Speaking following the pre-game ceremony honoring the Red Sox' All-Fenway team, former outfielders Carl Yastrzemski and Dwight Evans both exuded optimism regarding their former team.
"The Red Sox will be back," Yastrzemski said. "[Red Sox general manager] Ben Cherington did a great job in the minor league system, don't you agree? he's a good baseball man. And the one thing I like about him, he asks for your opinion. It's not like, 'Well, I know everything.' He'll ask people for their opinions, which is a good sign. No one in this game knows it all."
"I know these guys, these owners, they want to win," Evans added. "So I think it freed us up to go and interject some quality players into the core that e have, that we've raised through this system. I'm not sure that's their plan, but I would think it is. I know that they wan tot win. They love being in that winners' circle and I think they're dedicated. I don't know when it's going to be. I don't know if it's going to be two years, three years, but we will be back."
The Red Sox entered Wednesday night's game against the Rays at 69-86 with seven games to play.
Also broached was the topic of Detroit's Miguel Cabrera possibly becoming the first Triple Crown winner (leading the American League home runs, RBIs and batting average) since Yastrzemski accomplished the feat in 1967.
Cabrera entered Wednesday night leading in RBIs (133), and batting average (.329), while trailing only Josh Hamilton in home runs by one (42).
"I thought somebody would win it a long time ago," Yastrzemski said. "The surprising thing about it is in the 50's and when [Mickey] Mantle won and [Ted] Williams and Frank [Robinson], we had the higher mound. I’d like to see what some of the pitchers would throw today, what their speeds would be, if they came off a higher mound. I could see [Justin] Verlander probably throwing 100 mph or more on every pitch. Like I said, I’m surprised it’s lasted so long."
Yastrzemski added that being in a pennant race would help Cabrera's cause, citing his own run at the honor in '67.
"The only person that mentioned anything at all during the course of the season, the last couple weeks of the season, and I think he referred to the batting title, was Jim Lonborg," he said. "We were playing Baltimore the last couple weeks, and Frank Robinson was ahead of me by a few points. He said, ‘Get some hits today, because I’m going to give Frank an 0-fer.’ And he did: 0-for-5."
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