for May 15-31, 2002
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May 31, 2002
changed in New York minute
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald
On Monday night, Sept. 10, 2001, following a two-hour rain delay, the Red Sox' series finale at Yankee Stadium was postponed. With that, the Red Sox bussed to Newark Airport, where a chartered jet whisked them to Tampa, Fla., for a series vs. the Devil Rays. The Sox didn't check into their hotel until 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Six hours later, members of the Red Sox were awakened by family members calling to tell them of the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and forever changed all our lives.
May 30, 2002
Topic Of The Day -- Despite Odds, Players Deny Use
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
"I'm throwing natural gas given to me by God," pitcher Pedro Martinez said with a serious look. "You don't get a body like mine with steroids unless I took the wrong ones," Brian Daubach said with a not-so serious look. ... Was Rickey ever tempted? "Look at me, man," Henderson said, flexing his muscular upper body in a pose. "Would I need to be tempted? This is all a gift from God." ...
Shea Hillenbrand leads the All-Star voting for American League third basemen with 116,231 votes. Robin Ventura of the Yankees is second, more than 20,000 votes behind. Hillenbrand's reaction? "Cool," he said. "Wow. I'm very surprised. I'm baffled." ... Little said Martinez reported no soreness from Tuesday's 113-pitch outing.
issue is a hot topic -- Players respond to Caminiti's claim
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe Staff, 5/30/2002
... Notable among the other players who said they had no use for steroids were Pedro Martinez and Rickey Henderson. Though Martinez joked that some of the players who charged him when he weighed 154 pounds in his younger days ''were probably on 'roids,'' he said, ''I throw natural gas.''
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald
Steroids were all the rage in the visiting clubhouse yesterday at SkyDome, as Red Sox players and manager Grady Little reacted to this week's Sports Illustrated story in which former NL MVP Ken Caminiti admitted he used them and also claimed that 50 percent of ballplayers were users. ...
"It doesn't change the way I'll pitch to you,'' ace Pedro Martinez said. "If you're using it and I strike your ass (expletive) out, then I guess you should be embarrassed.''
inflatable baseball players
Bill Conlin, Philadelphia Daily News
My first message is to Roger Maris: Welcome back, champ. You're still the one-season home-run king. You hit 61 homers in 1961 and did it with a 190-pound body while smoking like that Camel sign they used to have blowing rings in Times Square. You did it while on the verge of a nervous breakdown. You did it in Mickey Mantle's shadow with the ghost of Babe Ruth clanking its chains.
Bronx Zoo, expect lion's share of barbs
Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Gentlemen, let the hassles begin. ... The Red Sox enjoy an off day today before starting a three-game series against the Yankees tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium. ... Going to New York isn't a highlight for many players. Going to Yankee Stadium if you're a Red Sox player requires mental and emotional preparation. Leave your thin skin north of the border. Expect your ego to take a severe beating.
''I get a kick out of it. I just laugh,'' said third baseman Shea Hillenbrand. ''I'm sure they laugh when they [the Yankees] come to Boston. People act like donkeys. Everything from having stuff thrown at you to being called every name in the book, to saying things about your mom or sister. It's entertaining ..."
May 29, 2002
Sox will not rush Ramirez
Mike Petraglia, mlb.com
There's no rush to bring Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez back to the Boston lineup. Manager Grady Little said before Tuesday's game in Toronto that the team is now eyeing a mid-June return for Ramirez. ... Ramirez was leading the American League in batting (.372) and slugging (.673) when he injured himself sliding head-first into Seattle catcher Dan Wilson's shin guard May 11. ... The Red Sox are 9-6 since Ramirez went out of the Red Sox lineup.
session -- Life in Fenway's cramped pen offers an unusual perspective
Stan Grossfeld, Boston Globe
Life in the bullpen is best described by Derek Lowe, who lived and nearly died there last year: "You are in a fenced-in pen. Three hours in a 30-foot area. Basically, you are like a cow.''
pitches that scare major leaguers
Jayson Stark, espn.com
[W]e spent the last week polling 20 people in baseball -- players, scouts, coaches and general managers. Our mission: determine which active pitchers possess the most lethal pitches in the universe, and what makes them so untouchable. Incredibly, 41 different pitches got at least one vote. Six pitchers even got votes for more than one pitch. ...
