Monday, November 1, 2004
Updated: November 2, 11:39 AM ET
Millar: It wasn't as if guys were drunk
By Peter Gammons
Kevin Millar is forever enthusiastic, ever honest.
"But this time," the Red Sox first baseman said, "I wish I'd never opened my mouth."
During an appearance on Fox's "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" on Friday, Millar said that Red Sox players did shots of Jack Daniel's before Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. And because it worked, Millar said, they did it before every game through the World Series.
Millar made similar comments on Boston's Channel 4 with Dan Roche.
"It was one of those group team things, like shaving our heads last year," Millar said. "What we had was one small Gatorade cup, with a little Jack Daniel's in it. We passed it around and everyone symbolically drank out of the same cup, because we are a team. It wasn't as if guys were drunk. Can you imagine Trot Nixon or Jason Varitek or Mike Timlin actually sipping alcohol before a game? No way."
One thing Millar wants to make very clear was that manager Terry Francona was not part of the ritual.
"First, he never would," Millar said. "Second, this was just between the players. It's not a story about 25 shot glasses, it's one small Gatorade cup that we shared as a symbol. And once we won Game 6, we had to do it before Game 7, just like the lucky coin I had in my pocket every game."
Trailing in the ALCS three games to none, the Red Sox won four games in a row over the Yankees to move into the World Series, where they swept the Cardinals for the franchise's first championship since 1918.