If you didn’t read Bob Hohler’s column this morning – Really big news – I highly recommend that you do so.
The article looks at some of the media pressure that the Red Sox had to overcome en route to winning the 2004 World Series. It seems that much of that “media pressure” came from an unlikely source: WBZ’s Jonny Miller.
WBZ’s Jonny Miller greeted every new player in the Fens by asking him to declare whether the team’s chronic misfortune was born of some ghostly voodoo risen from Babe Ruth’s grave. His tape recorder whirring, Miller followed up by posing the same question every spring training to every player on the Sox roster: “Do you believe in the curse of the Bambino?’
Miller doesn’t refer to the curse any longer, as he is quoted in the article as ““They took away one of my lines,’’ Miller said of the ’04 Sox. “I can’t ask about the curse anymore.’’
The article notes that Jonathan Papelbon this season called Miller “the most negative person around.”
This seems to fit with some of the lines of questioning Miller has pursued, as chronicled by Hohler.
And when the Sox went on a 10-game winning streak to seize a four-game lead in the wild-card race in early September, it was Miller who stirred the ghosts.
“In the history of the wild card, no team has blown a four-game lead starting Sept. 1,’’ he informed Damon. “Are you confident you won’t be the first?’’
There are plenty of other examples in the article.
Hohler also notes that Miller is a prankster, though some of his stunts have been better than others:
Miller became as memorable in 2004 for his pluck as his perseverance. In February, five months after WEEI’s John Dennis and Gerry Callahan compared a gorilla that escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo to a minority Metco student, Miller welcomed them to spring training by presenting them white pillowcases as if they were Klansmen.
In September of ’04, with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon filming “Fever Pitch’’ in Fenway’s box seats, Barrymore’s history of teen drug problems inspired Miller to raise a placard that asked, “When Will Drew Be Back In Rehab?’’
All in all, this was a nice “behind the scenes” look by Hohler at the type of coverage and questions that were around the Red Sox prior to the 2004 World Series Title.