BOSTON (CBS) — Sports Illustrated is out with its issue celebrating the newly crowned Boston Red Sox and World Series MVP Steve Pearce has the honor of gracing the cover.

The photo shows Pearce launching one of his two Game 5 home runs, securing a fourth title in 14 years for Boston.

In the cover story, writer Tom Verducci delves into the Red Sox response to the “longest, most grueling, most absurd loss” in World Series history. He says manager Alex Cora called a rare team meeting in the clubhouse at half past midnight after the 18-inning game.

Cora reportedly told the team they should be proud for their effort in “one of the greatest games in World Series history,” and singled out Nathan Eovaldi for his 97-pitch relief performance. Every member of the organization then lined up to take turns giving Eovaldi a hug.

“I’m talking like a minute hug each,” pitcher Rick Porcello told Verducci. “After that [meeting], it didn’t feel like we lost. It felt like we won.”

The story also explains why Price was so eager to take the ball in Game 3 despite starting the previous game. He reportedly told Cora he was furious with the team hotel’s room service, as they took more than 90 minutes to send up breakfast for his hungry toddler.

“I’m so mad, I need to pitch,” Price told Cora, the story says.

Several other players also complained and the Pasadena hotel ended up offering a breakfast buffet in a ballroom space for Red Sox players and their families every morning, and the team breakfast ended up being a mood-lifter after that tough extra innings loss.

The Red Sox are set to celebrate their World Series win with a parade in Boston on Wednesday.






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