pedro martinez
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News Archive for May 16-31, 2001
Older links may no longer work.

 

Thursday, May 31, 2001

All things considered, it was a good century
Paul Izzo, Springfield Union-News

There was a melancholy, dated atmosphere to the proceedings. The sky was overcast and black.

 

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

In 18 innings on Tuesday: Arizona 1, San Francisco 0.
Box Score and 503 pitches of play-by-play.
A great game -- all those zeroes -- but it doesn't match the game I was at in Montreal on August 23, 1989. Los Angeles 1, Expos 0, in 22 innings [only 8 major league games in history have been longer].

 

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

whatthefuckarethesoxdoing.com
A place to rant and rave ... and rant ...

Martinez wants breathing room
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez just wants to be alone. Asked to discuss tomorrow's matchup with Mike Mussina, he asked reporters to leave him alone. All he would say about the Yankees, whom he has not beaten in five straight starts, is, ''I wish I'd never see them again. I wish they would disappear from the league. Then we'd be winners.''

Martinez said everywhere he goes - from vacations to charity appearances for needy children - he is peppered with questions.

''I'm just sick of being in the papers every day,'' he said. ''Sick of it. Would you guys give me a month off or two?''

Though he appeared alternately angry and playful, he seemed sincere in concluding, ''Being in the spot[light] is tough. It's tough to be a star.''

Pedro Has Had Enough Of Yankees
Anthony McCarron, New York Daily News

Playful Pedro or petulant Pedro?

Red Sox star Pedro Martinez was sometimes serious and sometimes not yesterday as he answered questions about facing the Yankees tomorrow, his second of what could be three straight starts against the Bombers.

He chafed over questions about facing Mike Mussina and the Yanks, who have beaten the Red Sox in each of the last five games that Martinez has started against them. "I wish I'd never see them again," Martinez said. "I wish they'd disappear from the league. Then we'd be winners."

Martinez didn't seem happy with his role of promoting the matchup thrust upon him by reporters' questions. "I hate this part. I'm just sick of being in the paper every day. Sick of it," he said. "Can't you guys give me a month off?"

Then Martinez, perhaps the game's greatest pitcher, smiled. "It's tough to be a star," he said.

Notebook: Just Go Away
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez, winless in his last five starts against the Yankees, bristled at questions about tomorrow's scheduled start against the Bombers. "I hate this part,'' he said after the Sox' 4-3 loss last night. "I'm just sick of being in the paper every day. Sick of it. Can't you guys give me a month off?''

Cone on shaky ground
Bob Klapisch, Bergen Record

As always, Boston's battle plan begins and ends with Pedro, who takes on Mike Mussina on Wednesday in a game that suddenly means plenty. He'll be ready -- when is he not? -- but the ace also seems weary, having to carry the Red Sox Nation on his shoulders.

"I hate answering all these questions. I hate having to be someone important," Martinez said. "I'm the only guy here who doesn't get a vacation. Even when I go home, I hear, 'Pedro, what do you think of the Red Sox?' Or, 'Pedro, what about [Manny] Ramirez?'

"I want one month off," Martinez said to reporters. "Do you think you could give me a month off?"

Pedro was smiling, half-joking, but repeating a request he's made before. 

Red Sox Media Notes for Yankees series (pdf file)

Notebook: Hub of activity
Marvin Pave, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez (6-1, 1.60), who squares off in a rematch against the Yankees' Mike Mussina Wednesday in hopes of avenging his lone loss of the season, said he was flattered that many of the former Red Sox sluggers of the past said they were happy they never had to hit against him.

Martinez said the crowd's enthusiastic pregame reception - including a standing ovation for him - was not unexpected. "I had a hint as soon as I got to the airport when I was traded to Boston and there was something like 200 people there," he recalled. "I hadn't even thrown a ball and had never been to Boston before. That told me right away that the fans here and the people here really appreciate and know baseball."

Notebook: Blast from the past
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Martinez said he was awed by the turnout and occasion [Red Sox 100th year celebration].

