8 years ago today….

Petagine in a Bottle

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John Farrell let Brandon Workman bat, in extra innings, in the World Series.

It’s nice that it ultimately didn’t matter but I still can’t believe it happened.
 

reggiecleveland

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I still can't believe Tito had Pedro pitch in game 7. I think Tito wanted to let Pedro have an FU moment, but OMG that was a bad move.
 

mikeford

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I still can't believe Tito had Pedro pitch in game 7. I think Tito wanted to let Pedro have an FU moment, but OMG that was a bad move.
This moment made me contemplate my own mortality and place in the universe and whether life was actually worth living. I was honestly sent into like an insane mental spiral by him bringing Pedro into that game and get hit around. Convinced me we'd find a way to blow that lead and lose.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Omg, Pedro in g7 was horrifying. Hits to three of the first four batters get hits and it’s suddenly 8-3 with a runner in and one out and every one of us is thinking, ok a walk here and a homer and the tying run is on deck…only when Bellhorn homered to lead of the next inning did I feel comfortable (or at least that’s what I tell myself now).
 

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I respect your bitterness.

I still can't believe Tito had Pedro pitch in game 7. I think Tito wanted to let Pedro have an FU moment, but OMG that was a bad move.
It was like the baseball gods were still finding uniquely painful ways for the Sox to lose, and they planted this thought in Tito's brain. It was very uncomfortable.
 

cornwalls@6

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Omg, Pedro in g7 was horrifying. Hits to three of the first four batters get hits and it’s suddenly 8-3 with a runner in and one out and every one of us is thinking, ok a walk here and a homer and the tying run is on deck…only when Bellhorn homered to lead of the next inning did I feel comfortable (or at least that’s what I tell myself now).
I actually got very light-headed, and thought I might pass out right in the middle of the packed bar where I was watching it. And my brother's constant "WTF is Francona doing?" ringing in my ears only made matters worse. It ended, gloriously, the way it ended, of course. But that was an insanely stressful inning to live through.
 

8slim

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I still can't believe Tito had Pedro pitch in game 7. I think Tito wanted to let Pedro have an FU moment, but OMG that was a bad move.
I was at the game and lost my mind. I threw my hat down in disgust and buried my head in my hands. To this day a friend still makes fun of me for that tantrum, but I stand by it!
 

cantor44

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I respect your bitterness.

I still can't believe Tito had Pedro pitch in game 7. I think Tito wanted to let Pedro have an FU moment, but OMG that was a bad move.
I literally was screaming and swearing at the TV and my wife made me go outside and take a walk around the block. I was living in Brooklyn at that time, and while I was surrounded by Yankee fans, there were plenty of New England transplants in the neighborhood. As I walked around the block, I could hear people hollering at the game from inside their apartments. I didn't know if that was good or bad. I circled back inside, exactly as Bellhorn's HR clanged off the foul pole. Then I knew all would be well.
 

JimD

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On the flip side - once we learned that Pedro's outing would become nothing more than a mere footnote in that series, it struck home for me that the Yankees' dominance over the Red Sox was truly over.
 

Beale13

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Whenever I watch When We Were Kings, the phenomenal Ali doc, there's that moment in the fight when either Plimpton or Mailer talks about Ali trying to throw one last punch on Foreman as Foreman was going down, and how that awkward punch broke the beautiful aesthetics of the knockout ever so slightly, and for me that's a perfect analogue for what Francona did in that game. One last, awkward punch on the opponent's way down that didn't land, didn't end up mattering, but disrupted the aesthetics of the defeat just a little bit.
 

reggiecleveland

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Another reason Bellhorn is criminally underrated. That homer added years to our lives.
Do any of you remember the shot of the dugout with Francona saying 'send him back out Wally" arguing to put Pedro back in, and Wallace looking sunned, but I guess prevailing on Tito to use Timlin. Timlin disposing of Jeter, Arod (struck out thanks for coming punk!), Sheffiled is also underrated.
 

Ale Xander

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I feel like it is worth noting that Workman's career regular season batting line is .000/.000/.000. However, his postseason batting line is .000/.000/.000
Not only is his playoff line 2x as good as his regular season batting stats, but it’s also 3x as good and 4x as good, etc.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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One correction, I just realized Workman bat in the ninth (one out, nobody on). The game never made it to extras.

Adding to the frustration was that Workman was pulled two batters into the bottom of the ninth (one on, one out) for Koji! Who promptly gave up a double to Allen fucking Craig and then the game winning obstruction play.

