s speech to fans after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings ranks high on his list of memories from his time in office.

In his team’s first game back at Fenway Park after the bombings, Ortiz famously proclaimed, “This is our [expletive] city.”

“One of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the marathon [attack] and when Ortiz went out and said — probably the only time that America didn’t have a problem with cursing on live TV — when he talked about how strong Boston was and was not going to be intimidated,” Obama said during an in-game interview with ESPN. “And that is the kind of resilience and the kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists.”

Asked if there was any concern about going through with Tuesday’s game after the terrorist attacks in Belgium, Obama said: “It’s always a challenge when you’ve got a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, particularly in this age of 24-7 news coverage, you want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation. But the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives and one of my most powerful memories.”

The Rays beat the Cubans, 4-1, on a day when Obama was warmly received by fans in Havana. He sat in the front row, next to Cuban president Raul Castro, before leaving in the third inning.

Red Sox legend Lus Tiant, a native of Cuba, threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches.

— The NFL finally acknowledged a link between football and the brain disease known as CTE, but that’s not enough to convince Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“We don’t have that knowledge and background, and scientifically, so there’s no way in the world to say you have a relationship relative to anything here,” Jones said Tuesday (via The Washington Post) from the NFL owners’ meetings. “There’s no research. There’s no data. … We’re not disagreeing. We’re just basically saying the same thing. We’re doing a lot more. It’s the kind of thing that you want to work … to prevent injury.”

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Read More: Barack Obama, David Ortiz, Jerry Jones, Jordan Clarkson
Thinking Out Loud: URI starts to regroup after devastating injury to star guard E.C. Matthews 11.20.15 at 4:41 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering where in the world is Donnie McGrath?

— So much to look forward to, and then “bam!” E.C. Matthews’ knee injury is a kick in the groin for the URI Rams, no question. But the season doesn’t have to end before it starts, and that’s the task at hand for Dan Hurley — pick up the pieces and shattered dreams, and weave them back into something special.

— Rhody’s ultimate fate undoubtedly will be carried by several players, but for my money the most important one is sophomore Jared Terrell. Four McGlynn certainly can shoot it, but like most shooters he can be streaky. Hassan Martin will have teams give him the “hack-a-Shaq” treatment until he learns to make free throws with some regularity. Terrell will need to be a consistent presence as a scorer and defender for the Rams to remain relevant in the Atlantic 10.

— We saw all of the above come into play Tuesday morning in URI’s matchup with Valparaiso at the Ryan Center. It seemed to me they spent much of the game looking for Matthews’ ghost on the floor, which they never found. They’ll need some time to re-tool, and re-learn. But I’m not betting against Hurley, or this team.

— McGlynn’s near-buzzer beater that could have tied the score with Valpo was a left-handed heave at its intended target. Good grief. Can he do that and make one without desperation? That would be some weapon.

— Bryant has made it a habit in recent years to test its mettle in the season opener, and this year was no exception with the Bulldogs’ opener at Duke — the defending national champs. Lesson learned in a 113-75 loss? That schools in the power conferences operate on a different plane than those in the NEC — but Tim O’Shea’s players also learn quickly what it takes to be nationally competitive. Nothing like a cold slap of reality to start your year. And a nice paycheck, too.

— Here’s the reality for Providence Saturday — Brown has beaten the Friars twice in the past three seasons, including by an astounding 10 points last year at the Dunk. Brown isn’t a “gimme,” and the Bears aren’t necessarily coming to take their guarantee check and head back across town. They know they can win, and that’s a dangerous attitude.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Donnie McGrath, Doug Flutie, E.C. Matthews
Thinking Out Loud: Rhode Island loses legend with death of George Duffy 05.29.15 at 5:37 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Dick Pole?

— Rhode Island sports lost a true shining star in George Patrick Duffy this past week. He was 94 years young, and every time I’d see him and ask how he’s doing, he’d always reply, “I’m still vertical!” Mr. Duffy (and he was NEVER “George,” by the way) spent a part of four decades working for the Rhode Island Reds AHL hockey club as an announcer and PR man, and his radio work for the Reds helped him gain induction into the RI Radio Hall of Fame in 2009. But it was his work as a coach and mentor in Pawtucket, where he touched the lives of so many students and athletes for more than 70 years in various youth sports — and at St. Raphael Academy as well — that he really left his mark.

