RIP John McNamara

Papo The Snow Tiger

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Former manager John McNamara has passed away. Maybe in the afterlife Schiraldi won't get the deer in the headlights look, or Stanley will make the pickoff throw to Barrett at second base, or Gedman will stop the ball or Buckner will come up with the bad hop and he won't be known as a one strike away manager. RIP Johnny Mac.

 

InstaFace

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Were it not for 2004, we'd say that the 1986 ALCS was a masterpiece of perseverance and keeping a team's minds firmly focused on what was directly in front of them and what power they still had to change the narrative.

Kinda cruel that the first words of his obituary are the name of another, better manager. We had much worse management than him, god knows... people who never even got a chance to be compared to Tito and our recent run.
 

54thMA

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Former manager John McNamara has passed away. Maybe in the afterlife Schiraldi won't get the deer in the headlights look, or Stanley will make the pickoff throw to Barrett at second base, or Gedman will stop the ball or Buckner will come up with the bad hop and he won't be known as a one strike away manager. RIP Johnny Mac.
Or maybe he gives the ball in game 7 to Oil Can Boyd vs Bruce Hurst on three days rest.

Never should have come down to a game 7 anyway......or a game 6 for that matter; coming home up 2-0 with all the momentum, if only Tom Seaver had not been hurt and he got the ball in game 4.

Oh well, what's done is done.

RIP Johnny Mac indeed.
 

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I started smoking at 15. In 1986, I was 18-19 and was spending pretty much half my money for college expenses on cigarettes and smoking two packs a day. More during exams.

I woke up the morning after game 7 and felt so shitty that I decided I would quit. I figured I was already feeling down, what difference would it make? I flushed a few packs and haven't had a cigarette since. I've never really blamed Johnny Mac for 1986. And since 2004 I haven't cared as much. But the truth is that the Red Sox losing that series may have been one of the best things that ever happened to me. So, thanks Johnny Mac. Rest in peace.
 

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Former manager John McNamara has passed away. Maybe in the afterlife Schiraldi won't get the deer in the headlights look, or Stanley will make the pickoff throw to Barrett at second base, or Gedman will stop the ball or Buckner will come up with the bad hop and he won't be known as a one strike away manager. RIP Johnny Mac.

I'll add should never have pinch hit for Clemens in Game 6. It's been a matter of debate since it happened whether Clemens asked out or not (McNamara said he did), but I think it was 100% Mac's call. It was a perfect example of trying to do things by the book instead of playing to your strengths. Owen bunting in front of the pitcher spot was the wrong call. Pinch hitting a rookie for your ace when your bullpen was suspect at best was the wrong call.

I also question his wisdom of starting Nipper in Game 4 instead of continuing his 3-man rotation of Hurst, Clemens, and Boyd. Hurst wins Game 4 and Clemens in Game 5 maybe closes out the championship at Fenway. Ugh, what could have been. RIP Mac.
 

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Man I loved that 1986 team as much as a 12 year old could. RIP John Francis.
 

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I started smoking at 15. In 1986, I was 18-19 and was spending pretty much half my money for college expenses on cigarettes and smoking two packs a day. More during exams.

I woke up the morning after game 7 and felt so shitty that I decided I would quit. I figured I was already feeling down, what difference would it make? I flushed a few packs and haven't had a cigarette since. I've never really blamed Johnny Mac for 1986. And since 2004 I haven't cared as much. But the truth is that the Red Sox losing that series may have been one of the best things that ever happened to me. So, thanks Johnny Mac. Rest in peace.
If Johnny Mac wins game 6 or 7, next thing you know you're continuing the cigarettes and then also picking up crack smoking in the hopes of getting the Patriots a longshot Super Bowl title.

That's a damn good result in the end. I similarly made a smoking-related decision after going too hard drinking & smoking during the crazy early going of Game 7 2004 ALCS at a bar. Ended up fainting between the exhilaration of the early lead, too many cigarettes when I was only a social smoker, booze, and the packed crowd. Ended up going home to see the end of Game 7 and from there forward cut the shit of smoking whenever I drank.
 

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It should be noted Clemens threw 139 pitches in 7 innings. The odds on him finishing that game were pretty slim.

Mac lost confidence in just about everyone in the bullpen save Schraldi, and he wore the guy out. He was at pitch #50 when he unraveled in the 10th.
 

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If Johnny Mac wins game 6 or 7, next thing you know you're continuing the cigarettes and then also picking up crack smoking in the hopes of getting the Patriots a longshot Super Bowl title.

