View Full Version : Just in case you needed another reason to despise baseball...

Rain Man
01-07-2005, 06:45 PM
What's up with these guys? This is so stupid that it just defies description.


Mientkiewicz won't let go of coveted baseball
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Associated Press
Posted: 1 hour ago

BOSTON (AP) - The Red Sox have the title. Now they want the ball.

Backup first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz caught the ball for the final out of the World Series, ending Boston's 86-year championship drought.

He then put the souvenir in a safe deposit box. Only one problem: The Red Sox say the ball should be in their hands.

The player who didn't join the team until July 31 still wants to keep it but recognizes its meaning to the team's passionate rooters - a prize that completed a four-game sweep of St. Louis and ended the misery.

"Of course I want Red Sox fans to see the ball," Mientkiewicz said in a call he made to WEEI radio. "The main reason why I hung on to the darn thing is because I want people to see it."

So does Red Sox president Larry Lucchino, and he planned to ask Mientkiewicz to give it to the team.

"We want it to be part of Red Sox archives or museums so it can be shared with the fans," Lucchino told The Boston Globe. "We would hope he would understand the historical nature of it."

Lucchino and Henry did not return e-mails requesting comment. Messages left at the homes of Mientkiewicz and his father were not returned and a woman who came to the door at his Coral Gables, Fla., house said he wasn't there.

Mientkiewicz said Friday he had a "nice conversation" with team owner John Henry.

In an era rife with memorabilia sellers and collectors - the New England Patriots once sold jars of dirt for $10 from Foxboro Stadium before it was torn down after the 2001 season - such an historic baseball might command hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

After all, on the very day Mientkiewicz squeezed the final out in his glove, the ball Barry Bonds hit for his 700th home run brought a top bid of $804,129 after a 10-day online auction.

Mientkiewicz said the ball he caught was "my retirement fund," the Globe reported. On Friday, he said he was kidding.

"If Mr. Lucchino wants to talk to me about the ball personally, he has my phone number. He can call me," Mientkiewicz said on WEEI.

Mientkiewicz, unhappy as a part-time player last season, is set to make $3.75 million in the final year of his two-year contract. The team has an option to renew it at $4 million for 2006 but has said it intends to trade Mientkiewicz or its other first baseman, Kevin Millar, before spring training.

Mike Martin coached Mientkiewicz at Florida State from 1993-95 and is convinced the player won't sell the ball for personal gain.

"There's not a selfish bone in the guy's body," said Martin, in his 26th year as head coach of the Seminoles. "He was one of the most popular players to ever play here. He also was a guy who was a fan favorite in Minnesota. He's also very community oriented and I'm sure that's the case in the city of Boston."

The Red Sox obtained the slick-fielding Mientkiewicz in a trade deadline deal with the Twins. He was a late-inning replacement in each of the four World Series games after being a starter for the previous three seasons.

Boston led 3-0 in Game 4 in St. Louis when Mientkiewicz entered in the bottom of the seventh. He didn't handle the ball until there were two outs in the ninth and shortstop Edgar Renteria grounded it back to the mound. Pitcher Keith Foulke trotted toward first and underhanded it to Mientkiewicz.

With the ball in his grasp, Mientkiewicz raised his right index finger in triumph and rushed to the pile of celebrating players. In the locker room, he gave the ball to his wife, Jodi, who put it in her purse then brought it to Fenway Park the next day, where it was authenticated by major league baseball officials.

So who owns it?

"This is a gray area as to what players think they can take with them," Lucchino said.

Carmine Tiso, spokesman for MLB, told the Globe that Mientkiewicz owns the baseball. Joe Januszewski, Red Sox director of corporate partnerships, said he thinks the team owns it.

And the bat?

Renteria still has it and could bring it with him to Fenway after he signed with the Red Sox as a free agent.

"A professional baseball player is like a golfer," said Jeffrey Lane, Renteria's agent. "They know what their five-iron feels like."

Back in 1918, when the Red Sox won their previous World Series title, there was another dispute. The sixth and final game was delayed because of a debate over how much of the gate receipts players would get. But the game went on and Boston beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1.

The last out was another grounder that second baseman Dave Shean threw to first baseman Stuffy McInnis. The next-to-last out? A fly ball to Red Sox left fielder Babe Ruth, who was sold to the New York Yankees in 1920.

For the first time since then, the Red Sox are champions so Mientkiewicz knows the importance of the ball he has locked away.

"It belongs in the stadium where we brought it home to, and if they would like to see it then I'd be more than happy to," he said. "That's part of history and I think people have waited long enough. They deserve to see it."

Hammock Parties
01-07-2005, 06:46 PM
If I was Doug, I'd have tossed it to a fan.

01-07-2005, 06:52 PM
Those jars of dirt from Foxboro Stadium that were sold for $10, did those come from the field, because I bet they could have gotten a lot more than that from those kinky New Englanders if they scooped the dirt from some other parts of that facility?

01-07-2005, 06:52 PM
It is worth millions. I would have taken it also.

Skip Towne
01-07-2005, 06:55 PM
If I was Doug, I'd have tossed it to a fan.
Yeah right.

Hammock Parties
01-07-2005, 06:56 PM
Yeah right.

Seriously. If I made as much money as he did....I don't need a ball.

01-07-2005, 06:57 PM
i would just kick his ass and take it from him. I took an online course on kung-fu.

01-07-2005, 09:07 PM
If I was Doug, I'd have tossed it to a fan.
That would lead to a brawl. Toss it to a fan you don't like and watch him get the holy hell beat out of him.

Thig Lyfe
01-07-2005, 09:10 PM
I'd hand the ball to a "special" kid in the dugout seats.

Cuz I'm warm and cuddly like that.

01-07-2005, 09:17 PM
If is wasn't for Mark McQuire.........and Sammy Sosa there would be NO baseball! After the strike I stopped watching..........then enter Mac. These jocks that they call "athletics"
are getting to much faulking money............They know when they enter that they are going to loose function of joints....knees,arms....etc. I'm getting sick of all of the whinney arse bitches.:banghead::banghead: