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David Ross on M&M: ‘Can’t wait to celebrate with my guys tomorrow on the duck boats’

11.01.13 at 12:53 pm ET
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David Ross

David Ross

With the 2013 World Series championship in the books, Red Sox catcher David Ross joined Mut & Merloni to talk about his experiences with the team and how he’s handling the success.

“I’ve done a ton of interviews and some media stuff. It doesn’t really sink in when you’re doing it,” Ross said. “But last night I fell asleep — I put my kids down at about 9:30, which is way earlier than I’ve been going to bed. So 1:30 rolled around and I rolled over and my mind started racing, what all had happened. I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned for about 30 minutes.

“Finally I just got up, flipped on the TV, and MLB was recapping the whole thing. I just started to watch it. I was smiling one minute, I had tears in my eyes the next, and happy. Just watching the whole thing, it was really, really cool. I think it’s setting in at some points in the day. But I can’t imagine it right now, so far, just, we’re world champs. I just can’t wait to celebrate with my guys tomorrow on the duck boats.”

Ross was one of the team’s key offseason signing following the disaster of 2012. Ross, who previously played for the Sox in 2008, said every player had a clean slate to start the 2013 season.

“When I came in to spring training, and the new guys, the thing that I liked the most is that there were some guys still with a little bit of a bitter taste in their mouth from the year before, just hearing some comments,” Ross said. “The core that was here was so talented to begin with with. One, the pitching staff, that’s part of the reason I signed here, the pitching staff was so talented. And the core group with David [Ortiz], Ells [Jacoby Ellsbury] and Pedey [Dustin Pedroia], those guys in the lineup are just really, really talented players.

“The one thing I think about the new guys that came in that people like is we weren’t judging anybody from anything in the past. I was almost numb to what went on here before. I’d been in the National League and didn’t know much about it. I just remembered the good times in ’08, and that’s what I wanted to get back to, that’s what I was familiar with. And that’s what John [Farrell] was familiar with.

“I don’t think we judged anybody from the outset. I don’t think anybody had any preconceived notions of this player or that player. We wanted to form some bond and talk baseball and go out and compete together. We just grew and grew and grew together as far as our personalities and how much we like being around each other.”

Ross said the players’ support for one another and positive attitude even when they weren’t starting was vital to the team’s success.

“There was no jealously, there was no pouting going on throughout the year when guys went down or guys’ roles changed,” Ross said. “The one thing John did is he found out who wanted to be here. Ben [Cherington] did the same thing. Who wanted to be here? What guys could we depend on when things got tough? Could we depend on certain guys? And that’s what we found out here at the end.

“I missed two months of the season [with concussion issues]. It gets lost because I got to play a little more in the World Series, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia guided this team through the regular season as good as any catcher in the game. We have a ton of respect for him. He deserves a ton of credit for what’s going on.

“And then some other guys who didn’t — your [Alfredo] Aceveses, guys that didn’t want to jump on board, and so they got rid of them. That just says a lot to the organization and to the front office and the coaching staff. They recognized who was going to be here.

“And then what a lot of people don’t realize, too — that you get spoiled here in Boston — is that some other organizations aren’t willing to move big pieces to take a risk to win that year. Ben Cherington saw that we had a good team. He showed confidence in us. That sends a huge message to your clubhouse when you get a guy like Jake Peavy and say, ‘Hey, you know what? I believe in you guys. Here’s the piece you need. Go do the best you can.’ And that’s what we did.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On John Lackey convincing Farrell to leave him in the game for one more batter in Game 6 (which ended up being a walk to Matt Holliday): “I saw [Farrell] walk out of there and I immediately thought, ‘Man, I really like our matchup here, I like Lack against Holliday.’ He came out and he hadn’t signaled, and I knew in the back of his mind, he was at least going to [give Lackey a chance]. There’s usually no chance to change his mind, for the most part. I don’t know that Lack was going to change his mind, because Lack never wants to come out of the game. But he kind of perked up when I said, ‘He’s got this guy, skip, he’s got this guy, he owns this guy.’

“Holliday had taken some bad swings. We just didn’t throw him enough strikes. He wasn’t taking good swings. He was fouling the ball off, basically over our dugout, three pitches. Lackey really let one eat and it just kind of cut off the outside corner of the plate. Credit Holliday for having a good at-bat. And credit [Junichi Tazawa] for coming in and getting a big out [to end the inning].”

On a weakened Clay Buchholz pitching in Game 4: “Clay didn’t let me in real well. He didn’t let me in his head too much. I was trying to get in there to see how he felt. He was really manipulating the ball really well in the bullpen, but it wasn’t very much [velocity], and his command wasn’t very good, which scared me. I would rather have command over [velocity] any day. And he can really move the ball around the zone. … He picked it up a little bit [in the game]. We got out there and he competed his tail off. He threw some great sinkers, didn’t have his curveball working, cutter wasn’t that great. But his sinker was good, and he threw some good changeups, got us out of some jams. What a huge, huge heart and passion that guy has. Goes out there and puts his neck on the line.”

On the Boston Marathon bombing and how the team helped bring the city together: “Being here while that went down, being in lockdown, seeing the stuff — the cops that protect us are out all night on the news and trying to catch those criminals and terrorists. It just hit home. It created a closeness that you felt for the city, the way this city pulled together and bonded, it was just a special, special time. It made you just appreciate the character of this city. I think we took that on our shoulders, as, ‘Hey, man, this may be above us. This may be something that obviously we have no control over it, but we need to go out here and give this city something to smile about, to turn their lives around.’ We tried to do that on a daily basis, just go out and compete for one another and compete for this city.”

Read More: Clay Buchholz, David Ross, John Farrell, john lackey
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