That's a damn good result in the end. I similarly made a smoking-related decision after going too hard drinking & smoking during the crazy early going of Game 7 2004 ALCS at a bar. Ended up fainting between the exhilaration of the early lead, too many cigarettes when I was only a social smoker, booze, and the packed crowd. Ended up going home to see the end of Game 7 and from there forward cut the shit of smoking whenever I drank.
That’s pretty funny. For me, it was a shitty game and for you a great game but same result!
 

SemperFidelisSox

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I'll add should never have pinch hit for Clemens in Game 6. It's been a matter of debate since it happened whether Clemens asked out or not (McNamara said he did), but I think it was 100% Mac's call. It was a perfect example of trying to do things by the book instead of playing to your strengths. Owen bunting in front of the pitcher spot was the wrong call. Pinch hitting a rookie for your ace when your bullpen was suspect at best was the wrong call.
I’ve avoided ever watching the entire game, but didn’t he PH with Greenwell while Don Baylor was on the bench?
 

Humphrey

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I’ve avoided ever watching the entire game, but didn’t he PH with Greenwell while Don Baylor was on the bench?
8th inning. Greenwell hit for Clemens and struck out.
Another possibility for Baylor in that inning. The Sox ended up with the bases loaded and two outs and Buckner, who was 0-4 at that point (and who didn't hit well in the entire series) was left in there to bat against lefty Jesse Orosco. Flew out to center.
 

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I would have taken my chances with a cracked out Oil Can vs a cooked Hurst.
I think the Seaver injury tied Mac's hands as far as the playoff rotation went. Seaver wasn't lights out, but he was steady down the stretch, and he ate innings and minimized the strain on what was a truly awful bullpen.

If Seaver's knee had held together, Mac could have gone Hurst-Clemens-Boyd-Seaver as his starters and Al Nipper to shore up the bullpen (although Nipper's 5+ ERA that year fit right in with the rest of the relievers).

As it worked out, Hurst (brilliant) and Clemens (meh) staked the Sox to a 2-0 Series lead, Boyd lost bad in Game 3, and instead of Seaver in Game 4, Nip started. Nipper wasn't a disaster, but he ran out of steam in the sixth and the Gasoline Boys in the pen blew it. Hurst (transcendent) won Game 5. Clemens was very good in Game 6 (but...you know) and then there was Game 7 -- an exhausted Hurst (who had been lights out) or a rested Boyd, who had been pummeled in Game 3?

Francona would have started Boyd in Game 7 on a short leash, but used Hurst the minute Boyd got into a jam. Mac was from different era, so Boyd sat on the bench, Hurst did his best with a dead arm, and then the bullpen did its thing.

I remember thinking that Joe Sambito and Bob Stanley would be our 1-2 bullpen punch.
 

LostinNJ

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Francona would have started Boyd in Game 7 on a short leash, but used Hurst the minute Boyd got into a jam. Mac was from different era, so Boyd sat on the bench, Hurst did his best with a dead arm, and then the bullpen did its thing.
Yes. Start Boyd so the Mets have their lefty lineup (Dykstra and Backman), then bring in Hurst so Davey Johnson would have to decide whether to keep using those guys or replace them for the rest of the game with Wilson and Teufel.
 

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I think the Seaver injury tied Mac's hands as far as the playoff rotation went. Seaver wasn't lights out, but he was steady down the stretch, and he ate innings and minimized the strain on what was a truly awful bullpen.

If Seaver's knee had held together, Mac could have gone Hurst-Clemens-Boyd-Seaver as his starters and Al Nipper to shore up the bullpen (although Nipper's 5+ ERA that year fit right in with the rest of the relievers).

As it worked out, Hurst (brilliant) and Clemens (meh) staked the Sox to a 2-0 Series lead, Boyd lost bad in Game 3, and instead of Seaver in Game 4, Nip started. Nipper wasn't a disaster, but he ran out of steam in the sixth and the Gasoline Boys in the pen blew it. Hurst (transcendent) won Game 5. Clemens was very good in Game 6 (but...you know) and then there was Game 7 -- an exhausted Hurst (who had been lights out) or a rested Boyd, who had been pummeled in Game 3?

Francona would have started Boyd in Game 7 on a short leash, but used Hurst the minute Boyd got into a jam. Mac was from different era, so Boyd sat on the bench, Hurst did his best with a dead arm, and then the bullpen did its thing.

