pedro martinez

News Archive for February 2003
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February 28, 2003

Pedro himself again
Mike Bauman.

"Oh, it's great to just know that you're healthy," Pedro Martinez said. And all of New England could rest more easily, at least for the rest of the winter. ... This spring he is himself again. The Red Sox are proceeding delicately with him, just as they did last season. Thursday he threw his first batting practice of the spring. A relatively large journalistic crowd gathered in the late afternoon at the practice field outside City of Palms Park ... "All you guys came out just to watch me catch," Jason Varitek said to the assembled scribes. And then Martinez threw his two innings, about 30 pitches, with all of his usual, graceful economy of motion. He threw the fastball, the changeup and the curve. And that superb curve looked like it was already in mid-season.

"Last year I was more afraid than anything to throw the breaking ball after getting hurt so bad," Martinez said later. "Normally, the breaking ball is the one that puts the most stress on the shoulder. I was trying to be careful last year. Today, I threw them whenever I felt like it. Everything was fine. ... it's taking me a little shorter time than last year to warm up, to get ready, to get set on the mound. I feel more comfortable with the mound. So I'm more optimistic this year than last year. ... I found out that I could be effective at 91-93, I didn't need to be 95-97. But if I need to crank it up, I'll crank it up."

Practice perfect
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Facing batters for the first time since September, Pedro Martinez was overpowering in throwing batting practice to several minor leaguers before the game. He threw about 30 pitches in two simulated innings and hoped to pitch a third inning before the Sox pulled him back in their characteristic caution. ... Third base prospect Kevin Youkilis faced Martinez for the first time. He saw the three-time Cy Young Award winner's fastball, changeup, and curveball, and managed to make contact fairly weakly a couple of times. ... John Burkett, who watched the session, described Martinez's curveball as ''exceptional.'' ... Martinez will throw batting practice again Sunday, then pitch in the bullpen Tuesday before he makes his first start Thursday against the Reds at City of Palms Park.

No wonder for Pedro this time
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Martinez, who was fearful that his career might be on the verge of ending last spring due to shoulder woes, toyed with hitters yesterday, throwing his entire repertoire of pitches in a pair of 15-pitch stanzas. Other than an opposite-field flare on a curve ball that sliced off the end of Kevin Youkilis' bat, the four young batters who faced him didn't stand a chance. "I've never seen anything like that and he was just working on stuff,'' said minor league third baseman Youkilis. "I don't want to see him when he's on. Thank God I play for the Red Sox.'' The most telling signs, however, came from Martinez' demeanor. Last year, fear and trepidation were clearly evident in his eyes. Yesterday, it was back to a self-assured stare and mischievous sparkle.

Sound Mind, Body -- Pedro Even Mixes In A Few Curveballs
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

You could see it in his face. Nothing humorous was said to make Pedro Martinez laugh or even smile, yet he was radiating with satisfaction. Compared to last year at this time, when concerns about his right shoulder were swishing through his mind, Martinez is a picture of content. ... Martinez is scheduled to throw another BP session Sunday and then on the side Tuesday before making his first spring start March 6. He will probably make four more after that and pitch around 20-25 innings.

Pedro throws BP
Ian Browne,

Ace Pedro Martinez threw his first batting practice session of the spring. He worked two simulated innings, throwing approximately 30 pitches. Martinez, as he did during his three side sessions, felt free and easy. ... "It felt like in previous years where I felt right at home," Martinez said. "It was different last (spring), I felt a little bit divorced from the mound. I can tell I feel more comfortable on the mound. It's the way it's supposed to be." ... Grady Little: "He feels much better. He has a confident look on his face. There's no concern of an injury right now."

Pedro's being 'nasty' again
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal 

For the first time since last September, Pedro Martinez faced live hitters yesterday. And it was good. "There's no comparison (between this spring and last spring)," said manager Grady Little, recalling the uncertainty surrounding Martinez's right shoulder a year ago. "He feels much better and there's a confident look on his face. He threw the ball good and he feels good."

Pedro's speed limit
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Even though his shoulder is once again healthy, Pedro Martinez said he sees no need to pump up the velocity on his fastball this season. "Now I know what I need and I don't need to gas my fastball up to 97 (mph),'' he said. "I know it's effective to just pitch 90-93 and still get good results. If I have to crank it up, I'll crank it up but I don't see myself in that situation.''


February 27, 2003

Next step for Pedro
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Martinez is scheduled to throw to hitters for the first time since September during early batting practice this afternoon. The three-time Cy Young Award winner was suffering from a stiff neck yesterday after sleeping in an odd position, but he said it wasn't something that would affect his work schedule. He is slated to make his spring debut on March 6 at home against the Twins.

Red Sox eager to play some games
Ian Browne,

Camp has been productive and injury-free for the Red Sox thus far. The only thing missing? Games. That changes Thursday, as the Sox open their exhibition season with a 7 p.m. contest against the Twins at City of Palms Park. ... 

In Little's mind, team health always the best medicine
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

Following Derek Lowe to the mound tonight will be Willie Banks, Alan Embree, Bob Howry, Ramiro Mendoza, Tom Davey, Javier Lopez and Kevin Tolar.

Facing Cincinnati tomorrow afternoon: John Burkett, Bronson Arroyo, Frank Castillo, Chad Fox, Justin Kaye, Brandon Lyon, Matt White and Mike Timlin.

Tomorrow night's pitchers against BC are: Hansel Izquierdo, Ryan Rupe, Hector Almonte, Jorge De la Rosa, Anastacio Martinez and Andy Shibilo.

For Saturday, against Pittsburgh: Casey Fossum, Steve Woodward, Kris Foster, Juan Pena, Jason Shiell, Davey, Lopez and Embree.

Finally, Tim Wakefield will start Sunday at Minnesota, followed by Banks, Howry, Mendoza, Timlin, Almonte, Davey, Lopez and Tolar.

