pedro martinez
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News Archive for February 16-28, 2002
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February 28, 2002

First impression
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez said he felt fine the day after pitching two simulated innings in batting practice. He is tentatively scheduled to make his first start Tuesday against the Braves. ... The Twins appear to be taking tonight's game seriously, sending some of their best pitchers, including Eric Milton and LaTroy Hawkins, to the mound against Rolando Arrojo and Casey Fossum, among others. As a show of unity, Kerrigan said he expects every position player on the team, even those who won't see action such as Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek, to attend.

Frozen Grapefruit
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Kerrigan's first Grapefruit lineup (as of yesterday):

CF Johnny Damon
RF Trot Nixon
DH Rickey Henderson
LF Manny Ramirez
1B Tony Clark
3B Shea Hillenbrand
2B Jose Offerman
SS Lou Merloni
C  Doug Mirabelli
P: Rolando Arrojo, Casey Fossum, Sunny Kim, Juan Pena, Derek Hasselhoff

New owners' first official ax expected to involve Duquette
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Ownership of the Red Sox officially changed hands yesterday at around 5:10 p.m., when Larry Lucchino and John Henry leaned out of an office window here with thumbs up, Henry having received a phone call from David Ginsberg, the team's new vice chairman who was in Boston, informing him that the sale of the team by the Yawkey Trust had officially closed. ... the new owners refused to address the fate of Dan Duquette, who club sources said will be relieved of his duties, perhaps as early as midday today. ...

New details surfaced yesterday about clashes Manny Ramirez had with Kerrigan last summer. One club source said that when Ramirez left the club in Anaheim, it was after he had confronted Kerrigan in his office and told him that he didn't like the manager and didn't want to play for him. ... Late last summer, according to one Sox source, Rick Down, who was then the Sox hitting coach, had to go to the batting cages and talk Ramirez out of writing a check and going home for the rest of the season. ...

Pedro Martinez, too, had a much-publicized run-in with Kerrigan last September, when he threw his practice jersey onto the field during a workout and announced he was going home to the Dominican Republic, which he did several days later. Martinez insists publicly that he doesn't have a problem with Kerrigan, who avows the same, but several team sources say that Martinez at times has in a variety of ways demonstrated his dislike of the Sox manager and longtime pitching coach, with whom he has known since their days together in Montreal.

CBS: Duquette to be fired this week

 

February 27, 2002

Gain but no pain for ebullient Martinez
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Pitching to a hitter for the first time since he left a game at Yankee Stadium last Sept. 7 in pain, Pedro Martinez yesterday threw 40 pitches in batting practice and seemed thrilled by the condition of his shoulder. The difference between last year and this spring? ''It's like earth from sky,'' he said. ''There's no comparison.''

Martinez said he sensed as early as spring training last year that he had a shoulder problem. ... "Last year, everything I did seemed to hurt. This time, it doesn't matter what I do. It doesn't seem to hurt. I feel like I can hold the ball and do with it what I want.'' The session heartened manager Joe Kerrigan, who said Martinez will throw in the bullpen Saturday and possibly start against the Braves at City of Palms Park Tuesday.

Despite how well he feels, Martinez reiterated that his days as a workhorse may be over. ''If I want my career to go a little longer, I have to be more cautious,'' he said. ''I can't just fall in love with one game that's really tight and throw 137 pitches like I used to. I'm going to have to be careful with that.''

Martinez passes first test
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

After the 30-pitch outing (divided into two 15-pitch stanzas), Martinez bounced off the mound, thanked the fielders selected out of the crowd by new owner John Henry and zipped off on a golf cart, beaming and waving like the grand marshal of a victory parade. "This is how I'd like to feel the whole season,'' Martinez said after icing his shoulder. ... "I feel really pleased. I had everything under control. I was surprised to see that my breaking ball was so sharp at this stage, the changeup was there and I had good pop and just let it go. But best of all is right now, an hour afterward, when I feel great. ... Last year, everything I did seemed to hurt. It's very different now. I'm able to spot the ball and able to do what I want with it.''