I remember thinking that Joe Sambito and Bob Stanley would be our 1-2 bullpen punch.
The truly odd thing about Nipper starting World Series Game 4 was that in the ALCS, when down 2-1, McNamara handed the ball to Clemens for Game 4. So it wasn't like Mac was doggedly sticking to his rotation, he changed tack based on having the lead in the series and started a guy who hadn't thrown a live pitch in 18 days. Instead of going for the throat and trying to win the series at home (Hurst in Game 4, Clemens in Game 5), he relaxed and assumed they could win another game at Shea.
 

54thMA

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I think the Seaver injury tied Mac's hands as far as the playoff rotation went. Seaver wasn't lights out, but he was steady down the stretch, and he ate innings and minimized the strain on what was a truly awful bullpen.

If Seaver's knee had held together, Mac could have gone Hurst-Clemens-Boyd-Seaver as his starters and Al Nipper to shore up the bullpen (although Nipper's 5+ ERA that year fit right in with the rest of the relievers).

As it worked out, Hurst (brilliant) and Clemens (meh) staked the Sox to a 2-0 Series lead, Boyd lost bad in Game 3, and instead of Seaver in Game 4, Nip started. Nipper wasn't a disaster, but he ran out of steam in the sixth and the Gasoline Boys in the pen blew it. Hurst (transcendent) won Game 5. Clemens was very good in Game 6 (but...you know) and then there was Game 7 -- an exhausted Hurst (who had been lights out) or a rested Boyd, who had been pummeled in Game 3?

Francona would have started Boyd in Game 7 on a short leash, but used Hurst the minute Boyd got into a jam. Mac was from different era, so Boyd sat on the bench, Hurst did his best with a dead arm, and then the bullpen did its thing.

I remember thinking that Joe Sambito and Bob Stanley would be our 1-2 bullpen punch.
The Seaver injury definitely hurt, no doubt about it, he would have gotten the ball in game 4.

And I agree with your idea of starting Boyd in game 7 but him being on a short leash with Hurst being the first man in.

As much as 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2018 have taken the sting away from 1986, it's one of those things I'll never get over.

That and the Super Bowl loss to the fucking Giants; winning three since then is great, but the perfect season flushed down the toilet.

I mean come on; up TWO runs, NO ONE on base, ONE strike away?

If you played that inning 100 times, 99 times it ends with the Red Sox winning the WS.

The part that truly bothers me the most is my grandfather and my uncle Peter would have finally seen the Red Sox win a World Series, although in truth, my grandfather was alive in 1918, but still........................
 

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If you played that inning 100 times, 99 times it ends with the Red Sox winning the WS.
Think about this. The Red Sox won three games in the 86 World Series. Two of those wins were over Dwight Gooden, who was fantastic in '86 (and reportedly, on crack just like Oil Can). You beat the other team's ace twice, but can't scrape together two more wins?

But Red Hawk above is right--Mac wasn't as dogmatic as his image would lead you to believe. His managing in the ALCS was terrific--not just the aggressive move to get Clemens on the mound a turn early, but he did a lot of smart things with his lineup:

Bringing in Stapleton for Buckner when the Sox had leads in Games 2, 6 and 7 (which is why the Buckner WS error was so maddening -- he should have been on the bench next to Marc Sullivan).
Pinch-hitting Henderson for Armas in Game 5.
Also in Game 5, using Greenwell to PH for Spike Owen, Greenie gets on base, then pinch-running for Greenwell with Ed Romero, thus helping both the offense and inning defense.
And, of course, using Schiraldi in the ALCS as his relief ace -- the kid pitched well in four games (only one run) and was elevated over veterans like Crawford, Sambito, and Stanley.
 
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8slim

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Looking back at the '86 World Series box scores... Oil Can wasn't as abjectly terrible in Game 3 as I recall. He got lit up for 4 runs in the first, but then blanked the Mets for five straight innings after that. He gave up 2 in the 7th, but one could argue that he should've been pulled before that inning.

Also kinda crazy that Schiraldi was asked to pitch a third inning in Game 6. Particularly when Stanley had thrown 6 scoreless innings in 3 appearances in the Series to that point, and didn't pitch in Game 5.
 

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People talking about not pitching a cooked Hurst. Wasn't he our best pitcher toward the end of the year?
 

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People talking about not pitching a cooked Hurst. Wasn't he our best pitcher toward the end of the year?
100%. He was voted the World Series MVP before everything fell apart in the bottom of the 10th in Game 6. He was stellar in Games 1 and 4 (17 IP, 14 H, 5 BB, 14 K, 2 R).
 