Lowe relishes comfort zone
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

After getting his first taste of major stardom, Derek Lowe is hungry to get going and start working on a repeat of his magical 2002 season. ... "I ate at the same places every day at home and I'll continue to do that,'' Lowe said. "I went to Dunkin' Donuts (in Quincy) in the morning for a French vanilla iced coffee and a coffee roll, and then to Bertucci's (in Braintree) for lunch. Triple-cheese ravioli, small salad, bread and a lemonade. It was the same thing every day. I was like Norm at Cheers. I don't even have to order. It became second-nature to me.'' [More coverage in the Globe, Courant, Projo and AP]

Only the beginning for Sox: Henry & Co. show in one year they're going in right direction
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald

One year ago today, a puff of white smoke emitted from the executive offices of City of Palms Park, indicating that the Boston Red Sox had officially been placed into the hands of new owners. ... take a look at the big picture and it's obvious these guys have done more with the Red Sox in their one year in Boston than John Harrington and his cronies accomplished during their entire clumsy, arrogant stewardship of the so-called "Yawkey legacy.''

Wells details perfect hangover in book
Associated Press

David Wells was "half-drunk'' when he pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees in 1998. In an upcoming autobiography, the New York Yankees pitcher recounts getting drunk at a "Saturday Night Live'' cast party that ended in the early hours of the day he pitched against Minnesota. "As of this writing, 15 men in the history of organized baseball have ever thrown a perfect game,'' he writes in galleys of the book. "Only one of those men did it half-drunk, with bloodshot eyes, monster breath and a raging, skull-rattling hangover. That would be me.''


February 26, 2003

Pedro's The Biggest Prima Donna Since Ted Williams
Clark Booth, Dorchester Reporter [Feb. 20]

... On the Red Sox, the best player is always a primary source of contention, discord and distraction. Other teams have stars. The Red Sox have protagonists. [Pedro] Martinez fits the historical dimension perfectly. He is unquestionably brilliant, stylish and a gifted showman as well as a world-class performer. And he is also arrogant, vain, self-centered, bombastic and an accomplished con-job as well as a world-class prima donna. Moreover, as the sainted pet of the media which dares not offend so precious a source of delicious controversy and terrific quotes, he gets away with murder. Management further compounds the problem by molly-coddling him, ever fearful of ruffling his feathers. It is all so desperately silly. ...

Ever willing to play the lapdog when Pedro demands to be appeased, management rushed to the Dominican Republic this winter but you'll recall that the wily fellow managed to slip town just before they arrived making the owner and his chief honcho look like fools. ... If they had any guts, they would return his dare with one of their own. "Deliver us over the next two seasons and you can name your price wherever you wish to play." ...

Management has a chance to take a stand here and it would be a principled and valid stand. But they won't do it because they don't have the guts and they wonder why the players walk all over them and why the public has so little respect for them. ... For all of his gifts and achievements there's a touch of the fraud in Martinez. The late Will McDonough branded Roger Clemens 'the Texas con-man' for exhibiting half the chutzpah that Pedro has casually featured in but half the period of time. ... That's wrong. And he's wrong. And they are wrong for allowing it. But he'll get away with it. You just watch and see if he doesn't. So much for the Boston Red Sox.

[Quite an entertaining rant. Thanks to the Boston Sports Media Watch for noting it.]

His location is good -- Reliever Mendoza happy to be in Boston, hoping to prove Yankees wrong
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe 

As that noted conspiracy theorist, Pedro Martinez, reminded us recently, the New York Yankees went to great lengths to make sure ace pitcher Bartolo Colon didn't wind up in a Red Sox uniform. ... given the Yankees' natural inclination to maintain as one-sided a relationship as possible with their eternal pursuers ... it should bring little surprise that there is some skepticism regarding the value of former Yankee reliever Ramiro Mendoza. ''I would think,'' one club executive said last week in Arizona, ''that George [Steinbrenner] would sooner pay Mendoza $5 million to stay home than allow him to sign with Boston, if he was afraid Mendoza could still hurt him.''


February 25, 2002

Mound control
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

The smile said it all after Pedro Martinez's third bullpen session. He threw 37 pitches the way he wanted to throw them and without any concern about his health. ''That's 3 for 3,'' said Martinez, who is scheduled to throw at least two innings of a simulated game Thursday ... Several of Martinez's breaking balls bounced in the dirt during the bullpen session, but he said that was precisely where he wanted them to land. ''I'm getting ready for game situations, thinking like you have a hitter in there,'' he said. ''My arm is responding fine and the rest is working well mechanically.''

Pedro pitches with a purpose
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal 

Pedro Martinez had another encouraging bullpen workout yesterday, putting him on pace to throw his first batting-practice session tomorrow, with an eye toward making his exhibition debut on March 6 at City of Palms Park against Minnesota. ... "I was working on situations, thinking like a hitter, making it a simulated game in my mind," said Martinez. To that end, he bounced some breaking balls intentionally, pitches he hopes will get the hitter to lunge and miss. He also spent time working on spotting his changeup and pronounced himself pleased with the session. He will throw three or four simulated innings in his BP format tomorrow. He'll throw 15 pitches, then sit down and rest, and then go back out for 15 pitches before resting again. He'll throw either 45 or 60 pitches.

Pedro ready
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez is scheduled to throw to hitters for the first time since last September when he pitches batting practice tomorrow. He completed his final bullpen session yesterday and concentrated on breaking pitches and working out of the stretch. Martinez is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League appearance on March 6 ... "He's going about his work with a smile (so) he's obviously comfortable and happy,'' general manager Theo Epstein said. "He's attacking everything without hesitation. I don't think he has any concerns at all.''

Manny's silence more than a gag
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Manny Ramirez' teammates don't agree with his self-imposed vow of silence with the press, but they are understanding. The Red Sox left fielder has refused to speak with (or even acknowledge) the media this spring ... [Pedro] Martinez said that it's difficult to tell if Ramirez will stick to his silence but he volunteered to serve as his spokesman. "Sometimes he expresses himself to me so I can communicate with you guys. If he does it that way, it's also very helpful. I'll be very willing to communicate with you guys on behalf of Manny.''

