Just more than an hour before the Red Sox series-opening game against the Yankees Tuesday, Sox manager Bobby Valentine held a team meeting to reiterate the importance of playing the right way for the final 21 games.
"Nobody really knew what was going on," said Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross. "We just got together. It was just really positive, and needed. … It was positive. We have 2 1/2 weeks left and the season hasn't been what we thought it would be, so we can go out and play hard, win ball games and stay positive."
The meeting wasn't the first called by Valentine this season, with the manager having addressed the team in a much more pointed get-together June 19 prior to sweeping the Marlins in a three-game home series.
The end result of this meeting was a 4-3, walk-off win for the Red Sox, with Jacoby Ellsbury being mobbed by his teammates after claiming a ninth-inning single, scoring Pedro Ciriaco with the game-winning run.
"It was just a good meeting to make a final push and finish the season as strong as we could," said Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava. "It was a good meeting. I think he got his point across. Hopefully we can have a walk-off every time and he can be the best motivational speaker of all-time."
Besides encouraging the Red Sox to play the game right for the final few weeks of the seasons, another emphasis from Valentine was to remember the importance of performing for the Red Sox fans.
"At this point in the year we've found ourselves in a hole we can't really dig out from, so it's all about playing the last games hard and playing good baseball," said Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles. "It's unfortunate we're not going anywhere this year, so it was just one of those meetings where he said, 'Play hard for the fans, they're out there, cheering us on every day.' That was pretty much the gist of it.
"It's one of those situations where our fans have been here every day so we owe it to the fans to play competitive baseball. It's been a struggle, and that's unfortunate with the amount of talent we have. But hopefully this one good game is one of many to finish the season on."
Valentine did vaguely reference the meeting when speaking to reporters after the game.
"I told the guys before the game that the fans are still pulling for us and they want to see us play well," he said. "The season's not over and we owe it to them, to the organization, to give it everything we had, and I think we did tonight."
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
The guys react to what Don Banks had to say and get into some more thoughts on Deflategate. Are McNally and Jastremski ever going to break their silence and give their side of the story? Price says yes ... eventually.
Don Banks talks with the NFL Sunday boys about his reaction to Brady's appeal, where we go from here and the NFL's motives and decisions throughout the process. He also gets into the Pats offseason so far and their weakness at CB. Don gives his take on the AFC East this year and how some of the Pats' rivals have improved.
Greg and Price discuss their thoughts on some of the reports that have leaked after Tuesday from Brady's appeal hearing. The boys talk about what the reaction will be if Brady decides to accept a 1-game suspension. Fans want a complete exoneration, but there's a good chance that they won't get that - how will they react? They also talk with Mike Petraglia and get his thought on the appeal and more.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Sam is joined by Jared Weiss from The Garden Report and CLNS Radio to breakdown game 4 of Cavs-Warriors, preview game 5 on Sunday, and analyze the Celtics needs this off-season.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Joe & Dave talked to the Red Sox slugger, whose 7th-inning homer took the lead back for good in the win over the Astros at Fenway.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who threw a much-needed complete game win against the Astros at Fenway Park.
Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza about the Red Sox solid road trip and offensive outpouring in a win against Toronto.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
The great Ed Deveau joined us to discuss his retirement.
The guys discussed Rick Porcello getting another start.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.
The guys take a look at the list compiled by SI's Andy Benoit, which ranks the current NFL Quarterbacks. Patriots fans will be pleased to know that he put Tom Brady at the top.
The guys discuss some of the WORST moments in each of the 4 sports.
Ben Affleck is rumored to have been involved with "Wolf of Wall Street" star Margot Robie. Jared Fogle was raided by FBI on suspicions of Child Pornogrophy. A couple paid 100K to ensure their baby would be a BOY.
Nathans Hot Dog eating contest, Womens World Cup, and many many more...
The USWNT were redeemed by beating Japan at the World Cup. So we look back at some teams who redeemed themselves after losing to their nemesis.
In honor of the 4th of July holiday, guest hosts Rob Bradford and Andy Hart examine the four worst renditions of the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events.
WEEI Bruins Reporter D.J. Bean joins Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola to talk about the signing of winger Matt Beleskey on the opening day of NHL free agency.
With 80 games played for the Red Sox, Mikey Adams wants midterm grades for several players. Also, after another Rick Porcello clunker in Toronto, callers and texters give unflattering Porcello Limericks. Lenny Megliola and Textress Lucy are along.
Danny's early thoughts on Celtics drafting Terry Rozier at the 16th pick
Dino, Sausage and Curtis recap their holiday weekends.
Ben, Russ & Alex discuss the Revs continued downfall & argue over The Mighty Ducks movie franchise
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined by special guests Mike Mutnansky of the Red Sox Radio Network and Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers to talk Sox prospects. What do the struggles of Rusney Castillo and Rick Porcello in the majors mean? Also, the international signing period begins July 2, looking back at past Latin American signings. And June selections for affiliate players of the month
Greg Dickerson is joined by Super Bowl champ Steve DeOssie who presents the theory that Roger Goodell actually wants Tom Brady to appeal his suspension in court... and to win. Also, the guys defend themselves when a caller describes them as Patriots 'homers'.More from this show
Dino, Sausage and Curtis recap their holiday weekends.More from this show