BOSTON -- One wouldn't think a team with a $143 million payroll and a World Series on the line would need extra motivation. But, hey, it's October, and players are always looking for even the slightest bit of incentive. So it was with what the Red Sox posted on their clubhouse door before Game 6 on Saturday night. A newspaper article quoting Ryan Garko was used as bulletin-board material.
"The champagne tastes just as good on the road as it does at home," Garko had said after Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, as the Indians prepared to head back to Fenway Park. Garko was made aware of the mini-controversy after his mother heard about it on television. "It wasn't a very meaningful quote," Garko said with a shrug. "That wouldn't get me fired up, if I read it." In fact, the quote in question, Garko claimed, had nothing to do with Fenway Park. He said he was referring to the Indians' AL Division Series clinch at Yankee Stadium at the time he made the statement, and it got misconstrued. "It had nothing to do with the Red Sox," he said. "You live and you learn. Kenny [Lofton] was talking to me about it. Media here and in New York can twist things. You've just got to learn your lesson. I don't think it had much to do with what took place [Saturday] night." The Indians haven't posted any articles in their clubhouse. "If you need a quote to motivate you right now, your heart's not where it should be," Garko said. "We're playing to go to the World Series." Hafner stays upbeat: Designated hitter Travis Hafner walked out on the field at Fenway Park on Sunday night knowing that one big game could erase his problems of the past. "We're in Game 7 tonight," Hafner said. "I'm not really worried about what's happened in the past. I just want to win tonight." Hafner went into the game hitting .130 (3-for-23) in the ALCS and hasn't been much of a factor since his Game 1 home run off of Josh Beckett. He was 0-for-15 with nine strikeouts in his four previous games. "I need to do a better job of getting good pitches to hit," Hafner said. "When I do get a good pitch, I have been fouling them off. It has been frustrating when you get into games like this. Obviously, you want to help your team win. But now, it comes down to one game, and I just want to go out and do well." Hafner remained in the No. 3 spot of manager Eric Wedge's lineup. "He needs to trust his ability and let things happen," Wedge said of Pronk. "He needs to try not to get two hits with one at-bat. Take it pitch to pitch and let good things happen."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.