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Don Mattingly wonders if Cardinals were stealing signs in NLCS

Don-Mattingly-DodgersThe St. Louis Cardinals made relatively easy work of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS this year, winning the series in six games and finishing the job with a 9-0 thumping in Game 6. Traditionalists would argue that the Cardinals were simply the better team. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has wondered if St. Louis gained an advantage with its knack for stealing signs.

At the MLB winter meetings on Wednesday, Mattingly said his team was well aware of the Cardinals’ reputation for stealing signs when they began the NLCS. While he said he does not believe St. Louis won the series because of sign stealing, he did admit that the Dodgers complained about where Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo was standing at certain times.

“We felt like we had to be sure we kept an eye on their first-base coach and their third-base coach,” Mattingly said, via Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “They’re the ones with the easiest way to steal signs. Josie’s a guy, at third, who’s always looking for my signs from our dugout.”

Mattingly said he had someone else besides himself relay signs from the dugout during the series to try to stop Oquendo from stealing them. There has also been speculation that the Cardinals mastered the art of relaying signs to hitters when they had a man on second base. They hit .190 in the NLCS with no runners on base and .259 with runners in scoring position. As Saxon pointed out, St. Louis hit .236 with nobody on and .330 with runners in scoring position during the regular season.

“If you think a guy’s looking from second base, then you have to have a combination of signs,” Mattingly said. “If you think guys are cheating from first base, then you have to have multiple signs even with a guy on first. It’s your job to make sure they can’t do it.”

Mattingly reiterated that he was not using the prospect of sign stealing as an excuse, but he could have just as easily refused to discuss it. Stealing signs has been part of the game for years. The best teams can adapt accordingly.

Red Sox fan Tommy Corsi predicted exact outcome of World Series back in March

John-Farrell-World-Series-trophyDan Shaughnessy, a Boston Globe writer who has drawn the ire of Boston fans for a number of years for his obsession with writing pessimistic articles, summed up the 2013 Boston Red Sox on Thursday morning the only way he knew how.

“Nobody saw this coming,” Shaughnessy wrote in his column. “Nobody.”

For a guy who wrote back in February that it is “tough to feel good about David Ortiz” and that the 2013 edition of the Red Sox could be “really bad,” that is a convenient way of putting it. The fact of the matter is most Boston fans were certain their team was not a championship contender after last year’s abysmal 69-win campaign — even though they had ridden themselves of Bobby Valentine and others. Tommy Corsi was not one of those fans.

There are plenty of fans in the world who are going to be optimistic no matter what the situation looks like. Proclaiming that your underdog team is going to “win it all” is nothing new, but Corsi nailed the opponent and the amount of games Boston would need in the World Series to get the job done. Whether it was a complete guess or not, that is amazing.

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Red Sox fan during celebration: ‘There’s so many girls we can hook up with right now’ (Video)

Red-Sox-fanThe Boston Red Sox won their third World Series title in the past 10 seasons on Wednesday night, but that didn’t stop fans from celebrating like it was the first championship they had ever seen. Multiple arrests have been made and at least one car was flipped in Boston and several more on college campuses across New England. One fan who was coming off Landsdowne Street after the win had something else on his mind.

“There’s so many girls we can hook up with right now!” a Red Sox fan could be heard yelling.

Male and female fans were both feeling elated after arguably the most surprising championship in Red Sox history. Did that lead to a little bit of action for some of Red Sox nation? Most likely. Hopefully that guy found what he was looking for. And if he did, we pray he went about it in a classy manner.

More from the World Series:
Video: Koji Uehara’s son gives classic interview during trophy presentation
Red Sox fan predicted exact outcome of World Series back in March
Video: Jonny Gomes blasts sabermetricians in interview after World Series

Video via USA Today

Koji Uehara’s son Kaz was ready to party like ‘crazy’ after World Series win (Video)

Kaz-UeharaHad it not been for a series of injuries, the Boston Red Sox may not have had the best closer in all of baseball this year. You could easily make the argument that the Red Sox would not have won the World Series without Koji Uehara. And if they didn’t, we would not have been treated to his son 7-year-old son Kaz’s fantastic postgame interviews.

