pedro martinez

News Archive for May 16-31, 2003
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May 31, 2003

Roger Clemens is such a tool. He told the New York Times: "It's pretty simple, the way I look at it. I became a Hall of Famer here [New York], with my numbers here and what I've done here ... When Duquette said that I was done [which he actually didn't do; see May 23 below], if I'd have taken his advice and went home, I wouldn't have been a Hall of Famer. ..." Travis Nelson's Boy of Summer blog posted the numbers (and offered some nice perspective):

Yrs  TM    GS   CG  CG%  SHO   IP     IP/GS  BB/9    SO   K/9   W    L   W/Yr   W%   ERA  *ERA+
13   BOS  382  100  26.2  38  2776.00  7.27  2.78  2590   8.4  192  111  14.8  63.4  3.06   151  
 2   TOR   67   14  20.9   6   498.67  7.44  2.82   563  10.2   41   13  20.5  75.9  2.33   203 
 5   NYY  133    2   1.5   1   851.00  6.39  3.47   816   8.6   65   29  13.0  69.1  3.94   119
20   ---  582  116  19.9  45  4125.67  7.09  2.92  3969   8.7  298  153  14.9  66.1  3.15   142

*NOTE: *ERA+ is park adjusted, relative ERA. That 142 means that Clemens' 
career ERA is 42% better than the park adjusted league averages for that span of time.

When the Rocket blew out of Beantown after 1996, he had 192 career wins, 2500+ innings, 2500+ strikeouts, had won more than 60% of his decisions, and had an MVP and three Cy Young Awards to boot. He had led the league in shutouts and adjusted ERA five times each, in ERA four times, in strikeouts three times, in Wins and Complete Games twice each, and in starts, innings, and winning percentage once each. ...

He pitches two more years as a (yuk) Toronto Blue Jay [and] becomes the first right-hander to win pitching's triple crown (Wins, ERA and Strikeouts) in like fifty years, and he wins two more Cy Young Awards. Now with fifteen years of pitching, 233 Wins, six ERA titles, five Strikeout titles, and a then-record five Cy Young Awards, Clemens has definitely paid his dues. ... 

[N]ow Rocket's gotta convince himself that the last five seasons of his career, the span in which he has the highest ERA, the highest walk rate, the lowest innings/start average, the fewest complete games, the fewest wins per season, and one lousy shutout, is what made him a bonafide Hall of Famer? ... 

Bill Simmons follows up his classic Is Clemens The Anti-Christ? with Rocket Failure: I Love It: "I shouldn't dislike someone this much, right? Here's someone I don't even know, someone with a wife and kids, someone who wouldn't know me if I walked right by him. And I'm rooting for his hand to shatter like a watermelon." ... Also: Clemens Hatred: Not a Bronx Tale by Aaron Schatz. ... Doug Pappas's blog offers PDF copies of the 2002-06 Collective Bargaining Agreement and the 1996-2001 CBA.


May 30, 2003

Pedro is scheduled to come off the DL Saturday, but he has only played catch on flat ground and expects to throw in the bullpen in the next few days. He had been penciled in for Tuesday, but both Byung-Hyun Kim and Derek Lowe have been mentioned as starters for that interleague game in Pittsburgh. Will Carroll, who writes Baseball Prospectus's "Under the Knife" column, on Pedro:

The injury to Pedro Martinez is one that has to be taken seriously, yet in-and-of-itself is not that serious. The lat strain is enough to land him on the DL and put a serious dent in the Red Sox rotation, but it shouldn't seriously affect his season. With a fragile-yet-dominant pitcher, it's not unlike the proper usage of the best reliever. Finding the spots to put him in with the proper combination of rest and sharpness is half the battle. ...

Rob Neyer joins the chorus of pundits calling the Hillenbrand-Kim trade a steal for Boston. Also, from Ben Jacobs of Universal Baseball Blog, Inc.:

Hillenbrand is a 27-year-old who is unlikely to become much better than he already is, and he ain't that great already. Kim is a 24-year-old who has already been a relief ace and has at least a decent chance of becoming an ace starter. Also, the Red Sox don't need Hillenbrand. They have Bill Mueller hitting better than Hillenbrand right now and they have Kevin Youkilis with a .460 OBP for Class-AA Portland. The Red Sox do, however, need Kim.

Allen Barra goes a bit over the top re: the Yankees' troubles (or could he be right on?), but hits the mark here: "Jeter is not a good shortstop. When are the fans going to realize this? When is the team going to realize it? ... And Soriano is a terrible defensive second baseman. You’ve got two black holes up the middle, just sucking up runs."

In 1933, 18-year-old Joe DiMaggio hit in 61 consecutive games for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League:

May 28 at Portland    1 for 4
May 30 at Seattle     3 for 6
May 30 at Seattle     3 for 4
May 31 at Seattle     2 for 4
June 1 at Seattle     1 for 5
June 2 at Seattle     2 for 5
June 3 at Seattle     2 for 4
June 4 at Seattle     2 for 4
June 4 at Seattle     1 for 3
June 6 at Oakland     1 for 4
June 7 at Oakland     1 for 3
June 8 at Oakland     3 for 5
June 9 at Oakland     1 for 4
June 10 at Oakland    2 for 5
June 11 at Oakland    3 for 5
June 11 at Oakland    1 for 4
June 13 vs. Seattle   2 for 4
June 14 vs. Seattle   1 for 3
June 15 vs. Seattle   2 for 4
June 16 vs. Seattle   2 for 5
June 17 vs. Seattle   3 for 4
June 18 vs. Seattle   1 for 3
June 18 vs. Seattle   2 for 2
June 20 vs. Mission   1 for 2
June 21 vs. Mission   2 for 5
June 22 vs. Mission   2 for 4
June 23 vs. Mission   1 for 4
June 24 vs. Mission   2 for 4
June 25 vs. Mission   2 for 4
June 25 vs. Mission   1 for 4
June 27 at L.A.       1 for 4
June 28 at L.A.       3 for 5
June 29 at L.A.       1 for 5
June 30 at L.A.       1 for 4
July 1 at L.A.        1 for 4
July 2 at L.A.        1 for 4
July 2 at L.A.        2 for 4
July 4 vs. Hollywood  1 for 5
July 4 vs. Hollywood  2 for 5
July 5 vs. Hollywood  1 for 4
July 6 vs. Hollywood  2 for 5
July 7 vs. Hollywood  1 for 5
July 8 vs. Hollywood  2 for 5
July 8 vs. Hollywood  1 for 3
July 9 vs. Hollywood  3 for 6
July 9 vs. Hollywood  1 for 3
July 11 at L.A.       2 for 4
July 12 at L.A.       1 for 4
July 13 at L.A.       3 for 4
July 14 at L.A.       2 for 5
July 15 at L.A.       4 for 4
July 16 at L.A.       1 for 4
July 16 at L.A.       1 for 3
July 18 at Sacramento 3 for 4
July 19 at Sacramento 3 for 5
July 20 at Sacramento 1 for 5
July 21 at Sacramento 1 for 5
July 22 at Sacramento 1 for 4
July 23 at Sacramento 1 for 5
July 23 at Sacramento 1 for 4
July 25 vs. Oakland   1 for 5

.405 batting average (104-for-257), 16 doubles, 6 triples, 11 home runs, 49 runs scored.


May 28, 2003

Shea Hillenbrand for Byung-Hyun Kim? Too good to be true! The consensus is that the deal is a steal for the Sox. Kim's been used as a starter this season -- and overall, he's been very good with minimal run support. He's 24 and will be used as both a starter and reliever. In fact, Kim's starting Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. Bill Mueller will be the regular third baseman and Boston has called up Freddy Sanchez, who is batting .391 with a .484 OBP (and 25 strikeouts and 26 walks) in Pawtucket. Kim:

When I was in Korea, I liked the Red Sox and the uniforms. I used to wear the Red Sox cap all the time in Korea. Back in 1995, I threw in an international tournament in Fenway and it made a great impact in my memory. I really liked the Green Monster and also the tradition and history the stadium holds. I was very impressed with it. ... The reason (I like) being a starter is that when I was little, I used to watch Pedro (Martinez) and Randy Johnson start, they'd be the leader of the team. I watched them have a great impact. That stayed with me. That's why I like the starting rotation. But being a closer, I don't mind that.

And reports from Arizona (quirkiness?) ... You can add Joe West to the Lead Pipe List, Umpires Division. ... Boston heads to Toronto, where the Blue Jays are making the East a little crowded:

TEAM            WON  LOST  PCT  GB      
BOSTON           31   21  .596   -    
NY YANKEES       31   22  .585    ˝
TORONTO          29   26  .527   3˝


May 27, 2003

From the weekend: More on Pedro Martinez's DL stint ...I was shocked that Gump sat both Manny and Mueller on Sunday; apparently Ramirez's day off was planned about a week earlier, so why sit Mueller (hitting about .390) the same day? 

