The Red Sox sent him to Pittsburgh to be examined on June 20 by Dr. Mickey Collins, a concussion specialist. Ross didn't play for Boston again until Aug. 20.
"We try to do mind over matter sometimes, and the hardest part when you're going through something like that is just you don't have a cast on or you didn't have surgery," Ross said. "I looked fine, but I wasn't right. It's hard to look your teammates in the eye when you're going through something like that and see if you're bowing out or not, with the questions that they have. Because I used to do the same thing. 'Concussion, just push through it. You're not tough enough' or something like that."
But now he knew.
"Headaches and dizziness and all the symptoms, couldn't ride in a car, couldn't be in crowded places," he said, "but did all the exercises Mickey put me through and slowly came back. And thank goodness my hitting has come around, because I stunk there for a while."
The very definition of a bench player — he's never gotten more than 311 at-bats in a year — Ross hit .270 over the final 5½ weeks of the regular season.
"There's a reason why I hit in the 8 hole and the 9 hole in the American League," he said. "I'm not very good at hitting."
He was 1 for 9 in the World Series before his fifth-inning single. And then Ross pulled a 79 mph hanging curveball from Adam Wainwright down the left-field line that landed just a few inches fair, allowing Xander Bogaerts to score from second. If the ball hadn't bounced into the stands, Stephen Drew would have scored from first. He came around on Jacoby Ellsbury's single as Ross was thrown out at the plate by center fielder Shane Robinson