“We didn’t have the closer in ’03,” Millar said. “That, to me, was the missing piece on the field.”
“We didn’t know what we were getting into,” Foulke said about ending the curse. “It was amazing to get that final out.”
The Sox eventually filled holes with the midseason deals that greatly improved the overall defense and added speed with Roberts. He, of course, had The Steal in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Yankees, which wound up allowing the Sox to mount one of the greatest comebacks in postseason history.
“The truth of the matter is the group of guys, the family . . . it wasn’t just a team, it was a unit that literally hung out together and ate together and liked each other,” said Millar. “That doesn’t go on, you can’t buy that.
“We all went to other teams, played on other teams, [but] that one group that we had, we had so many different guys, you remember the tightness of that team.”
Martinez noted, “Everyone has the history of signing the Green Monster. I refused to until I won for Boston. And I keep forgetting every time I come back. Now I feel like I can finally sign it and leave my name on the Green Monster. And I haven’t signed it yet. I’m gonna sign really high so Manny doesn’t pee on it.
“Now we can all go and sign it and say, ‘Mission Accomplished.’ To me [failing] would have been the most disapppinting thing that ever happened in my career.”
It was great in 2004, wasn’t it?
The players had fun. They policed themselves. Everyone knew what they had to do.
There was no confusion. There was no controversy.
They would hoist an occasional shot of Jack Daniels and play ball.
You couldn’t assemble that again if you tried.