Longest consecutive-game hitting streaks by Red Sox:

34 -- Dom DiMaggio 1949
30 -- Tris Speaker 1912
30 -- Nomar Garciaparra 1997
28 -- Wade Boggs 1985
27 -- Dom DiMaggio 1951
26 -- Nomar Garciaparra 2003
26 -- Johnny Pesky 1947
26 -- Buck Freeman 1902


May 26, 2003

Pedro Martinez has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. The move is retroactive to May 16 and will allow Martinez to pitch on Saturday in Toronto. Matt White is the pitcher likely to be called up for the Yankees series that begins this afternoon.


May 25, 2003

Pedro threw before Saturday's game, tossing a ball about 60 times on flat ground at distances ranging from about 30 feet to 75 feet. His motion was not as fluid as usual.  Sox team doctor Bill Morgan said, "It was a little sore, nothing extraordinary." If the Sox place Martinez on the disabled list, the earliest he could pitch would be next Saturday in Toronto. ... Gordon Edes on Billy Beane and the Sox GM spot. ... Derek Lowe goes Pole Doinking ...

Michael Silverman, Boston Herald, May 24: "Nomar Garciaparra's first-inning single extended the best hitting streak in the major leagues this season to 23 games. It tied him with four other Red Sox for 11th longest in team history, and he is one away from his second-highest stretch. The 23-game run matches Ted Williams' best mark. The Splendid Splinter did it in 1941, the year he hit .406. It was the only 20-game streak in the majors that season." ... Uh, 1941? Wait a minute ...


May 24, 2003

MLB: "The likelihood of Pedro Martinez pitching next week at Yankee Stadium dwindled Saturday when the ace felt a little bit of discomfort while playing catch."

Nomar's hitting streak is now at 24 games.

Last Saturday, Tampa Bay recorded zero assists in a 2-0 loss to Baltimore. It was the 8th time it has happened in major league history (TB also did it May 1, 2002). Not as cool as scoring in every inning, but here are the outs:

1st -   K   K   K
2nd -  L8   K  L8
3rd -  F8   K   K
4th -  P6  P4  3U
5th -  1U  P3   K
6th -  F8  F7  F8
7th -   K  P6   K
8th -  F8  F8  F8
9th -  Did not bat

Cleveland's lineup isn't much, but Derek Lowe pitched well last night, with an especially biting sinker. He also continued his severe home/road split:

       GS  IP     H   R  ER  BB   K    ERA   W-L
Home    5  35.1  25   8   6  13  18   1.53   3-0  
Away    5  21    38  30  27  12  17  11.57   1-3

Thanks to Toronto's victory over New York, the Boston Red Sox have sole possession of first place for the first time this season and first time since June 26, 2002.


May 23, 2003

Pedro Watch: The Globe says he'll be examined today and, if all goes well, will begin throwing. Martinez is still slated to pitch in the Bronx Tuesday or Wednesday. The Herald says that the exam will determine whether Pedro pitches on Monday or goes on the DL. The Republican says the DL is not a consideration.

History is a funny thing. ... This SoSH thread includes a link to some Boston stories when Roger Clemens packed his bags for Toronto and includes Dan Duquette's "twilight of his career" comment in its proper context:

End of an Era; No return fire from Sox; Brass tried to keep ace
By Michael Silverman, Boston Herald
December 14, 1996

The Red Sox brass kept a mostly stiff upper lip yesterday, putting the shiniest gloss possible on the news that lifelong Sox Roger Clemens had left the fold.

Restraining themselves from returning the type of salvos that Clemens threw at the club, and particularly Dan Duquette, during his press conference in Toronto, the general manager and CEO John Harrington were more subtle.

The Sox were officially "disappointed" but far from devastated at losing Clemens, who, over 13 seasons, compiled a 192-111 record, three Cy Youngs, two 20-strikeout games and a share of the team lead with Cy Young for most wins and shutouts (38).

"The Red Sox and our fans were fortunate to see Roger Clemens play in his prime and we had hoped to keep him in Boston during the twilight of his career," said Duquette, who joined Harrington on a conference call yesterday afternoon. "We just want to let the fans know that we worked extremely hard to sign Roger Clemens. . . . We made him a substantial, competitive offer, by far the most money ever offered to a player in the history of the Red Sox franchise.

"Unfortunately, we just couldn't get together. We were hoping he could finish his career as a Red Sox and we also wanted him to establish a relationship beyond his playing career. We wanted him to have the status of a Ted Williams, but at the end of the day we couldn't get it done." ...

In the words of Mel Allen, How about that! It turns out that the "twilight" Duquette was talking about was not 1994-96, but from 1997 on (if Clemens had decided to stay in Boston), which makes perfect sense. And his infamous comment was made AFTER Clemens had signed with the Blue Jays, not during contract negotiations as everyone on the planet believes (and will continue to believe). Just another example of the mind-boggling anti-Duquette bias from the Boston media, which spread like a cancer to the national media. This particular strain is still infecting us seven years later.

P.S. Another poster in that thread wrote: "I have a video interview after Roger had his 2nd 20k game and he says 'I knew the win would be emotional as I know I'm winding down' and that was in 1996." ...  Searching the net, I found this quote from the day of the 20K game [September 18, 1996]: "I know I'm winding down and the wins haven't fallen my way this year like I would've hoped to, but now that I have to a chance to obtain that (record), I'm trying my best to make it worthwhile." Also, this one from the Boston Globe: "If you work hard enough, good things will happen to you. I know I'm winding down. The wins haven't fallen my way this year.''

Michael Lewis's Moneyball came in the mail today, but I'm trying to save it until a June vacation in upstate New York. It's hard, especially after reading Rob Neyer's interview with Lewis and various related articles (and radio interview). ... Here's an excellent appreciation of Curt Gowdy's recent ESPN appearance -- which I had to miss because Chris Berman's voice causes me to involuntarily vomit ... Derek Zumsteg: "The Cubs went out of their way to create a system that utterly screws the fan so that few good tickets are available at face value. They then don't have to share the revenue they're making on the side, thus screwing the revenue sharing in the CBA they just voted for ... What's more, it's illegal." ... Baseball Primer's bi-weekly look at the AL East.

American League Adjusted Equivalent Average Leaders
Name               Team    EQA
Martinez, Edgar     SEA    .372
Mueller, Bill       BOS    .359
Everett, Carl       TEX    .353
Delgado, Carlos     TOR    .350
Johnson, Nick       NYY    .347

More on Mueller.

There are plenty of Red Sox fans (like me) trying to survive in New York City. I have one comment for Chris Harrington, who said: "The thing that stinks is even when we do finally win the Series, Yankee fans will say: 'It's only one. Look how many we've got.'" I'm happy to report that you will be wrong, Mr. Harrington. That eventual Red Sox World Series championship will burn brighter in our hearts than all of New York's 26 titles combined. There can be no doubt about that. And those silly Yankee taunts of "It's only one" -- our seasons-long giddiness will prevent those words from ever reaching our ears.


May 22, 2003

Grady Little said there was a ''very legitimate chance" that Pedro Martinez would pitch in New York next Tuesday or Wednesday (although the Herald indicated he could be out until the second week of June). Martinez said the injury is not as serious as feared, but when asked how long he expected to be sidelined, he said, ''I have no idea. I've never had this before. It's the first time.'' First time? What about this, from an October 7, 1999 story quoted in this discussion:

Martinez feels better but future uncertain

Cleveland (AP) -- Pedro Martinez, still in pain, plans to throw again Saturday. Whether he'll pitch again in the postseason is less certain.

Baseball's best pitcher felt better Thursday, but the concern about his strained back muscle might not matter unless the Boston Red Sox get at least two postseason wins ... 

The Red Sox counted heavily on Martinez, the shoo-in for the AL Cy Young award, to win Wednesday night's opener. He led 2-0 when he left with a strained muscle in his back after four innings and Boston went on to lose 3-2.

Martinez said he strained a muscle below his right shoulder blade on his strikeout pitch to Jim Thome, who led off the fourth. He retired the side in order, then told Kerrigan his back hurt. Williams brought in reliever Derek Lowe.

"Martinez laughed at a grainy up-close photo ... that showed him sitting in a vehicle with a serious look on his face. Above the picture, someone had written, "Pedro Martinez arrested after not making start against the Yankees. Five years sentence and option." Martinez took it a step further. He grabbed a piece of paper and wrote his name and a fictitious convict number - "454545" - on it. He placed it under the picture. ..."

Bill Reynolds praises Joe Torre for his calmness, for being "the island in the swirling sea," in noting that Contreras pitched well against Boston and he's "seen good things from just about everyone" in the bullpen, etc. Now, if a member of the Red Sox tried to similarly snowball the media, would they get similar praise? ...

