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Despite ALCS loss, Red Sox express positive attitude: ‘We proved a lot of people wrong’

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Despite ALCS loss, Red Sox express positive attitude: ‘We proved a lot of people wrong’

HOUSTON — Once they got through the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series, it would’ve been hard to consider the 2021 Red Sox as anything but a success.

Sure, expectations change. And to look back at preseason projections and consider anything better than a fourth-place finish a success would’ve overlooked how well they played for three months early in the season.

And after they blew a lead in the A.L. East and had to scratch their way into a Wild Card Game, it felt like they needed to at least get through the Yankees and Rays in the postseason to make up for blowing the division.

Check, and check.

The Houston Astros were a stronger opponent that matched up better. And while the Sox’ exciting season came crashing down in a 5-0 loss in Game 6 as they were eliminated from the A.L. Championship Series, the feeling outside the Red Sox clubhouse was largely positive.

“I mean, it’s really tough, obviously,” said Kiké Hernandez, who signed a two-year, $14-million deal to play for Alex Cora. “Going home is never easy. I felt like once we got to this point, the goal was to win the World Series. We thought we were going to be able to do it. Obviously we came up short.

“But this was a hell of a ride for us this year. First day of spring training you come into this new team. The expectations from everybody outside our clubhouse was just, second-to-last place in our division. We didn’t agree with anybody who was saying that. We believed in ourselves. We got to this point, man, we were two wins away from going to the World Series. We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to but we did some special things. And the Red Sox are going to be a problem for a long time.”

Kyle Schwarber had a different perspective, coming over from the Washington Nationals via trade on July 29.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re all competitors, and we all want to make it to the end goal. The end goal is the World Series and winning it.”

Schwarber watched the Sox lose their division lead in late July and the Rays effectively won the division in August.

“I got to watch for pretty much two weeks,” he said. “It was, like, we went on that road trip, 10-gamer, and went 2-8. And I was just, like, ‘you know what, this team is grinding. They’re not quitting in any of these games. This is what it takes to win in the postseason.’

“We fought, scratched, clawed to get our way into the playoffs, and then we went in the Wild Card. We played unbelievable going into the Division Series. Played unbelievable too. I thought we grinded our butts off through this series. It just didn’t work out, but I think that the group should be very proud of themselves.”

Before answering questions from reporters after the Sox’ loss, Cora took a moment to give credit to the Astros, who he called a great organization who deserved to be going to the World Series.

As for his own team, Cora said he spoke to them after the game.

“I told them how proud I am,” he said. “It’s an amazing group. It’s a group that we will always remember. In the offseason trying to recruit players and trying to buy into the concept that we were going to be good, it was hard. But at the end of the day, we did an amazing job to have that meeting. Not too many teams can say that they’re in the League Championship Series, and I know it doesn’t sound great, to have that meeting it means something, right?

“And we did an amazing job throughout the season. We just got beat at the end, but when we look back and everything that we went through, the thoughts of this team early in the season, it’s just amazing. It was a great year.”

It’s a rare thing in Boston to have a Red Sox team lose in the postseason but still feel good about themselves.

But after firing Dave Dombrowski and replacing him with Chaim Bloom in 2019, trading Mookie Betts and watching Chris Sale undergo Tommy John surgery in 2020 and firing and rehiring Cora to take charge in 2021, bouncing back from a last-place finish in 2020 to come within two games of the World Series feels like a success.

“I think we’re definitely disappointed right now,” said Nathan Eovaldi, the most valuable pitcher in the A.L. this year, according to Fan Graphs. “We obviously wanted to win this game and win the series and go to the World Series. No one expected us to be here. We proved a lot of people wrong.

“We believed in ourselves as a team. We were able to overcome a lot of obstacles together and get to this point.”

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Gophers flip Wisconsin offensive lineman from North Dakota State commitment

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Gophers flip Wisconsin offensive lineman from North Dakota State commitment

The Gophers football program picked up a commitment Sunday from Ashton Beers, an offensive lineman from Slinger, Wis.

