Mientkiewicz Ballgate with World Series Ball and Red Sox

The Verdict is In

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Especially the Mrs.
But Sox Were Dumb Not to Claim The Ball Before Series Sweeper.


Making the Most of Ballgate

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(Boston Globe Archive Photo)

“Foulke underhands the ball to first. ... He’s out!. ... and Mientkiewicz steals it! Over to Jodi. Mientkiewicz stole the ball! It's all over! It's alllll over! Doug Mientkiewicz is being mobbed by the fans. It's alllll over! Doug Mientkiewicz stole the ball.”

-- Dearly departed Boston Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most, on Doug Mientkiewicz legendary play to end Game 4 of the 2004 World Series against St. Louis.

Twins Killing: Minky Thrown Under Bus for Taking Ball

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Hrbek, Larkin, Kelly Kick Doug to Curb
And Jodi emails the Star Trib too

Gene Larkin: "I think if I had it and the team had wanted it, I'd give it to the team," Larkin said. "If Doug wants to keep it for himself, honestly, I don't think the Red Sox would want him on their team."

Twins Legend Kent Hrbek offered this advice: "If Doug was playing in the U.S. Open tennis tournament and he won it on the final serve, then that tennis ball belongs to him. But baseball is a team game, so that's a team ball. That's what I would have done.

Hrbek recalled Mientkiewicz's tenure with the Twins when he often angered his employers with bold comments. "There goes Dougie," Hrbek said. "Right in the middle of another controversy."

Manager Tom Kelly: "He needs to give the ball back. Can you imagine him stepping on the field there if he doesn't?" He didn't need much time to determine what Mientkiewicz should do. "That ball is certainly not his," Kelly said. "... When Mr. Lucchino asks for the ball, I'm sure he'll hand it over. Right?"

Lucchino Airs Dirty Laundry, Drags the Nation into Mess

WEEI's Glenn Ordway: "He (Lucchino) wants to return it to ‘Red Sox Nation,” and now the Red Sox are charging people $10.00 to be a part of ‘Red Sox Nation.’ …I agree with that (there’s hypocrisy on Lucchino’s part)… Larry Lucchino could have dealt with it in a private manner behind closed doors as opposed to putting it out in the public. He chastises the media all the time for creating stories, creating controversies, I hear him all the time on Dennis and Callahan ‘here we go again’ well ‘here we go again’ Larry Lucchino is out there and creating controversy himself and kind of throwing some dirt out there."

It's Doug's Lucky Day

Sox President Larry Lucchino: "We're going to make a request of him to return it to us. We want it to be part of Red Sox archives or museums so it can be shared with the fans. We would hope he would understand the historical nature of it… This is a gray area as to what players think they can take with them. We're going to ask Doug for the ball. I think it would be a nice gesture on his part to return it to Red Sox Nation."

Shaughnessy Sets the Record Straight

CHB on Mustard and Johnson: "I was actually curious about the ball, and I had been asking myself, ‘he must have it,’ he actually walked by me in the corridor in St. Louis after they had won and I said ‘is that the ball?” and he was clutching it like he was Tiki Barber going into the line holding the thing. So I assumed he had it, and why wouldn’t he have it? So I did call and we chatted briefly about the Millar situation, first-base trade and there’s not really anything groundbreaking or new there and I wasn’t particularly interested in that anyway unless he was going to say ‘I demand a trade’ or something. I said ‘what about the ball?’ He was very forthcoming, he was very lighthearted. When he says ‘I can be bought’ I know that’s tongue in cheek. I think in the paper… I read somewhere where he said he expected a lighthearted article, I kinda thought it was, I mean I said it was like the Faberge Egg, The Hope Diamond, and it wasn’t until Lucchino called me back which was late Thursday night and said that they’re going to ask for it back that it took on a little bit of kind of a contesting of the ball. And at that point I called Peter Chase, Charles Steinberg, and Glen Geffner and said ‘here’s what I got, it would be good to get Doug again on this’ and they were unable to reach him for the rest of the night, I said ‘you can call me until 1:00 in the morning. John Henry called me at midnight and said he was going to try to talk to Doug. He said he couldn’t believe no one had asked about it. He was kind of surprised. I think that they’ve kind of been wondering. I was in Lucchino’s office Tuesday and said ‘what’s up with the ball?’ he says ‘geez I don’t know’ and he called somebody in their administration and that kind of got the ball rolling so to speak. I was just curious, but when Doug called me back he was very forthcoming about it and I certainly didn’t misquote him and I don’t think he’s pretended to say that, he wanted to present it as he said it with his tongue in his cheek but I thought that was apparent… I didn’t present it like he’s throwing down the gauntlet or anything and I did try to reach him after Lucchino at 9:30 on Thursday night, and that was with calls all day and emails. I emailed John Henry at noontime Thursday (to ask him about it), he said ‘I’ll get back to you on this today and 12 hours later he called me… I don’t think Doug’s a bad guy at all. I don’t blame him for doing what he’s doing. I think that he’s got it. When a guy puts it in a safety deposit box and has it authenticated I think it’s pretty clear he thinks it’s his and I’m not saying that makes him a bad guy at all. He seems like a great guy. It’s just an interesting question… technically I think the St. Louis Cardinals own the ball, one guy at the Red Sox said ‘the Cardinals buy the balls for the games there, we buy the balls for the games at Fenway’… MLB is saying it belongs to the ballplayer unless the Red Sox choose to contest it, I don’t know how strongly they’re going to contest it. If you notice, Doug’s not happy with me, maybe feels ambushed whatever, but at the same time he has the ball and he doesn’t want to give it back, which is OK, but don’t get mad at me because of that, I mean he’s the guy that’s got the ball and won’t give it back… We know it’s a stupid thing, it does happen to have monetary value to a lot of people, certainly to a high bidder it probably would, that’s why Doug has it in a safety deposit box and got it authenticated… It’s just something that everyone has an opinion about it. It’s harmless, fun, nobody gets hurt here, no one’s a bad guy. It’s just a harmless, fun story."

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox end losing streak > Shaughnessy: Debunking myths about the 2014 Red Sox > Cherington: Everyone needs to get better

Boston Herald:

Ortiz, Red Sox bats break out to end losing streak > Buchholz still bewildered > Memory loss haunting Red Sox

ProJo:

Lester was once a good hitter, now heading toward dubious record > Travis Shaw brings hot bat to Pawtucket > Ranaudo shines > Betts not a candidate for Boston, yet

NY Post:

St. Louis lets Ozzie Smith bid Jeter goodbye > Yanks prevail in extras again > Nonsense leads off in MLB broadcasts > Beltran elbow on mend

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