Barry Bonds might be the most notorious cheater to involve the long but infrequent history between the Red Sox and Giants. But by all indications he’s not the first.
The last time the team currently known as the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox met in Boston, the result was a tense, back-and-forth eight-game cauldron to decide the 1912 world champion. The series featured tremendous pitching from two of the greatest pitchers to ever live — and likely a little cheating.
Game 7 in particular appeared to be tainted, as incensed Red Sox
players, who had played tight ball all series long, were shelled. Sox
players had been infuriated by club owners’ decisions not to share
receipts of the packed house that views Game 2’s 11-inning tie. With no
winner or loser, baseball’s owners said, there could be no winner’s or
loser’s share. Meanwhile, before Game 6, Boston president James McAleer
forced Sox manager Jake Stahl to start Buck O’Brien over Smoky Joe
Wood. With the Sox already leading the series three games to one, and
Wood (34-5, 1.91 ERA in the regular season) pitching tremendously,
McAleer feared a six-game series would not bring in enough money.
O’Brien, predictably, lost the game — likely because he was hung over,
having not received word of the change until the morning of the game.
Wood — so enraged over being passed over the day before, he went
after O’Brien with a bat before the start of the game — is suspected
of throwing Game 7, a shabby affair remembered most for the
inexplicable revocation of the Royal Rooters’ customary bleacher seats,
and that group of fans’ subsequent storming of the field. The future
Hall of Famer who that year won a still-standing club-record 16 straight games gave up
seven hits and six runs on 12 pitches. The Sox’ defense — among the
best in history, thanks to the outfield troika of Duffy Lewis, Harry
Hooper and Tris Speaker — booted the ball all game, at one point
muffing an attempted pickoff at second that scored every runner on base
as the ball rolled toward the center field wall.
With fans so disgusted following two straight terribly played
losses, Fenway Park was only half full when the Sox won Game 8, kicking
off a string of four World Series championships in seven years.
Ninety-five years later, the Giants have returned to Fenway. They
wrap up their series this afternoon, with Matt Morris — who knows
something about losing to the Red Sox in a World Series — facing Tim
Wakefield, who has won 27 more games in his Red Sox career than old
Coco Crisp sits, with Wily Mo Pena in his place. Manny Delcarmen is
in the bullpen, with Brendan Donnelly on the DL. Comment away!
(Red Sox Century is the primary source from which I based this description of the 1912 World Series. Unable to find the book amid all the boxes, I found this excellent summary.)
- RF J.D. Drew
- 2B Dustin Pedroia
- DH David Ortiz
- LF Manny Ramirez
- 1B Kevin Youkilis
- 3B Mike Lowell
- CF Wily Mo Pena
- C Doug Mirabelli
- SS Julio Lugo
SP Tim Wakefield
- CF Dave Roberts
- LF Randy Winn
- 2B Ray Durham
- DH Barry Bonds
- C Benji Molina
- 1B Ryan Klesko
- 3B Pedro Feliz
- RF Nate Schierholtz
- SS Omar Vizquel
SP Matt Morris