Pedro throws, feels great
Ian Browne, mlb.com

"I felt really pleased with the way everything went, I got everything under control," said Martinez. "I kept my body under control. The breaking ball was good. It was surprising to me to see the breaking ball at this stage of the spring so sharp. The change-up was there, I had good pop, I let it go a little bit and felt good. The best of all is the way I feel right now, probably an hour [after pitching] and it feels really great. That's even more special." ...

"It's from earth to sky," said Martinez, comparing his improved state of health. "No comparison. Last year, everything I did seemed to hurt. This time it doesn't matter what I do, it doesn't seem to hurt. It's very different, and I'm able to stop the ball and just do whatever I want with the ball. I feel like I can just hold the ball and do with it what I want." ... I was concerned. I don't see myself sitting at home. Even though I could do it [financially]. I could go home and sit down and relax. But I like to work. I still believe I can do a lot for the game, I can have a shot at winning. I want to be part of the team that wins it for Boston."

Good start for Martinez leaves everybody happy
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

It's still early in spring, and Martinez said no longer will his pitch count zoom too high during the regular season in his attempt to keep himself healthy for a full season, something he hasn't been able to do since 1999. "I can't go 137 or 127 pitches like I used to. I have to be careful with that. If I have to stay an inning less than I used to, I'll have to do that. I don't want my career to end yet. I have to be cautious."

For Pedro, All Signs Positive
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

Unlike some of his Dominican countrymen, Pedro Martinez didn't age two or three years over the winter. Instead he attempted to recapture his youth. ... Martinez threw 40 pitches, a variety of fastballs and breaking balls. He looked sharp and his mechanics were good. He had no trouble with location. ... Martinez will throw in the bullpen later this week, then throw batting practice again over the weekend. If all goes well, he will make his first exhibition start Tuesday against the Braves.

Pedro's just perfect -- so far
Bill Ballou, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Nobody ever reports to spring training in the worst shape of his life. So, when Pedro Martinez waxed poetic yesterday about how good his right shoulder feels, it was wonderful news for Red Sox fans, but not quite as important as how it feels in June. Or August, for that matter.

Kids play with Pedro at batting practice
Howard Ulman, Associated Press

Pedro Martinez was pleased after throwing batting practice for the first time in spring training Tuesday. His fastball was strong, his breaking ball was sharp and his shoulder which sidelined him for much of last season felt fine. The only problem was his fielders, six youngsters chosen from the spectators by new owner John Henry to shag fly balls. Six others did it when John Burkett took the mound Tuesday.

Martinez said he enjoyed the activity. ''I was laughing because I could see the kids running and the ball was going the opposite direction,'' he said. ''They just need to continue to practice and stay in school.'' After pitching, he signed autographs for the youngsters on T-shirts and baseball given to them by the Red Sox.

 

February 26, 2002

Pitching plans announced
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Kerrigan announced the team's pitching plans for the first week of games. A collection of relievers will work Thursday night's opener, with Rolando Arrojo starting. He'll be followed by Casey Fossum, Sun Woo Kim, Juan Pena and Derek Hasselhoff . Arrojo will be limited to two innings, as will most of those starting in the first week of play.

Against Boston College Friday night, Anastacio Martinez will start, with Josh Hancock, Jorge De la Rosa, Chris Elmore and Ryo Kumagai also scheduled. Saturday against the Twins, it will be newcomer John Burkett and Tim Wakefield; on Sunday, Dustin Hermanson and Butch Henry will face the Reds in Sarasota; Monday, Derek Lowe will start against Detroit, while Frank Castillo gets the nod against the Twins in a split-squad day.

That would leave March 5 as the Grapefruit League debut of Pedro Martinez, but Kerrigan repeatedly stressed yesterday that is tentative, pending a successful batting-practice session tomorrow.

Wrong numbers
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez is tentatively scheduled to make his first start Tuesday against the Braves. ...