Glimpse into future -- Other Ramirez is a coming attraction
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

Strolling through a local shopping mall the other day, The Future of the Red Sox bumped smack into The Present. Hanley Ramirez, the 19-year-old phenom whose image adorned a recent cover of Baseball America magazine as the top prospect in the Sox system and one of the best in the game, came face to face with his namesake, Manny, a $160 million cornerstone of the organization. ... ''Though it's risky to place labels on a player before he even reaches full-season ball, managers and scouts already are comparing Ramirez to such players as Nomar Garciaparra, Vladimir Guerrero, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano,'' wrote Baseball America. ''Ramirez is a legitimate five-tool shortstop who has instincts to go with his athletic talents.''


February 24, 2002

On track
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez is scheduled to throw his third bullpen session today. If all goes well, he will pitch batting practice Wednesday for the first time in camp. He is scheduled to start his first Grapefruit League game March 6. The Sox have arranged his schedule so he pitches only at City of Palms Park and avoids bus trips for a second straight year .

When The Past Meets Present -- Sox Debate Whether To Honor Clemens
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant 

Since this is probably Roger Clemens' last season, it will be interesting to see if the Red Sox plan to pay tribute to arguably the greatest pitcher in franchise history when the Yankees visit Fenway Park this season. The Red Sox say there haven't been any discussions about it. There is also the question of whether to retire No. 21. ... "I'd give him my number," pitcher Pedro Martinez said. "That guy should be honored on every field we play. He's the best pitcher ever. ... They should give him that respect for what he did for the Red Sox on the field. I think he deserves it. If we all understand what baseball means, he deserves it. Anything he gets, he deserves."


February 23, 2002

Martinez in synch
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Martinez threw off a mound for the second time in camp, increasing his pitch load to 56 from 43. ''I felt very, very comfortable with every pitch,'' he said. ''The changeup is great. The breaking ball is great. Imagine that.'' After his rotator cuff injury in 2001, he did not feel as if he had command of his pitches last year until mid-May. ... he pitched through pain much of the 2001 season. The nadir came when he faced the Yankees in New York in September despite major discomfort. ''I just couldn't pitch, but Joe [Kerrigan] said, 'At 70 percent, you're better than the others,''' ... I would never do it again. ... It was my fault. I accepted it. I should have known myself a little better.''

Around the horn
Ian Browne,

Martinez threw his second side session Saturday and impressed pitching coach Tony Cloninger. "Pedro was outstanding," said Cloninger. "He threw about 53 or 54 pitches. He had a good curveball. He had a better curve than I saw all last spring. The fastball, he was locating it. And the changeup, I think he gets out of bed throwing that. It was unbelievable today."

Front-end alignment for Pedro
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez will make his Grapefruit League debut on March 6, when the Red Sox host the Minnesota Twins at City of Palms Park. Pitching coach Tony Cloninger said Martinez will be aligned to pitch five times in spring training ... "He looks great,'' Cloninger said. "I'd have to say the first day here he looked better than (March) 15 last year, when I got here. ... Pedro knows I'll be honest with him, so he's honest with me. We took it slow with him last year because I'm here to protect him.''

Pedro's pitch way off mark
Garry Brown, Springfield Union-News

Do major league baseball players live in a dream world? Why, certainly, and if you need further proof of that, consider the recent rant of Pedro Martinez, resident pitching ace of the Boston Red Sox. While the rest of us worry about war, winter and duct tape, Martinez can worry only about his contract - a nifty six-year package worth $75 million. ... Does Pedro or anybody else really believe ownership wants to buy him out? He not only is a great pitcher, he's a player beloved by Red Sox fans. Of course ownership wants to keep him, but why does this have to be an issue right now? ... The issue is one created by Pedro's ego. 

When Pedro pitched mop-up
John Tomase, Eagle Tribune

As otherworldly as Pedro Martinez is now, he was once a mop-up man. ... The Red Sox ace gets downright feisty when recalling his major league debut of Sept. 24, 1992 against the Cincinnati Reds. He threw two scoreless innings for the Dodgers in an 8-4 loss.

"I threw all fastballs," Martinez said. "I wanted to get hit. I went like 12 days without throwing a pitch after getting called up. (Dodgers manager Tommy) Lasorda wouldn't use me. They buried me. That night, they didn't have anyone else to put in. I was throwing on the side and (John) Candelaria didn't want to warm up, so they just threw me in there."

Getting baserunners is only part of Sox' challenge
Art Martone, Providence Journal

During the Sundays of spring training, we're looking at the Red Sox player-by-player: their strengths, their weaknesses, what they've done in the past, and what can reasonably be expected of them in the future. For lack of any better way to do it, we're going by uniform numbers. We finished the single digits last week. And now, Part Two ...


February 22, 2003

Stance appears in flux -- Martinez backs off deadline for option
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

''I'm not saying it's March 30. I'm not forcing them. People misunderstood. I'm not saying they have to, I'm just saying I want to stay in Boston now. ... When? When will they tell me? Do you like waiting for somebody to tell you if you have a job? Isn't that mind-boggling? ... I'm not saying I'm not going to work if they don't pick it up. I'll have to think about that. I would like to shut my mouth right now. ... I just told them, 'I'm going to let [Sox management] do whatever they have to do.' I don't care what they do. They're going to do whatever they have to do. I'm not going to talk about it anymore. That's it. ... You know what, I'm going to shut my mouth and do what I have to do. Let it be a guess. Everybody can guess. Is it a bluff? You just wait. Is it not? Keep everyone guessing.''

No more contract talk from Pedro
Ian Browne,

There will be no more contract talk from Red Sox right-hander Pedro Martinez. ... "I'm here to work, I'm here to get ready. I'm not here to yap yap about my contract. I hope you guys let it go right now. I'm not going to talk about this any more. For my fans in Boston, I want to stay in Boston. ... All of Boston is listening to this (interview). I don't want to talk about my contract anymore. My contract words are over."

Pedro softens contract stance
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Is Pedro Martinez backing off his ultimatum to leave the Red Sox if the club doesn't pick up the 2004 option year on his contract by the end of spring training? The three-time Cy Young Award winner softened his stance yesterday on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan morning show and said that it wasn't a lock he would leave at the end of the contract if the team waits until November to address the option. ... Grady Little has pegged Derek Lowe as his starting pitcher for the Grapefruit League opener Thursday night vs. the Minnesota Twins at City of Palms Park.

Pedro's game: Pitch 'n' putt: Sox ace gets into swing of things on golf course
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

He was a little late for his tee time, but punctuality never has been his strongest suit. ... He was dressed from head to toe in popular Nike apparel ... And as he stepped toward the clubhouse yesterday at The Forest, a well-manicured country club in the south of Fort Myers, a typically gregarious Pedro Martinez emphatically announced his arrival. "I've got my shoes ... I'm Tiger Pedro.'' ... Once on the course, Martinez was impossible to miss. Flanked by his posse, Martinez played in a group with McCormick and clubhouse attendants Joe Cochran, Tom McLaughlin and Edward "Pookie'' Jackson. (Martinez repeatedly referred to the latter as "Pook-ito.'') ... Offered [Derek] Lowe: "I've seen him swing a club once and it was embarrassing. I guarantee you that he will swing and miss.''


February 21, 2003

Ace's session a throwback -- Martinez feels better than '02
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

After throwing 43 pitches in his 2003 debut on a practice mound, the Red Sox ace said the difference was night and day from how he felt last year after rehabbing from a frayed rotator cuff. Most of his pitches were fastballs, with about three changeups and a couple of curveballs mixed in. ''I felt very familiar with the mound,'' he said. ''It didn't feel like that at all when I came back from the injury. You can see by my attitude and the way I throw the ball and the way I do everything, it's natural, like nothing ever happened. ... I feel great, even better than last year.''

Pedro claims his shoulder is better than ever
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal 

A confident Pedro Martinez worked off the mound for the first time this spring, and left his 43-pitch, 12-minute session with a smile on his face, a good sign for the Sox and their fans. The worries the three-time Cy Young Award winner had about his valuable right shoulder a year ago have evaporated.

Sox notes: Manny's silent arrival -- Batting champ shows up to camp on time
Ian Browne,

Reigning American League batting champion Manny Ramirez arrived at camp Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., with his usual flair. He pulled up with new wheels (bright orange Avalanche with spinning hubcaps), yet another new hair-do (braided dreadlocks) and no new (or old) words for the media. ... "That's Manny being Manny. That's just Manny," Martinez said. "He let it grow and now he has the dreadlocks or whatever. One of these days he'll wake up and feel like he wants to be bald and he'll be bald. Who understands Manny?" ...

Martinez threw off a mound for the first time this spring. Most Sox pitchers have already thrown multiple times, but the Sox always make pacing Martinez a top priority. Martinez was encouraged by his session. "I felt great," said Martinez. "Free and easy, and no soreness."

For Ramirez, time for talking is over -- But expect his stats to be loud and clear
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

Truth be told, the Red Sox had no guarantee Manny Ramirez would appear yesterday for the first full-squad workout. ... His friend and sometime-spokesman, Pedro Martinez, indicated that fans should prepare to appreciate Ramirez's spectacular skills but no longer anticipate hearing his voice or his views. Martinez suggested the slugger should receive credit for opening up as much as he did over his first two seasons with the Sox. ''You might as well just leave him alone and let him play his game,'' Martinez said. ''We all know what he's capable of doing. He's proven it over and over and over. I'm glad he got to talk to you guys a little bit more than he did with the media from the other cities. I respect him for that. I hope you guys do, too.''

Happy daze: Manny back with a bounce
Gerry Callahan Friday, February 21, 2003

He showed up on time for a physical yesterday morning and burst out of he clubhouse door at 9:57 a.m., running onto the practice field with his bat and glove in hand and a smile on his face. If he looked any happier, they'd have called him back in and double-checked the drug test. Manny Ramirez has a new baby at home and new braids in his hair and a small request for all the Boston fans and media who soured him at the end of last season. How about a new start, too? ... 

Manny knows he is not the most glib, or articulate speaker -- at least not in English -- so he sought the help of someone who is. And he didn't mess around. He brought in the ace. "He came to me because he's shy and he doesn't want to get himself involved in any more controversy,'' Pedro Martinez said as he headed toward the shower after yesterday's workout. "He's using me to communicate to you and to the fans because he feels bad about what happened last year. He's said it before, and I'm saying it for him now. He knows he made a fool out of himself and he's sorry. He's sorry to his teammates, to his coaches and to the fans.''

GM auditions Pedro's pal
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

The Red Sox might have one of the most thorough Latin American scouting departments in the game these days, but they didn't need a scouting report to realize they ought to take a look at Jose Paniagua. The veteran relief pitcher arrived in camp yesterday for a tryout on the recommendation of close friend and staff ace Pedro Martinez ... "I told Theo he didn't have a job and he wanted to be with us,'' Martinez said. "I told him he's very close to me and I've seen him throw. ... I just wanted Theo to see him throw. He is a pure set-up man with a lot of experience; someone who can stop the bleeding at any time.''

All's well with Sox for now: Fresh season has stability
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

'Tis the season for optimism, so here is a prediction for the 2003 baseball season: The Red Sox will win the American League East.

Assessing the Yanks' starters ... and Boston's bullpen
Rob Neyer, [February 12]

It's funny, how we look at baseball teams sometimes. The two biggest baseball stories this winter, at least in the northeast part of the country, seem to be the "problems" the Yankees and the Red Sox have with their pitching staffs. The Yankees, it seems, have too many starting pitchers. The Red Sox, it seems, have too many good relief pitchers but not enough great ones. ... There are two, related, things that people are saying about the Red Sox bullpen: They don't have a real closer and They're going to have a different closer every night. To which I'd respond What's a real closer? and So what?


February 20, 2003

Pedro ready to go
Ian Browne,

Pedro Martinez will throw off a mound for the first time on Thursday. All of the other Sox pitchers have already thrown at least once. However, by design, the team puts Martinez on a more conservative program.

Pedro's debut today
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Pedro Martinez will make his first spring appearance on the mound today. Martinez did not participate in the on-field workouts yesterday because he and a few other players had to have their blood retested. ... Sox chairman Tom Werner visited camp yesterday. ... "Pedro is a fantastic player. Our relationship is very cordial and respectful. ... If he pitches great, we have a Cy Young pitcher every year. But there's risk with any pitcher. He means everything (to the franchise). As a fan, I hope Pedro will be with the Sox for a long time."

