Mark Bellhorn hit a drive off the foul screen attached to Pesky's Pole in right field Saturday as Boston held on to take the highest-scoring opener in World Series history by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 11-9. \nBellhorn's two-run shot off Julian Tavarez in the eighth inning decided a game in which the Red Sox blew an early five-run lead. \n"I'm not here trying to be a hero, I'm just here trying to win four games," Bellhorn said. \nHis blast certainly brought back memories for everyone who watched Carlton Fisk's 12th-inning drive off the left-field pole in 1975 that stunned Cincinnati in Game 6. All that was missing this time was Bellhorn frantically waving, trying to keep it fair, as Fisk did. \nFisk was in the ballpark for this game, and surely he was smiling. \n"In the playoffs, everything seems like a critical moment," Bellhorn said. "Any game can be a pivotal game or a pivotal play." \nCardinals right fielder Larry Walker was in position to make a play on Bellhorn's homer, standing at the 302-foot mark. \n"If the pole wasn't there and if the stands went in about 50 more feet, I would have caught it. Unfortunately, it didn't work that way for us," he said. \nAnd because of Bellhorn, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Walker, this 100th World Series was off to a wild, crazy start. \n"Just one bad pitch. Just one mistake," Tavarez said. \nGame 2 will be today, with Curt Schilling again testing his sutured ankle against St. Louis' Matt Morris. \nOrtiz kept up his October rampage, hitting a three-run drive for Boston's first Series homer at Fenway since Fisk's famous shot. The American League championship series most valuable player wound up knocking in four runs -- and knocking out second baseman Tony Womack with a shot to the collarbone. \nWalker did his best for the Cardinals, and still they lost their seventh straight Series road game. He homered, doubled twice, singled and hit a fly ball to left field that Ramirez muffed, helping St. Louis make it 9-all in the eighth. \n"That's why you play the game. Those are tough breaks. It's a challenge, but you know what? We've had to deal with challenges all year. It's just another challenge that we've overcome," Red Sox closer Keith Foulke said. \nFoulke got five outs for the victory as the Red Sox won their fifth straight postseason game, a surge that started when they came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS. \nThe Cardinals beat Roger Clemens and Houston in Game 7 of the National League championship series, led by sluggers Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols. But Rolen, Pujols and Jim Edmonds were held to 1-for-12 by Boston and left five runners in scoring position. \nIt was certainly not the best baseball ever played, with 14 walks and five errors. \n"That was not an instructional video," Red Sox manager Terry Francona cracked. \nBellhorn, who struck out a Red Sox-record 177 times this season and bats ninth, connected after an error by shortstop Edgar Renteria on Jason Varitek's grounder. Foulke worked around Marlon Anderson's double in the ninth to finish it. \nDown 7-2, the Cardinals eventually tied it when Renteria and Walker hit RBI doubles in the sixth. \nRight after Ramirez singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh, Ortiz hit a wicked grounder that took a bad hop, clocked the drawn-in Womack in the collarbone and sent him to the hospital for X-rays, which were negative. \nRamirez's RBI single made it 9-7, not that the team that led the NL with 53 comebacks wins was worried, especially with the erratic Ramirez out in left field. \nBecause on consecutive plays in the eighth, Ramirez let St. Louis tie it. Two singles brought Foulke from the bullpen, and Renteria hit a single that Ramirez overran for an error that scored a run. \nWalker followed with his fly to left. Ramirez tried to make a sliding catch, but his spikes appeared to catch in the grass. He suddenly popped up and the ball glanced off his glove for another error and the tying run. \n"The playoffs are a weird game," Ramirez said. \nThe sellout crowd groaned at Ramirez's misplays. Moments later, the fans were delirious when Bellhorn struck. \nAt the start, the game became a classic NL vs. AL matchup -- bunts against blasts. No surprise, the boppers went ahead because of Ortiz's shot off Woody Williams. But Tim Wakefield's wildness let the Cardinals rally from the 7-2 deficit. The first knuckleballer to start a Series game since Gene Bearden in 1948, he couldn't control his floater in the blustery conditions and tied a Series record with four walks during a three-run fourth. \nBoston's defense messed up for the first time starting with Mike Matheny's second sacrifice fly of the game. Cutoff man Kevin Millar hesitated, then skipped his relay into the stands while trying to get a runner at third. \nDefensive whiz So Taguchi, playing left field to let Reggie Sanders be the DH, got an RBI when third baseman Bill Mueller couldn't cleanly grip a grounder, and just like that it was 7-5. Wakefield left after his fifth walk, and Bronson Arroyo relieved. \nOrtiz kept up his penchant for key hits, launching his fifth homer of the postseason. \nThe drive down the line sailed above the foul pole, right-field umpire Charlie Reliford emphatically signaled fair ball and the Red Sox spilled out of the dugout to greet their big "Papi." \nWalker, in the Series for the first time in a 16-year career, homered in the third.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions