pedro martinez


News Archive for May 1-15, 2001
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Tuesday, May 15, 2001

State of the Boston Sports Guy Site -- Thoughts on the past, present and future
Bill Simmons

I'm using this space to discuss everything that's happened with me and this site over the last few months ... Anyway, if you're interested in seeing [my] site remain at Digital City, send DCB an e-mail telling them that you enjoy the BSG site and hope it remains here for the foreseeable future: Click here to send an e-mail. Takes about two minutes... the more the merrier.

Random thoughts on baseball
Rob Neyer,

Speaking of pitching coaches, most of us would agree that Boston's Joe Kerrigan is one of the best. But is anybody else disturbed by the demotion of Tomo Ohka and Paxton Crawford?

Sox have oldest rotation in league
Springfield Union-News

With the demotion of Tomo Ohka and Paxton Crawford and the installation of Tim Wakefield and David Cone as starters, the Red Sox now have the oldest rotation in the American League East:

Pedro Martinez -- 29 years, 6 months
Hideo Nomo -- 32 years, 8 months
Frank Castillo -- 32 years, 1 month
Tim Wakefield -- 34 years, 9 months
David Cone -- 38 years, 4 months

Average -- 33.5 years

American League East Averages
Yankees -- 32.2 years
Blue Jays -- 30.1 years
Devil Rays -- 28.5 years
Orioles -- 28.0 years


Monday, May 14, 2001

David Cone will join Boston's rotation and start on Thursday against the Minnesota Twins, a day after Tim Wakefield makes his first start of the season for the Red Sox. Hipolito Pichardo will also be recalled from a rehab assignment in a move that the Red Sox said will be effective Monday. Paxton Crawford and Tomo Ohka were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday to make room on the roster.

Sox are producing fervor if not fever
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Six weeks into the baseball season is generally a good time to make assessments, Dan Duquette once noted, and the Red Sox have provided considerable fodder thus far. Even the general manager of the team believes "there is more interest in the Red Sox than there has ever been,'' although that assessment should surprise no one given the weight placed on this heretofore extraordinary 2001 season.

Cumberland Farm sprouts in bullpen
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Bullpen coach John Cumberland is as sick as the next Red Sox fan over the team's inability to win a World Series since 1918. Cumberland took matters into his own hands last Friday by planting 18 beefsteak tomato plants in the Red Sox bullpen. "I'm trying to change the karma. There's been bad soil here. Hopefully now it's good soil."

Apolitical Blues
Peter Gammons,

Red Sox bullpen coach John Cumberland, who grew up on a farm in Westbrook, Maine, has started a tomato garden in the home bullpen at Fenway Park. He has dug 18 plants, and put sweet basil between each one.

"We haven't won since 1918," says Cumberland, "so there's the magic number. I'm trying to change the karma around here, get some sweet tomatoes and basil in the soil and change it. Hopefully, we'll have a nice, bountiful crop by October."

But what if El Guapo, Rich Garces, gets hungry out there and snacks on some? "They're not fattening," says Cumberland, "so he can eat all the tomatoes he wants."

Also from Gammons

In an interview this week, Jose Canseco, now playing in the independent Atlantic League for the Newark Bears, said this: "I ran a 3.39, 40." The claim went unchallenged. Just for reference, no player has ever tested close to that time in the 40-yard dash in any NFL workout.

An innovator in his field: In taking over for a Fenway legend, David Mellor is quickly proving that he can make the cut
Steve Conroy, Boston Herald

David Mellor arrives at Fenway Park for a standard night game shortly after 6 in the morning, and doesn't leave until well after the game is completed.

Mellor insists there's always work to be done. But after spending any time with Fenway's new head groundskeeper, you get the idea that, if there weren't a task at hand, he'd create one just so he could spend more time at the ballpark.

Week in Review
Jayson Stark,

"Not only did [Randy] Johnson face 29 hitters in this game and strike out 20 of them. But he did it against a Reds lineup that hasn't been shut out since the late, great 1900s. He struck out 10 of the first 13 hitters. He struck out eight of the last nine hitters. He struck out 18 swinging. He struck out two looking. Of the 72 pitches the Reds swung at, they either missed or fouled off 63 of them. They hit nothing but the light air of downtown Phoenix on exactly half of those hacks (36). ... [H]is 124th and final pitch of the night was clocked by state-police radar at 98 miles per hour.

Curt Schilling: "After he struck out the first guy in the ninth for 19, Donnie Sadler came up and hit a ground ball in the hole, and I'm like, 'Don't make the play.' Then it's a bang-bang play at first, and I'm like, 'Safe.' Or, 'Call catcher's interference or something.'"

Rundown of the week: If you closely perused your daily box scores from Tuesday [May 8] night, you might have run across this listing of a double play turned by the Astros in their game against the Phillies: Ausmus-Vizcaino-Bagwell-Biggio-Lima-Biggio-Bagwell-Biggio-Ausmus-Vizcaino. Or, if you're scoring at home: 2-6-3-4-1-4-3-4-2-6.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Triple Crown Statistics
Seth Stevenson,

To win baseball's Triple Crown, a player must lead his league in 1) batting average, 2) runs batted in, and 3) home runs. Winning the crown is a rare feat. But it would be a far cooler feat if these stats were meaningful.

Ballparks resurrect a mysterious path
Norman Prady, The Christian Science Monitor

What's that dirt path called? We're seeing them again in retro parks like Bank One Park in Phoenix and Comerica Park in Detroit -- the narrow dirt path that runs between the pitcher's mound and home plate. Apparently, no one knows why the path existed in the game's early days, and why it went away. Strangest of all, there's no official or generic term for that dirt path -- although in Phoenix they call it the Pitcher's Path.

On Deck: Five reasons you should not let your son or daughter grow up to be a Red Sox fan
Dave Darling, The Sporting News

Cracksmokers of Major League Baseball

Cracksmoker (krak'smoker) n. 1. A professional or collegiate athlete who exhibits behavior not fit for society.


Saturday, May 12, 2001

10 Burning Question for Pedro Martinez

Page 2 asked Martinez 10 burning questions that others wouldn't dare to ask. ...

3. [D]o you miss Youppi, the Expos mascot?
Martinez: No.

Rumblings and Grumblings
Jayson Stark, (May 7)

Pedro Martinez note of the week: Sunday's game in Oakland pushed the great Pedro's ERA under 2.00 for the last 88 times he's gone to the mound in the regular season, dating all the way back to June 16, 1998.

For that matter, he has a 2.10 ERA since Sept. 3, 1996 -- which takes in his last 136 trips to the mound. Throw in his three postseason appearances, and that dips to 2.08 over his last 139 games. It isn't fair. Is it?

Bronx Zoo a real treat for the whole family
Jim Caple,, page 2

Unlike the Metrodome, no security forces are required at Yankee Stadium, because fans police themselves, maintaining strict standards of decorum. The rigid dress policy requires that men wear a coat and tie. To maintain their well-earned reputation as the game's most knowledgeable fans, no one is admitted to the bleachers until passing a 50-question test on Yankees and baseball history.

Notebook: Rotation intact
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Despite the recent struggles of Paxton Crawford and Tomo Ohka, the Red Sox last night completed seven full turns of the starting rotation at the start of the season for the first time since 1976.

The last time the Sox made it this far without replacing a starter due to injury or ineffectiveness was 1976, when the four-man rotation of Ferguson Jenkins, Rick Wise, Luis Tiant and Bill Lee made six full turns before Dick Pole filled in for an ill Lee on his seventh turn on May 14, 1976. . . .

Plate discipline matters more than ever this year
Joe Sheehan,

Are some clubs taking advantage of the new conditions to score more runs, even as league-wide offense is down? The answer is a qualified "yes." While there is no absolute relationship, there definitely is a trend that indicates teams which are adjusting the best to the new environment are performing the best at the plate.

.. The outlier here is the Red Sox, who have improved their offensive performance by more than any other AL team (.249 to .270, or 8.4 percent) despite the second-worst K/BB ratio in the league. Shea Hillenbrand is a fun story, but maybe the pre-game hitting lessons with him are taking the whole thing a bit too far. The Sox are 12th in the AL in walks and 11th in strikeouts (where more is worse), so I'm not enthusiastic about their ability to keep the runs coming.


Friday, May 11, 2001

Notebook: Hit sign caught on tape: M's finger Sox catcher
Bob Finnigan, Seattle Times

The Mariners have kept a videotaped copy of Wednesday night's game, presumably because it shows Boston catcher Jason Varitek using the middle finger of his right hand before two pitches to John Olerud in the third inning.

Both pitches from Frank Castillo were inside on Olerud, the first missing him around mid-thigh, the second actually thrown behind the left-handed batter and grazing him on the behind.

"Using that finger is a common sign for telling a pitcher to knock down a batter," said Mariner Manager Lou Piniella, who requested the copy of the tape. "There's no doubt they were throwing at Olerud."

Red Sox Notebook, May 10
Mike Petraglia,

Cone on track, Sabes better; Pichardo starts again

David Cone will make a start for Class-A Sarasota Saturday. The 38-year-old reported no problems after a side session in Fort Myers and will make the appearance for Boston's Florida State League affiliate.

Bret Saberhagen "felt a lot better" Thursday after feeling sore after a throwing two innings of batting practice last Saturday. "He felt better and just played catch."

Reliever Hipolito Pichardo got his second start Thursday night for the Pawtucket Red Sox. The right-hander lasted only one inning, giving up three runs two hits and two walks in Pawtucket's 8-7 loss to Columbus. Pichardo, who is continuing his rehab stint as he recovers from right elbow strain, did not figure in the game decision.

The Thinking Fan: Two new baseball stats would reflect team play
Leonard Koppett, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The way to encourage attention to "the intangibles" is to make them tangible. Here are two statistics that ought to be fully used and publicized as a step in that direction. One involves catchers, the other batters.


Thursday, May 10, 2001

Art's Notebook, May 10
Art Martone, Providence Journal

On February 15, when the Sox prepared to gather in Fort Myers, the non-pitching portion of the roster seemed set. Heading into spring training, this is what it looked like...

Red Sox Notebook
Steve Krasner, Providence Journal

Second baseman Chris Stynes was struck on the ear flap by a fastball from Aaron Sele in the second inning and had to leave the game. He was bleeding from the left cheekbone and taken to a local hospital for x-rays. Stynes, examined at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, was found to have suffered two facial fractures of the left cheekbone. His eyesight didn't seem affected, but he was to be monitored.

... Remember when Pedro Martinez was erroneously issued a warning by plate umpire Joe Brinkman for hitting the Mariners' Edgar Martinez with a 77-mile-an-hour curveball in Seattle last week? Well, when Sele hit Stynes with a fastball last night, plate umpire Al Clark issued no warning.

But when Boston starter Frank Castillo drilled the Mariners' John Olerud in the rear end with a 2-and-1 pitch and two outs and no one on in the third, Clark walked to the mound, issuing a warning to Castillo, feeling the hit batsman had been in retaliation for Stynes getting hit.

Warning: New rule unruly: Williams baffled by brushback policy
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Clark, for his part, stressed that he was not present in Seattle last week when Martinez was issued a warning, but based on the new rules, the point is that neither he nor Brinkman appears to have made the right decision.

Meanwhile, Williams remains mystified. "That was either a complete misinterpretation of the rules in Seattle or they're picking on Pedro.''

Red Sox Notebook
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Manny Ramirez took flies in left field before the game, though Williams continued to suggest he was not on the brink of moving there. Asked if Valentin might DH when Ramirez returns to the outfield, Williams said, ''Manny's the DH, so we can't even discuss that at this particular time.'' ... Ramirez (2 for 3, HR, two walks, two RBIs), has reached base safely in 15 of his last 20 plate appearances. He is on pace for 54 homers and 187 RBIs .

When in doubt, turn to the team meeting
Scott Miller,

When the breaks are going against the boys and their backs are up against it, there's only one thing to do. Team meeting. ... Detroit's came complete with entertainment ... Garner hired a hypnotist and two comedians a few weeks ago to perform in the Tigers' clubhouse before Sunday's game in Anaheim.

For Elias, It's A Matter Of Record
Jack O'Connell, Hartford Courant

I phoned Seymour Siwoff, president of the Elias Sports Bureau, which keeps the records for Major League Baseball, to ask a question. Will Randy Johnson's achievement Tuesday night earn another line in next year's edition.

"Of course," Siwoff said. "It will go under the categories of most strikeouts in an extra-inning game by a National League pitcher and by a left-handed pitcher."

... "What confuses the issue more than anything is that Johnson pitched only nine innings," Seymour said. "If he had come out for the 10th, I don't know if anybody would be screaming about this. If he pitched another inning or two and gotten two more strikeouts, we could say Randy Johnson struck out more batters in a game of any length in history."

... "Obviously, Johnson's achievement will be recognized," Siwoff said. "We'll put in parentheses he struck out 20 batters in nine innings. It's just not a record for a nine-inning game. How can he tie a nine-inning game record pitching in a game that wasn't nine innings?"


Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Pedro makes presence felt
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez created a lifetime worth of memories for both young and old on the Red Sox' off-day Monday. ... Spotted by some neighborhood kids while he was getting his hair cut in the South End, Martinez was urged to come by and visit their friends' Little League game nearby when he was finished.

... When Martinez arrived, the players were so excited they simply walked off the field in the middle of the game and surrounded Martinez at his car. ... Martinez said it was not the first time he has stopped to watch Boston-area children play. "I do that quite often. I stop anywhere. Wherever I see baseball being played, I stop. Sometimes I stop and watch, and people don't realize it's me. That's nice.''


Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Saying thanks to Pedro
Larry Henry, Everett Herald

He had just gotten out of the car as I came across the street to Safeco Field. He was a nice-looking young man, dressed in a stylish suit and sweater. Two pieces of luggage sat at his feet. He appeared to be saying goodbye to some friends.

Sox ace struggles with fame
Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle

The curve isn't snapping, his mechanics are off, he doesn't have the high- octane juice, and he's always battling a weight problem, plus mysterious forces deep within the game's power structure are messing with him.

... Yesterday he was talking about the fans who dislike him because he's the enemy. "They give you the middle finger or they say, 'You S!' " He actually used the letter S instead of the word. A baseball player who doesn't even say "suck."

The answer to why Pedro Martinez can't finish what he starts
Paul Izzo, Springfield Union-News

The situation raised yet again a question we first posed last week - what is it with this unwillingness to allow Pedro Martinez a chance to pitch a complete game? Is there something here that all of us have missed? I begin by addressing a critical issue - does Martinez actually come out of games "early"?

All work, great play: Manny a hit with Sox teammates
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

"He's a lot different guy than we thought,'' second baseman Chris Stynes said. "He's a very, very humble, nice and gentle person. When you watch him from another team, you think he's a mean, rugged, gruff guy. He's the opposite of that. ... You'd hear rumors that he was lazy or that he doesn't work hard. That's nonsense. I don't know where that came from. He works his ass off. Not many people know that he's up at 9 every morning to start his workouts.''

"What amazes me is his preparation,'' hitting coach Rick Down said. "I didn't realize how much work he puts in. For home games, he's in the weight room by 11 (a.m.), before anyone shows up. Usually, when I'm coming in, he's leaving because he's already done Round 1 of his workout."

This static is music to my ears
Michael Holley, Boston Globe

The cute, G-rated side of baseball is all yours. You can have the polite, shut-up-and-play guys if you want. You can have the cuddly teams that play cribbage, plot harmless practical jokes, and lovingly fine each other in Kangaroo Courts.

... If you want to see a team that reflects the American workplace - confrontational staff meetings, complaints about lack of meaningful work, tension between middle and upper management - go to Fenway Park.

A fly on the Sox' clubhouse wall
Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald

Carl: I've got an idea: What do you say we try to steal a base every time the manager puts his hands down his pants? Heck, we'll be running all day. We'll steal more than the '85 Cardinals.

Jimy: The '85 Cardinals? Hey, I know them. Isn't that the one team you haven't played for in your stellar career? Gee, I wonder why a guy with your talent keeps getting passed around like a bottle of cheap wine on a cold night under a bridge. It couldn't be your charming personality, could it, Carl? ...

Jimy: Well, Troy is behind me. I know that.

Carl: Which reminds me: Will Troy change his last name to Williams when the adoption becomes official?

The maneuvers of a manager -- Garner plays a chess match with game at stake in ninth
John Lowe, Detroit Free Press (May 7)

Angels manager Mike Scioscia also knew that Sparks' run wasn't important. He had his first baseman, Scott Spiezio, play behind Sparks instead of holding him on.

Apparently, '61*' deserves another asterisk
Seattle Post-Intellgencer

The HBO movie "61*" has received a great deal of praise for its degree of historical accuracy, but it's far from perfect.

From the "You're Getting Warmer" Dept.: Rich Garces's weight now listed as 245.