— One of my friends, Davies softball coach Scott Cooper, told me Mr. Duffy coached him on the 1980 Pawtucket Darlington American Little League team that reached the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Cooper says, “As a player, he made us feel like we were 9 feet tall and we could do anything!” If you ask me, that’s a heckuva legacy.

— Through his extraordinary 71-year run as a coach, it seems only fitting that one of his former American Legion players, former St. Ray’s, University of North Carolina and current Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta, hit a home run for the Angels while Mr. Duffy listened to the game the night before he passed away. Here’s a man who served in the Coast Guard during World War II, stayed married to his bride Helen for 71 years, called Reds games on local radio for another 25 years and had such an impact on local sports that Pawtucket’s Slater Park Athletic Complex and baseball fields were re-named the George Patrick Duffy Athletic Complex. Whoa.

— Godspeed, Mr. Duffy. His signature radio sign-off phrase, “Keep the sports parade moving by being a good sport,” is legacy enough for everyone to remember.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Dick Pole, George Duffy, John Rooke
Top 10 plays in Boston sports history: Is Malcolm Butler’s interception the best? 02.04.15 at 4:55 pm ET
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Where does Malcolm Butler’€™s interception at the end of Super Bowl XLIX rank among the greatest plays in Boston sports history? It seemed like a question worth asking and a top 10 list worth making. Here we go:

10. Flutie’€™s hail mary – Nov. 23, 1984
The game itself didn’€™t really mean a ton. Neither Boston College nor Miami were in contention for the national title, and BC had already accepted an invitation to the Cotton Bowl. But it was a great game with a great finish. Doug Flutie and Bernie Kosar combined for more than 900 yards passing, and Flutie’€™s 48-yard hail mary to Gerard Phelan on the final play will forever be one of the most memorable and most incredible finishes in college football history. Dan Davis’€™ radio call and Flutie winning the Heisman Trophy that year add to the play’€™s legacy.

9. Ortiz’€™s grand slam – Oct. 13, 2013
Going into the bottom of the eighth in Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS, the Red Sox trailed the Tigers 5-1 and were in serious danger of falling into an 0-2 hole in the series. They had scored just one run in the first 16 innings of the series. But then Will Middlebrooks doubled, Jacoby Ellsbury walked and Dustin Pedroia singled to load the bases with two outs. On the first pitch he saw, David Ortiz ripped a changeup just out of Torii Hunter‘€™s reach and into the Sox bullpen to tie the game at 5-5 and give us that iconic photo of Officer Steve Horgan throwing his hands up in celebration as Hunter flipped over the wall in front of him. The Sox would go on to win the game, win the series and win their third World Series in 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adam vinatieri, Bobby Orr, Carlton Fisk, Dave Roberts
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: David Ortiz files lawsuit after alleged jewelry scam 11.05.14 at 8:15 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:
NBA: Raptors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pacers at Wizards, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Northern Illinois at Ball State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Buffalo at Ohio, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Red Wings at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Boston College at UConn, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Barcelona at Ajax, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— David Ortiz has filed a lawsuit against a Southern California jeweler, claiming the man sold him imitation jewelry and failed to return the Red Sox star’s money after admitting his deceit.

According to the suit (via The Boston Globe), Randy Hamida follows professional athletes around, stalking them at their hotels and claiming to be a luxury jewelry dealer.

Ortiz, known for his flashy displays of jewelry, eventually consented to buy a Breitling watch with diamonds and gold, a diamond bracelet, diamond earrings and other items in 2010. He compensated Hamida with an $80,000 check and jewelry from his own collection valued at about $47,000.

“David doesn’€™t buy jewelry, or buy anything, from just anybody. And he trusted Mr. Hamida,” said Jonathan M. Davidoff, Ortiz’€™s lawyer. “This was a last resort for David. David didn’€™t want to sue. But also, David doesn’€™t want to be taken advantage of. And professional athletes are targets, unfortunately.”

Hamida allegedly took back the imitation jewelry and promised to refund Ortiz’s money and jewelry in 2011, but then claimed he needed more time due to financial problems.

