Following the Red Sox' 9-6 win over the Yankees Friday afternoon at Fenway Park, many Sox players were talking about a speech given by general manager Theo Epstein prior to the game.
"On a scale of one to awesome, it was awesome," explained Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard. The pitcher later elaborated, "It was good. I didn't really know what to expect when he wanted to talk. But it turned out to be some good words and probably just what we needed. He's showing he still has faith in us. He has more than just the team money invested, he's emotionally invested. He wants to see us do well just as much as anybody.
"It was like Rudy, except there was no prayer at the end."
The players were originally gathered together to hear Terry Francona, but then the Red Sox manager said that Epstein wanted to say a few words.
"That was one of the best ones I've heard," said Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron. "It was good. It was really good. It was refreshing to see that type of thing. I don't know how he came up with it, but he's right there with all the Nobel Peace Prize winners with that one. It just kind of put it all in perspective. We grind so hard sometimes, and expect to be great so much, we forget about shortcomings and how you overcome those things.
"It was nothing about baseball. It was about getting your mind right."
David Ortiz said the speech totally took him by surprise, going on to explain that he hadn't seen that side of Epstein in nine seasons with the Red Sox.
"Oh man, he said a lot of good things, man," said the Sox designated hitter. "He said really good things. I've been here nine years and I never thought he had those words all lined up for us. I never heard him talking before. He came out and put everybody in a good mood. I had goosebumps after he finished talking, I'm telling you.
"He should record that and throw it out there because that should get everybody in a good mood. He came out and had a little meeting with us. He just put everybody in a good mood."
The win was the first of the season for the Red Sox, who now move to 1-6. Leading the way in the home opener for the Sox were Dustin Pedroia (3-for-5, HR), along with Adrian Gonzalez, J.D. Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Ortiz, who each had two hits apiece.
For more Red Sox coverage, see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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