You can point to one player or a multitude of players for a collapse, but the ultimate blame goes to the manager.
In this case, John McNamara.
Where do you begin with the blunders McNamara pulled in Game Six?
How about removing Roger Clemens from the game after seven innings? Yet, Clemens was pitching beautifully.
Depends on who you want to believe. Clemens claimed McNamara took him out because he was due up in the top of the eighth.
McNamara claimed Clemens wanted out due to a blister on his finger.
Either way, it back fired.
How about the fact that when Clemens spot in the order was due, Johnny Mac pinch hit Clemens with rookie Mike Greenwell with one out and Dave Henderson on second base?
Don Baylor was available to pinch hit. But, he never went to Baylor.
With Stanley and Schiraldi struggling, McNamara continued to go with them in crucial spots.
Especially in Game Seven.
Schiraldi coming off the worst game of his career was put on the mound with a 3-3 game in the seventh inning. He gave up the go ahead run by Ray Knight, a solo shot.
John McNamara went with Bruce Hurst in Game Seven instead of Oil Can Boyd. When Hurst was tiring and nursing a three run lead, he left Hurst in to give up the lead in the sixth, instead of having Boyd come in when trouble appeared.
And of course the ultimate blunder, leaving Bill Buckner at first defensively instead of Dave Stapleton. Stapleton was a routine defensive replacement for Buckner throughout the playoffs.
John McNamara became the biggest goat in Sox history until...