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Roche: Red Sox Thoughts 2004 Style

By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports

BOSTON (CBS) – It was a great day at Fenway Park Wednesday as the Boston Red Sox celebrated the 10th anniversary of the 2004 World Series Championship.

My one and only complaint was that I wish this could have been done on a warm July or August night. The weather seemed to dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm a bit during the ceremony.

However, let’s move on to the good stuff and here are some thoughts on the return of “The Idiots” – the team that ended the 86-year-old curse:

  • The highlight of the night was the return of Curt Schilling. I was fighting back tears as we watched Curt and his son Gehrig walk out onto the field to join his ex-teammates. Schilling has been battling cancer and watching him out there gave us all a stark reminder to enjoy and appreciate what we have. Let’s hope Curt wins the biggest battle of his life.
Former Boston Red Sox player Curt Schilling is honored with son Gehrig prior to the game.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Former Boston Red Sox player Curt Schilling is honored with son Gehrig prior to the game. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

  • Manny being a new Manny. Manny Ramirez gave us some bizarre twists and turns during his playing career in Boston. He also gave Sox fans quite a few highlights with his bat as he formed a powerful punch with David Ortiz. He says he’s a brand new man. I always looked at him as a harmless child. He would tick you off with many of the immature things he did, but in the end you would just shake your head and smile at him in disbelief. He was also frustrating because of how his playing career ended (getting suspended for PED use). I wish him luck in his new venture with Theo Epstein and the Cubs organization.
Manny Ramirez throws out the first pitch. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Manny Ramirez throws out the first pitch. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

  • It was great to listen to Pedro Martinez, Kevin Millar, Tim Wakefield, Derek Lowe, Jason Varitek, Johnny Damon, Kevin Youkilis, Keith Foulke, Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, Pokey Reese, Orlando Cabrera, Trot Nixon and Gabe Kapler.  They all spoke of the great chemistry they had on and off the field. How they had their fun, their fights, etc.  But in the end, it came down to playing together as a team.
  • Pedro Martinez was, and still is, the greatest performer I have ever covered both on- and off- the field. Go back and look at his highlights, his numbers, and his interviews. As entertaining as they come.
  • I wish we could have seen or heard from Theo and/or Tito.
  • The first thing Trot Nixon asked me was if we would be doing a “cookie-off”? For those of you who watched “Red Sox This Week” you would know it was arguably the most fun we ever had.
  • I had the honor of hosting a few round table discussions with some of the former players. The highlight? Kevin Millar. He still makes me laugh. Love him. He had the ability to rag on himself and everyone around him. He still understands that it’s baseball, a game. It’s supposed to be fun. I think we all forget that sometimes.
  • I know Johnny Pesky was smiling as he watched from above.
  • Who would have guessed that David Ortiz and Bronson Arroyo would be the last players standing?
  • And finally, I think we have become spoiled with all the success in Boston. A night like this made me think 1) what a fun ride it’s been and 2) that we should watch each sport, each season, each game and not measure it against past years. That’s the beauty of sports. On any level.
      Enjoy the games!

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.


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