The man responsible for the Red Sox losing to the Mets in the 1986 World Series. Forget all you hear about Bill Buckner... here is the real villain...

McNamara was so managerially inept that he....

  • Took Roger Clemens out of Game Six with the lead, saying later that Clemens had asked out of the game. This claim was later disputed by Clemens and a number of other teammates.
  • Kept Bill Buckner at first base in Game Six when he had replaced him in prior games with Dave Stapleton because Buckner was a defensive liability. His reasoning for not making the switch in Game 6? He wanted his starters on the field when the series was won.* Talk about putting the cart before the horse.
  • Told "Oil Can" Boyd that Bruce Hurst was to be the Game Seven starter, but that Boyd would be the first one out of the bullpen if Hurst got in trouble. Instead, McNamara brought in Mets whipping-boy Calvin Schiraldi, who surrendered the lead to the Mets for good. When asked why Boyd wasn't brought in, McNamara explained that Boyd was "nowhere to be found" when he called to the bullpen.** Meanwhile, Boyd cried in the locker room, distraught at not being given the chance to pitch.
  • Used rookie Mike Greenwell as a pinch hitter instead of slugger Don Baylor when the Sox played at Shea (which was a National League park and therefore did not use the designated hitter). Don Baylor had hit 31 home runs and driven in 111 runs during the regular season. Greenwell? No home runs, four RBIs.

Why, oh why, would a manager who won 96 games in the regular season do so many summarily stupid things in one seven game series? Who knows? But one thing is certain. John McNamara happily lives his life day in and day out, while Bill Buckner has left his New England home to a place where he won't be tormented daily by ignorant people who don't realize the truth.

* McNamara has since changed his story, saying that Stapleton was nicknamed "Shakey" and couldn't be trusted to get those final outs. Makes you wonder why it was OK for him to get those outs in the first five games...

** McNamara and pitching coach Bill Fischer have more recently revealed that Boyd was actually too drunk to pitch in relief that night. Way to handle your team, Johnny Mac!

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