10/04/2003 9:07 PM ET
Red Sox jackets prompt fan cheers
BOSTON -- Forget the jumbotron.
The Red Sox used everything at their disposal on Saturday against the Athletics, including a unique brand of inspiration to incite the boisterous crowd during the home team's 3-1 victory at Fenway Park.
Standing on the top step of their dugout in the bottom of the fifth inning, Lou Merloni, Adrian Brown, Doug Mirabelli, and Andy Abad each had white letters taped to the back of their jackets that spelled out "Li-l-ly," the name of opposing starting pitcher Ted Lilly.
A few thousand fans chanted the name Lilly during the inning, but motivational jackets were not an overwhelming success. Lilly for the most part was. He allowed only two hits in seven innings.
"He was pitching a great game and the fans had the chant going a little so we thought we had to get the chant going a little louder," Merloni said. "It was pretty funny. We did it all in fun and we just tried to get the crowd going a little bit. It didn't work out and he shut us down. He pitched a great game."
Oakland players appreciated the humor and were not offended by the gesture.
"Good for them," Oakland center fielder Eric Byrnes said. "They're a confident group and they like to have fun. Whatever they think works for them to get the crowd fired up."
"That's funny, I guess," Lilly said "We're willing to do whatever it takes. I guess so were they. If you were in either dugout tonight I'm sure you would have found that both teams were willing to do whatever it takes to win tonight."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for
MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com