A day after Red Sox reliever Keith Foulke made the remarkable suggestion that he, and not Doug Mientkiewicz, should be the rightful owner of the ball that figured in the final play of the 2004 World Series (” œIf you were to take it to a court or panel of (un)biased people and you were to write down a team of players, of people that deserve certain things like the ball, I think maybe Mr. Mientkiewicz might be down the totem pole a little bit, said Foulke. œThat™s just me, how I feel about it. If you wanted to make a movie on the situation, what happened, I don™t think the movie would end that way. I™ve got my opinion. I™ve seen the highlight. I™ve done one good thing in my life. I™ve seen it happen. ), the former Red Sox 1B launched his own defense prior to his current team, Kansas City, losing 5-4 at Fenway Park. From the Boston Herald’s Jeff Horrigan.

œI think John Henry is a great man and Theo (Epstein) is a tremendous man, said Mientkiewicz, who received a tepid, mixed reception from last night™s capacity Fenway Park crowd during his first at-bat in the opening inning. œEveryone I™ve met associated with the Red Sox has been 100-percent professional, except for one person.

He said Larry Lucchino (above) stooped to name-calling as they negotiated for ownership and display of the ball and implied that the infielder, who was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in a blockbuster trade on July 31, 2004, didn™t deserve to have it.

œI don™t want to be the man remembered as the guy who ˜stole™ the World Series ball because I hear the word stole and stole is kind of a harsh word, Mientkiewicz said. œThere are a lot more harsh things he said than stole. He called me a ˜rent-a-player™ and a ˜B-player™ and ˜I didn™t do anything.™ I didn™t trade me for Nomar (Garciaparra). Who™s the idiot trading Nomar for a ˜rent-a-player™? What™s that say about the Sox?

I hate to nitpick, but Lucchino would’ve been one of the persons who that idiot reported to. The Red Sox also received Orlando Cabrera, but if it makes Doug feel any better to think he was traded straight-up for Nomar, that’s probably some solace when he looks at where he is right now.

I’m not sure who has done less to cover themselves in glory in this instance. Parading around the World Series Trophy ala The Stanley Cup, fair enough. But can anyone remember a prior occasion where a team or player placed nearly as much importance as the last ball used in a World Series? Where this Bill Mazeroski’s HR ball from the 7th Game of the 1960 World Series against the Yankees, it might make a little more sense.

And besides, shouldn’t the ball have some say over who has custody?