"It really made me proud and made me feel happy," said Martinez, who added that he would like nothing more than to bring a world championship to some of the more senior members of the Red Sox alumni club. "I'll tell you what, this isn't the worst year to win a World Series for those guys who worked so hard in the past. I'd certainly be jumping up and down for a month or so if we won."

Blanco lives up to expectations
Rob Mueller, Augusta Chronicle

The image will remain with Augusta GreenJackets manager Mike Boulanger for many years to come. It is an image that convinced him that the buildup surrounding prized prospect Tony Blanco was more than just hype.

The defining moment came in Blanco's fifth game with the Jackets May 2 on the road against the Columbus RedStixx, when the 19-year-old Dominican drilled an 0-1 fastball the opposite way off Columbus starter Fernando Cabrera for a tape-measure home run. The blast left Boulanger and the Jackets shaking their heads in stunned disbelief.

"It had to be well over 420 feet the other way, which really impresses you," Boulanger said. "That's something you see from Manny Ramirez or something. He's a big-time exciting player."

 

Monday, May 28, 2001

Boston Grammarian
Murray Chass, New York Times

Pedro MartŪnez, it seems, is not only a great pitcher for the Red Sox. He exhibits other abilities as well, including a knowledge of grammar.

... Asked if the Yankees do anything against him that other teams do not, he said: "Not really. They're not scoring that many runs. They go one or two. If they beat me with that, I tip my hat. They're not doing much. How many other teams do you see scoring three or fewer runs?"

He didn't say "three or less runs," as many people would say, incorrectly. He said "three or fewer runs." The man can do it all.

Baseball Talk
Garry Brown, Springfield Union-News

Pedro As Scout:

After the Red Sox won two out of three from the A's at Oakland, Pedro Martinez had a word of caution about the AL's defending West Division champions, who were struggling badly at the time.

"They got a bad start, but you'd better watch out for them," Pedro warned. "That is a tough lineup with a lot of good hitters, and their pitchers are better than you are seeing right now. When they get it together, and they will get it together, you're going to hear from them because those guys know how to pitch."

Maybe the A's were listening to Pedro's scouting report, because ever since that series, they have been one of the hottest teams in the league. They finally clawed their way back to .500 after being nine games under, and now they're in position to become a contender again.

Red Sox Notebook
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Additional research by the team revealed that Hideo Nomo, with his one-hitter Friday night, became the first Sox pitcher in 78 years to pitch a no-hitter and a one-hitter in the same season. The feat was last accomplished by Howard Ehmke. In his next start after no-hitting Philadelphia Sept. 7, 1923, Ehmke allowed a leadoff infield single to the Yankees before he retired the next 27 batters. Cy Young also pitched a no-hitter and a one-hitter in the same season for the Sox, in 1908

Alcantara: An exile with clout -- PawSox' hot hitter remains out in cold
Marvin Pave, Boston Globe

Is Izzy for real?

Yes, says Pawtucket Red Sox hitting coach Gomer Hodge, who feels Israel ''Izzy'' Alcantara would be a 35-40 home run threat if given the opportunity to play regularly in the major leagues.

Alcantara was tearing up the International League with a league-leading 12 home runs and a .324 batting average after last night's 10-2 loss to the Indianapolis Indians at McCoy Stadium. ... ''I'm working hard here, doing the best I can to give myself another chance. I'm ready. I'm waiting.''

Art's Notebook
Art Martone, Providence Journal (on-line)

After the Village Voice rated Yankees GM Brian Cashman's deals, Art examined the deals made by Boston GM Dan Duquette:

Part One    Part Two    Part Three    Part Four    Part Five    Part Last

What if the Boston Red Sox, rather than the New York Mets had won the World Series in 1986?
Mike Sacks, sweetfancymoses.com

Where Were You When The Bird Flew? -- Mark Fidrych's 1976 Up Close
Don Malcolm, Baseball Primer

[I]t was twenty-five years ago today when a tall, skinny right-hander with hyperactive mannerisms and a penchant for talking to the baseball before delivering it captured the imagination of America.