CBS Power Rankings: Red Sox jump to 3rd, Yankees drop to 5th.
ESPN Power Alley: Yankees slide from 3rd to 5th, Red Sox drop from 5th to 6th.


May 21, 2003

Pedro Martinez has a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle. He underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam at Boston's St. Elizabeth's Hospital during Tuesday night's game. Sox officials hope Pedro will miss only one start. Garry Brown notes that in 2001, Frank Castillo was sidelined for six weeks and missed eight starts with a similar injury.

Umm, How's Security Up There?: Bucky Dent will sit in the Green Monster seats Wednesday night near the spot his home run landed nearly 25 years ago. ... Here are the ground rules for all MLB parks ... The Boss is Already Sweating ... Ken Huckaby is called "Jeter-killer" in Syracuse ... Was Boston's interest in Jose Contreras an elaborate scam to get the Yankees to sign him? ... 

Last Sunday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote that Roger Clemens is the greatest pitcher of all time. As much as I hate that Fat Bastard, I'll agree he is one of the best ever. Sherman's analysis is odd. He rules out any pitcher from before 1920 because the Deadball Era "favored pitchers by a wide margin, so goodbye" Johnson, Mathewson and Alexander. He also excludes anyone before 1947 because "the majors were not only all white, but heavily Northeastern." I can't tell if Sherman is ignoring pitchers from the 1960s because that era also favored pitchers, but he does say guys like Koufax, Spahn, Gibson and Ford never saw a DH, pitched with a raised rubber and never dealt with smaller stadiums, tinier strike zones players all hopped up on legal and illegal supplements.

So with all that whittling, what has Sherman left himself to judge? Not a whole hell of a lot. Using his logic -- which has gaps large enough for the 1996 Clemens to fit through -- he appears to have considered only American League pitchers who have worked since 1974. In that case, yeah, Sherman is probably right, but that sure sounds like a conclusion in search of an argument.

In this discussion, John Pastier provides a list of the 49 best pitchers since 1900, ranked by runs saved v. an average pitcher. Here's the top ten:

 1 Lefty Grove        668
 2 Walter Johnson     643
 3 Roger Clemens      603
 4 Greg Maddux        535
 5 Grover Alexander   523
 6 Randy Johnson      456
 7 Christy Mathewson  409
 8 Tom Seaver         404
 9 Pedro Martinez     400
10 Carl Hubbell       355

Meanwhile, he goes for loss #154 tonight.


May 19, 2003

I am very excited for this Yankee series, probably more than I should be. Boston comes in on a relatively high note, while the Yankees are sliding. New York held a 4-game lead on May 2; that is gone now. Boston has made up three games in the standings over six days and is tied for first place. ... You just know that if the situation was reversed, the New York tabloids would spill barrels of ink opining that the Red Sox are choking under the pressure of hearing Yankee footsteps (as usual) but look, they didn't even wait until August to fold and here come the mighty Bombers, fulfilling God's master plan. ... Is anyone out there writing that the Yankees are in the process of blowing the East? If so, I missed it. ... 

            W   L   PCT  GB
Boston     27  16  .628  --
New York   27  16  .628  -- 

            RS   RA   EXP W/L   AVG   OBP   SLG  1-RUN   BB   K   SB/CS   TB
Boston     257  228    24-19   .289  .355  .471   10-4  153  240  29/10  721
New York   251  180    28-15   .275  .362  .468    5-3  192  276  25/ 7  709

            W   L   ERA   WHIP   IP  HIT  RUN   ER   BB   K    OBA   OOB  OSLG
Boston     27  16  4.79  1.302  390  419  228  208  144  298  .273  .339  .428
New York   27  16  3.82  1.441  386  397  180  164  106  316  .264  .314  .384

Starters    W   L   ERA   WHIP   IP     OBA   OOB  OSLG
Boston     17   9   4.57  1.38  252.1  .262  .332  .407
New York   24  11   3.46  1.20  291.1  .255  .297  .370

Relievers   W   L   ERA   WHIP   IP     OBA   OOB  OSLG
Boston     10   7   5.15  1.55  136.1  .294  .351  .464
New York    3   5   4.93  1.60   95    .288  .361  .426

New York Splits
           R   H  2B  3B  HR   BB  K    AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
Vs Right  194 319 59   1  55  142 184  .286 .372 .489 .861
Vs Left    56  95 22   4  11   50  83  .257 .343 .427 .770
Away      167 250 53   4  44  105 146  .304 .385 .538 .923 
Boston Splits
           R   H  2B  3B  HR   BB  K    AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
Vs Right  179 291 69   8  36  117 179  .284 .360 .473 .832 
Vs Left    73 140 44   2  11   35  61  .296 .344 .467 .812
Home      121 213 51   7  19   74  92  .311 .383 .490 .873

On May 7, Joe Morgan predicted:

I believe Derek Jeter's return will re-energize the New York Yankees, who have leveled off after a fantastic start. ... New York needs to be rejuvenated, and Jeter is the kind of player who can do that for a team. He will be a shot in the arm for the Yankees, and I expect them to go on another hot streak with Jeter back in the lineup.

