SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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October 26, 2013

No. 1 Red Sox fan is from Danvers

(Continued)

Morse admits he is as shocked as anyone over the success of the Red Sox, who split the first two games with the Cardinals heading into today’s game in St. Louis. Morse, by the way, flew out to St. Louis to be with the team.

In spring training, Morse said he thought Toronto would win the division, followed by Tampa Bay and Baltimore, with the Red Sox and Yankees fighting it out for the basement.

“There was one point in the season ... when the standings were exactly the opposite of what I thought,” he said.

Does he credit the beards for the miracle turnaround?

“I’m not a huge fan of it,” he said with a chuckle. “But it certainly works, and they’ve gotten a lot of fun out of it.”

Morse said he couldn’t be happier for the players, especially those who had to endure last season.

“They can win or lose (the World Series), but it can’t take away from what they’ve accomplished,” he said.

“This year, David (Ortiz), Pedey (Dustin Pedroia) and some of the other guys are strong standouts as leaders, but basically it’s been a team effort. Statistically, I can’t tell you how many games have been won by different players, but it must be six or seven guys who have won key games. I think that’s what keeps them together — it’s truly a team effort.”

Morse also credited manager John Farrell and the front office, especially General Manager Ben Cherington and Luchino.

“I think Ben and John work together so well,” he said. He called Luchino “an extremely intelligent guy who’s done a great job.”

This winning season has made Morse’s life a lot brighter — and safer.

“It’s been such a departure from the last couple of years,” he said, “and certainly from last year, when I was almost afraid to go out (for fear) people would beat me down.”

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.

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