My thought to management: OK, but just don't be getting any ideas about McNamara.
Sorry for the late bump. I have been tied up for more than a week. WR nails it here. It seems to me not holding McNamara primarily responsible for the outcome of Game 6 is just intellectual dishonesty. Yes, many individual players had small failures throughout the game and series but objectively, a large part of the manager's responsibility is to mitigate both the probability and impact of those failures. McNamara played favorites and made managing decisions based on personalities, his own comfort and warped sense of reward, punishment and personal vendetta; not baseball acumen nor what was best for the team or situation. The 14 LOB in the game well summarizes the team's collective fault. That stat does not change the fact that going into the 10th there was a two run lead. CS was entering his third inning of work. He had allowed the tying run in the 8th. After the first two out hit of the inning (arguably after the 2nd out warning track shot to Henderson) Schiraldi did everything but beg out of the game with his body language and the expression on his face. He fought well with what he had but was gassed. McNamara did not respond until two more hitters reached, a run scored, an untenable situation requiring absolute, no room for error play resulted and it was too late. A glance back to the previous games and ahead to Game 7 leads anyone to conclude that McNamara's approach (especially with bullpen management) above all player performance related matters contributed most to the Mets' prevailing.
More directly on topic, as to Buckner (and Gedman and Stanley for that matter), there is some measure of misattribution made in comments here in the thread. IMO, it is without debate impossible to collectively reference "Red Sox Fans" or "Red Sox Nation" and attribute a common sentiment or opinion on almost anything and certainly not on this topic. On numerous, numerous occasions I have been witness to ugly, angry, disrespectful and downright derisive sentiments expressed directly toward or intentionally within earshot of the involved players themselves. There is an underside of persons who claim, no less rightfully than anyone else, to be "Red Sox Fans" or members of the gimmick "Red Sox Nation" who, assuming they feel what they actually express, bitterly and vocally blame these players for the outcome of Game 6. Hopefully they all fade away and become irrelevant with the passing of time and the recent success of the team. But they are out there and I've always felt mildly embarrassed to be in any way affilliated or associated with them. How many times have you been introduced as a "Red Sox Fan" (more frequently pre-'04) and found yourself responding to a silly reference to Buckner, Stanley, Gedman or Game 6? Denis Leary's narration of the HBO piece on the subject sums it up pretty well. There were a lot of people who felt the hate and behaved accordingly.
Good for Buckner if he found solace in his participation. He deserved the opportunity for it and apparently he wanted it. The underside's treatment of him and his family in the ensuing years was beyond uncivil, beyond unforgivable yet BB seems at peace with it now. As far as I am concerned he is welcome, always was and always will be. He was put in the wrong place at the wrong time that October night and he was so through no fault of his own. Truly, there is nothing to forgive.