Clemens, Calvin Schiraldi, Bruce Hurst, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Mookie Wilson, Mike Scott, Billy Hatcher, Gary Pettis & Mike Witt
Among New Interviews with MLB Network’s Bob Costas & Tom Verducci
Secaucus, N.J., November 3, 2011 – After one of the most exciting Postseasons in Major League Baseball history, MLB Network will look back 25 years to the League Championship Series and World Series in 1986: A Postseason to Remember, premiering Wednesday, November 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Hosted by Bob Costas and Tom Verducci, the two-hour program will cover one of the greatest Postseasons in the modern baseball era and feature 15 revealing new interviews with key players, managers and coaches, including former Boston Red Sox teammates Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst and Calvin Schiraldi, former Houston Astros teammates Billy Hatcher and Mike Scott, former New York Mets teammates Keith Hernandez and Mookie Wilson, and former California Angels teammates Reggie Jackson, Gary Pettis and Mike Witt.
Former Red Sox manager John McNamara speaks in an exclusive interview about the 1986 ALCS and World Series, and specifically addresses the controversy about Clemens’ exit from Game Six of the World Series, why he chose to leave Bill Buckner in at first base during Game Six, and why Oil Can Boyd didn’t pitch during Game Seven of the World Series.
“The 1986 postseason, one of the best ever, just got even better,” said Verducci. “A Postseason to Remember: 1986 includes personal recollections from key figures, including riveting new information. I was there back then, wrote about these games and thought I knew them fairly well, but 25 years later with this show I heard details I never heard before.”
Highlights from 1986: A Postseason to Remember include:
John McNamara on his dugout exchange with Clemens following the seventh inning of Game Six of the World Series:
He came off the mound in the bottom of the [seventh] inning and we were waiting there at the steps to congratulate him you know, getting out of the seventh and he came down the steps and he said, “That’s all I can pitch.” Quote unquote. And my answer to him was, “You gotta be s***ting me.” And he said “No,” and he showed us his finger … where he had the start of a paper tear on his middle finger and – well, correct this right here and now – he had no blister whatsoever, and how that got started I don’t know. But it spread rapidly and it continued over the next two years [that] the blister took him out of the ball game. And that is not the case. As sure as I’m sitting here.
Roger Clemens on leaving Game Six:
I think I was getting ready to hit and if I’m not mistaken, McNamara pinch-hit Mike Greenwell for me. Again, I don’t know why [McNamara] would say something like that, if it was to deflect attention from the game. My recollection is I was at the bat rack putting my gloves on or getting my bat, my helmet or whatever and getting ready to go hit. I think I had only given up four hits. I’ve pitched 100-pitch games, I’ve pitched 150-pitch games, I think I threw a 164-pitch game at some point in my career, so I don’t know where that came from.
Clemens on if he wanted to and could continue pitching in Game Six:
Yes, again, a little problem with my finger. If they’re saying they didn’t see anything with my finger, I mean, there was blood on the baseballs and crazy things like that, but it wasn’t going affect me to continue.
McNamara on Clemens claiming he could still stay in and pitch following the seventh inning:
That is not accurate. That is not the truth and I don’t lie. Those [words] are indelibly imprinted in my mind.
Calvin Schiraldi on Clemens leaving after the seventh inning:
I played with Roger at [the University of] Texas and then again with the Red Sox and I’ve never known him to come out of a game willingly.
Schiraldi on what he was told following the ninth inning of Game Six:
At this point in the game, right here, I’m out of the game. They’ve told me I’m out of the game because I’m due up to hit. And then Dave [Henderson] [hits a home run] and I’m already sitting down relaxed, and now I’ve got to find a bat and a find a helmet to put on to go up and look stupid swinging.
McNamara on staying with Bill Buckner at first base to end Game Six:
The case is that Buckner was the best first baseman I had. And Dave Stapleton has taken enough shots at me since [then] that he didn’t get in that ball game, but Dave Stapleton’s nickname was “Shakey.” And you know what that implies. I didn’t want him playing first base to end that game, and it was not any sentimental thing that I had for Billy Buck to leave him out there. He was the best first baseman I had.
Bruce Hurst on McNamara’s decision to leave Buckner in Game Six:
I think that [Stapleton] made a heck of a play in Game One to save that victory. I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard Dave Stapleton called “Shakey.” That’s a newsflash for me. I liked Stape, I thought he’s a heck of a player, he added to our team, came ready to play every day. He didn’t get a lot of opportunities that year but, you know, he did what he was asked to do. I’ve never heard that before.
McNamara on Oil Can Boyd not being available to pitch in Game Seven of the World Series because he was drunk:
Well you said it, … that’s the exact reason.
Former Red Sox pitching coach Bill Fischer on Boyd not being available to pitch in Game Seven:
I came to the park and Al Nipper came up to me and said, “You should check on your long man. He was boxed up, under the weather from drinking, so we locked him in a room.
Mike Scott on accusations that he scuffed baseballs in the 1986 NLCS:
They can believe whatever they want to believe. Every ball that hits the ground has something on it. … I’ve thrown balls that were scuffed but I haven’t scuffed every ball that I’ve thrown.
Keith Hernandez on Scott scuffing the baseball in 1986:
We knew this during the season because when you’re [the] home team, every foul ball that goes up to the screen and gets rolled back down, the batboy collects it. It doesn’t go to the visitor’s side, it goes to the home team’s side, so we knew.
Billy Hatcher on hitting the game-tying home run in the 14th inning of Game Six of the 1986 NLCS:
That’s the hardest ball I’ve ever hit in my life. I’m telling you, it was a great feeling. … I couldn’t hear anything, it was just so noisy. It was like Star Wars or something, it was unbelievable, it was like everything had slowed down and it was just, I don’t know, it was a scary moment. … It was a very scary moment because you can’t hear yourself, you’re saying to yourself, “Is this really happening?” It’s like you’re dreaming it, but you’re there because people are hitting you and you feel it. It was unreal.
Hurst on the 1986 Postseason:
It was a Postseason to remember, it was unbelievable. We rode every possible emotion through the playoffs and to the World Series. You can’t come any closer to winning a World Series and lose than we did. You just can’t, it was tough. The thing that got me through the whole thing was the next spring. That’s where we never let it die – we were still picking the scabs from what happened in Game Six in the next spring. It made for a real long year in 1987.
Mookie Wilson on the 1986 Postseason:
I thought it was a phenomenal year for baseball. I know we had a great year, but for baseball in general, for any baseball fan. Forget whether you’re a Boston fan or Mets fan or whatever. That was the greatest year for baseball I think and have been involved with.