Monday, May 7, 2001

My return has made me not take things for granted
Warren Morris, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This week, I was called up by the Pirates after spending the first month of the season at Nashville.


Sunday, May 6, 2001

From the scout's seat
Sean McAdam,, May 3

The owners of the five best curveballs in the big leagues, according to one veteran advance scout:

1. Pedro Martinez. "It has a great, late break to it and because of the rest of his stuff, just locks hitters up."

2-5. Darryl Kile, David Wells, Mike Mussina, Kerry Wood.

Tavarez's giant slur -- Longer penalty could be in line for Cubs starter
Dan McGrath, Chicago Tribune (April 29)

On the day before he was to begin serving a five-game suspension for fighting, Cubs pitcher Julian Tavarez probably earned himself a longer sentence with a slur describing gays directed at Giants fans.

Asked about the crowd booing him, Tavarez said, "What do I care about the fans here?" and used a common curse word and the slur about gays to describe them. "That's what they are."

Cubs hit Tavarez with fine -- No suspension for blasting Giants fans
Chicago Tribune, May 3, 2001

Julian Tavarez will pay for making derogatory comments about fans in San Francisco, but he won't be suspended. The Cubs slapped Tavarez with a five-figure fine and said he will undergo sensitivity training after his outburst following Saturday's loss to the Giants. The 27-year-old right-hander used profanity and a derogatory term about gays.

.. Baylor had Tavarez apologize to his teammates Sunday. Tavarez also issued an apology to the city of San Francisco. ... "In the past, anti-gay slurs have met with silence or acceptance," Equality Illinois spokesman Rick Garcia said. "The Cubs' organization clearly let it be known that anti-gay sentiment is not only inappropriate, it will not be tolerated in their organization."

That's the way the cookie crumbles for Muser
Joe Posnanski, Kansas City Star (May 4)

Tony Muser will never live this down. He's the cookies-and-milk guy now and forever. ... We all know now that after the Royals played their worst game in forever, Muser said: "Chewing on cookies and drinking milk and praying is not going to get it done."

You can analyze and overanalyze what Muser meant by that. Was he ripping prayer? Was he ripping milk? Was he ripping Mike Sweeney? What does he have against cookies? How about Twix bars? Are those even cookies? Or a candy bar? How does Tony feel about skim milk? What about praying for cookies? Is that OK?

Muser didn't help his cause by later saying: "I'd like to see 'em go out and pound tequila rather than cookies and milk."

Can you pound cookies and milk?

Muser apologizes for comments, gets support from players, front office
Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star (May 4)

Royals manager Tony Muser apologized Friday to anyone offended by his suggestion after Thursday's loss to Cleveland that tequila offered a surer route to winning than milk, cookies and prayer.

"Hindsight is always better," he said. "My example of milk and cookies meant this wasn't Little League baseball. It's tough. That was the comparison of milk and cookies to tequila. One is nasty, and one is easy to eat and get down. So we have to suck it up and get through this together. That was my intent."

Muser vehemently denied his comments were directed at first baseman Mike Sweeney, a staunch Christian with a clean-living reputation.

"I truly feel the statements Tony made were in no way intended to be malicious toward guys like me because of my Christian faith," Sweeney said.

Muser sorry for words, not message
Ken Corbitt , The Capital-Journal (May 5)

"I'll take the heat and I'll take the hit for not being politically correct, and to those people who I may have offended I apologize as a man. .. The message was that we have to get tougher. We probably should have used cod liver oil instead of tequila."


Saturday, May 5, 2001

The Daily Prospectus: Bud? You there, Bud?
Joe Sheehan,

Bud Selig should be pointing to the Twins as a shining example of how success in baseball isn't solely determined by payroll. ... Selig should be capitalizing on this to promote the game. That's what the nominal leader of the sport should do: help feed excitement over the product and help it be successful.

Instead, we're getting silence, because the Twins' success and the big crowds at the Metrodome don't fit with Selig's predetermined posture, and he'd prefer to ignore them.


Friday, May 4, 2001

Marty Cordova's secret weapon
Rob Neyer,

I have seen the future of batting practice. And if I were a pitcher I would be afraid. I would be very afraid. ... "Abner" can throw fastballs, sliders, curveballs, changeups, even knuckleballs, and at virtually any speeds.

Genius at work
Tim Kurkjian, Espn magazine

The best hitter in baseball appears oblivious to all that's going on around him.