Pedro Martinez's Triple Threat (4 votes for changeup, 3 for fastball, 2 for curve): How great do you have to be to get votes for three different pitches in your repertoire? Well, you have to be Pedro Martinez, obviously. "You can make a case for three pitches with Pedro being 'devastating,'" says Gary Hughes, the Reds' director of pro scouting, "from Hughes. "He's in another world when it comes to pure stuff."
The change: The moment you realize it's a changeup, you've already swung and missed," says Curt Schilling. "He's able to mirror his fastball mechanics so well that you can't pick it up."
The fastball: "It has that elusive movement where you swing and miss, walk back to the dugout and ask another player, 'Did that ball rise?'" says Denny Hocking. "And they say, 'Yes.'"
The curve: "That hard curveball, down and in, just overmatches left-handed hitters," says one scout.
May 28, 2002
will not pitch in Bronx
Mike Petraglia, mlb.com
Pedro Martinez will still pitch the first game in Detroit according to skipper Grady Little. Martinez, who is 4-0 on the road this season with a 0.54 ERA in five starts, will pitch Tuesday in Toronto and then get five days rest. The decision means Martinez will miss the series this weekend at Yankee Stadium. "I talked to Pedro about it," said the Red Sox skipper Monday in Toronto. "Pedro understands the way we handle him. We're going to take care of Pedro. That's our number one concern."
gets call to replace Oliver
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
Enough was enough, Red Sox manager Grady Little decided last night. After Darren Oliver ran up a 9.60 ERA going winless in four straight starts, Little dispatched him to the bullpen and tapped Rolando Arrojo to replace him in the rotation. ... Despite making the switch, Little balked at shifting Pedro Martinez in the rotation to face the Yankees Sunday rather than the Tigers Monday. ... Sox CEO Larry Lucchino apparently would prefer to see Martinez pitch in the Bronx. ''I have confidence in those guys, but I'd like to see Pedro's number come up a little more often against the Yankees,'' Lucchino said ... When a reporter noted that some Sox fans - not Lucchino in particular - quickly have gone from harboring serious concerns about Martinez's condition to wishing he pitched more often, Little said, ''I guess all of us in our lifetimes get caught up with blinders on sometimes. We're just looking down one narrow road, but we have to look at the whole picture. We want to take care of this kid.''
to glory? Red Sox rolling along
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
Take heart, New England. The Red Sox are living out of suitcases again. Things are looking up. Never mind that nearly half the Opening Day lineup was in sick bay or resting on the bench last night when the Sox started a 10-game road show in SkyDome. No Manny. No Johnny. No Rey. No Tony. ... Bingo Little and his Traveling All-Stars are rolling again, barnstorming the continent with baseball's winningest road record. ... For the 11th time in 13 tries, the Sox downed the Blue Jays on their home turf ... [and] improved to 18-4 on the road, the best road start in the majors since Oakland went 18-4 in 1988.
An error in Ted Williams's official record has been found by SABR researchers. It was reported in the June Baseball Records Committee Newsletter. It turns out that Williams is missing two base on balls from his 1941 season. He is credited with 145 base on balls, but actually had 147. The game in question is the first game of a September 24 doubleheader with the Senators. The evidence is fairly conclusive that the person entering the data into the daily record at the MLB office entered a 0 under BB rather than 2. Most all the newspaper records comment on the two walks as do a number of the box scores. What is most amazing is that this is the season where Williams set the all-time OBP mark believed to be .551, but now we know it is .55280.
