The Boston Red Sox might have failed to reverse the curse without Kevin Millar.
Former Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo has named the ex-Boston utility man as the difference-maker on the Red Sox’s World Series-winning team. Millar hit .297 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI’s in 2004, but his positive influence in the clubhouse vastly outweighs his notable statistical contributions. Here’s why Arroyo believes that’s the case.
“He made everybody come out of their shells and changed the feel of the whole team,” Arroyo told The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham this week in an interview. “From David (Ortiz) and Manny (Ramirez) and some other guys who were hard asses, we all jelled and did what we did. I always think about that, the difference one guy can make.
“We were so close as a group. I still love seeing any of those guys.”
Despite spending just three seasons with the Red Sox (between 2003 and 2005), Millar has been an iconic figure in Boston for 15-plus years because his personality infused the 2004 Red Sox with a light-hearted confidence that endeared them to fans and neutrals alike.
Although Millar named Mark Bellhorn as the “unsung hero” of the 2004 Red Sox, Arroyo has refocused the spotlight on Millar as integral to the team that ended the franchise’s 86-year World Series drought.
Someone probably should buy Millar lunch and dinner next time he turns up in Boston.