.. Access to the daily starter pitching logs (courtesy of the gracious paterfamilias of Retrosheet, Dave Smith) shows that the Bird was worked very hard. 24 of Fidrych's 29 starts were complete games; what's more, five of these games were ones where the Bird pitched into extra innings.

In August, manager Ralph Houk kept piling on the workload: the Bird threw nine or more innings in six consecutive starts ... [In August his 64.1 innings] came in just seven starts, which means that Fidrych was averaging more than nine innings per start!

That was a very heavy workload for a 21-year old finesse pitcher, and it's likely that it had a lot to do with the Bird's truncated future. However, there are additional facts about Fidrych's 1977 season that have been overlooked when his story is told.

 

Friday, May 25, 2001

Red Sox Media Notes for Blue Jays series (pdf file)

Ilitch executive says payroll is $60 million, but facts don't jibe
Danny Knobler, Booth News Services

A day after owner Mike Ilitch stunned the Detroit Tiger organization by claiming the Tiger payroll this year is $60 million, Ilitch asked one of his top executives for help in proving him right.

Wednesday, Scott Fisher, the chief financial officer of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., said that by his count, the Tigers will spend approximately $64 million this year on player payroll.

... Fisher offered no documentation for his numbers, which show the Tiger payroll as $14 million, or nearly 30 percent, higher than the $49.8 million figure listed by major-league baseball. Asked to explain the discrepancy, Fisher referred to different methods of accounting.

Baseball Ponders New Lineup Struggling Teams Could Move or Be Eliminated
Thomas Heath, Washington Post

With the season in only its seventh week, Commissioner Bud Selig is sounding the alarm over the grave economic condition of at least four of Major League Baseball's 30 franchises and openly speaking the words that until now he had been reluctant to even contemplate: contraction and relocation.

 

Thursday, May 24, 2001

Le-Go Mi Pedro!
A new website: modernerabaseball.com

Only in 2001 can Pedro Martinez be given a warning for grazing a batter - WITH A FREAKING CURVE BALL! How did the game stoop to this utter mess? By licensing Barbie Doll, that's how! Learn more about this disgrace to our past time. ...

Heck, you knew something was haywire in June of 1999 when Jaret Wright, Cleveland's wild young pitcher, got called into the league office and was told to be more careful throwing inside - and among his civility teachers was none other than Bob Gibson, once the standard bearer for propriety-be-damned intimidation. Two days later, Major League Baseball sent out a press release, announcing its first officially licensed Barbie doll.

Baseball gloves, like the game, are eternal
Francis Soyer, Popular Mechanics

Maybe you had a Mickey Mantle, or a Pete Rose, or a Reggie Jackson. Maybe you slept with it smashed between your mattress and box spring. Lovingly stroked its hide. Oiled it down. Covered it with saddle soap. Maybe you still have it. Maybe itís out in the garage, on the shelf with the WD-40 or in the attic under a pile of old clothes. Maybe you go there on occasion, late at night, when the wife and kids are asleep. When the house is silent and cold. You go there, pick it up and slide it on. You punch the pocket with a tight fist, run through your pitcherís motion and catch one way back on the warning track.

 

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Veteran pitchers given longer leash
Sean McAdam, espn.com

In the course of a game, one of the most difficult decisions a manager or pitching coach has to make is how long to stay with a starting pitcher who is struggling.

Produce now or else for Cone
Dave Campbell, espn.com

Whether David Cone is pitching at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, at some point he'll need to start producing. If not, than the Red Sox will have to go back to Tomo Ohka, who -- with a 3.59 ERA in 21 big-league starts -- is presently languishing at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Chapter One: Perfection
By Roger Angell

[Editor's note: ESPN.com is publishing Chapter One from Roger Angell's new book: A Pitcher's Story: Innings with David Cone." This is the first of two parts. Part Two is here.]