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A decade or more later Hurst would have been brought in to close out Game 6. That was unheard of then unfortunately.
Or Clemens would have been used on similar rest in Game 7. Clemens in the 7th in a 3-3 tie, or even in the 8th down by 1, maybe things go different. It was an all hands on deck situation and McNamara didn't use all the hands he had available.
 

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..Or after Hurst gave them 5 shutout innings on short rest, he would have been out of there.

Inning 6 in that game was, in my mind, the key inning. Fat Sid Fernandez shut the Sox down but got lifted for a pinch hitter. I liked the Sox chances if they went into the 7th still ahead, 3-0.
 

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..Or after Hurst gave them 5 shutout innings on short rest, he would have been out of there.

Inning 6 in that game was, in my mind, the key inning. Fat Sid Fernandez shut the Sox down but got lifted for a pinch hitter. I liked the Sox chances if they went into the 7th still ahead, 3-0.
He had retired 10 in a row going into the 6th. He then got a ground ball out, grounder 1B thru the left side, liner 1B and a walk with Hernandez coming up.

Even in that spot I still wouldn't have trusted anyone in our bullpen over Hurst.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
Does it come with a rope so I can put myself out of my misery after I finish reading it?
Seriously.

Just reading this thread has been an emotionally exhausting exercise. I’ve always felt really bad for Bob Stanley in all of this. A Sox lifer, born in Maine, was actually really great for the Red Sox at times and the lasting memory burned into my head with him is of him running toward home plate, helplessly watching the pitch bounce off to the left towards the backstop. Should have been standing there as the champ with one of those shit foul balls from Wilson going for an infield grounder, maybe a 4-3 put out.
 

Humphrey

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Seriously.

Just reading this thread has been an emotionally exhausting exercise. I’ve always felt really bad for Bob Stanley in all of this. A Sox lifer, born in Maine, was actually really great for the Red Sox at times and the lasting memory burned into my head with him is of him running toward home plate, helplessly watching the pitch bounce off to the left towards the backstop. Should have been standing there as the champ with one of those shit foul balls from Wilson going for an infield grounder, maybe a 4-3 put out.
Well, have you considered the worst case scenario, which is Gedman catches (or at least stops) the passed ball/wild pitch (whichever you prefer)..... and then the grounder that should have ended the World Series goes through Buckner's legs?:eek:
 

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8th inning. Greenwell hit for Clemens and struck out.
Another possibility for Baylor in that inning. The Sox ended up with the bases loaded and two outs and Buckner, who was 0-4 at that point (and who didn't hit well in the entire series) was left in there to bat against lefty Jesse Orosco. Flew out to center.
The real egregious errors that Mac made in that game revolves around not pinch hitting for Buckner late in the game. He had Baylor on the bench and went with Buckner twice to end innings late in the game, where the Matchups and easy call was to pinch hit, even excluding the fact that Buckner was absolutely horrible in Game 6 at the plate. Buckner had no business being in the field in the bottom of the 8th, let alone the bottom of the 10th.
 

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That's because Mac's general managerial style was "roll them out there and see what happens."

I agree with some of the rumors over the years that Mac wanted Buckner on the field as they won the WS, completely forgetting the point that winning the WS had to be done in the first place.
 

54thMA

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Seriously.

Just reading this thread has been an emotionally exhausting exercise. I’ve always felt really bad for Bob Stanley in all of this. A Sox lifer, born in Maine, was actually really great for the Red Sox at times and the lasting memory burned into my head with him is of him running toward home plate, helplessly watching the pitch bounce off to the left towards the backstop. Should have been standing there as the champ with one of those shit foul balls from Wilson going for an infield grounder, maybe a 4-3 put out.
Funny you mentioned Bob Stanley; when McNamara went to him and he came charging out of the bullpen, one of the people I was watching the game with said "Oh man, this is going to be great, a player with New England ties is going to be on the mound when they win the WS!!".........after the pass ball/wild pitch and the "Little roller up along the bag"............I wanted to reach over and strangle him.

There were a bunch of us at my friends house in Roslindale; when they lost, we all slithered out of his house, got in our cars and drove off........I remember coming up to The Halfway Cafe in Dedham on Washington Street and some poor bastard comes staggering out of the joint and almost walked in front of my car........I slowed down and put down my window and said "Be careful, I almost hit you".........his reply "I WANTED YOU TO HIT ME, THE RED SOX JUST BLEW THE FUCKING WORLD SERIES!!"............