In a different world, we’d remember this game much differently.
 

joe dokes

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Omg, Pedro in g7 was horrifying. Hits to three of the first four batters get hits and it’s suddenly 8-3 with a runner in and one out and every one of us is thinking, ok a walk here and a homer and the tying run is on deck…only when Bellhorn homered to lead of the next inning did I feel comfortable (or at least that’s what I tell myself now).
Once he got the first out, (before the 3rd hit), I was pretty confident NYY was not going to make it close. Until then, though.......
(hindsight alert) As far as the actual decision goes, Tito needed 9 outs and really didn't have too many options. Foulke (110 pitches in 4-6) was not going to get 3 of them. Arroyo had pitched in 5&6. Leskanic was finished. Myers? Mendoza? As it was, he tried to get 2 innings out of Timlin, as Embree had already pitched in 5 of the 1st 6 games.

But anyway.......Workman? Yeah, what was that all about.....
 
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tims4wins

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One correction, I just realized Workman bat in the ninth (one out, nobody on). The game never made it to extras.

Adding to the frustration was that Workman was pulled two batters into the bottom of the ninth (one on, one out) for Koji! Who promptly gave up a double to Allen fucking Craig and then the game winning obstruction play.

In a different world, we’d remember this game much differently.
My daughter was born that night at 9:59 MT / 11:59 ET, so I didn't even find out about what happened until the middle of the night or the next morning. Thankfully I wasn't watching live, I might have done some damage in that room.
 

reggiecleveland

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I don't think we will ever get to the bottom of this. Pedro says he wasn't warm, and it looks like he wasn't. He struck out Olerud and got Cairo to pop up and looked like himslef.

What do you guys think? I think Pedro didn't pitch well and has said he didn't want to pitch, as cover. I think Tito doesn't care to correct him because it doesn't matter. I suppose Tito screwed up and didn't get Pedro ready.
 

Deweys New Stance

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The Sox' win probability was 99% when Pedro entered the game. It got down to 95% after the 2 runs had scored and Lofton stole 2nd with one out and Olerud batting. It got back up to 98% after Cairo flied out to end the inning, and back to 99% after Bellhorn's leadoff home run. Nothing in Pedro's inning makes the top 5 impactful plays of the game. So bringing in Pedro was not that impactful, at least not by WPA. Its impact on my state of mind at that point, on the other hand, was massive. I seem to recall the explanation later was that they needed Pedro to eat an inning with the pen taxed, and that he wouldn't be starting a WS game until 6 days later, but that never made sense to me.
 

lexrageorge

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The Sox' win probability was 99% when Pedro entered the game. It got down to 95% after the 2 runs had scored and Lofton stole 2nd with one out and Olerud batting. It got back up to 98% after Cairo flied out to end the inning, and back to 99% after Bellhorn's leadoff home run. Nothing in Pedro's inning makes the top 5 impactful plays of the game. So bringing in Pedro was not that impactful, at least not by WPA. Its impact on my state of mind at that point, on the other hand, was massive. I seem to recall the explanation later was that they needed Pedro to eat an inning with the pen taxed, and that he wouldn't be starting a WS game until 6 days later, but that never made sense to me.
It was his normal throwing day between starts. I think with the big lead, Francona prioritized saving the bullpen, mainly by giving Foulke the night off.
 

Van Everyman

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Wasn't the "Cairo fly out" a really great running catch by Trot that gave us all a heart attack off the bat?

Also, I still think of that douche bro in pinstripes chanting "WHO'S YOUR DADDY?" like he was auditioning for the Ralph Fiennes part in Schindler's List when I think of Yankee fans.
 

reggiecleveland

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Wasn't the "Cairo fly out" a really great running catch by Trot that gave us all a heart attack off the bat?

Also, I still think of that douche bro in pinstripes chanting "WHO'S YOUR DADDY?" like he was auditioning for the Ralph Fiennes part in Schindler's List when I think of Yankee fans.
Lots of good work in this thread. And I applaud the only acceptable direct comparison to the Nazis being the Yankees.
 

bob burda

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The Sox' win probability was 99% when Pedro entered the game. It got down to 95% after the 2 runs had scored and Lofton stole 2nd with one out and Olerud batting. It got back up to 98% after Cairo flied out to end the inning, and back to 99% after Bellhorn's leadoff home run. Nothing in Pedro's inning makes the top 5 impactful plays of the game. So bringing in Pedro was not that impactful, at least not by WPA. Its impact on my state of mind at that point, on the other hand, was massive. I seem to recall the explanation later was that they needed Pedro to eat an inning with the pen taxed, and that he wouldn't be starting a WS game until 6 days later, but that never made sense to me.
I was checking those probabilities out; the almost absolute conviction I had that they were going to win this game after the 2nd Damon HR was justified....it put them up to 97%. Before that moment it was 92%, and even the 1 in 12.5 chance the MFY's come back from that was still scary....but after that 2nd HR, even without knowing the other team only comes back 1 in every 33 times, psychologically it was really working for me.