In 1999-2000, he became the first player since Ted Williams to average an RBI per game in consecutive seasons. ... There's no way to pitch him. Last season, he batted .463 when he put the first pitch in play. ... But when Ramirez got ahead in the count, he hit .569.

Martinez had legitimate beef -- Warning is not required by rule
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez's beef with baseball may have merit. The day after Martinez complained that umpire Joe Brinkman unfairly warned him for hitting Seattle's Edgar Martinez in the helmet with a pitch, baseball officials yesterday said the rules do not require automatic warnings in such instances, as Brinkman purportedly said they did.

Williams back on warning track
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Umpire Joe Brinkman may have been out of line by saying that he was required to issue an automatic warning to Pedro Martinez on Tuesday night, according to a conversation Red Sox manager Jimy Williams had with Major League Baseball vice-president Frank Robinson yesterday.

Purpose pitch from Pedro
Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald

We are into our fourth season of watching every move he makes, and if there's one thing we should know by now, it's that his words are no different from his pitches. They all have a purpose.

... The bottom line seems to be that Brinkman, his head full of the new get-tough policies, was overzealous. ... It wasn't the first time Pedro has faced the wrath of the men in blue, but it may have been the first time that Pedro had a winning case: He was right, the ump was wrong. ...

Pedro has always had a lot of Larry Bird in him, on the field and off, and in this case, he was working the officials, looking for an edge, anything that can make his next outing even more dominating than his last. ... If it's the hitter, different story: Let them think he's dangerous, he's angry, he's fed up with the way the game has been treating him. ...

Impossible to feel sorry for Martinez
Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal

Memo to Pedro: stop it. Stop it right now. ...

Portraying himself as someone who has been picked on throughout his career, going through a laundry list of slights like some petulant 12 year old? Painting himself as some victim of the game?

Stop it.

Notebook: Pedro upset over warning from umpire
Seattle Times

Another day, another issue - or two - for Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, who always seems to be at the center of some controversy.

Early-season grades for offseason acquisitions
Dave Campbell,

Boston gets an "A."


Thursday, May 3, 2001

Martinez struggles to digest warnings
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

... a day later, Martinez seemed to take the warning personally, and viewed it as another attempt by Major League Baseball to harass him.

"Why is it always me?" wondered Martinez. "They pick on me for the red laces in my glove. They tell me I can't wear a hat with my aunt's name on it after she died. They call me a headhunter. One thing they've never done is appreciate all the things I've done for baseball, what I've done off the field. They say, 'We've got to get him for that -- the lace, the hat."

Martinez also revealed yesterday that he received a written warning in spring training to stop cutting the sleeves on his uniform -- Martinez did so to because his throwing arm otherwise felt restricted -- because they were distracting to opposing hitters. The Red Sox complied by cutting open the sleeves, and sewing extra material in, giving Martinez more room.

Pedro issues own warning
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Martinez ... suggested that Major League Baseball officials routinely have tried to make an example of him, citing everything from umpires' warnings to league complaints about the manner in which he wears his jersey.

"Thank God I'm going to go away from baseball soon - sooner than they think - so they can take baseball and stick it up I don't know where. I can go back to my country and be happy. Today, I'm just letting out the crap that's been going on since '91-92, when I came to the big leagues. It's the topping on the cake. It's just unbelievable.

"I want to play baseball. Leave me alone. Leave my jersey alone. It's not my jersey who's pitching. Everybody talks about the money. I've never seen a dollar pitch. It's my pride. It's my job.''

Pedro pushed to Brink: Umpire's call baffles ace
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

"I couldn't believe it,'' Pedro Martinez said. "I thought [Brinkman] was coming to the mound to chat or to talk about the balls or tell me that I could blow on my hand. He said, 'They tell us to (issue a warning.)' ''

Pedro wants a break from men in blue
Jim Street,

"Why do I have to go through all this? I want them to just leave me alone and let me play baseball. ... I'm not cheating. I am not putting cork in the balls to make them heavier. I threw a breaking pitch on a cold night and hit a batter. If I wanted to hit Edgar, I wouldn't do it with a breaking ball. ... Well, I'm willing to go back to my country and be happy. Leave me alone. Just leave me alone."

Pedro Is Hot
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

"If I was retaliating, I would have been different because I'm very picky about that. I would not hide that from Robinson. I would not hide that from baseball. If you hit my batters, I will be nippy about it. I think I've proven myself around the league. I think I know that I don't need to hit people to beat them."