Rickey Henderson's quest for a suitable uniform number grew more comical. Unhappy with 12, he asked Darren Oliver for his number, 35. Oliver said he would comply if Henderson arranged for him to get one of his favorite numbers, 28 or 33. So, Henderson asked a reporter to broach the subject with Doug Mirabelli, who wears 28. Mirabelli joked that he would give up 28 if he could have 9, which belonged to Ted Williams and is retired. And Jason Varitek, who wears 33, said with a smile that he would trade for 5, which belongs to Nomar Garciaparra. Nearby, Pedro Martinez said the only time he ever had a problem obtaining his number, 45, was when he went from the Dodgers to the Expos. Kerrigan, the Montreal pitching coach, wore 45, which Martinez said he obtained by paying Kerrigan's fee: a case of Presidente beer. Henderson, a future Hall of Famer entering his 24th season, suggested he will prevail. ''By the time the season comes, I'm going to have to pull out my rank card,'' he quipped. ''I'm going to get what number I choose.''

Oliver holds firm
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

When told that Oliver might go for a three-number trade that would involve convincing Doug Mirabelli to surrender 28, Henderson said: "Who's this Mirabelli?''

Kerrigan in awe of Ramirez's work ethic
Ian Browne, mlb.com

To fully appreciate Manny Ramirez's gift for hitting, you have to see a lot more than his four or five at bats per game. According to Red Sox Manager Joe Kerrigan, the gaudy stats Ramirez puts up year after year comes from his utter dedication to his craft. "I've never heard of a hitter who comes in at 11 o'clock in the morning and does their weightlifting and then watch tapes, then [play] the game. I've never heard of that -- that routine he has. ... We were talking about [Manny] today with [Carl Yastrzemski] and [Dwight Evans] a little bit. He has the chance to be the best hitter of this generation. Pure hitter. ... He's out there this morning at 8:30 with Evans in the tunnels. He's out there taking fly balls afterwards. He wants to do the same thing tomorrow. He's a great kid -- all he wants to do is play baseball. That's all he wants to do. He just wants to go out in the schoolyard and play baseball."

 

February 25, 2002

Pedro inherits Yaz's prime real estate
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald

At a little after 9 o'clock yesterday morning, Red Sox clubhouse maven Joe Cochran sat down with the team's franchise pitcher, Pedro Martinez, and delivered some serious, yet exciting, news. Yep, it's finally happened: Pedro Martinez has landed the most historic locker in the Red Sox clubhouse. Beginning on Opening Day, and for as long as he remains with the Red Sox, Martinez will hold court at Carl Yastrzemski's old locker.

Nomar, Varitek ease in
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Manager Joe Kerrigan plans to take a cautious approach with returning stars Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek when the Red Sox open their Grapefruit League schedule Thursday. Kerrigan said Garciaparra and Varitek won't be used on a daily basis during the early going in order to protect their surgically repaired right arms. ... "We're going to have to sit down and talk to them, the medical staff and the trainers and decide what plan we want to use. Maybe we'll start out (playing them) every third game. If that goes all right, maybe we'll start using them every second day.''

Dan McLaughlin, The Baseball Crank
Providence Journal

BASEBALL IS BACK! And, just in time to keep us all from getting too enthused about this, let's start with the obvious: thanks to an offseason spending spree, the clear preseason favorite to win the 2002 World Series is ... the Hated Yankees. Do you doubt me? Let's ask a few questions, shall we?

 

February 24, 2002

Divers search for Babe Ruth's piano in Sudbury pond
Matthew Fisher, MetroWest Daily News

Divers struck out yesterday in their first attempt to recover a piano Babe Ruth is said to have pitched into a Sudbury pond 83 years ago. A six-man dive team - volunteers from the Quincy Police Search and Rescue Team - used scuba gear and underwater video cameras, but found no evidence of the piano after searching the freezing-cold Willis Pond for four hours yesterday. The baseball great, then a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, allegedly threw the piano into the pond during a drunken outburst while staying at a Sudbury cottage in 1918.

Pedro has successful side session
Mike Petraglia, redsox.com

Red Sox Manager Joe Kerrigan was pleased to report the results of ace Pedro Martinez's side session Saturday. "Pedro was outstanding today," raved the Sox skipper. "He threw on the side. Afterward, he was really pumped up about the way he threw the ball. He was excited about his curveball. It was the first time he has thrown it [in camp]." According to Kerrigan, Martinez is next scheduled to throw about 40 pitches in batting practice on Tuesday.

Pedro fine-tunes delivery; plans to pitch BP Tuesday
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Pedro Martinez threw in the bullpen again yesterday, before the raindrops descended upon the minor-league complex in earnest. Martinez had been held out of throwing in the batting practice sessions. He said he expects to throw BP for the first time on Tuesday. "I wasn't feeling comfortable with my mechanics," said Martinez. "But for the last two (side sessions) in a row, we've got everything set. You don't want to run the risk of hurting yourself by not having proper mechanics when there's so much time down here. Rushing it is not a smart thing to do."

Pedro gets OK for BP
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez has cleared another significant hurdle and is now scheduled to face hitters for the first time since last August when he pitches batting practice on Tuesday. ... Nearly all of the other pitchers have already faced hitters at least once, but the Red Sox wanted to remain cautious with Martinez, who was limited to only 18 starts last season due to fraying in the right rotator cuff. ... "I'm way ahead of schedule. Today is the 23rd and this is usually around the day that I report."

Hershiser offers shoulder to cry on
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

To have a loose shoulder as Pedro Martinez does, Orel Hershiser was saying yesterday, means so much to a pitcher, in terms of whip, movement, and velocity.

The problem with a loose shoulder, Hershiser said, is that it is dangerously close to being unstable, and when it gets past the point of no return, a pitcher is unable to throw. That's what happened to Hershiser, the former Dodgers ace who, after tests in 1989 showed that the front of his shoulder resembled "pounded veal," underwent pioneering reconstructive surgery ...

"I don't know what's going on, what his symptoms were, I don't know where the pain is," Hershiser said. "I do know it sounds like there's a pattern of instability there. Remember, he did the same thing to his left shoulder during batting practice in LA." In 1990, Martinez had an anterior capsulolabral reconstruction on his nonthrowing shoulder, the same procedure Hershiser had on his pitching shoulder.

Henderson's game: Disruption
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Henderson was assigned number 12 yesterday, but he isn't crazy about it. He looked at a roster somebody handed to him and he found number 35, his number when he broke in with Oakland and when he played for Seattle. That number was assigned to pitcher Darren Oliver, who was gone from the clubhouse by the time Henderson's workout was over. Today, Oliver is likely to be wearing a new number. "Oliver. That's who I'm looking for," chortled Henderson loudly. "Give it up, baby. Just give it up. I might have to win you a few games. I may have to steal four or five bases that day [Oliver pitches]."

Short stops add up -- Sanchez gets shot to make Red Sox
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Freddy Sanchez, one of the fastest-rising prospects in the Red Sox system, was home last month in the modest apartment he shares with his parents and two siblings in Burbank, Calif., when the bargain-basement shortstop received a surprise invitation to the big league camp. His father, who drives a truck, and mother, who conducts phone sales for a janitorial service, soaked in the joy.  "We were just going nuts," Sanchez said. "It was like, 'Wow!' It was unbelievable."

The Sox brass uses similar terms to describe Sanchez, 24, who burst from obscurity last year to lead minor league shortstops with a .334 batting average. Indeed, manager Joe Kerrigan declared Sanchez "the dark horse" in the race for an infield utility job.

Interested in owning the Expos? A small pledge will do
Alan Schwarz, espn.com

A group of renegade college students at the University of Pennsylvania have begun a Buy The Expos drive on the Internet that is gaining momentum faster than Jeffrey Loria hands out pink slips. Pledges have topped $100,000 in two weeks and are heading skyward, the ultimate goal being the price Major League Baseball paid Loria for its lease with the option to fold -- $100 million. ... "I'm astonished by how it's going," said Jesse Spector, a 20-year-old Penn senior who hatched the idea with two friends a few weeks ago. ... Spector set up a website that solicits commitments from anyone wishing to invest.

http://buytheexpos.poptopix.com

"On the night of February 5, 2002, a plan was hatched in the offices of the Daily Pennsylvanian. We made up our minds to buy a Major League baseball team, the Montreal Expos, and decided that we'd be willing to chip in $15 apiece to start. 14 other people in the DP office that night also expressed an interest, and later that night, this website was created with 17 investors down for $456. Since then, this whole thing has spun out of control ..."

 

February 23, 2002

Boss Energized by 'Quasi-Retirement'
Joel Sherman, New York Post

George Steinbrenner ... snagged the zipper on his new warmup jacket last week and ordered the removal of about $90,000 worth of LA Gear merchandise from the Legends Field pro shop, forcing a major executive from the company to fly in and make nice.

 

February 22, 2002

Red Sox Notebook
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez is expected to pitch to hitters this weekend.

The late show -- Ramirez has his act in gear at camp
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

There he was yesterday, having arrived a day late to the Red Sox spring training camp with his puffy Afro, baggy jeans, and Warren Sapp football jersey ... Problems with the claustrophobic confines of the Fenway clubhouse? ''I never complained about the clubhouse being too small,'' Ramirez said. ''It is small, but I don't have any control over that. If they want to make it bigger, they make it bigger. I just came here to play. I didn't come here to argue about the clubhouse.'' ...

... Ramirez is almost always the first player to report to the park during the season and that he continues to approach his physical conditioning with the intensity he displayed as a teenager when he rose before dawn to do road work on the hills in New York's Washington Heights. [-- my neighborhood!!]

Manny happy returns -- Sox clubhouse perks up as Ramirez reports
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

"I think we ripped him more for his hair than for being late," cracked shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. "We were happy to see him."

Ramirez reports to Red Sox
Associated Press

"Manny's got a big contract, so he can come back any time he wants," Red Sox infielder Carlos Baerga, his former Cleveland teammate, said with a laugh. ... Joe Kerrigan: "If the term 'mountain out of a molehill' was ever invented for something, that's it." ... Right fielder Trot Nixon said it's important for players to be together so they can get to know each other. "What's not to like about Manny?" Nixon said. "He's fun-loving. He's a big teddy bear, a teddy bear that can hit." ...

... and he was the last Red Sox player to leave on Thursday,
putting in some extra time in the weight room. What a cancer!

Feb. 15 Chat wrap: Joe Sheehan
espn.com

Jake: Do you think Pedro will be able to return to his true form and once again become a great pitcher?
Joe Sheehan: He hasn't *stopped* being a great pitcher, he just missed half a season. He'll be fine.

John (NC): Joe, what do you think of the testimony from DuPuy that 18 (!) teams were considered for contraction? Could that possibly be true? What's the benefit of to MLB of making a claim like that?
Joe Sheehan: I think if we've learned anything this winter it's to be skeptical of any claims by MLB. There's no way to get past 7-9 contraction candidates without talking about teams that are 1) successful, 2) large-market or 3) playing in new, taxpayer-funded mallparks. Like the half-billion dollars in losses, this is just another silly claim that undermines the owners' credibility. ...

CMD, NYC: Can Rickey Henderson really help the Red Sox? What kind of numbers do you project for him next year?
Joe Sheehan: With Damon Buford and Michael Coleman as other extra-outfielder candidates, I think Rickey Henderson deserves a roster spot. Rickey's bat speed is pretty bad these days, but he can still reach base and run, and there's some evidence that he's a good guy to have mentoring leadoff hitters. I think I'd give him 150 ABs and a locker next to Johnny Damon. ...

Page (VT): Do you think that baseball will ever set a salary cap, or do you think they need one?
Joe Sheehan: No and no.

Colon keeps aging, but he's not 30 yet
Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Bartolo is 28 right now," said Winston Llenas, the man who signed Colon in the Dominican Republic in 1993. "That's what it says on his passport and that's what it says on his birth certificate." Llenas said he had Colon's birth certificate faxed to the Indians yesterday after a story in the Rocky Mountain News said Colon was 30. ... Before spring training opened, Colon was listed as 26 in the team's media guide.

 

February 21, 2002

Red Sox begin workouts without Manny, Rickey
Ian Browne, mlb.com

The Boston Red Sox had their first full-squad workout Wednesday with one notable absentee. Manny Ramirez, the perennial MVP candidate, was nowhere to be found. ..."It's very simple -- it's a non-issue," Kerrigan said. ... So how was the first full-squad workout, even if it wasn't a completely full squad? "The workout went great. Thanks for asking a baseball question."

No-show? Typical for Sox
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

In and of itself, Ramirez' absence from camp yesterday means little. [... but Mazz manages to write 740 words contradicting himself.]