seems to be making some progress
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
"He still can't extend the finger all the way down," Grady Little said, "but he feels a little better every day." Ramirez, who is at his home near Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., has been working daily with an occupational therapist to rehab his finger and with a personal trainer for general conditioning. He is expected to be examined by Morgan in Boston tomorrow or Wednesday, then rejoin the team in New York for the three-game series that starts Friday. The earliest he is expected to play again is the weekend of June 7-9, when the Sox play the Diamondbacks at Fenway. Asked if the $160 million superstar has the technology at home to watch the Sox games, Little said, :I don't think he and his new wife are lacking too many material items in their life."
saves served with a scowl
John Tomase, Eagle-Tribune
Tired of answering questions, Pedro Martinez smiled wryly and rolled his eyes. "I have given you enough quotes," he said mischievously. "Now please get out of my locker." Then an unfamiliar voice piped in. "Please get out of mine, too," snarled a scowling Ugueth Urbina without a hint of playfulness. "(Expletive)." Told he didn't need to swear, Urbina paused. "Get out of my locker," he said softly. Then his back stiffened and he puffed out his chest. "Get out of my (expletive) locker."
Six-Pack Wrecks Red Sox
George King, New York Post
The AL standings today say the Red Sox lead the Yankees by one game in the East. Believe it if you want, but don't be fooled: the first-place team is chasing the one in second. When the Yankees pulled into Fenway Park for a four-game Memorial Day Weekend series against the Red Sox and lost the first two tilts and fell three games back, New England's darlings had a chance to drop a hammer on the Yankees and send a message from Gloucester to Pittsfield that this summer are legitimate. Yet, when the Yankees waltzed out of New England's living room with a 14-5 victory last night in front of 34,096 they had two straight victories in their pockets and the aura of a team ready to take the AL East by the throat.
at the Bat
George Gurley,. New York Observer
There is something of a tradition in American sportswriting whereby successful authors in other genres step back and admit that all they’ve ever really wanted to do is write about baseball. The result is usually predictable and unsatisfying—often a treacly piece of nostalgia whose purpose seems to have been securing the author a field pass at spring training and a few player autographs. Expertise in one field is mistaken for knowledge in another as the author wallows in the reflected glow of being in the same place, at the same time, with his or her heroes. ... The exceptions are few. Stephen Jay Gould, who died on Monday, May 20, in New York City, was one of them.
May 27, 2002
an Open Environment
Jon Heyman, Newsday
There's not one big- league clubhouse that's ready for an openly gay ballplayer, despite what Bobby Valentine said in a fit of wishful thinking. The age of enlightenment still is years away. Within the past week alone, there's ample anecdotal proof that all closeted gay major-leaguers should stay closeted - unless they're prepared to deal with severe abuse.
After being victimized by the pie-in-the-face routine while doing a TV interview Friday, Red Sox infielder Rey Sanchez screamed a hail of familiar gay epithets at pie perpetrators Trot Nixon and Lou Merloni. Sanchez was caught off-guard, but even after noticing that top-ranking club officials heard him scream the epithets, Sanchez didn't offer even the slightest apology. Maybe to him, that's ordinary verbiage.
A few days earlier, Rockies pitcher Mike Hampton verbally assaulted Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla, using a common gay slur interspersed with curses. Larry Walker and Hampton were watching a Colorado Avalanche hockey game when Kiszla approached Walker. Hampton apparently believed Kiszla had no call to engage Walker.
Hampton's caveman-like behavior is well-known, but there are many other backward thinkers who keep such feelings closeted. Hampton is just more obvious than most.
After Mets star Mike Piazza denied he is gay in response to an unfounded rumor that was irresponsibly printed in the New York Post, teammate Vance Wilson attempted to bolster Piazza by saying, "He lives his life morally right."
The implication, of course, was that homosexuality isn't.
in a class all his own
Garry Brown, Springfield Union-News
Midway through Boston College's commencement exercises Monday at Conte Forum, some people in the audience began to realize that they were sitting close to a celebrity. There he was, Pedro Martinez, resident ace pitcher of the Boston Red Sox. "At first some people wondered if that was really Pedro, but I knew right away," said Jim Diotalevi, a long-time Red Sox fan from Wilbraham. ... "He didn't need to be bothered, and he could have said no, but I would guess that he gave about 100 autographs. He didn't refuse anybody." Martinez said he attended the graduation "because I am close to someone in the class."
