BOSTON — So what was the green goo on the glove of Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester during Game One of the World Series?
The incriminating videos first published online Thursday morning by The Big Lead and picked up by Deadspin seemed to lend weight to the tweet from Cardinals Class-A pitcher Tyler Melling during the opener that accused Lester of having Vaseline on his leather.
“It was just rosin. All I ever used, all I will use,” Lester said during batting practice prior to Game Two in Fenway Park.
And about the green color? “I don’t know what that is,” he said. “It looks like a giant booger.”
“If you know Jon Lester he sweats like a pig and he needs rosin,” Boston manager John Farrell said during his daily media briefing. “He keeps it in his glove. Other guys will keep it on their arm, other guys will keep it on their pant leg. That’s my response to the allegations. The one thing that’s very odd is that it shows up in a lime green color. I don’t know how that can happen.”
For their part, the Cardinals were distancing themselves from the accusations. Major League Baseball issued a statement during the day saying it had no issues and Cards GM John Mozeliak told reporters he had no problems.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was understandably uncomfortable with the topic. After all, if his team starts pulling these kind of mind games, there’s nothing stopping the Red Sox from turning the tables.
“This was not instigated by us. And the way that we approach this is we just play the game,” Matheny said. “We don’t deny that some things have been acknowledged. And if that’s what he claims, then that’s what it is. That’s all there is to it. And right now it’s pretty much a dead issue.”
Several members of the 2004 Red Sox, who snapped the franchise’s 86-year World Series drought by sweeping the Cardinals, were greeted with a roaring standing ovation by the Fenway faithful before throwing ceremonial first pitches.
Pitchers Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe and outfielder Trot Nixon met the media for a 30-minute pregame session that had laughter filling the conference room. Martinez warned everyone what was coming when he sat at the dais, smiled proudly and said, “It’s going to get interesting here. Are you guys ready for this?”
The comedy began quickly when someone asked the trio’s impressions of this year’s Boston team.
“They play the game like a wolf pack. That’s how I describe the whole team, like a wolf pack,” Martinez said. “They draw a plan to kill and to feed everybody.”
Said Lowe: “What are we talking about again right now? You got me lost. You started talking about kill.”
Countered Martinez: “Because they go after the kill, man. A little baby animal that’s hurt or something like that, the easiest catch.”
Said Lowe, failing to control his laughter as he turned to reporters: “Did you guys get all of that?
Lowe said the passing of time has made him relish his role on the ’04 team, which won the final seven games of its postseason after falling behind the Yankees, 3-0, in the American League Championship Series.
“There’s a lot asked of you when you play here,” Lowe said. “But I think you don’t appreciate it, at least I didn’t, until you leave. Once you leave, you miss this.
“How many other World Series teams have a bunch of guys like us come back and talk to you? You kind of get forgotten and you just move on down the road. And I think that’s one thing that’s always been a very special place about this city.”
Carlos Beltran started for the Cardinals in right despite injuring his ribs Wednesday. Beltran went 2 for 4 with an RBI. … Farrell said Clay Buchholz is on target to start Game Four on Sunday in St. Louis despite some shoulder stiffness. The Sox manager also said either Mike Napoli or David Ortiz will sit for the next three games with no designated hitter available. … St. Louis used Daniel Descalso at shortstop instead of Pete Kozma, whose two errors in the opener included the controversial catch/no catch play that umpires reversed in the first inning.