WORLD SERIES NOTEBOOK
Henry appreciates all the support
NEW YORK -- Red Sox owner John W. Henry did not respond directly to a question about manager Grady Little's future, but said he was moved by the support of Sox fans following the Game 7 ALCS loss to the New York Yankees.
"As much as I love some of the Marlins' players and root for them to win, I have no interest in watching this series," Henry said in an e-mail statement last night. "The only interest I currently have in baseball is to prepare for next season. The supportive communications I have received from fans has been shocking and has stirred me greatly -- emotionally.
"Initially, I thought New Englanders would just finally throw up their hands. But their level of commitment and resolve is astonishing and deserves our full attention to moving this franchise forward without a break. It shows you how little I know about the toughness of this region. And it shows me how tough I need to be in making sure that we accomplish our goals. So I'm riding their `wave,' so to speak. They've given me the energy to move forward without having to get away from it all. I thought I would have to get away from it all to recharge and start again. But they have refocused me. And I can tell you that Theo [Epstein] and Larry [Lucchino] did not take a one-day or even a half-day break this week. I don't think they needed an external force to recharge themselves. This franchise is in very good shape with these two leading it.
"How amazing is it, that even the angriest/saddest/most broken-hearted fans offer thanks and remain determined to see this team prevail? It's astonishing. I'm not listening to the radio, so maybe things are different there. I just know what comes directly to me.
"There isn't anything I wouldn't do for these people. You know, there isn't anything these people wouldn't do for the Red Sox. We owe them."
A Fox tale
In Boston, Chad Fox will be remembered as the reliever who gave up the ninth-inning, three-run home run to Carl Crawford in an Opening Day loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was booed at the home opener, went on the disabled list for more than two months with a strained oblique muscle, and a month after his return was released by the Sox. Driving home, he said afterward, he broke down and wept, thinking that perhaps his career was over.
Instead, as implausible as it may seem, Fox is in the World Series, a valued setup man for the Marlins. Signed to a minor league contract by Florida Aug. 8, Fox was promoted to the big club Aug. 12, was credited with a win in his first appearance, and went on to post a 2-1 record and 2.13 ERA in 21 appearances. He blew a lead in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, giving up a two-run home run to Randall Simon of the Cubs, but more often than not, a fist-pumping Fox celebrating getting out of a jam has been a staple of Marlins' play for the last two months.
Fox, a congenial, open sort during his stay with the Sox, said he prefers the laid-back, "lot more fun" atmosphere he has found with the Marlins than what he described as Boston's negative environment.
"They really looked at things in a negative way too much," Fox said. "I'm not going to say that's the reason I didn't perform . . . [but] they gave up on me. That was their decision. I was hoping to face them in the World Series.
"Theo made a big deal of me not having command of my fastball over and over. That's his right. But I think they made an issue of things they shouldn't have as much. That's his decision, his right. It's a business decision. I moved on. I got another job. I'm standing here in the World Series, they're home."
Fox was asked if he thought Little would survive the public outcry for his head. "I hope so," he said. "I don't know. If anybody can, he can. He's the perfect manager to [survive]. He's the kind of guy who will go out and do what he wants, and manage the way he manages.
"The fans expect a lot in Boston. We had meetings over and over in Boston about the fans. Until you live it and play it, I can't tell you. There's good and bad, but they expect you to win 162 games."
© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.