The shortstop, Orlando Cabrera, up at bat for the third time, swings and lifts a little foul fly off to the left of the infield. The pitcher, hurrying off the mound, watches the ball anxiously, pointing up at it, and shoots a glance over at his third baseman. Yes, this ball will be caught-it's the last out-and when the pitcher, David Cone, takes in the moment he sinks to his knees with his head flung back and his hands up above his ears. It's over.

Boston vs. New York: Pitching Comparison after 40 games
Mike Koblish, Sons of Sam Horn

In 1999 the Red Sox allowed fewer runs than the Yankees, but the Yankees had better pitching. In 2000 the Red Sox allowed fewer runs than the Yankees, but the Yankees had better pitching. Is it any wonder that the conventional wisdom makes some of us want to yank the hair out of our heads?

Show them some respect
Joe Sheehan, espn.com

[L]et's look at some other players who aren't getting the proper respect from their teams. ...

I'll lead with what has to be one of the stranger transactions in Dan Duquette's long, sordid history. Last week, Duquette shipped Tomokazu Ohka back to Pawtucket to clear a rotation slot for David Cone. It's not strange that a team would give Cone another shot; he's just one full season removed from a perfectly good 1999 season with the Yankees. The Sox may have felt a need to get him on the roster while his shoulder is reasonably pain-free following his first rehab start in Class A.

But as eager as the Sox might be to have someone else with a famous name in their rotation, it's silly to think they're going to get better work from Cone than they will from Ohka. In 21 starts and 117.2 major-league innings, Ohka's ERA is 3.59. He was Boston's second-best starter in 2000 and doing above-average work in his seven starts so far in 2001 (3.57 ERA, better than 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio). He's ridiculously overqualified for Triple-A, and it's to his credit that he went back down without a peep of protest.

What will probably happen is that Cone will get hurt by Flag Day and Ohka will return. It's actually a nice problem for the Sox -- don't forget they also sent down Paxton Crawford, also major-league ready -- and reaffirms what I said in April: their rotation is comparable to, if not better than, that of the Yankees...

Power Rankings
Cnnsi.com: Red Sox 6th (Yankees 9th)
Espn.com: Red Sox 5th (Yankees 8th)
Baseball Weekly: Red Sox 3rd (Yankees 6th)
The Sporting News: Red Sox 8th (Yankees 7th)

 

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

The Freak: Manny keeps on hitting
Sean McAdam, espn.com

Baseball's best run producer has a new nickname.

Red Sox and Yankees start series in Bronx
Mike Petraglia, redsox.com

Red Sox (25-18, 1st AL East) @ Yankees (24-20, 2nd AL East)
Wednesday: David Cone (R) (0-0, 6.00) vs. Andy Pettitte (L) (4-3, 2.93) 
Thursday: Pedro Martinez (R) (6-0, 1.52) vs. Mike Mussina (R) (4-4, 3.75)

Red Sox Media Notes (pdf file)


Follow the Red Sox/Yankees series in these New York papers:
Newsday
New York Post
NY Daily News
New York Times
Bergen Record
Newark Star-Ledger
Staten Island Advance
New Jersey Online

Al's Baseball Tidbits - "1967 AL Pennant Race"
Al Shank, baseballprimer.com

New addition to the Primer team -- well worth reading.

Red Sox Notebook: Pedro, Grebeck take bus pass
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

After joking with reporters following Sunday's win at Kansas City, center fielder Carl Everett was indeed on the bus and accounted for on the trip from Manhattan to Trenton. Among the missing, however, were pitcher Pedro Martinez and infielder Craig Grebeck, and it was unclear whether either had been excused from attending.

While manager Jimy Williams indicated that their absence from the game was "permissible,'' he also said the matter would be handled "in-house.'' Duquette made a similar remark, albeit with a sheepish grin. Should either Martinez or Grebeck have been unexcused, each almost certainly would have been subject to a fine.

Pedro vs. Yankees
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

The way the Red Sox have set their rotation, Pedro Martinez is scheduled to make his next two starts against the Yankees. He will pitch with an extra day of rest both times. Working on five days' rest between starts instead of the usual four, Martinez is 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA. But he hasn't beaten the Yankees in his past four starts against them. Martinez will not start any of the seven games against the Blue Jays.