Report: Nixon miffed, 'non-issue' to Kerrigan
espn.com

Ramirez has a valid excuse. He reported Monday and had a physical, the Courant said. A team spokesman said Ramirez was scheduled to have a second physical that day, one required by his insurance company, but the doctor was off for Presidents' Day.

According to WEEI, Manny arrived at camp (for the
second time this spring) at 8:42 am on Thursday -- end of "crisis".

 

February 20, 2002

The truth on Ruth
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

From the Clarification Dept.: Pedro Martinez explained that when he talked about plunking the ghost of Babe Ruth last year in his famous line about eradicating the Curse of the Bambino, he meant no slight. He said he has the utmost respect for Ruth. ''The Babe was a good man,'' Martinez said. ''It's the curse I want to drill.'' ...

Not what he meant
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez had the quote of the season last year when he fumed about the nonexistent "Curse of the Bambino'' ("Wake up the damn Bambino . . . maybe I'll drill him in the ass'') but he clarified his feelings yesterday. "I like the Babe,'' he said. "I just don't like curses. The Babe was a good man. It's the curse that I want to drill in the ass.''

 

The writes of spring training
Bill Simmons, espn.com

In March of 1999, reader SB1902 (from my old "Boston Sports Guy" website) pointed out how the Boston newspapers regurgitated the same stories every spring training. That gave birth to something of a Sports Guy tradition ... before every spring training kicks off, I examine the Red Sox roster du jour and determine which players fit each "generic angle" category, as a public service for Sox fans (so they won't have to waste time reading any stories before the season).

Salary Cap
Joe Sheehan, baseballprospectus.com

A salary cap transfers wealth from labor to management. That's all it does, and that's all it's supposed to do. ... The salary cap is a popular concept among many fans, for as best as I can tell, two reasons, both the result of heavy league and media proselytizing: The idea that a salary cap will lower the costs associated with attending games [and] the idea that a salary cap will lead to better competitive balance. Neither is true.

Field of Schemes News
Neil deMause, fieldofschemes.com

With the sale of the Boston Red Sox nearing completion to a group led by former Florida Marlins owner John Henry and former San Diego Padres owner Tom Werner, talk has turned from replacing Fenway Park to renovating and expanding it. Perhaps most remarkably, the Boston Globe - now a part-owner of the team via its parent company, the New York Times Co. - editorialized on Feb. 11 that "Red Sox fans deserve a chance to enjoy ballgames for decades to come in a stadium saturated with baseball history as much as they deserve a chance to sit in reasonably comfortable seats and root for a competitive ball club," while criticizing the old ownership's "blinkered conclusions" that only a new stadium would do. ... Estimated renovation costs for Fenway run from $125 million to $300 million; no word on how it would be financed, but state house speaker Tom Finneran has said the $100 million in state funds approved back in July 2000 is no longer on the table.

 

February 19, 2002

More Weight would be best for Pedro Martinez, According to Juan Marichal
La Hoy, translated by Anni and CarboCopy at Your Turn

Cooperstown immortal Juan Marichal sees in Pedro Martinez many of the same things that made him a celebrity in the decade of the 60s. "Aggressiveness, control and love of the game", Marichal indicated as some of those virtues in an long interview yesterday for La Hoy and for television.

When it's said that Martinez will equal or surpass him, instead of getting angry he gets excited. "It doesn't matter if Martinez surpasses me. And let others come. This is good, we're Dominicans," he said. But while there is no jealousy coming to the surface in his life, he is pleased to know that Martinez is the best pitcher currently. "I am sure that when he finishes his career he will go into the Hall of Fame", he stated.

On way in which it can be said that Marichal and Pedro are not alike is in reference to health. While Marichal was bothered by physical problems at the end of his career, Martinez is affected when he is in the middle. On that, Marichal thinks that the news that Martinez has arrived at spring training weighing more than usual is great. "They have always talked about Pedro's physique. The numbers show that this has not been a negative factor, but it must be taken into account", he added.

Most of the good pitchers are larger people, stronger than Pedro, and it is clear that this helps the pitcher more. "I believe that it is a good idea that he keeps on more weight to see what happens", he said. Martinez arrived weighing 12 more pounds, and hopes to maintain it.