Ortiz told the Globe that he’s not getting personally involved in the suit.

“It’s going to get taken care of,” he said. “I’m not worried.”

— WNBA star Brittney Griner was attacked by a man with a knife Monday in China, but she only suffered a nick on her elbow that did not require stitches.

According to an ESPN report, the 6-foot-8 Griner and two teammates from the Beijing Great Wall team were walking from a practice to the team bus when a man began yelling and swinging the knife wildly. He chased the players onto the bus and stabbed at Griner, who was wearing a winter coat that offered some protection.

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Read More: Brittney Griner, David Ortiz, Devon Still,
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
Mariano Rivera to David Ortiz in documentary: ‘No desire anymore’ for baseball 10.16.13 at 11:27 am ET
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A documentary detailing Mariano Rivera‘€™s final year as a major leaguer will reveal a surprise to some when it airs on Sunday on Fox: Rivera couldn’€™t wait for the season to be over.

The legendary Yankees closer was videotaped airing his anticipation for the end of the season when he and David Ortiz went out to dinner in Boston during a Red Sox-Yankees series in September.

‘€œI can’€™t wait for the moment when this is over,’€ Rivera tells the Red Sox slugger in Spanish in the documentary, as reported by the New York Post. ‘€œI’€™m ready for it already, brother. I’€™m ready for it. Mentally and physically, I’€™m ready for it. There’€™s no desire anymore.’€

The documentary, titled ‘€œBEING: Mariano Rivera,’€ follows Rivera throughout 2013, chronicling his life both on the playing field and at home.

Rivera announced before the start of the year that the 2013 season would be his last. Opposing teams at every ballpark he visited honored him and left him with parting gifts.

His career was put in doubt last season when he tore his ACL shagging fly balls during batting practice in early May at Kansas City. But Rivera was determined to avoid making the image of him clutching his knee in pain on the warning track of Kaufmann Stadium the last.

He looked like vintage Rivera this season, as he posted a 2.11 ERA, a 1.047 WHIP and 44 saves, but the Yankees failed to make the playoffs.

Read More: David Ortiz, Mariano Rivera,
LEEInks List: Top 10 Red Sox All-Star moments since 2000 07.16.13 at 9:46 am ET
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Baseball’€™s biggest names and top talent ‘€” including David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz ‘€” are descending upon The Big Apple in preparation for the 84th annual MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field. As your own prep for the exhibition that counts, take a walk down memory lane with a look at the top 10 Red Sox All-Star moments since 2000.

10. 2002: Johnny Damon voted in as 30th man

In his first season as a Red Sox, Damon was elected as the “The All-Star 30th man,’€ the inaugural version of what has become the ‘€œFinal Vote,’€ for his first of two All-Star appearances. Damon, who joined Manny Ramirez to land two-thirds of the Sox outfield in the Midsummer Classic, started a four-run, seventh-inning rally when he singled and stole second before scoring.

9. 2007: Hideki Okajima gets in on Final Vote

The Red Sox brought in two Japanese pitchers prior to the 2007 season, but only one of them was an All-Star. Okajima, a left-handed reliever known in part for his unorthodox delivery that featured him looking away from home plate, beat out Roy Halladay and three other pitchers in that year’€™s Final Vote to join fellow Sox hurlers Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon.

8. 2006: With all-Red Sox/Yankees infield, AL wins again

With Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter starting on the left side of the infield, Ortiz was voted the AL’€™s first baseman (the game was played under NL rules at PNC Park in Pittsburgh) and Mark Loretta, in his only season as a Red Sox, played second. Jeter, Ortiz and Rodriguez were 2-3-4 in the batting order, but the foursome went hitless.

In the fifth, Loretta gave way to the Rangers’€™ Michael Young, whose two-run triple in the top of the ninth was enough to earn him MVP honors and give the AL a 3-2 win.

7. 2005: Four Red Sox voted in as starters

A year after winning the World Series, four Red Sox ‘€” Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Ortiz and Damon ‘€” were selected by fans to be starters for the AL squad managed by Terry Francona. (Right-hander Matt Clement also made the team after a 10-win first half.)

The Red Sox crew went a combined 4-for-8 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Ortiz drove in Damon with a line-drive single to right in the third as the AL won, again, 7-5.

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