It's More Than a Beautiful Swing
Jon Heyman, New York Newsday

Manny Ramirez ambles almost aimlessly when he approaches home plate, giving the appearance with every ounce of his stony 205 pounds that this isn't a very serious endeavor for him.

... "Manny is one of the smartest hitters in the game even though you might look at him and think this is a little kid walking by. No, he knows what he is doing," teammate Pedro Martinez said. "A lot of people don't realize what Manny does before the game or during the game. There's no doubt Manny is one of the smartest and hard-working hitters in the game. And he also has the gift only God can give you-the good eyes, the patience and the swing."

Manny's First Choice: Yanks
Jon Heyman, New York Newsday

Manny Ramirez's agent, Jeff Moorad, confirmed yesterday what's been suspected all along - Ramirez wanted to come home and play for the Yankees. "If the Yankees had been competitive, no doubt they would have been Manny's first choice."

Games against New York critical for Boston's playoff hopes
Paul Izzo, Springfield Union-News

The Red Sox do not appear to be taking sufficient advantage of an opportunity presented to them this year in their battle to overtake the New York Yankees. Either that, or they are not taking their games with the Bronx Bombers seriously enough.

... Several days ago, looking down the barrel of two series with New York over the next 10 days, Boston sent down to the minors two starting pitchers - Paxton Crawford and Tomokazu Ohka ... both had pitched pretty well against New York.

... I do not agree with the decision to use Cone now, in this upcoming series against New York. The Sox know going in that the former Yankee cannot go more than 70 pitches or so. The Yankee hitters are very patient when they want to be.

... Take Monday night's scheduled game in New Jersey against the Trenton Thunder. ... The game was rained out, but the team still made the trip.

... I'm looking for one last thing that will tell me for sure whether the Sox really get it. If anyone like Jose Offerman or Carl Everett gets a "night off" against the Yankees, I'll scream.

 

Monday, May 21, 2001

Pedro's road show keeps on rolling
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez is idolized and adored at Fenway Park more than anywhere, but Red Sox fans haven't even been getting his A-material.

By pitching eight shutout innings Friday night to lead the Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium, the three-time Cy Young Award winner won for the 20th time in his last 21 road decisions. "Twenty and one? I didn't realize that. That would be a pretty good season.''

Martinez (6-0) is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in five road starts this season and has allowed only four earned runs in 36 innings, striking out 49 batters. He was 12-1 with a 1.66 ERA in 16 road starts last year and allowed only 64 hits and 22 earned runs in 119 innings, while striking out 150 and walking only 17.

Since the start of the 1999 season, Martinez is 26-3 with a 1.65 ERA in 35 appearances away from Fenway. He has surrendered only 153 hits, 43 walks and 46 earned runs in 250 innings, while striking out 345.

The inside pitch: In baseball, retaliatory strikes are both a dangerous reality and a necessary evil
Karen Guregian, Boston Herald

Throw at us. We throw at you. Somewhere in every baseball player's not-so-top-secret manual exists this vigilante code of conduct. Hit one of ours. We hit one of yours.

Red Sox: Inside The Clubhouse
Dave Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

The days of cramming ... The voice from the TV was familiar. Red Sox players knew Al Michaels was calling the 1981 World Series on ESPN Classic. But who was that skinny pinch hitter for the Yankees?

"Hey, Lou! Lou!" Pedro Martinez shouted. Martinez couldn't get over how slim Lou Piniella was back then. "Those guys look like there was no meal after the game," Martinez said.

 

Sunday, May 20, 2001

Ramirez putting on a show with Red Sox
Mel Antonen, USA Today

Manny Ramirez, whose .412 average leads the majors, is all bone and muscle, and baseball.