Werner hopes Pedro stays forever
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Tom Werner said no decision has been reached on whether the 2004 option year on Pedro Martinez' contract will be picked up before his self-imposed March 30 deadline but the Red Sox owner/chairman indicated he hopes the three-time Cy Young Award winner will finish his career in Boston. "He's entitled to want to have discussions with us and we're open to him and every player,'' Werner said. "We owe it to them. We're respectful and hopefully there will be an amicable resolution. We'd like to keep the lines of communication open and if we can resolve something sooner, that probably would be better for everybody.''

Season won't bring change
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

Don't expect Nomar Garciaparra to alter his aggressive hitting style to accommodate the team's stepped-up emphasis on plate discipline and on-base percentage. ''I'm still going to be swinging at the first pitch and doing everything I normally do,'' he said in his first news conference of the year. ''Does [the revised approach] seem to affect me? No.'' ... Trot Nixon reported to camp at an all-time high of 228 pounds - up from 199 at the end of last season - because of a grueling weight training program and his bid to break a 14-year habit of chewing tobacco. ... [Nixon also in Projo]

Nomar is one happy camper
Ian Browne,

Garciaparra respects Martinez's opinions, and doesn't think they cast any distraction over the team. "He's going to be here this year," Garciaparra said. "I'm sure they'll pick up (the option) and I'm sure he'll be here next year too. Pedro says what he feels he needs to say. Pedro speaks form the heart. He's an emotional player. I'll tell you what, he's going to be out there wanting to strike out every guy who comes to the plate."

Spring training in Florida: Another bambino may be Sox cure
Larry Stone, Seattle Times

Theo Epstein, the 29-year-old general manager of the Boston Red Sox, has heard so many "baby GM" jokes that he has taken to ranking them for originality and wit. ... "Here's my favorite: 'The GM of the Red Sox was last seen being dangled over a balcony by Michael Jackson.' That's a good one."

Stathead Voros McCracken Joins the Red Sox As Consultant


February 19, 2003

He'll wait and see
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez said he hasn't heard anything from Sox management regarding his contract status. He said he doesn't really have an agent, but is still represented by the SFX Sports Group. ''They [Sox management] can talk to me first and then I'll see if I suggest SFX or not. There's plenty of time, still. I just know I'm healthy. What else can I do?''

Pedro takes it slow
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez played long-toss yesterday and expects to throw off the bullpen mound for the first time tomorrow. Most Sox pitchers have already had two side sessions.

Pedro throws tomorrow
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Pedro Martinez will throw off the mound tomorrow for the first time this spring. By then, some of the pitchers in camp already will have had three side sessions. "I'll just try to get the feel for the mound," said Martinez. "I'm not going to try to do too much." Martinez played long toss yesterday.

Pique of his career -- Stung by media speculation last season, irked Garciaparra addresses issue
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

Nomar Garciaparra ... said he's not sure how to act this year. ... ''I don't know how to act this year. Somebody will write some [expletive] or whatever. Some [expletive] that I was unhappy or I'm this. I don't get it. 'I was unhappy last year when we weren't in the playoffs. I'm happy with my situation, but I can't win, and I don't know how I'm going to act. If I was happy all year and we were losing, then it would be, 'Well, he's a little too happy. Obviously he doesn't care.' You know what I mean? If I'm walking around chipper all the time and we're not winning, then it will be like -- 'what's Nomar so happy about? He has nothing to be happy about. We're not in the playoffs.' So I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. I'll just ask somebody every day how I'm supposed to be acting. You tell me. You ask my teammates and my coaches. Nobody says I'm unhappy. I wish you guys could tell me the best strategy, because I'm in a no-win situation. And then people make [expletive] up to try to make me look bad.''

Stars deserve better treatment
Michael Gee, Boston Herald

When the Red Sox again fail to win it all this season, whose fault will it be? The morning-line favorite in the scapegoat sweepstakes is that broken-down has-been, Pedro Martinez. But the eventual winner/loser could be slacker outfielder Manny Ramirez, ungrateful shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, or even flash-in-the-pan pitcher Derek Lowe. ... The Sox have two options. They can continue to employ highly paid stars who'll be occasionally frustrating and difficult, but who'll lead a club that'll win more than it loses. Or Boston can field a squad composed of nothing but average Joes, retreads, and promising youngsters, scrappy holler guys just happy to be in the big leagues. That team would be a credit to the national pastime. It would also finish 15 games behind the Orioles.


February 18, 2003

Peace of mind for Pedro -- Martinez is confident arm is sound
Ian Browne,

"My condition now is great. I feel great and I'm going to continue doing my work and I'm ready to go to work. ... I feel even better (than last year) to be honest and I pray to God I'm not fooling myself. ... I hope I'm not (naive) about something, but I feel even better this year, more comfortable. ... All that weight on my legs and the top of my body, it was the first time I ever had all that weight. It's a difficult job adjusting mechanics to a new body. I feel lighter. Last year I was 196. I didn't feel comfortable until the first month. Right now I'm 190, 191, and I feel very comfortable. I can run and I feel light. And my shoulder feels a lot stronger than it was last year." ...

As for the daunting rival a couple of hundred miles to the south of Boston, Martinez isn't ready to concede a sixth consecutive AL East title to the Yankees. ... "We're even (with the Yankees)," Martinez said. "It's a new season and we're going to start over. They have seven starters, but only one can pitch during the game. We just face one, not seven. We have five starters and that's all they can use. I believe we're even."

Martinez holds court
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

A Japanese TV crew wanted to know if Pedro Martinez was intimidated by new Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui. When asked if he had checked out Matsui's stats, Martinez confidently smiled and responded: ``Has he already looked at my stats?'' ... Martinez indicated he's not a fan of the closer-by-committee setup that the Sox intend to try ... "I wasn't very happy when Oogy left. ... I'd like to have someone who knows what he's doing behind me because I had pretty good success last year and Oogy was part of it.''