Marichal also favors that Martinez make adjustments in his repertoire. He explained he must use his change-up, which is one of the best in the majors, more. "He should use the fastball less, since it is not necessary to strike out all the batters. I suggested this to him last year", he added.

In another matter, Marichal was disturbed by the low quality of pitching in the Major Leagues. He gave this example: before there were fewer teams and the quality of the rotations was better. "Now, there are many teams and they are required to fill spaces with people", he said. "If you watch the rotations of the teams, after the number one starter there are no guarantees of stopping the opposing team."

"People remember Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale, among others, but those that followed them in the rotation were quality pitchers" he said. A negative point of many current pitchers is that they cannot close. According to his point of view, they get two strikes on a batter and they cannot get him out, and allow him to hit.

Is Pedro Back?
Bo Mitchell, fanball.com

Pedro has yet to really turn it loose this offseason, but he's been playing long toss for about six weeks and recently started throwing off a mound with no problems in his troublesome right shoulder. That beautiful sound of the catcher's mitt popping should be interspersed with the noise of knocking on wood.

There's only one show playing in Sox camp: All about Pedro
Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal

Here it is only February, so many miles away from the next baseball season, and it's already about him. How is his shoulder? Can he last through an entire season? Can he get to where he once was? How's his mood? How's Pedro? Here it is only February, and it's already all about him.

Shortstop whole -- Fit Garciaparra ready to go all-out
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

''Last year's over,'' Garciaparra said. ''We've got new faces, a lot of new things going on. Everything changes. We even have new owners. We'll take it from here.'' Best of all for Sox fans, he expressed optimism that his wrist woes are behind him. ... Garciaparra said he has experienced no pain, swelling, or stiffness in the wrist despite his rigorous offseason workout program, which included more throwing and hitting than usual. ''I'm sure some of it will come once I intensify things more and more,'' he said. ''But I don't expect it to really bother me much. It's feeling pretty good.''

Nomar muscles into camp: Hopes to put wrist surgery behind him
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

One day after appearing bare-chested on the cover of Sports Illustrated last spring, Garciaparra discovered that he had suffered a longitudinal split of his ECU tendon. The fabled SI cover jinx has led the superstitious 28-year-old to become more self-conscious of his bare physique than El Guapo in a Speedo. "No pictures this year.''

Boss finds camp, gets warmer
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

One of [Henry's and Duquette's] first stops was to watch Martinez, throwing off a mound in the back bullpen. When the Sox ace finished, Henry shook hands, and they both laughed. ''We were talking about how I couldn't find him in the Dominican Republic,'' said Henry, who had flown to the island nation a few days after his fellow owners had approved the new partnership's purchase of the club. ''He and his brother [Ramon] were in a convertible. I was always about 10 minutes behind.''

Henry an early fan favorite
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

New Red Sox owner John Henry was greeting fans lining the entrance to a practice field yesterday when Edward Golembewski, an auto mechanic visiting from South Yarmouth, held open the cover of his bulky paperback and asked for an autograph. Henry was taken aback when he realized that Golembewski had handed him the biography of Pope John Paul II, titled "Witness to Hope.'' "Are you sure?'' Henry asked. "Yes,'' Golembewski responded. "We need all the help we can get.''

Silent approach
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Manny Ramirez arrived in camp wearing a replica of Carolina Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan's jersey. ... ''He had a good winter,'' Kerrigan said. ''He looks in great shape. He looks strong.'' ... Ramirez's agent, Jeff Moorad, met for nearly an hour with John Henry on the new owner's bus: ''We were working on a contract extension for Manny."

Where have you gone, Butch Hobson?
Mike Petraglia, redsox.com

As the third baseman for the 1977 Red Sox, Butch Hobson became the first player in team history to hit 30 home runs from the ninth spot in the batting order. Now, 25 seasons later, Hobson is entering his third season as manager of the Nashua (NH) Pride of the independent Atlantic League.

 

February 18, 2002

Their Response Is Conditioned -- Garces, Fossum Weigh In With Sox
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

They both said size doesn't matter, yet Red Sox relievers Rich Garces and Casey Fossum did some serious weight-watching over the winter. The portly Garces estimates he lost 30 pounds, bringing his weight down to about 240, and he'd like to shed another 10 or 15. Fossum added 15 pounds. The thinnest player in camp is up to 165, and he increased his body fat to 6.5 percent.