Pitching out of trouble
Garry Brown, Springfield Union-News

Jimy Williams: "What I'd like to see is something spelled out by the major leagues so we'll know what the rule really is, and we can go about abiding by it."

Martinez: "I have to talk about this to get it out of me."

Day after, warning hits nerve with ace
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

His anger has been building almost from the day he donned his first big-league uniform nine years ago. And it finally exploded yesterday, as Pedro Martinez turned his wrath on the keepers of the game he loves, the baseball dons he believes have targeted him for persecution.

Art's Notebook, May 2
Art Martone, Providence Journal

Overheard "on Boston's main sports blab station this morning ... 'Pedro hasn't been Pedro so far this season'. I almost drove off the road. Excuse me? I near shouted at the radio ..."

Manny Ramirez named AL Player of the Month
Mike Petraglia,

'Bambino' A Hit, Just Not Always In Fair Ground
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant

"The Curse of the Bambino" -- a musical at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston.

One Red Sox fan's look at the media's forecast for Boston

"With the first month of the season essentially in the books, I wanted to reflect on some of the things we learned from our friends in the media (print, radio, tv, internet) during the offseason ..."


Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Programmed for success
Mike Petraglia,

"We've used a computer program for various parts of our preparation for three years," says Joe Kerrigan. "Maybe there are three or four teams who use computers to the extent that we do. ... I don't enter the data, I just handicap it and manipulate it, trying to make sense of it for our pitchers."

Kerrigan says the key to "finding outs" lies in the details that only a computer program can provide. "The program also helps us break down each batter -- how he hits lefties or righties, whether he has an open stance or a closed stance, how he hits ahead in the count, behind in the count, how he hits in certain situations, does he have a loop in his swing, where is his bat the quickest. Factors like that help us break down a hitter and really helps in key game situations. ... I usually take seven to eight hours before a series breaking down a team. We just try to stay a day ahead in our preparation."

Kerrigan mends Red Sox's ERA
Jeff Goodman, USA TODAY

The names in the rotation change year after year, but two constants in the Boston Red Sox pitching staff are Pedro Martinez and pitching coach Joe Kerrigan.

Alcantara earns IL Batter of the Week honors
Mike Petraglia,

Outfielder Israel Alcantara was named Batter of the Week in the International League for the week ending April 29. The PawSox right fielder hit safely in all six of his games played during the week, going 14-for-24 (.583) at the plate. Alcantara belted four home runs and four doubles while driving in six runs with 10 runs scored for Boston's Triple-A affiliate. With the hot week, he raised his average from .217 to a season-high .321.

Writers chafe at portrayal in '61*'
Hal Bock, Associated Press

Sportswriters, often viewed as cantankerous and annoying, come off as the bad guys in "61*," Billy Crystal's celebration of the Roger Maris-Mickey Mantle 1961 pursuit of Babe Ruth's home-run record. At least three journalists who were there that summer object to that characterization.

Phil Pepe: "A lot of what they say happened really did happen."

AL East Notebook: Everything but record changes for Rays
Paul C. Smith,

Brief reports on all five teams.

Strikeouts up, home runs, scoring down
Ronald Blum, Associated Press

Walks decreased 13.3 percent, from 7.82 per game to 6.78, and strikeouts increased 5.4 percent, from 12.91 to 13.61.


Tuesday, May 1, 2001

Bat's the way: Manny more productive than Mussina so far
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

The question of whether the Red Sox should have signed Mike Mussina or Manny Ramirez was tossed back and forth all winter long.

"Well, (the Yankees) have Mussina and look where they are,'' said Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez last week. "You never know, you just never know. So far, what seems to be working for us is the big bat. So, baseball, I don't know, we don't know. It's only April. So far for us, though, the big bat has been better.''

No budging stubborn Jimy
Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald

Jimy often treats the media as if they were in his office to check his prostate... 

Since the beginning of time, Sox fans have tried to think along with the manager and the result is a deep-rooted bond between a team and its region, but Jimy doesn't care. Jimy can't be bothered. He would prefer that all the fans of New England just pay their money and sit back like mind-numbed pro wrestling fans, smiling blankly at the sights and sounds of the game for three hours and then shuffling on out of his life for another day. ...

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