The bright lights of the Fall Classic evidently weren’t enough to amp up Koji Uehara for one of his outings in the 2013 World Series.
Uehara, who recently announced his retirement from baseball, capped off his incredible 2013 season by helping the Boston Red Sox capture their third championship of the 21st century. The now-former closer needed a little help shifting into the right mindset before one appearance against the St. Louis Cardinals, so he turned to longtime Red Sox coach Dana LeVangie with an unusual request.
?He asked me to slap him in the face,? LeVangie told The Boston Globe’s Nora Princiotti. ?And I did.?
Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do in October.
Uehara appeared in 73 regular-season games for Boston in 2013, recording 21 saves with a minuscule 1.09 (!) ERA. The right-hander went on to allow just one run on seven hits over 13 2/3 total innings in the Red Sox’s postseason run to baseball’s ultimate prize.