JM: He wanted to keep pitching, and we let him go out there for the next inning, but I could see he was getting stiff. I had to convince him the right thing to do was to not go back out there. He truly is a tough guy. They all are. I really enjoy being around our young guys.
Are you goofy with your players?
JM: I do have a sense of humor, I believe. Those who pay attention get it. Those who do not, don't. We have some really funny characters on our coaching staff, spearheaded by our video coordinator, Chico Fernandez. I think I'm supposed to be more Ed McMahon than Johnny Carson.
Did you sense panic in Boston?
JM: It was different. I was involved with the Angels in 1995 when we lost an 11-game lead. It was really awkward walking to the ballpark. There was a weight [on you]. Your legs didn't want to work. It's an odd life experience. When things are slipping like that, it can be really difficult. You need a couple of guys to lift that burden somehow. But it's hard to get that burden off you when you're feeling that heavy.
Are you superstitious?
JM: No. I used to be. It's so hard: You have to remember everything you did the day before. I prefer forgetting what I did the day before.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn't change his underwear during their 12-game winning streak.
JM: That sounds gross. I can't go there. For me, maybe drinking the same bottle of wine night after night might be superstitious. But my underwear needs to be clean.
What if I gave you a five-game winning streak, but you can't shower?