Uehara spoke through a translator to FOX Sports’ Erin Andrews after the Red Sox clinched the American League pennant and World Series title, but Kaz seems to speak perfect English. On Wednesday night, Kaz spoke for the city of Boston when asked how he was going to celebrate the improbable victory.

“Crazy,” he said.

Kaz also told Big League Stew’s Mike Oz that it felt “quite good” to be in the middle of a World Series celebration and that “my dad closing the game” was the key to victory in Game 6. The kid’s a boss.

Uehara picked off a runner to seal a crucial victory for Boston in Game 4 and then fittingly recorded the last out of the Game 6 clincher. Koji and Kaz will be two of the most memorable faces for Red Sox fans from their team’s 2013 championship campaign.

Koji Uehara records final out to clinch World Series (Video)

The Boston Red Sox completed a huge turnaround, going from last in the AL East last season to winning the World Series this year. They switched managers, dumped their big contracts and brought in several key pieces. And then everything just seemed to click.

What better represented the change of the organization than seeing John Lackey, who was dreadful last year and a disappointment in 2011, go 6.2 innings for the Game 6 win, and Koji Uehara, an underrated signing, close out the game?

With the exception of the walk-off home run allowed in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, Uehara was almost flawless this season. It was fitting to see him whiff Matt Carpenter for the final out of the World Series, which marked the first time since 1918 that the Red Sox celebrated a World Series win at Fenway Park.

How can you not love a celebration like this?

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David Ortiz’s incredible bat and leadership are powering the Boston Red Sox

David-Ortiz-rips-Buster-OlneyCall it a coincidence or call it a well-received wakeup call. The fact of the matter is the Boston Red Sox have not trailed in the World Series since David Ortiz gathered his teammates together in the dugout during Game 4.

It was the 5th inning with the score tied 1-1. Boston was trailing 2-1 in the series, and a loss would have put the Red Sox in the dreaded 3-1 hole that is nearly impossible to crawl out of. Had that happened, they would haven been in legitimate danger of not returning home for another game at Fenway Park in 2013. Instead, Jonny Gomes blasted a three-run homer in the next inning to put the Sox on top 4-1. They have not looked back since.

Ortiz is carrying the Red Sox, both physically and emotionally. After going 3-for-4 with another RBI in Monday night’s Game 5 victory, Big Papi is now 11-for-15 in the World Series. That’s a .733 batting average. He has also walked four times, which means he has reached base in 15 of 20 plate appearances — a .750 on-base percentage. Ortiz’s teammates and coaches would tell you his Game 4 speech was just as important as his ridiculously hot bat.

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Adam Wainwright: My mechanics were bad in Game 1

Adam WainwrightAdam Wainwright is pretty much the definition of an ace pitcher. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2009 and 2010, and he was one of the best in 2012 and this season after returning from surgery in 2011. He was light’s out in the NLDS against the Pittsburgh Pirates and had a strong start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS despite taking the loss. But in Game 1 of the World Series, Wainwright had a subpar outing in an 8-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Waino says his mechanics were poor during that start.

“I honestly don’t know why my mechanics were as bad as they were, my delivery was off as much as it was,” Wainwright said Sunday at a news conference, via MLB.com “But I feel like I’ve put a lot of good reps in in front of the mirror, and watching film and feeling my delivery again, learning the basics all over again. I feel like I’ve made a lot of good adjustments to be ready for this next game to throw some quality pitches. I threw maybe four or five quality pitches the whole time I was pitching [in Game 1]. Luckily, to come away with just a few runs; it could have been ten instead of five.”

There was some speculation that Wainwright’s problems were related to the Red Sox being able to read his pitches, not a mechanical issue. ESPN’s Jayson Stark raised that possibility because he noted that Boston seemed to lay off Wainwright’s curveballs the way most teams can’t.

What’s interesting is that this was the same strategy the Pirates employed in the NLDS. The problem was Pittsburgh announced their plans to the world ahead of time, which led Wainwright to make an adjustment accordingly. Maybe Game 5 will tell us whether the Red Sox know something about Wainwright’s pitches, or whether he just had trouble with his mechanics.