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Notes: Ortiz set to play first10/21/2004 7:45 PM ET
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- When the World Series shifts to St. Louis or Houston for Game 3 on Tuesday night, the Red Sox will lose the designated hitter for the first time since they completed their Interleague schedule on July 4.
However, the Sox will not lose the lethal bat of American League Championship Series MVP David Ortiz.
The left-handed masher, who has started just one game at first base since July 22, will break out his first baseman's glove for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary).
"I don't want that bat out of the lineup," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "When we get in the game and there's some double-switching or whatever and we have the lead, we go to [Doug] Mientkiewicz. It's a shame -- I understand the way the rules are set up -- because that's not our team. Our team is having David Ortiz DH and having [Kevin] Millar play first and have Mientkiewicz come in for defense, and that's not going to be our team. We'll do the best we can."
In the National League park, where the pitcher often needs to be pinch-hit for in the late innings, having Millar's bat on the bench in the late innings could prove to be valuable.
Class from the Yankees: Not that it should come as any surprise, Yankees manager Joe Torre called Francona to wish him congratulations in the aftermath of Boston's historic win over New York in Game 7.
"Joe called me last night after the game, and not surprisingly he's as classy and is such a gentleman as he always has been," said Francona.
Not only did Francona hear from Torre, but Yankees owner George Steinbrenner sent him a note prior to Game 7.
"Mr. Steinbrenner had actually sent me a note before the game, a little card, which I really appreciated," said Francona. "Mr. Steinbrenner grew up in the Cleveland area where my dad [Tito] had his good years. In about 1981 when I was a rookie, Mr. Steinbrenner pulled me aside and told me that. He said, 'Your dad was one of my favorite players,' which made me feel good. And yesterday he wrote me a quick note kind of reiterating what he said a long time ago. That was a classy thing to do."
The Pedro decision: A lot of people wondered why Francona used Pedro Martinez in relief during Game 7, even though the Sox held an 8-1 lead. Martinez was hit hard in his inning of work, giving up three hits and two runs.
"If you just think it through, we didn't have very many arms," said Francona. "If we get Pedro up, and we had him loose in the inning before, and then sit him down, then there's a rally because we got somebody else up and we want to get Pedro in, you're risking a lot. We're trying to minimize fatigue on a guy's arm and win the game. We weren't exactly in abundance of fresh arms out there."
Francona also acknowledged that he wanted Martinez to pitch in a positive situation at Yankee Stadium.
"I was excited about bringing him in that game," said Francona. "I know he gave up some hits, some runs, but he actually threw the ball very well. I wanted him to be standing on that mound with some success."
Varitek to open on bench: With Tim Wakefield starting Game 1 on Saturday, catcher Jason Varitek will open the World Series on the bench. Backup Doug Mirabelli, who has caught Wakefield regularly for the last few years, will get the start.
Quiet day: Thursday was a day of rest for the Red Sox. Francona came to Fenway to have a press conference. The manager said that selected other players made short appearances.
"When I came in, I don't think I saw too many more players," said Francona. "They don't need to be here today. Wakefield obviously throws a side. Mirabelli caught him. [Keith Foulke] wanted to throw. We'll come out tomorrow at 1 [p.m. ET] and take our normal practice and get loose and go from there."
Tickets all gone: Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox quickly sold out the remainder of their World Series tickets on Thursday for the four games that are scheduled for Fenway Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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