Hobbies? Hasn't got any. He tried bowling, but wasn't so good at it. He likes hip-hop, but can't play it in the clubhouse, by order of Boston Red Sox manager Jimy Williams. He might see a movie, especially if it has karate like the last one he saw, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

PLUS: comments @ baseballprimer.com

Baby steps for Smoltz, Cone
Paul White, Baseball Weekly

The standings tell as much of the story as the box scores do today. John Smoltz and David Cone were on major league mounds Thursday. Neither won. Smoltz lost. Neither got beyond the fourth inning. Both found positives.

 

Saturday, May 19, 2001

Red Sox Singing Their Praise for Song
Josh Boyd, Baseball America

Some organizations have dabbled with scouting in the Far East with minimal or no success, while the Red Sox have established a foothold up and down the Pacific Rim. ...

"We are looking for first-round talents," said Ray Poitevint, the Red Sox' executive director of international operations, "or else we'll pass." ... [T]he latest find to emerge as an impact prospect is Class A Augusta righthander Seung Song. ...  Song is unbeaten (2-0) in eight starts, while his 1.36 ERA ranks third in the circuit. Opponents have managed just a .204 batting average against him, and his 44-7 strikeout-walk ratio remains on par with his outstanding career mark. [Greenjackets stats]

Doctoring Ichiro
Rany Jazayerli, Baseball Prospectus

On any given day, the chance that Suzuki could start a 57-game hitting streak are 5.2%, which means that over the course of a 162-game season, the chance that Suzuki would not fashion a streak that long is only 0.3%! The chance that Suzuki could get a hit in 36 more games (on top of the 21 he already has) is 15.0%, or better than one chance in seven.

 

Friday, May 18, 2001

From the Boston Sports Guy's Pseudo Chat:

jyoung@(work).com: Is it too early to scoreboard watch?
BSG: Never.

No change in delivery: Martinez still going right at 'em
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez stepped up his attack on baseball's lords of the realm yesterday, angrily attacking their decision to fine Frank Castillo $750 for hitting John Olerud with a pitch in the backside May 9, an inning after Chris Stynes was struck in the face by a pitch from Aaron Sele that fractured his cheekbone.

''They're trying to change baseball completely,'' said Martinez. ''It's stupid what they're doing, stupid. ... It looks nice for them to sit in the first or third row at Yankee Stadium and watch Pedro Martinez pitch against Roger Clemens, but let them get their butts out there and pitch. They don't pitch or play this game. I understand they used to play, but they don't anymore. People don't pay to see them, they pay to see us. The people making the decisions never pitched.''

Pedro peeved by MLB brass
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

Before Major League Baseball executives try to tell him how to pitch, Pedro Martinez would like them to step on the mound and try it for themselves. ...

"First they give me a warning on a curveball, and then they fine guys for throwing a pitch in the air." ... Martinez seemed to be taking aim at Frank Robinson, a Hall of Fame outfielder. As baseball's vice-president of on-field operations, Robinson has become its chief enforcer.... "They're trying to change the game. People aren't paying to see them. They're paying to see us."

Pedro Pops Off Again
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

For the second time in three weeks, Pedro Martinez has a message for Frank Robinson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations, and others in the commissioner's office. "Come and get your [butt] in there and pitch a little bit. ... I just wish they could pitch for a week and try to nibble the inside corner with a 97-mph fastball."

Dearth of walks hurting Boston's offense
Paul Izzo, Springfield Union-News

The team has just 42 walks through their first 18 road games - an average of just 2.33 walks per game. ...

The worst offender - by far - has been rookie Shea Hillenbrand. This guy is just awful. ... he's batting .224 in May, with an on base percentage of - are you ready? - .224. The same. ... Hillenbrand is on a pace to finish the season with fewer than 6 or 7 walks in a 162 games. That is surreal. ... 

Doesn't Shea Hillenbrand understand - even at the most basic level - how completely inconsistent such an approach is to that taken by virtually every great offensive player that has ever played the game?

Look at yesterday's lineup. ... there would appear to be no explanation for batting Scott Hatteberg - he of the .224 on base percentage - second. ... Why exactly was Offerman given an off day? Was it because his on base percentage against right handed pitchers was almost twice as high as Mike Lansing's? (.418 vs. .213) Does that make any sense at all?

