It used to be that black and Latin players had a hard time in Boston. Not anymore. Pedro, who is very well educated and very smart, knocked down a lot of the old barriers...Manny had it touch at first because he hadn't completely mastered English. Someimes he didn't say what he intended, and it got turned around, which point he might get blasted for it...For the Spanish-speaking players, it's real difficult in Boston, where most of the writers don't speak Spanish and the media market is so huge. The players want to say the right things.
Pedro and David Ortiz told Orlando to relax. We knew how good he was out in the field, and so did he. We were seeing his range, his good hands, certain things the shortstop he replaced he replaced wasn't able to do...
...Cabrera's welcome-home party came on August 17 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway. We were losing 4-3 in the ninth. Dave Roberts worked a walk from Justin Speier, the Jays' closer. I grounded out, forcing him at second. Then Cabrera came up, and we got to see what Orlando was made of when he hit a pitch high over the Monster in left for a game-winning walk-off home run. I jumped high in the air, and everybody on the team was so happy for him. It was like we'd won the World Series.
Everybody on our team was just in awe. That was something the fans of Boston needed to see. For one night, Cabrera had made the fans forget about Nomar. As I watched Orlando round the bases, I felt he'd given us the spark we needed to go all the way to the playoffs.