Sox ace: Time to ante up: Martinez reiterates ultimatum
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

An uncharacteristically serious Pedro Martinez met with the media yesterday after the first day of workouts for Red Sox pitchers and catchers and explained that the uncertainty of his contract status wasn't the only thing responsible for his subdued mood. "Maybe if I had a better Valentine's Day, it would've helped,'' he said. "Maybe you guys can help look for a new prospect for me.'' ... Martinez re-issued the ultimatum he made last fall and said that he won't sign a new contract with the team if his 2004 option year isn't picked up by the end of spring training.

Sox should show no give on Martinez
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe 

Just say no. That's what the Red Sox should do about Pedro Martinez's ultimatum regarding the option year on his contract. When Pedro spoke to the media Saturday, he did his best to remain calm, cordial, and positive, but ultimately his message is selfish and unreasonable. He wants next year's money ($17.5 million) guaranteed now. And if he doesn't get it, he said he'll bolt from the Red Sox when his contract expires. Call his bluff, you Sox wise men. Don't give in to the mound master's threat.

It's time to begin anew, but it's the same old Pedro
Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal

It didn't take long, did it? Spring training hadn't even started when Pedro Martinez was putting a verbal gun to the Red Sox' head, saying that if they don't pick up the option on the 2004 season before spring training, that will be his last year in Boston. Beautiful. ... Pedro is always the story, the center of the ongoing soap opera that's the Red Sox. In his own way, he's become the baseball equivalent of a temperamental opera singer, our own little baseball diva. ...

Sensitivity would be nice change
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe 

[I]f the new Red Sox ownership really wants to separate itself from its predecessors - the people who not only let Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn walk, but denigrated them on their way out and got nothing in return - they will bring an entirely different sensibility to the way they handle contract negotiations with Pedro Martinez, still the most precious asset they own. The prediction here is they will. ...

The master and his pupil: Pedro gives Fossum hope
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

He got into a crouch and peered through the fence, a modern day member of the old-time knothole gang. Pedro Martinez fixed his sights on Casey Fossum, his teammate and fellow swizzle stick, and you had to wonder if the inimitable ace of the Red Sox caught just a glimpse of his own past. "He reminds me a lot of myself,'' Martinez said yesterday at the team's minor league complex, where Sox pitchers and catchers continued spring training workouts. "I can tell clearly what may be wrong with him because I can identify.''

Red Sox Notebook
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

No date has been set for Martinez's first bullpen session. Little said Martinez will follow a schedule that prepares him to start Opening Day,

A conspiracy theory is floated
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

He refrained from uttering the term ''Evil Empire.'' But Pedro Martinez nonetheless believes something fishy unfolded in the deal involving the Yankees, White Sox, and Expos that prevented the Red Sox from snagging Bartolo Colon. Yesterday, he floated a possible conspiracy theory ... ''There was a little trick going on with Steinbrenner, Reinsdorf, and the Montreal Expos being part of Major League Baseball. I believe there was something because we offered a better package than the White Sox did, but it didn't go through.''


February 17, 2003

Ace off base: Sox smart to hold off on Pedro's option year
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald

... We all love Pedro Martinez. ... He is THE pitcher you want to see on the mound when you shell out the heavy coin for tickets to Fenway Park, not just because he is a great pitcher, but also because he is great theater. But Pedro is angry. ... Pedro has taken his case to the people, and now it is the biggest issue of the spring. There's a very good chance the Henry-Werner-Lucchino troika will, in the interest of keeping harmony in the clubhouse, pick up the option before the end of the spring. Maybe they'll even give their ace a new deal. If they choose to sit tight, the carnival act will continue.

Pedro makes another contract pitch
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Pedro Martinez, as usual, did not mince words. ... "They haven't told me they aren't going to pick it up, so don't start making it a rivalry between me and the owners. No. I'm sure we're going to talk. We'll meet and do what it takes to work this out. I'm rooting to stay in Boston. ... I cannot understand it. I come off a season where I won 20 games (20-4 with a 2.26 earned-run average) and pitched 200 innings (199.1, actually). Look at the market and see what the value is, and that ($17.5 million) should be a bargain, shouldn't it? After 20-4 and 200 innings, I don't think they should be too worried about it."

Nothing like having an Ace
Art Davidson, MetroWest Daily

Arthur "Ace" Adams felt the pain more acutely than even ardent Red Sox fans when Boston lost to the Mets in the 1986 World Series. The Wellesley native never played for the Red Sox, but he was on the field in uniform before each game that season. From 1984-86 the former Wellesley High School and University of Michigan standout was a Red Sox batting practice pitcher.


February 16, 2003

Going back to a pitch -- Martinez renews call for pickup of option in spring
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

Renewing an ultimatum with monumental implications for the Red Sox, Pedro Martinez yesterday made his 2003 debut at spring training by warning that if the team fails to exercise his $17.5 million option for 2004 before the end of spring training he will not return in 2005. ...

Pitching For A Deal -- Martinez Wants Contract Issues Settled
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant 

One minute, Martinez was confident he would finish his career with the Red Sox. The next he was saying he will become a free agent and leave Boston if the team doesn't exercise its 2004 option on his contract before the season. ... The Red Sox have until November to pick up the option or allow Martinez to become a free agent. But if the Red Sox wait that long, Martinez has vowed to leave after the 2004 season. "I'm definitely not coming back to Boston," Martinez said. "It's a matter of respect. ... I'm not frustrated. Like I said before, would you stay with a woman who told you she doesn't love you? It makes no sense." ...

As for his physical condition, Martinez said his right shoulder feels much stronger than it did a year ago. He weighs 190 pounds - about six pounds lighter. "I feel very comfortable," Martinez said after the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers. "My condition right now is great. I feel great. I did my work. I'm ready to go to work."

Unknowns filling 2003 Sox roster
Art Martone, Providence Journal

So who are these guys? Take a glance at the Red Sox roster ... There are some familiar names, sure. Who among us wouldn't recognize Nomar Garciaparra or Manny Ramirez or Pedro Martinez or Derek Lowe? But new general manager Theo Epstein and his staff of assistants and advisors have been busy this winter. There are no fewer than 16 players on the 40-man roster who weren't in the organization when the 2002 season ended -- 17, if you count Kevin Millar (who isn't yet on the 40) -- and as many as 11 or 12 of them actually have a legitimate chance of making the team. ... Each Sunday over the next several weeks, we'll look at the players who have the best chance of coming North. For lack of any better way to do it, we'll go by uniform numbers.


