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Home » June 2008 Game CommentsJune 2008 » Pair


Game 67: June 10, 2008
10 W: Dennis Sarfate (4-1)
H: Jamie Walker (5)
H: Chad Bradford (9)
H: Jim Johnson (9)
32-31, 1 game winning streak
Red Sox 6 BS, L: Hideki Okajima (6, 1-2) 40-27, 1 game losing streak
Highlights: The Red Sox offense loved home cooking but the Orioles bats got fat on Okajima’s seventh-frame implosion. With David Ortiz on the mend the new super duo of J.D. Drew and Manny Ramirez paired for a set of home runs, but the visitors’ firepower proved too formidable. Baltimore overcame Josh Beckett’s quality start to put themselves ahead of the other .500-ish teams in the AL East, the Blue Jays and Yankees. The defeat began a night of losing for teams from the Hub; the Celtics dropped their first game in the NBA Finals by a score of 87-81, rendering the series 2-1.

Eddie Murray is a great interview these days. He joked in the booth with Don and Jerry about his conversation with Manny Ramirez. “He already told me he was going to pass me,” he said, in reference to how both were tied at 504. (Indeed, Ramirez did launch his 505th in the fifth.) Murray asked Ramirez how much longer he was planning to play. “Six more years? You’ll pass me in RBIs, too!” he exclaimed in mock exasperation.

He appeared to have overcome his distrust of the media. In the ending years of his career at Baltimore, however, television and radio personalities painted him as a sullen man. He would turn down interviews because of an unsavory experience he had with Dick Young of the New York Daily News in October of 1979.

It went downhill from there. The more interviews a player of his stature turns down the more resentful reporters grow. Of course it’s not savvy to refuse those who could rehabilitate one’s public image, but Murray wasn’t about pleasing the media. He was about baseball, pure and simple.

Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun even opined that Murray was run out of Baltimore because of his race. Preston presented a portrait of a blue collar town that adored its white players but took their African American superstars for granted.

Sound familiar?

So it was apt that Murray presented Ramirez with a plaque commemorating Ramirez’s 500th home run last night. Ramirez, so mocked by the press when he refuses to speak with them but so fawned upon when he does grant newspeople precious seconds of footage or cherished sound bites, has much in common with Murray.

Including the fact that the destination that they made on their own was, for Murray, and will be, for Ramirez, Cooperstown.

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