The part about game 6 that gets lost is there was still a game 7 to play; deep down I had resigned myself to the fact that it was over, but in true pre 2004 Red Sox fashion, they took the lead in that game only to blow it, making it even more painful.

It's still beyond my comprehension that they had a two run lead with two outs and no one on base.

And couldn't close it out.
 

bosockboy

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Funny you mentioned Bob Stanley; when McNamara went to him and he came charging out of the bullpen, one of the people I was watching the game with said "Oh man, this is going to be great, a player with New England ties is going to be on the mound when they win the WS!!".........after the pass ball/wild pitch and the "Little roller up along the bag"............I wanted to reach over and strangle him.

There were a bunch of us at my friends house in Roslindale; when they lost, we all slithered out of his house, got in our cars and drove off........I remember coming up to The Halfway Cafe in Dedham on Washington Street and some poor bastard comes staggering out of the joint and almost walked in front of my car........I slowed down and put down my window and said "Be careful, I almost hit you".........his reply "I WANTED YOU TO HIT ME, THE RED SOX JUST BLEW THE FUCKING WORLD SERIES!!"............

The part about game 6 that gets lost is there was still a game 7 to play; deep down I had resigned myself to the fact that it was over, but in true pre 2004 Red Sox fashion, they took the lead in that game only to blow it, making it even more painful.

It's still beyond my comprehension that they had a two run lead with two outs and no one on base.

And couldn't close it out.
Throw in two strikes.

The 3-0 score that haunted them from 1975 and 1986, ironically when they beat the Cards in 2004 they won 3-0, and when Pujols led off the 9th with a single I was envisioning ways we blow that game and then the WS even up 3-0. That fear was a disease. As painful as that was it’s the beauty of baseball; you can’t run out a clock. Gotta record 27 outs.
 

54thMA

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Throw in two strikes.

The 3-0 score that haunted them from 1975 and 1986, ironically when they beat the Cards in 2004 they won 3-0, and when Pujols led off the 9th with a single I was envisioning ways we blow that game and then the WS even up 3-0. That fear was a disease. As painful as that was it’s the beauty of baseball; you can’t run out a clock. Gotta record 27 outs.
Yeah, the two strikes thing murders me; even worse, imagine being a player and being on that field with two outs, no one on base and two strikes on the batter, you're just waiting for that last strike/out so you can into the infield and celebrate.

Been on the field twice in my life counting down the outs to a championship and I never, ever walked off the field crushed like those players did.
 

rlsb

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Sammy Stewart was never used throughout the entire playoffs. Here is the explanation per https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/sammy-stewart/
McNamara may not have cottoned to some of his clowning in the clubhouse, but Grossfeld says Stewart told him that he wound up in the doghouse due to a time the team bus pulled out and left him behind at Fenway Park. Stewart said he’d been visiting his son Colin in the hospital, but had arrived at the ballpark on time, thrown his bag on the bus, and was parking his car when the bus pulled out without waiting. He got into bitter arguments with traveling secretary Jack Rogers and with McNamara, and may have burned a bridge or two. During the World Series, Stewart said of McNamara, “He lay down on me and it cost us the World Series. I hated to see Al Nipper come out of the bullpen when I’ve never been scored on in the postseason and my arm was feeling good.” Less than three weeks later, hello Cleveland. He had prior postseason experience. He had a poor September, but to completely give up on him? Befuddling.
 

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Yeah, the two strikes thing murders me; even worse, imagine being a player and being on that field with two outs, no one on base and two strikes on the batter, you're just waiting for that last strike/out so you can into the infield and celebrate.

Been on the field twice in my life counting down the outs to a championship and I never, ever walked off the field crushed like those players did.

I blame Sox Fan/86 for me missing videoing the last play my son made in baseball, that won a provincial championship. They were up with one out, and my wife told me to tape. I told her I would jinx it id I taped. He was playiong 1b and made a great stop on ball down the line for touch first, tag at 2nd double play to end it. I sometimes thing if my 16 year old kids was at 1b in 86...
 

54thMA

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I blame Sox Fan/86 for me missing videoing the last play my son made in baseball, that won a provincial championship. They were up with one out, and my wife told me to tape. I told her I would jinx it id I taped. He was playiong 1b and made a great stop on ball down the line for touch first, tag at 2nd double play to end it. I sometimes thing if my 16 year old kids was at 1b in 86...
Trust me; if you video taped it, disaster would have struck.

