On Thursday night, the Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series Championship. Only A Game’s Karen Given has been covering the Boston games during the Sox play-off run. She spoke with Bill Littlefield about her first experience covering the World Series.
“ Swing and a miss he struck him out, the 2013 Red Sox are World Champions and Boston Strong!”
BL: That was the call listeners to Boston radio station WEEI heard Wednesday night, as the Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals to win their 8th World Championship.You saw it all. Right, Karen?
KG: Ahh, not quite. I was there, and I heard it all go down. But most of the reporters covering the World Series were actually seated way out in right field, so we’d need to leave our seats at the end of the 8th inning to get our interviews. And through all the games I covered, I never saw Sox closer Koji Uehara pitch in person.
BL: Well I can assure you he was terrific. I watched him on TV.
KG: I actually took a photo of my view of the final out, and I’ll put it up on our website.
BL: But not a great view while you were there?
KG: No, not unless you’re interested in backpacks.
BL: I saw the picture of the backpacks it’s very good. You were at the World Series though, it couldn’t have been all bad.
KG: Oh, it was great. It was actually a lot of fun to be up close and personal with the Boston fans.
BL: A quiet, thoughtful bunch I assume?
KG: Not in the slightest. And not very forgiving, either. Near the end of Game 6, a group near me started up a “Yankees suck” chant.
BL: I heard about that and I don’t understand it. It seems to me the Yankees suck chant makes no sense at all unless the Yankees are doing great, then you can do it.
KG: Exactly, it makes sense then. And the fans really enjoyed also taunting Cardinals rookie pitcher Michael Wacha. This is from Game 2, and listen to what happens after Wacha throws a killer strike.
“Waaaaaaaaaacha. Waaaaaaaaaacha. Waaaaaaaaaacha. Ooh. You still suck!”
KG: I don’t know if you can hear that, but that would be a Boston fan shouting, “You still suck.”
BL: Do you suppose if that guy had known how the World Series was going to come out he would be more polite? It‘s a shame because I found Michael Wacha to be one of the really great stories of this postseason. He was so good until that final game he pitched.
KG: I agree, and I’ve got to say that although we didn’t get to talk to him after Game 6, after he won Game 2 he came into the interview room and he couldn’t have been more gracious.
BL: Okay, well, speaking of Game 6 as you were, you got to go out on the field after the Red Sox had won the World Series. That must have been a kick.
KG: Well, again, it’s cool, but it wasn’t as as cool as you might think. By the time they let the non-rights holding reporters onto the field, most of the players had already gone into the clubhouse to spray each other with champagne. Fenway Park is really small. It’s really old, and the clubhouse is tiny.
BL: No exaggeration there. I’ve been there lots of times.
KG: They’ve really limited access to the clubhouse. Most of us reporters were on the field which means there’s a very large group surrounding every player and you just kind of have to stick your microphone into the scrum and hope for the best.
BL: But there’s also an interview room of course and you’ve got to be able to get better interviews once you get in there right?
KG: That’s true, and you do. But there are so many reporters who want to ask questions, that you’re at the mercy of whatever’s buzzing in the media that day. So, this is from the Game 2 pre-interview with Sox 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia. And he’s already been asked a few times about the controversy about whatever seemed to be in John Lester’s glove during Game 1.
BL: Some green sort of gooey stuff.
KG: Something like that. And the reporter asks him what he thinks about the “validity” of those claims.
“What? I didn’t hear. I don’t even know what that word is, man, Arizona State Education, bro. You’re gonna have to go ahead and break that one down for me.”
KG: To be fair, by the end, everyone’s super punchy. I talked to reporters who hadn’t seen their families since October 2. The players, too, are spending a lot of time away from home. Everyone’s really happy to be there, but by the end, everyone just wants to go home.
BL: It doesn’t feel like baseball weather anymore. It’s late, but still after the Red Sox won the World Series I hear the fans stuck around for quite awhile.
KG: Ahh, yeah, I think it’s safe to say that Boston’s fans had no interest in going home. About an hour and a half after the game ended, the field was still filled with celebrating fans, and they started asking people over the PA system if they would please take their celebration elsewhere.
BL: Get out. Get out now!
KG: Soon after I saw a group of about 20 Boston Police Officers in their bright yellow vests and I thought maybe they were going to sweep the field of fans. But, instead, they all gathered at home plate and posed for a photo.
BL: Everyone needs a souvenir including the police officers.