February 15, 2003

Martinez sighting
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

A stealth ace, Pedro Martinez slipped into camp under the radar. Reporting on time with the other pitchers and catchers, Martinez popped into the administrative offices of the training complex at midday, dropped off a box of belongings, and quietly departed. ... He was said to have added even more muscle after considerably beefing up the winter before. He was scheduled to undergo a physical today and hold a news conference ...

Hidden ace
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez quickly snuck in and out of the minor league complex yesterday morning, stopping only long enough to unload a box of possessions. He returned late in the afternoon and worked out with two relatives after everyone else departed. His visits ended speculation he would once again show up after the rest of the pitchers and catchers.

Pedro's option is to stay with Sox -- 'I would like to finish here,' Boston ace tells media
Ian Browne,

Shifting gears between optimistic, firm, hopeful and realistic, Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez held his first formal media chat of the spring Saturday afternoon and delved right into his contract status. ... "I know we're going to work it out and I'm not worried about that. Right now I'm just getting ready to work. ... I will definitely not come back after that one year if they wait until November. If they wait until November to pick up my option ... I'm definitely not coming back to Boston. ... I would like to finish here, get it over with and not even have to move. I don't want to go anywhere. I'm familiar with Boston, I'm familiar with the fans. I actually like it. I like the challenge of spending so much time without winning (the World Series). I would like to be part of the first team (since 1918) that wins it."

Pedro wants to finish career with Boston
Howard Ulman, Associated Press

Pedro Martinez is confident the Boston Red Sox will pick up his $17.5 million option for 2004 but said Saturday that will be his last season with the team if they wait until November to do it. "You want to take that gamble if you were the owner of this team?'' he said. ''I don't think so.'' [espn link]


February 14, 2003

Sox gamble with ace: Pedro might call their bluff
Michael Gee, Boston Herald

What if Pedro Martinez isn't kidding? What if the Red Sox' peerless pitcher means it when he hints he'll leave Boston as a free agent if the Sox don't pick up their $17.5 million option on him for the 2004 season before the start of this year? I'd say that possibility is a dire threat that Sox management ignores at its peril. ...

Talk of camp is what Martinez might say
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

Only Pedro Martinez knows the public stance he will voice on his contract situation when he holds his first press conference of spring training as early as today, though more likely tomorrow. But he has yet to make a fuss about it to the people who matter, the Red Sox brass. Martinez, who has told reporters he wants the Sox to negotiate a new contract or pick up his option for 2004 before Opening Day or he will walk after that season, called general manager Theo Epstein Wednesday night for an informal chat ...

Let the record show Jeremy Giambi was the first of the newcomers to proclaim the Sox equal to the task of overtaking the Yankees in the American League East. ''I think we're actually a team that can play more consistent because the Yankees are going to have some injuries. I think they know that, too, I think that's why they're holding on to so many pitchers."


February 13, 2003

Martinez expected
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Breaking his personal tradition, Pedro Martinez is expected to report to Fort Myers on schedule tomorrow, which would be a first since he joined the Sox. Whether he stops by the training facility remains to be seen. He is due only to arrive in town. His first scheduled appointment is a physical Saturday morning, when pitchers and catchers are scheduled to hold their first formal workout. 

Pedro plans to arrive on time
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Damn the family birthdays, workouts and visa problems, because it's full-speed ahead for Pedro Martinez' uncharacteristic, on-schedule arrival with Red Sox pitchers and catchers Friday. That's the word the team received Monday night, when physical therapist Chris Correnti received a telephone call from Martinez in the Dominican Republic. The three-time Cy Young Award winner may be peeved that the team hasn't picked up his 2004 option yet, but he apparently isn't going to let it get in the way of punctuality. "Chris talked with him and he said he was going to be here Friday,'' manager Grady Little said.

Owner Henry itchin' to play
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

He is more like Tom Yawkey than John Harrington, more like a fan than a man with millions. Yes, John Henry arrived at spring training last year in a luxury bus. And then, dressed in khaki pants and a white shirt, he jogged on the practice fields like a man with a new lease on life. ... But both Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra could be free agents within the next two years, and most now believe that the team cannot keep both. "It is possible to keep both,'' Henry said. "When you consider that the players want to be here and we desperately want them here, it is more probable than possible. But until there are agreements, this is just a possibility.''

It's a winter wonder land: Red Sox' offseason moves still leave many questions unanswered
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

... As is the case each spring, the Sox will arrive in Florida with their usual allotment of questions and issues. ... Will Pedro Martinez express displeasure over his contract status? Probably, but don't worry. Though Martinez is currently in the final year (scary, but true) of the six-year, $75 million contract he signed prior to the 1998 season, the Red Sox hold a $17.5 million option on him for 2004. Martinez has suggested that he will not re-sign with the Sox if the club does not exercise that option before the season, but, quite simply, the Sox would be foolish to do so given his recent history of shoulder difficulty. Martinez won't want to hear this, but the simple fact is that he has to pitch for his money. And if there is any question as to whether Martinez' performance will suffer as a result, let us all recognize that he has never failed to meet a challenge during the course of his career. As long as the chip remains on his shoulder, both he and the Red Sox will be fine.

Red Sox look past sizzle for 2003 -- Boston confidently builds around team's superstars
Ian Browne,

As the 2003 Red Sox get set to embark on Spring Training, there won't be the sizzle that has accompanied some past springs. There are no blockbuster additions in tow. There are no great expectations from national media forecasting that this is the year the seemingly endless championship drought will end. [Plus: Red Sox Spring Training Rundown]

Haywood Sullivan, 72, former Sox owner with Jean Yawkey
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

Haywood C. Sullivan, who rose from backup catcher to part-owner of the Red Sox and helped build Boston's last three American League championship teams, died yesterday of a stroke. He was 72.