By comparison, Ortiz's solo shot in G7 2003 ALCS gets them to 92% - so the other guys still have that long but realistic 1 in 12.5 shot to come back, and then Nick Johnson's first out to start the top of the 8th gets you all the way 94%! (1 out of every 16.7 times). That's good, but it's not the level of security you get out of 97% after the 2nd Damon HR (a loss only 1 in 33 times), or even 95% (Pedro in, runners on - a loss 1 in every 20 times).

FYI - 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th of G7 1986 WS = 99%.....I guess my good feeling with 97% was because having been hit by lightning once (maybe twice after 2003), I wasn't going to get hit again.
 

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I am fairly certain that the 2003 and 2004 playoffs took several years off of whatever number of years I have left
 

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It was his normal throwing day between starts. I think with the big lead, Francona prioritized saving the bullpen, mainly by giving Foulke the night off.
Yep, I do recall the 'throwing day' explanation as well. There was definitely a rationale, just not one that I could wrap my head around as a Sox fan for 29 years (at that point) who had been scarred like many here by the failures in the past, including 12 months prior when I had a front row seat from the middle deck for Grady's failure to take Pedro out. So it was probably good to have a smart postseason tactician like Tito who was new to the organization and unburdened by decades of angst making the decisions, despite what it did to our stress levels to see the Yankee fans come alive for the first time since Damon was thrown out in the first when Pedro gave up a couple of rockets.

I just rewatched that inning; Olerud's at bat seemed to go on forever before he struck out, and Cairo's fly out was a bit scary as it tailed away from Trot.
 

GB5

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I recall the moment of that photo, curious if others do as well. Farrell was struggling, rumored to be on the seat, and had a game with I think Toronto. Sox bullpen had been a disaster for weeks and nothing makes a manger look worse then a leaky bullpen and blowing late leads. Sox were up fairly comfortably in this game and the bullpen started pouring gas on the fire. It happened fairly quickly and Farrell may have been a little slow on the trigger. Toronto, I believe got the go ahead run to the plater swiftly and whomever was up(Encarnacion, Bautista?) hit an absolute cannon out to the Mass Pike in left. Only question was whether it was going to stay fair or not, and the second it left the bat, the camera perfectly caught Farrell watching his future play fair or foul. Ball went foul, and the Sox held on for the win, is my recollection.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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What was the reasoning for letting Workman bat?
It was clearly a horrifying brain fart but I don’t remember how he tried to spin it….
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I honestly don’t recall. I assume since it was the top of the 9th, they wanted Workman to pitch the bottom and not have to use Koji for two?
 

snowmanny

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I feel like it is worth noting that Workman's career regular season batting line is .000/.000/.000. However, his postseason batting line is .000/.000/.000
In contrast, Bobby Kielty’s World Series batting line is 1000/1000/4000. But that was only one pitch. The last pitch he ever saw.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't think we will ever get to the bottom of this. Pedro says he wasn't warm, and it looks like he wasn't. He struck out Olerud and got Cairo to pop up and looked like himslef.

What do you guys think? I think Pedro didn't pitch well and has said he didn't want to pitch, as cover. I think Tito doesn't care to correct him because it doesn't matter. I suppose Tito screwed up and didn't get Pedro ready.
I can buy the "not properly warmed up" excuse. Can't buy the "he didn't want to pitch" one. Of all the pitchers on that team, Pedro absolutely had the clout to go to the manager and say "I can't go". And Tito is the kind of manager who'd have chosen someone else for that inning and we'd have never known it was even a thought in anyone's mind.
 

Archer1979

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One correction, I just realized Workman bat in the ninth (one out, nobody on). The game never made it to extras.

Adding to the frustration was that Workman was pulled two batters into the bottom of the ninth (one on, one out) for Koji! Who promptly gave up a double to Allen fucking Craig and then the game winning obstruction play.