 

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Red Sox Notebook
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Manny Ramirez will be the starting left fielder (Thursday). He hasn't played the position professionally, including in the minors or spring training. "That's cool, I'll be ready, man.''

... Derek Lowe has resumed his role as the team's full-time closer.

... Frank Castillo was the only Boston player disciplined when Major League Baseball handed down penalties for the wild beanball war between the Sox and Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park on May 9. Castillo was fined $750, while Seattle's Jose Paniagua received an undisclosed fine and three-game suspension for throwing a pitch at Ramirez' head in the eighth inning.

Aaron Sele, who started the matter by fracturing Chris Stynes' cheekbone with a fastball in the second inning, was not disciplined. Said an irritated Castillo: "$750 for hitting someone in the butt, and we've got a guy with a broken cheek.''

New mates pitch in for Cone
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Today, David Cone dons a Red Sox uniform for real.

"We might as well just give him my spot, that's it,'' said Pedro Martinez, pondering the idea of Cone approaching his old self. "It's exciting to have him back, see him in action - not only for the team, but for his own good. There's so much to learn from watching a pitcher of that caliber. He resembles a lot of what I am. He would always be one pitcher I would copy from.''

Is racism in the cards?
Noam Neusner, U.S. News & World Report (April 30)

Both Mickey Mantle, a white Yankee, and Willie Mays, a black Giant, patrolled center field in great old New York ballparks. They debuted the same spring and ended their careers in Cooperstown. Yet Mantle's rookie card is worth more than twice as much as Mays's. A few years ago, economists called the Mantle-Mays card comparison a textbook case of racism and proof that racial discrimination taints baseball cards, that bastion of Americana. ... "It creeps in again," says Paul Gabriel of Loyola University in Chicago. "We're not sure why that happens."

Letter from the Editor In Chief
Brendan Lemon, out.com

For the past year and a half, I have been having an affair with a pro baseball player from a major-league East Coast franchise, not his teamís biggest star but a very recognizable media figure all the same. ... I want the ballplayer to come out ... Iím pretty confident thereíd be more support from the team than he imagines. With the exception of an occasional judgmental type, most of these straight guys donít have a problem with homosexuality. Their prime concern is winning, not who youíre sleeping with. [Also in Hartford Courant.]

A link to the Red Sox team in the Venezuelan Summer League (May 14 to August 3; 60 games).
Batting and pitching stats; fielding stats; and the league's home page

Extreme Ironing

Welcome to the home of extreme ironing - the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.

 

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Red Sox Report -- Ten things I think I think about the Manny Era
Bill Simmons, Boston Sports Guy

Stop what you are doing. Go immediately to this article and read it. Twice. Then come back -- this site will still be here. ... I was going to snip some of my favorite passages, but then realized I'd have to clip half the damn essay. ... Hey, why are you still here? ... GO!

Pedro feels fine
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Pedro Martinez , who experienced tightness in his back last Saturday when he pitched against the Athletics, said yesterday he is fine. Martinez said he felt his back spasm a bit after he sneezed while getting out of his car after arriving at Fenway Park that day.

Cone's dream is about to come true
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Cone had a dream last July of pitching for the Sox in Fenway Park. His wife, Lynn, claims to have shared similar nocturnal reveries, telling author Roger Angell of a dream in which Cone was pitching in a small park full of media, wearing a dark-colored jacket with red warm-up letters on the back.

Cone's excited, ready to pitch
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

"I've kind of got those butterflies again," said Cone, whose Boston Red Sox pitching debut comes tomorrow against Minnesota at the Metrodome. "I've got to admit it. When I heard I was pitching, I was excited."

Manny in focus: Eye-popping numbers worth a closer look
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

"My thing about Manny is that I think he's the optimal mental player in the game of baseball," said Mark Shapiro, the assistant general manager of the Cleveland Indians who will take over for reigning GM John Hart at the end of this season. "He is a role model for sports psychology. He doesn't let the past or the future affect him, and that is what sports psychology is all about. You just focus on one play, one at-bat. I think he's the best I've ever seen at doing that."