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
Four young pitching prospects turned in encouraging performances last week. Trenton's Seung Song(4-2, 4.13) allowed two runs on six hits and two walks over six innings in an 11-4 victory over Harrisburg. He has struck out 53 in 52.1 innings. At Single A Sarasota, Leyden's Brad Baker(4-0, 3.05) picked up a pair of wins. He has punched out 46 batters in 38.1 innings. And at Single A Augusta, Hyde Park's Manny Delcarmen(2-4, 4.26) picked up two wins, including a 12-8 victory over Savannah Friday in which he allowed only one earned run and struck out seven in seven innings. He has whiffed 55 in 50.2 innings. Also for Augusta, Phil Dumatrait(5-3, 3.04), the team's first-round pick in 2000, allowed one run on one hit over six innings in a 5-4 win over Columbus.
May 26, 2002
scoffs at Bambino's curse
Ian Browne, mlb.com
Pedro Martinez wants to curse every time he hears mention of the mythical "Curse of the Bambino." The topic seems to come up whenever he pitches against the Yankees, and it tends to bring an extra edge to his normally light-hearted voice. ... "A curse is not even baseball. Curse, curse, curse," said Martinez. "It's baseball. If they beat me, they beat me, but not because of the curse. Maybe the Bambino was looking out for me today. Would you believe that? ... I like history, but stuff like that, curses and stuff, I think the Bambino, Babe Ruth, was one of the greatest men for the community. I don't think he would want to curse -- not even his worst enemy. I don't believe in that."
Lesson In Sox Chemistry -- Yankees Do All They Can, Still Lose
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant
Has somebody finally thrown the old scorebooks into the Charles River? Are the ancestral roles finally being reversed? Just how and where did the Red Sox get the gumption to out-Yankee the Yankees, blow a six-run lead but bounce back to win 9-8 as they did Friday night at Fenway Park? "I just think their chemistry is a lot better now," said Jason Giambi, one Yankee willing to draw comparisons between the new-look Red Sox and their recent predecessors. "You see people pulling for each other, excited. I think all the new faces have added life to the ballclub. From across the field, it looks like they enjoy coming to the ballpark. It looks like they're on the same page."
won't play in NY: Yanks spared home invasion
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
Pedro Martinez dominated the New York Yankees Thursday but the Red Sox ace won't make an encore performance next weekend at Yankee Stadium. ... The three-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to make his next start on Tuesday in Toronto, followed by June 3 in Detroit. ... Since Opening Day, Martinez has pitched seven times on five days' rest and twice on four days. Martinez has a 1.85 ERA on five days and a 1.20 mark on the traditional four days between starts.
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
Pedro Martinez has not decided whether he would pitch in the All-Star Game or use the three-day break July 8-10 to rest. "I'm not thinking about it," Martinez said Friday. "I'll wait when the time comes and then I'll decide." The last time Martinez pitched in the All-Star Game was in 1999. He was on the disabled list the last two years.
Red Sox find fun in game
Mel Antonen, USA TODAY
It's Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend, a day before the Boston Red Sox leave their families for a 12-day trip to three different cities. So what do the players do? They get a group of tickets and head to the FleetCenter for Game 3 of the Celtics-New Jersey Nets NBA Eastern Conference final.
"We got a lot of players going, probably about 20," Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni says. "We'll probably have about 30-32 people. Check out the game. Hang out together. I don't think you'd see that on a lot of teams."
again fuels passion -- Fans' feelings for Rocket far from sizzled
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
Red Sox fans love nothing more than routing Roger Clemens. It's better than sunshine, lobster, and traffic-free highways. ... That's why there was so much joy in the stands when the Sox chased the Rocket in the fourth inning of last night's Red Sox-Yankees game. ...