In a different world, we’d remember this game much differently.
This is probably the only Red Sox World Series game since 1967 (I was 4) that I've missed since I started following the Sox. We had committed to a bus trip in Salem that day and tried to follow the game on the bus ride back. Got home about ten minutes before the obstruction call. My oldest boy went ballistic. I basically had to play the adult to calm him down. Had he not been in the room, that job would have fallen to my wife to calm me down.

At any rate, I just looked at the box score, there were three guys on the bench that didn't make it into the game... Quintin Berry (I can somewhat understand that one), David Ross (back-up catcher so that made some sense), and Mike Napoli. Without diving into the splits and the match-ups, no idea why Napoli didn't bat in that case. Memory is slipping, so was anyone on base?
 

Remagellan

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I still can't believe Tito had Pedro pitch in game 7. I think Tito wanted to let Pedro have an FU moment, but OMG that was a bad move.

This is my theory on Pedro in Game 7 in the 2004 ALCS:

The bullpen was shot, so Tito knew he could at most ask for what he ultimately got--an inning from Timlin and an inning from Embree.

The plan going into the game had to be to get as much as possible from Lowe, who remember was pitching on TWO DAYS REST, and then go to Pedro to get the team though the seventh so he could go to Timlin and Embree to close out the game.

Lowe, beyond all expectations, pitched brilliantly and gave them 6 innings of 1-hit, 1-run ball. I haven't watched the game in a while, but I wouldn't be surprised if Pedro got up earlier in the game to warm up and then lost it in the bullpen while Lowe's continued unexpected mastery pushed his entry back an inning or two.

This had to be Tito's plan, because it would have been reasonable to expect that they might only get 3-4 innings out of Lowe given his short rest, and the plan couldn't have been to throw the game back on the back of an exhausted pen given Pedro's availability.

I think Tito is too nice a guy to embarrass Pedro by talking about this, and Pedro's too prideful a person to abandon his alibi that his substandard performance was due to him not expecting to pitch that night. But to me, this is the only explanation that makes sense.
 

reggiecleveland

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This is my theory on Pedro in Game 7 in the 2004 ALCS:

The bullpen was shot, so Tito knew he could at most ask for what he ultimately got--an inning from Timlin and an inning from Embree.

The plan going into the game had to be to get as much as possible from Lowe, who remember was pitching on TWO DAYS REST, and then go to Pedro to get the team though the seventh so he could go to Timlin and Embree to close out the game.

Lowe, beyond all expectations, pitched brilliantly and gave them 6 innings of 1-hit, 1-run ball. I haven't watched the game in a while, but I wouldn't be surprised if Pedro got up earlier in the game to warm up and then lost it in the bullpen while Lowe's continued unexpected mastery pushed his entry back an inning or two.

This had to be Tito's plan, because it would have been reasonable to expect that they might only get 3-4 innings out of Lowe given his short rest, and the plan couldn't have been to throw the game back on the back of an exhausted pen given Pedro's availability.

I think Tito is too nice a guy to embarrass Pedro by talking about this, and Pedro's too prideful a person to abandon his alibi that his substandard performance was due to him not expecting to pitch that night. But to me, this is the only explanation that makes sense.
I can't fault this scenario at all.
 

Archer1979

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Side track. AM I wrong to think things that are 99% likely to happen, 86 Sox
No. We've seen too much to take even the most overwhelming odds for granted. Thankfully, this has tended to regress towards the mean as we've gotten older. For every Bucky Dent, we have a Bobby Kielty. For the worst blown leads (you know what I'm talking about), we have 28 - 3. We're living long enough to see it even out.
 

lexrageorge

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The alternatives to Pedro were Wakefield, Ramiro Mendoza, Mike Myers, and Curtis Leskanic. Arroyo had pitched an inning in Game 6. Foulke was on fumes as it was.

I have to believe Wake was the "break glass in case" pitcher. Myers was used strictly as a LOOGY. Leskanic left his arm at Fenway. Mendoza, well, 'nuff sed.

As for the Workman at-bat, Peavy, Doubront, Breslow, and Tazawa were already used. On the bench were David Ross, Mike Napoli and Quintin Berry.

A tie game on the road should have been the opening to start Koji in the 9th. Seems to me that Farrell fell into the same trap that a lot of managers fell into at that point in time and attempted to save the relief ace for extra innings. Even the overrated Joe Maddon has been known to do that. Also, 1 out with the bases empty is not a huge scoring opportunity. And there was no platoon advantage to using Ross or Napoli in that situation. Using Napoli means that there's no chance for a defensive replacement for Ortiz later unless you want to put the pitcher's spot batting 3rd in the 10th inning. Using Ross does also limit some flexibility in the catcher position.