Ramirez was named American League Player of the Week yesterday for the second time this season ... Ramirez hit .429 (9-for-21) last week, leaving his major league-leading average for the season at a robust .408. In six games he had 12 RBI, increasing his major league-leading total to a gaudy 46. He slugged 1.143 to raise his American League-leading number to a preposterous .754.

With runners in scoring position, Ramirez is batting .449. With two outs and runners in scoring position, his average is .565. He is hitting .474 against left-handers and .385 against righties. He is batting .632 on the first pitch - .632! - and .491 in day games. He is batting .569 when he does not strike out.

One-name status for singular talent
Michael Holley, Boston Globe

Suddenly you find yourself talking about Manny Ramirez. All the time. You talk about him so much that, in your house, he lost his last name a long time ago. Ramirez? Who needs that? Just Manny will do.

Art's Notebook (May 15)
Art Martone, Providence Journal

This goes beyond the numbers, though. In six weeks, the man's become a folk hero. He has that little smile and that nothing-bothers-me demeanor and that missile-projector of a bat, and no one since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 has been so assassin-like in clutch situations. ... [T]he Fenway faithful [have] fallen in love. ... you can hear the buzz from the crowd as soon as Ramirez pops out of the dugout and heads to the on-deck circle. ... There's a new hero in Boston, and his name is Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez nears record RBI pace
Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated

The legend of Manny Ramirez grows by the day. ... On Sunday, Oakland manager Art Howe finally tired of watching Manny beat his team. Ramirez had 12 hits in 23 at-bats against the A's, including a game-tying homer in his previous plate appearance, when he came up in the 10th inning with one out and nobody on base in a tie game. Howe ordered him intentionally walked. None of the Red Sox coaches could ever recall seeing a batter walked with nobody on base. Softball, maybe; the big leagues, no way.

All-time leaders in RBIs per game (minimum 1,000 games).

    Player         RBI/G
1.  Sam Thompson   .93
2.  Lou Gehrig     .92
3.  Hank Greenberg .92
4.  Joe DiMaggio   .89
5.  Babe Ruth      .88
6.  Manny Ramirez  .846
7.  Juan Gonzalez  .845
8.  Jimmie Foxx    .83
9.  Cap Anson      .83
10. Al Simmons     .82

Ramirez said he'd never been walked intentionally with nobody on, not even in high school. That's a testament to just how hot Ramirez has been at bat. How hot? He's driving in runs at a faster clip than he did last year or in 1999, when he became the first player in 61 years to exceed 160 RBIs. Ramirez had 46 RBIs in 37 games this year. That's 1.24 RBIs per game, or almost exactly what Hack Wilson averaged (1.23) when he set the RBI record with 191 in 1930.

"It's not going to happen," Ramirez said when asked about his chances of breaking Wilson's record. "That's why I'm not even thinking about it. That's impossible."

He might be right about that, but Ramirez has carved out a niche for himself among the greatest RBI machines in history. Last week he played in his 1,000th career game, reaching the minimum  required by Total Baseball to make the all-time list of RBIs per game. Ramirez drops into the list at  No. 6, just behind a fellow named Babe Ruth, and barely ahead of contemporary rival Juan Gonzalez (entering Tuesday's games).

Grading Brian Cashmanís Work on the Trading Floor -- New York Exchange Rates
Dean Chadwin, Village Voice

While Cashman's lousy swaps created flaws he had to fix, there is no question he came through in the clutch last summer. He will have to do it yet again to keep the Yankee dynasty alive. [Art Martone of the Providence Journal adds his comments.]

Stynes heals well: Infielder may avoid surgery
Jeff Horrigan and Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Anyone who saw Chris Stynes in the hours and days after he was struck in the face by an Aaron Sele fastball on May 9 may find this hard to believe, but the Red Sox infielder most likely will not require surgery to deal with his two fractured cheekbones.

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