Beers, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 296 pounds, flipped his pledge from North Dakota State. The three-star recruit had offers from Central Michigan, Buffalo, Toledo and others.

“I would like to thank (coaches and staff) for giving me the opportunity to play at NDSU,” Beers tweeted. “However, after being offered a scholarship, I have decided to commit to The University of Minnesota.”

Beers is the 16th commitment in the U’s class for 2022 and the first from the state of Wisconsin. Beers was named second-team all-state by the Associated Press and was on the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association’s large-school all-state team.

The NCAA early-signing period opens Dec. 15.

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After nearly two months, still no sign of missing Hillsdale man

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After nearly two months, still no sign of missing Hillsdale man

HILLSDALE, Mo. – The last time Shemika McGee saw her son, Jarius McGee, was in early September in Hillsdale.

After nearly two months, Jarius is still missing, and Shemika hasn’t heard anything from him.

“I think that he got a phone call, and with the phone call, it just led to something else which led to him missing and I just want him back at home,” she said.

McGee said her son would come and go like many young adults and wasn’t in any trouble that she knew of.

When he left, she said he didn’t have the usual things he would carry like his wallet or headphones.

“We really don’t have anything to go off other than the fact that he’s missing,” McGee said.

Hillsdale Chief of Police John Bernsen said an investigation is ongoing and the department is waiting on Jarius’ phone records.

“Every time we try to chase down a lead it’s always a dead end so that’s why we’re trying to put out the word out so much. We know somebody has seen him. Somebody knows something,” Chief Bernsen said.

Looking for an Angel President Theda Person heard about Jarius missing through social media. Now her non-profit organization has joined the search.

“I’ve created a flyer I’ve contacted Missouri State Highway Patrol to make sure that a flyer was created because law enforcement didn’t really do that,” Person said.

Person believes more can be done in the search is prepared to help McGee as needed.

“1f we say that we care about those that we are serving then we should be more intentional,” she said.

She said with McGee missing this long, he could be anywhere. When asked if he were another race would there be a more thorough investigation, Person thinks so.

“Definitely we can see with the Gabby Petito case and other cases,” Person said.

McGee just wants to know where her son is.

“I mean anything that you can think of goes through my mind,” she said. “Where’s he at, who could he be with? There’s a lot of things going through my mind.”

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

ST. LOUIS – A local Boy Scout troop is heartbroken after a trailer carrying all their camping equipment was stolen over the weekend in the Holly Hills neighborhood. Now, the troop is asking for the public’s help to either find the trailer or help replace the items lost.

Troop 104’s bright red trailer was stolen Friday morning around 5 a.m. Scoutmaster Michael Lohff said the truck and all the equipment inside totaled more than $15,000, including tents, cookware, and tarps. He said all the items were acquired from years of donations and fundraising. 

“It has a big impact on the fact that we’re going to have to look up replacing everything as we go along, or definitely before we hit the road again, and we want to be able to do that very soon,” Lohff said.  

He said he brought a bright red trailer when he first started with the troop so he could carry all the troop’s equipment for camping and other activities.  

“They’re basically stealing from kids; that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “Whoever did take the trailer and all that equipment from the boys. They stole from the boys that are members of the troop and have been members of the troop for all these years.”

Lohff said all the items were acquired through donations and fundraising by his scout members.

The trailer was parked in a private lot in the Holly Hills neighborhood in south St. Louis. Lohff said he has parked the trailer there for nearly two decades without any incident. He was heartbroken to find the trailer had been stolen.

“That raises very personal concerns of who’s right behind my backyard,” neighbor Chuck Smith said.

Smith lives a couple of doors down from the lot. He said the trailer has become a neighborhood staple over the years.

“To do it at this time of year before Christmas, it just seems like a very insensitive thing to do,” he said.  

Lohff said the trailer also got broken into last year, but only a few items were stolen after that incident. But after this recent theft, he’s going to upgrade his security. He said police do not have any security footage. 

Anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for the theft is asked to call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at 314-444-0100 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

There is a GoFundMe page to help the troop replace the stolen trailer and gear.

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