I'm not endorsing Farrell's decision; just explaining the context. He did redeem himself in Game 4, using Lackey in a critical late inning situation, and pinch running for Papi in the 7th with a lead. I don't hate Farrell; winning a ring and being a needed change from Bobby Valentine means he shouldn't have to buy a drink in Boston.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Mendoza was the loser in G3, and never pitched for the Sox again, kind of an odd bit of trivia. I have the recollection, not sure if it’s true or not, that he was hurt in G3 and unable to go after that? And you couldn’t replace players mid series like you can now?

I don’t recall what the real plan was for G7, but wasn’t Lowe only expected to go 3-4 tops? Assume Wake would have been expected to follow but after they got the big lead, were they lining him up for G1 of the WS? Arroyo was a guy who probably should have been used more but he wasn’t trusted that much at that point and was pretty vulnerable to LH sluggers
 

Remagellan

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Mendoza was the loser in G3, and never pitched for the Sox again, kind of an odd bit of trivia. I have the recollection, not sure if it’s true or not, that he was hurt in G3 and unable to go after that? And you couldn’t replace players mid series like you can now?

I don’t recall what the real plan was for G7, but wasn’t Lowe only expected to go 3-4 tops? Assume Wake would have been expected to follow but after they got the big lead, were they lining him up for G1 of the WS? Arroyo was a guy who probably should have been used more but he wasn’t trusted that much at that point and was pretty vulnerable to LH sluggers

Pedro pitched Game 5 on Monday, which would have set him up to pitch WS Game 1 on Saturday on full rest had he not pitched on Wednesday in Game 7. The fact that he pitched in that game and not Wakefield to me is another thing that shows that Tito's plan was always to go to Pedro after Lowe.

I also think this might be another reason why that usage sticks in Pedro's craw. If he's not used in Game 7, he likely starts Game 1 of the World Series in Fenway, which given his service to the team is something he definitely more than earned. And it would have, it turns out, likely have meant his last start for the Sox would have been in Fenway instead of Busch.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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I got my years confused on Arroyo, I was thinking of 03 Arroyo who made the postseason roster after being in AAA most of the year. He was obviously in the rotation all year in 04 and started game 3, which I had also forgotten. Of course he was the Slappy victim in G6.

It’s insane how good of a start that Lowe provided in G7 on two days rest, after throwing almost 90 pitches in G4.
 
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Van Everyman

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I just pulled up my copy of Francona: The Red Sox Years and, hilariously, it opened to that exaxtpassage in that game immediately (in fairness, it’s right before the picture inserts). Here’s what it says:

Leading 8–1 after six, Francona brought Pedro in to pitch the seventh. Fans scratched their heads. The Sox owners looked at one another and wondered.

“Pedro had come to me before the game and said he wanted to pitch of the bullpen,“ said Francona. “I was thrilled he was ‘buying in‘ to what we were doing. I also wanted to keep Bronson [Arroyo] behind him because Bronson was one of the guys that was fresh. I knew what I wanted to do. I wasn’t as concerned about the beginning of the ending as I was about the end of the inning. I knew Bronson could put the fire out if we needed him. When Millsie asked me what I was doing, I said I just wanted to get the crowd involved.“

Martinez quickly gave a pair of runs, and Yankee stadium came to life (“who’s your daddy?”) for the first time all night. On the bench Millsie looked at Francona and said, “Way to go! I think you accomplished your goal.”
I love Tito unconditionally but a lot of that kind of sounds like bullshit.
 

GB5

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Is it even remotely possible that pedro wasn’t planned but Tito, the ultimate players manager wanted to give Pedro a chance to dance during the sacking of the Yanks? It seems unreasonable given the stakes of the game and all the Sox negative history with NY, but are we convinced that if Lowe gets through 6 in say a 3-1 game we are getting Pedro in the 7th.

Another question is after the first 4 batters, how much more would it have required to have Tito to have to go lift Pedro? That would have been the ultimate embarrass for Pedro, to not get out of one inning.
 

Oil Can Dan

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I had the good fortune to be seated next to Tito once at the bar of a restaurant in Vegas. Long story short I asked him if what Pedro said about not knowing he was going in was true. Per Tito, he knew.