My Dad used to come to my Yawkey League games, one year during the playoffs, my uncle from Arizona wanted him to videotape some of the games for him to see, my Dad told him no, it would be a total jinx, I hit a monsterous home run at the field in East Boston by the airport, my uncle was pissed for a long time he never got to see it, my Dad told him if he filmed it, I would have struck out.

It's amazing how we were all conditioned when it came to baseball pre 2004.
 

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Sammy Stewart was never used throughout the entire playoffs. Here is the explanation per https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/sammy-stewart/
McNamara may not have cottoned to some of his clowning in the clubhouse, but Grossfeld says Stewart told him that he wound up in the doghouse due to a time the team bus pulled out and left him behind at Fenway Park. Stewart said he’d been visiting his son Colin in the hospital, but had arrived at the ballpark on time, thrown his bag on the bus, and was parking his car when the bus pulled out without waiting. He got into bitter arguments with traveling secretary Jack Rogers and with McNamara, and may have burned a bridge or two. During the World Series, Stewart said of McNamara, “He lay down on me and it cost us the World Series. I hated to see Al Nipper come out of the bullpen when I’ve never been scored on in the postseason and my arm was feeling good.” Less than three weeks later, hello Cleveland. He had prior postseason experience. He had a poor September, but to completely give up on him? Befuddling.
Didn't Stewart end up having a huge drug problem that eventually landed him in prison? There might be more to this than just what Stewart says.
 

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Didn't Stewart end up having a huge drug problem that eventually landed him in prison? There might be more to this than just what Stewart says.
Yes he ended up in prison for crack possession. Everything I can find suggests he started doing drugs after his career ended.

Two of his kids (the ones he had while he was a player) had cystic fibrosis. His son was certainly hospitalized a lot. The bus incident happened. Whether that and the fallout from it led to a grudge that caused McNamara to never use Stewart in the post-season is debatable. Facts are he was there, on the roster and in the bullpen and never saw action. He wasn't the only pitcher McNamara failed to use (Tim Lollar was also on the roster), but you have to wonder why they were there if the manager had no use for them. Marc Sullivan was also on the post-season roster and unused, but you need a back-up catcher whether you need to use him or not. Pitchers ought to be a different thing. Then again, in that era, guys got overused and abused more frequently, so maybe that the depth of the pen wasn't used shouldn't be a question.
 

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Since we’re discussing oddball scenarios, here’s mine. I always thought Red Sox should have put 1986 International League MVP Pat Dodson, a smooth-fielding lefty first baseman, on the playoff roster. He got called up in September and played in 9 games, 7 as a defensive replacement at first base. Hit .412 in 15 ABs. McNamara chose experience over youth. He preferred Stapleton, and then kept Buckner in Game 6 for sentimental reasons. He wanted Billy Buck to be on the field when Boston clinched.
Dodson hit 27 HRs that year in Pawtucket, knocked in 102 runs.That was his big season. He got two more chances in Boston and failed them both. I rooted for him, which reporters are not supposed to do. Always wondered if he would have scooped up Mookie’s grounder.
 

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writes the Semi-Fin
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Dec 2, 2001
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Since we’re discussing oddball scenarios, here’s mine. I always thought Red Sox should have put 1986 International League MVP Pat Dodson, a smooth-fielding lefty first baseman, on the playoff roster. He got called up in September and played in 9 games, 7 as a defensive replacement at first base. Hit .412 in 15 ABs. McNamara chose experience over youth. He preferred Stapleton, and then kept Buckner in Game 6 for sentimental reasons. He wanted Billy Buck to be on the field when Boston clinched.
Dodson hit 27 HRs that year in Pawtucket, knocked in 102 runs.That was his big season. He got two more chances in Boston and failed them both. I rooted for him, which reporters are not supposed to do. Always wondered if he would have scooped up Mookie’s grounder.
Amen--Pat Podson! Mac used Stapleton as a late-inning defensive replacement for Buckner many times. Then Dodson got a cup of coffee in September, and did fine in the Stapleton role, and offered a more potent bat. When you look at that '86 Pawsox squad, bringing up Dodson for Stapleton (and Danny Shaeffer for Sullivan) would have strengthened the big club.

And if Dodson was not to be trusted, the Sox also controlled veteran 1B/OF Mike "The Walkman" Stenhouse, who, if not "slick fielding," was at least more mobile than Buckner, who at that point had knees of shattered glass.