AL East: Yankees suck suspense out of East race
John Hickey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

... The only real division-wide question in the AL East is whether or not the Red Sox can push the Yankees a bit. The rest of the division is just along for the ride. Boston Red Sox: 1: Does the youngest general manager ever (28-year-old Theo Epstein) have what it takes? ... A stats maven, will he be a good handler of people and the relentless Boston media? Will Pedro Martinez be worth it? Even before spring training starts, the three-time Cy Young Award winner is whining ... Is he still worth $17.5 million per year? Can a playoff team flourish without a closer? ... Freddy Sanchez is seen as the 2004 second baseman; a big spring could move the timetable up. ... New York Yankees -- Will Hideki Matsui play like Godzilla or Bambi? ... Same question, different name. Jose Contreras ... Is $164 million enough to buy the World Series? ...

Other Diamond Notes
e.e. gammings,

Devil Rays pitcher Bobby Seay has the guts of a cow, and could be a big surprise.

Jason Dubois is to the Blue Jays what the song "Love In Provo" is to Dave Edmonds.

The Red Sox staff have varying degrees of potential; Pedro Martinez is outstanding, Chad Fox can be, and Mike Timlin's rough mindset is ever a mystery.

Mark McLemore, who has always been considered somewhat carefree, had a dream one night that he was locked inside some motels being chased by a giant candy bar, and when he woke up he found he had a scratched kidney, which will keep him out eight weeks, and the Mariners think they will get by if Gil Meche, a favorite of Bob Melvin, steps up.

[Keep refreshing for more Diamond Notes]


February 11, 2003

Sox chances? Good question
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

NEW YORK YANKEES: Will high-priced imports Hideki Matsui and Jose Contreras live up to their monstrous buildup as the (alleged) best experienced power hitter and starting pitcher ever to relocate from foreign leagues? Or will it be George Steinbrenner who fulfills his self-created Theo Epstein fallacy by smashing furniture? The bullpen is without lefty Mike Stanton (New York Mets) and righty Ramiro Mendoza (Red Sox).

RED SOX: Will the Sox become the first successful team since the Pirates of the early '90s to effectively use a closer-by-committee to finish games? Can three or four from the group of Alan Embree, Bobby Howry, Mendoza, Chad Fox and Mike Timlin really register 10-15 saves? Jeremy Giambi, Todd Walker, Bill Mueller and David Ortiz were among the bats added.

Projected winners, losers of 2003
Lawrence Rocca, New Jersey Star-Ledger

As of this moment, the Elias Sports Bureau is calculating the Yankees' magic number for clinching the AL East ...

WINNERS -- 1. Yankees: The online magazine "The Onion" ran a terrific spoof last week on the Yankees, joking that the team had signed every player in baseball. It only seems that way. The Yankees retained Roger Clemens and went overseas to sign Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui," the best hitter in Japan, and Jose Contreras, the best pitcher in Cuba, a player who some say is the best amateur pitcher ever. "He's a stud," one AL general manager said of Contreras. "He's legit. Everybody raves about him." Amazingly, despite his $8 million salary, Contreras could start the season in the bullpen or in Triple-A.

LOSERS -- 1. Red Sox: Bartolo Colon is their most obvious and unforgivable whiff, but Boston also missed out on just about every high profile player available. Millwood, Contreras, Glavine, Matsui, Alfonzo, Floyd and Jeff Kent were all on their wish list. Now, they're even having trouble getting Kevin Millar out of his deal in Japan. "When the winter started, there were three teams with money and four marquee pitchers," one GM said. "By default, you figured they'd get one of them." The Red Sox don't even have a closer, partly on the advice of stats guru and new front office man Bill James. Now, that's abstract.

The Yankees, Then Everyone Else
Jon Heyman, New York Newsday

If the goal was parity, as they say here where baseball's 26-time kings reign...fuhgetaboutit. While the mortal-laden teams battled for scraps this winter, the star-infused Yankees enter spring training Tuesday - days ahead of nearly everyone else - with a roster that's already an international sensation. ... Among serious contenders, who did the worst? Based on expectations, it has to be Boston, which tried for nearly every big name. Boston vied for Kent, Edgardo Alfonzo, Contreras, Millwood, Colon and Matsui. Boston did get Giambi, Walker and Lajoie. Too bad it was Jeremy Giambi, Todd Walker and Bill Lajoie, not Jason Giambi, Larry Walker and Nap Lajoie.


February 7, 2003

Lowe has guard up
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Look for Derek Lowe to take extra precautions regarding sunscreen and shelter from the Florida sun after undergoing surgery last month for skin cancer on his nose. The 21-game winner is already working out in Fort Myers. ... Early indications are Pedro Martinez will be in Fort Myers next Thursday or Friday. The Boston ace has traditionally arrived up to a week after other pitchers, citing his father's birthday and a desire to finish up his offseason workout regimen in the Dominican Republic. Ramiro Mendoza and a half-dozen others on the 40-man roster are already working out at City Of Palms Park. ...

Ortiz hits homer as Dominicans challenge for title
Associated Press

David Ortiz hit a three-run homer and the Dominican Republic beat Mexico 11-4 Thursday in the Caribbean Series. At night, Chris Rojas pitched four-hit ball for six innings as the Mayaguez Indians beat the Caguas Creoles 1-0 in a matchup of teams from Puerto Rico. Mayaguez leads the tournament with a 5-0 record and the Dominicans are 4-1. The two leaders play Friday, and Mayaguez can clinch the championship with a victory. If the Dominicans win, they'll play a tiebreaker Saturday. ... Ortiz, who has homered twice in the tournament, also doubled, singled and walked twice.

Text of February 6 Sons of Sam Horn Online Chat with Theo Epstein


February 6, 2003

Finding the Perfect Lineup
Eric Van, posted at Sons of Sam Horn

Let's see if we can figure out from numbers and game strategy what the best batting order is. ...


Hot Stove Heater -- Boston Red Sox
Sean McAdam,

Looking ahead to 2003 -- Three key questions

1. Can Pedro stay healthy and happy?
2. Will the infield defense be sufficient?
3. How will the "closer-by-committee'' approach work in the bullpen?

Team Health Report: Boston Red Sox
Will Carroll, Baseball Prospectus

With bar stools atop the Monster and a guitar-slinging new GM, the Red Sox have exited the Duquette doldrums and moved into what could be a new era for the team. Last year, the team's hopes were pinned on the return of Nomar and the health of Pedro. Not much is different this year, but there's a better supporting cast.

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