The early part of the night was mildly reminiscent of the third game of the 1999 American League Championship Series against the Yankees. Boston lost the series, four games to one, but some Sox fans were satisfied just because Pedro Martinez and the locals routed Clemens, 13-1, in Game 3. ...
Clemens walked Johnny Damon to start the game, then let Damon steal second. Damon scored on a cheesy single to right by Nomar Garciaparra, which started the ''Rohhhhh-gerrrrr'' chants. Two more scratch singles and a ground out made it 3-0.
Security rimmed the visitors' dugout when Clemens walked off, but nobody threw anything and Clemens did not acknowledge the taunters. He never has. .. Will there ever be peace in this Boston-Clemens conflict? Hard to say. The Rocket is going to Cooperstown sometime in this decade and Hall of Fame officials may want him to go in wearing the cap of the team where he won most of his games. Clemens seems unlikely to embrace that idea.
makes the call -- He opts to pitch Martinez vs. Tigers
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
Red Sox manager Grady Little said yesterday he does not expect Pedro Martinez to face the Yankees in their three-game series next weekend in the Bronx. Martinez would have been scheduled to pitch the series finale Sunday, but the Sox have a day off Thursday and Little said he will give the entire rotation an extra day's rest, as he has done regularly this season. ... Martinez's next outing is scheduled for Tuesday against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
May 25, 2002
Sox on Top of Power Rankings
Charlie McCarthy, SportsLine.com
The Yanks are coming -- and the Red Sox appear ready. The top two teams in this week's Power Rankings, No. 1 Boston and No. 2 New York, will square off each of the next two weekends. First, there's a four-game Memorial Day weekend series at Fenway Park, before three games (May 31-June 2) in the Bronx.
May 23, 2002
less than three weeks away
Ian Browne, mlb.com
Manny Ramirez's fractured left index finger was re-examined by Red Sox team doctor Bill Morgan on Wednesday, and all indications have the superstar slugger on track for a return in less than three weeks.
May 21, 2002
Nick Carfardo, Boston Globe
Pedro Martinez long-tossed yesterday afternoon but left the ballpark before the game. According to Red Sox spokesman Kevin Shea, Martinez was excused by Stanley for personal reasons, which were not specified.
May 20, 2002
Boston for real? -- Red Sox dominating bad teams, beating good ones
Mike Bauman, mlb.com
There is always a danger in boarding this particular bandwagon prematurely, but the Boston Red Sox just took two more steps toward proving that they are the real deal. Those would be the two victories they had in three tries over the Seattle Mariners this weekend at Fenway Park. The Mariners have been the regular-season gold standard since the beginning of last season. The Red Sox played them six times in the last 10 days and went 3-3.
That's not an overwhelming mark, but these were the two teams with the best records in the Major Leagues. The Red Sox came into this stretch as No. 1, and that is the way they leave it as well, at 29-11.
May 18, 2002
claims 85 percent of players taking steroids
Jose Canseco claims 85 percent of major league baseball players are taking steroids. "There would be no baseball left if they drug-tested everyone today," he said Friday during an interview with Fox Sports Net. "It's completely restructured the game as we know it," he said. "That's why guys are hitting 50 or 60 or 75 home runs." ... Canseco refused to answer questions about steroid use, saying he would give details in the book he is writing.
robbed at gunpoint
[Cleveland] pitcher C.C. Sabathia was robbed at gunpoint early Friday morning at a downtown hotel by a group of men who stole his necklace, earrings and wallet. ... [Cleveland] assistant general manager Neal Huntington said Sabathia and a cousin went back to the Marriott Hotel with a group of people they had just met at a nightclub. As Sabathia, 21, and a cousin were getting ready to leave, two or three men pulled guns ... Sabathia is the second [Cleveland] player to be the victim of a holdup in the last six months. In December, utilityman Jolbert Cabrera was shot in the buttocks during a carjacking in Colombia.
