DENVER - He was here to make an appearance at a breakfast meeting with a sales group from Mutual of Omaha at the Renaissance Hotel and was on his way out of town to attend another function in St. Louis. So it left little wiggle room in former Red Sox great Carlton Fisk's hectic schedule to spend an extra night in the Mile High City to watch Game 3 last night.
"I would've liked to, but I had already made my schedule months and months in advance," said the Hall of Fame catcher. "Then this opportunity came up, but I still had the other [obligation] in St. Louis."
He has a tentative obligation for Wednesday, too: Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park.
"I was supposed to throw out the first pitch in Game 6 of '04, but I never got the chance," Fisk said. "Now I'm supposed to throw out the first pitch in the sixth game, but it may not get there."
That's because the Red Sox went into last night's Game 3 with a two-games-to-none advantage in this best-of-seven series.
If Jon Lester cannot do it tonight in Game 4, then there's Josh Beckett in Game 5. "He's been lights out, the way he's been pitching," Fisk marveled. "Geez, has he been dealing, game after game after game. His last six or seven starts have been so - I don't want to say solid, but overpowering. He's overmatched everybody he's pitched against."
Asked if he thinks this Sox team has all the components in place to win it all, Fisk said, "I think so. They say the Rockies have a better defensive team than the Red Sox, but I don't see where. I don't think they've got a big advantage. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of it goes."
Fisk joked that he would be keeping his arm warm to make that ceremonial first pitch for Game 6 - not that he hopes it comes to that. Told that Carl Yastrzemski bounced one off the dirt at Fenway when he made the first pitch in Game 1, Fisk broke into a laugh.
"Really? I didn't see it," Fisk said. "He threw one in the dirt? Hey, I threw out the first pitch at the Little League World Series this year. It was about 40-45 feet. Made it all the way, too.
"I said to myself, if I get out there and hook it into the dirt in front of these kids, they're going to say, 'What an old dude this guy is.' "
Curt Schilling found time to post a dispatch to the Sons of Sam Horn chatboard addressing his pending free agency.
"It's not any different than it was at the beginning of the year," he wrote. "This is my first choice, I want a one-year deal and it will be a deal that works for the team and myself. If it's other than Boston, then the dollars will be a significant factor, along with the team's ability to contend, or field an incredibly talented blend of young players that are on the cusp of being very good. I would like to think a serious contender would be interested if Boston doesn't work out, but if for some reason that doesn't happen then I'd really like to be a part of a talented group of young up-and-coming pitchers that want to win."
From bottom to top
When manager Terry Francona made up his lineup card last night, he had other decisions beside the already determined first base/third base debate; he also had to determine the order. He had announced that, barring any last minute alterations, he was going with Jacoby Ellsbury in the top spot. But did he consider other options? "Coco [Crisp] is always in the thinking because this center field is big," Francona said. "But then the reason we had put Ellsbury in was to try to get more offense, so all of a sudden you take a guy that was at the bottom of the order, you elevate him to the top of the order, those are some of the conversations we had, and we ended up going this way."
Gang's all here
The Sox flew all full-time front office employees on a charter for the three games here. Sox minor league managers and coaching staffs were flown in to Boston to attend the games there . . . With the Rockies making the World Series for the first time, there are only four teams that have yet to appear in a Series: the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Counting the years they were in Washington, the Rangers have gone longest without a Series appearance - 47 years. The Nationals (nee the Montreal Expos) are 0 since 1969, the Mariners trace their drought to 1977, and the Devil Rays came into existence in 1998. The Mariners have advanced to the playoffs four times, the Rangers three, the Nationals (as the Expos) once, and the D-Rays have a .389 winning percentage . . . Craig Biggio won the Roberto Clemente award yesterday, given to the player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team," according to Major League Baseball. Biggio was present to accept the award from commissioner Bud Selig. He was selected from 30 nominees, one for each major league team. David Ortiz was the choice for the Red Sox . . . Ortiz hit a mammoth shot to right field in batting practice, with the ball hitting off the OfficeLiquidators.com sign on the facing of the third deck. Think the air might be a little thinner out in Denver?
Amalie Benjamin and Gordon Edes of the Globe staff contributed.