"I'd just eat everything," Fossum said. "I drank shakes, took creatine. I try to eat a lot of calories. I ate a bunch of doughnuts. I'd eat six doughnuts and drink six glasses of milk every day. I'd go to Krispy Kreme every other day and get a hot dozen. Right before I went to bed I'd eat those. They're awesome."

Nomar primed for comeback
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Nomar Garciaparra isn't expected to be in camp until Wednesday ... Trot Nixon said he expects big things from Garciaparra now that his wrist is healthy and he'll have the opportunity to bat in front of Manny Ramirez for an entire season. "I think he's going to have his best year yet. I truly believe that Nomar is going to have a season we wouldn't expect at all out of him. I think he's going to hit 30-40 jacks with Manny hitting behind him. I'm sure he's licking his chops."

Many twists and turns for Tiant -- He's back with Red Sox as coach
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

It's been a long road back. One of the greatest pitchers yet to find a home in the Hall of Fame, Luis Tiant, made no secret from the day he retired of his desire to return to the Red Sox. ... "I've waited 19 years to come back to this organization," Tiant said yesterday, a touch of gray in his trademark Fu Manchu.

 

February 17, 2002

Spring Training Photo Gallery -- Feb 16
redsox.com

Pedro pitches pain-free
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez threw approximately 50 pitches in the bullpen during manager Joe Kerrigan's first official workout yesterday and experienced no pain or discomfort in his right shoulder. He threw several curveballs.

Interesting camp activities -- Sox see change with Kerrigan
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez threw his first breaking ball in five months and reported no trace of trouble in his priceless shoulder. ... Martinez didn't mind drawing a distinction [between the Jimy Williams and Kerrigan camps] after the three-hour workout. "It was a little longer [than the first workouts under Williams]," said Martinez, though this was the first time in recent years he has reported in time for the initial practice. "It was a lot of work. I was a little bit surprised to see so much work the first day. Hopefully, nobody will get hurt or be sore [today] and we continue to work."

Garces's size no longer weighty issue
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Rich "El Guapo" Garces showed up at camp yesterday, and he looked like his little brother. The previously rotund reliever has lost about 35 pounds, cutting his weight from approximately 275 to 240. ... Brian Daubach was asked whether he had seen Garces yet. "Yeah, what's left of him." ...

Martinez, who had thrown four times off the mound in his native Dominican Republic, threw mostly fastballs, and only popped the last couple. He also snapped off a few breaking balls, bouncing them in the dirt. Varitek caught him. After the session, Varitek counseled Martinez that the three-time Cy Young Award winner had been pulling his head a bit on his pitches. Otherwise, though, it was a solid first session on Pedro's comeback trail.

"It was my first time off the mound in 18 days, so I didn't really let it go," said Martinez, who spent more than a half-hour signing autographs after doing his running. "I didn't want to rush it. There's no reason to rush it."

"Pedro looked strong," said Varitek. "His fastball had a lot of late life to it."

New Red Sox rotation has first workout
Howard Ulman, Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox have three new pitchers in their rotation. For Pedro Martinez, it's just more of the same. Newcomers John Burkett, Dustin Hermanson and former closer Derek Lowe have three of the spots behind him. Last year, Hideo Nomo, David Cone and Frank Castillo were the new arms in the rotation. ... Like the other starters, Martinez threw for about 10 minutes Saturday but didn't cut loose on his fastball. "Why should I rush?" he said. "I have plenty of time to do what I have to do and I feel really, really good."

New coach Stanley will be truthful, even if it hurts
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

While Stanley, armed with his strong grasp of the game that was honed over his 15 years as a big leaguer, most of them as a catcher, will aid Kerrigan in decisions during a game, it will be off the field that Kerrigan expects Stanley's presence will be even more important. ... Stanley will be the liaison between the manager and the players. ...

"He brings a lot of confidence to some players," said Pedro Martinez. "He's like a friend, an older teammate everyone respects, someone you can talk to. That's what he contributes to the team. I hope it's just like when we were teammates."

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