Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boston Red Sox [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Pudge: Molina holds key to World Series

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- Future Hall of Fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez believes St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will be the key to the World Series.

Rodriguez spoke glowingly about the St. Louis backstop, saying he's impressed with the way Molina runs the pitching staff. The Gold Glove catcher led the majors by throwing out 20 of 46 attempted base stealers and he will try to stifle Boston's speed on the bases.

Rodriguez spent 21 seasons in the big leagues and won 13 Gold Gloves, so he understands how a catcher can control the game. Not only does Rodriguez believe both teams will be aggressive on the basepaths, he expects the Cardinals to bunt a lot.

Even Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who is working as an analyst for the Series, walked by and admitted this is going to be an exciting series.

* Prior to the game, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was sitting in the dugout by himself. That's something former GM Theo Epstein never would have done, never mind during the World Series. Cherington spent the majority of the day on Tuesday doing so many interviews his nearly lost his voice.

* If you ever wondered how a flyover is perfectly timed, I spoke with a few guys who know the answer. Members of the Vermont Air National Guard are running the show tonight and they were on the field earlier today. When the national anthem singer (in this case, Mary J. Blige) practices during the day, it's timed so they know exactly where the planes need to be. Tonight's anthem will last 2 minutes and 14 seconds, so the F-18 Hornets will start at a spot where it takes that long to reach Fenway. The planes will be traveling 500 mph and will be 1,000 feet off the ground.