For the record, Jerry Remy and I did not knowingly steal a car.
Did you and Jerry really steal a car in Texas?
Yes and no. Here is the actual story: Jerry and I had a rental car delivered to the hotel prior to Game 1 of the series. We came out and jumped in a red compact car and drove to Arlington and when we arrived, we parked near the TV trucks. One of the security guards came out and said they may need to move it during the game and asked if he could keep the keys. We handed him the keys, went inside the park and called the game.
When we came out, there was a red compact car in the same spot. A different guard was standing there and asked, "is this your car?"
We said yes and he flipped us the keys and off we went. Within about two miles from the hotel and twenty minutes into our drive, Jerry says, "I don?t think this our car."
We quickly realized we are in someone else's car, so we frantically check the glove box for a registration or rental agreement, hoping we know the person and that we are not going to be arrested for car theft in Texas.
We find the rental agreement and on it, a phone number that appears to be a cell number. So I call it and a familiar voice is on the other side: Joe Castiglione. What is amazing about the scenario, is that Joe was in our red car, and moments before our call, he had realized he was in someone else?s car too. Can you believe it?
Should Johnny Damon come to Boston and would it help the Red Sox?
—Chad, Southwick, Mass.
Yes and yes. I really think it would be a great boost to the Sox and fan morale. I really think the young guys have done a good job and have helped the club stay in this thing, but what a story this would be and how great it would be to have his presence around on a daily basis.
It's ultimately Damon's decision and I am guessing he may not forget the way he was treated when returning as a Yankee. That may have been different had he played the series he was here for the Tigers but was battling back spasms. We never found out if he was going to get his ovation now out of a Yankees uniform. Things did not end well here for him and he has likely not forgotten. Hopefully, he can put that aside and be part of what could be a great run to October here.
Jonathan Papelbon has been far more effective lately. What is he doing differently?
—Luke, North Adams, Mass.
For me, it is the return of his splitter. He is throwing it a lot again, and generally, hitters have no chance. His velocity is also up. His slider is being mixed in and now hitters have to worry about more than just his fastball. He has been able to keep guys off base, and as a result, his pitch counts have been down and his saves have been up. It sounds simple, but for some reason he had abandoned the splitter for a long time and hitters were just thinking fastball all the time. They were either taking many pitches and looking for for walks or fouling off a lot and it led to more base runners, longer innings and far more taxing outings. Pap is back and in the zone.
Do you think Victor Martinez will back in Boston in 2011?
—Jose, Atlantic City
Not sure. I think if they were 100 percent sure about that, things would already be done. I have not heard any whispers or any anything about a new deal. It is almost like they are using this time to evaluate if he is the catcher here for the next few years or whether he a first baseman or DH or not in the picture. The Jarrod Saltalamacchia pick was interesting. With another year left for Jason Varitek, it could be that Varitek stays and becomes the mentor for a year for Saltalamacchi if the Sox decide to go in that direction. I do think Victor would like to stay here as he does not strike me as the kind of guy who wants to move around again.
Should the Red Sox have acquired a reliever at the deadline?
—Carla, Univ. of Delaware
I was not surprised that they did not acquire one at the deadline. Teams are always asking for too much at the deadline just because of the time limit factor. I am surprised that nothing has happened still, in regards to a waiver deal. Maybe that asking price has been too high now, also. You have to remember, middle relief on most teams is a dicey area. If you are not good enough to be a starter, closer or reliable set up eighth inning man, you generally are not consistent or you would be in one of the other spots. The exception would be the situational lefty like the Red Sox used to carry in Mike Myers. Felix Doubrount may be the better answer, and we will find out over the next month.