May 17, 2002
says 6-8 teams are in deep financial trouble
With labor negotiations at a standstill and a strike looming, Bud Selig had some strong words about the future of Major League Baseball on Thursday. ... "I would say six to eight can't exist another year, another year and a half. We're talking about the immediate future," Selig said during a luncheon with editors and reporters from The Los Angeles Times.
May 15, 2002
Nelson auctions bone chips from elbow
Darren Rovell, espn.com
First came Diamondbacks slugger Luis Gonzalez's game-used gum, then A's ace Tim Hudson's goatee clippings and now ... Mariners reliever Jeff Nelson's bone chips? Jeff Nelson has put up for bid the bone chips removed from his pitching elbow. The fragments from the Seattle Mariners pitcher's elbow went up on eBay on Tuesday ...
with Bill James
On Tuesday, baseball writer Bill James dropped by to chat about his new book "Win Shares". Win Shares is a revolutionary system that allows for player evaluation across positions, teams and eras, and measures the total sum of player contributions in one groundbreaking number. James also recently authored "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Absract.":
"I like the Red Sox, too. We all know that they need to be. . .what, 16 games ahead of New York or August 14? Something like that. But I think they'll be well ahead by August. ...
"ALL analysis misses SOMETHING, doesn't it? No single line of analysis picks up everything. That's why you have to look at things 27 different ways to make sense of anything."
May 14, 2002
For Start? Here's The Count
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
Sure, the Mariners cooled off the Red Sox a bit by taking two of three over the weekend. And yes, it will be difficult to play .700 baseball without Manny Ramirez in the lineup the next four to six weeks. But any doubts about how the Red Sox will fare during that stretch cannot erase the first six weeks of the season. It is the best start since the 1946 team - your granddad's Red Sox. ... Here are 25 reasons - one for every victory - why the Red Sox have the best record (25-9) in baseball.
Sox face challenge ahead without Manny
Sean McAdam, espn.com
The first six weeks of the 2002 Red Sox season were a pleasure cruise, about as different from the last six weeks of the 2001 season as possible, which was achievement enough. That the Red Sox got off to their best start in 56 years and forged the best road record to start a season any team has had since 1984 was almost an afterthought. ... But now the Red Sox face a stark reminder that, regardless of morale and attitude, not every bad turn can be avoided. Manny Ramirez, who was leading the American League in hitting and hitting with runners in scoring position, will be lost to the Sox for at least the next four weeks and perhaps as long as six weeks with a fractured left index finger ...
bunch mixes it up for Sox
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald
Throughout the 8-2 road trip, the "Animal Group'' came to life. Whenever the Red Sox came up to bat in the first five innings, Carlos Baerga, Lou Merloni, Doug Mirabelli, Rickey Henderson and Brian Daubach were usually at the top steps of the dugout. If a Red Sox batter were to get a hit, they would keep their order. If the batter got out, they would shuffle the order. It was pure superstition and pure fun, with the goal, of course, of bringing good luck to the Red Sox.
'Test me right now'
Jeff Fletcher, Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Barry Bonds has been hearing the whispers -- some not so quiet -- for years. Fair or not, with or without proof, rumors of steroid use have chased Bonds as relentlessly as he has chased home-run records into his late 30s. Bonds has denied the rumors at every turn, explaining that he works out for 4½ hours a day, five days a week, in the offseason to develop his statuesque physique. ... "You can test me right now, and that would end that discussion real quick."
gets the blame
Jat Mariotti, Chicago Sun-Times
Kerry Wood is tired of Don Baylor's sleepwalk act. ... In a memorable rant after a limp 3-0 loss to the Cardinals, Wood boldly suggested his manager's tolerance of losing is a major part of the Cubs' problem. ''I'm getting real [bleeping] tired of hearing the same [bleep] when the game is over: 'Keep your head up and we'll get 'em tomorrow,''' Wood said. ''That [bleep] ain't working.''
May 13, 2002
Stories about Pedro's May 12th start against Seattle are here.
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