Let's take a look, Joe:

Tue. 5/13 Anaheim  L 10-3
Wed. 5/14 Anaheim  L  5-3
Thu. 5/15 Anaheim  W 10-4
Fri. 5/16 Texas    L  8-5
Sat. 5/17 Texas    L  5-2
Sun. 5/18 Texas    L  5-1

New York Yankees Media
New York Post
New York Daily News
New York Times
Bergen Record
Hartford Courant
Newark Star-Ledger
Staten Island Advance
MSG Network



May 17, 2003

I meant to include this yesterday. At Sons of Sam Horn, Eric Van has been providing "Grady's First Guesses", a look at an upcoming series and opposing pitchers and what the optimum lineup would be. Here's the Anaheim thread. Also, Philly Sox Fan has studied "Bullpen usage and high leverage innings thru 40 games" -- which is pretty interesting. ... With all his obsessive 1st-pitch hacking and numerous pop-ups, Nomar now has what must be one of the quietest 17-game hitting streaks ... Bruce Markusen looks at various hair-raising controversies and four days after the return of Derek Jeter, New York learns that Nick Johnson will miss 4-to-6 weeks with a stress fracture in his right hand.

Bill Mueller should be in the lineup every day until he stops knocking the sh*t out of the ball, which doesn't seem to be anytime soon. I'd also like to see him lead off. ... Why in the hell did Gump bring Robert Person into a tie game last night? There is no logic in making his 2nd appearance since being called up from Pawtucket a high-pressure situation. Bring in Timlin, Mendoza or Lyon and let Person get his innings elsewhere. ... And with Giambi on first leading off the bottom of the 7th, Grady leaves Mirabelli in to face a righty throwing 96-97? With Ortiz, Mueller and Varitek on the bench? Jeez. Of course, Belly looked horrible whiffing on 3 pitches. Once again, Grady didn't realize that the 7th inning was the key frame, even though that's what his GM has been yakking about all year long. ... Little brought Embree in to start the 8th and face two righties, which is wrong. Both of them reached base and one scored the eventually winning run. ... There can be no debate: Huckleberry Happytalk cannot manage close games. ... 


May 16, 2003

Pedro's pitching did the talking last night and set aside the Nation's worry about the soreness in his right groin. In six innings, he allowed five hits, no runs and one walk; he struck out eight. The Rangers had two runners on base in only one inning. ... The bullpen has improved -- Mendoza has not allowed a run in his last 8.1 innings -- and Pawtucket's Freddie Sanchez is tearing up the International League (.406 batting average/.494 on-base percentage). ... Bill Mueller leads the team in slugging percentage at .649. In addition to a triple and double last night, he also worked a 12-pitch walk. ... The talk of Clemens pitching for #300 in New York (and not Boston) is being presented as a business decision, but I suspect it also has to do with the Fat Bastard wanting to avoid another one of these. ... Also, the Globe is reprinting Peter Gammons's story of Clemens's first win ... Rob Neyer interviewed Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball: The Art of Winning, which has received good word-of-mouth at SoSH. ... Transcript of Bill James ESPN May 15 chat. Some snips:

Jake: Bill, can we gleam anything from the Win Shares system after only 40-odd games, or is it a tool that's truly accurate after a full 162-game schedule?

Bill James: Nothing. Win Shares are a tool used to analyze a season after it is over. They have no relevance at all to a moving object.

Big Bill: The closer-by-committee theory seems to have lost its luster as the Sox have given the closer job to Brandon Lyon. Do you still feel that this is a viable philosophy, or did the personnel in Boston just fail to live up to expectations?

Bill James: I have never advocated anything remotely resembling a closer by committee. Neither, for that matter, has anybody else connected with the Red Sox, as far as I know. It's a straw man argument.

Phil: Everyone knows that walks are bad for pitchers, and good for hitters. It's something that we hold for or against both parties, but it's only one event. To your knowledge, has anyone done a study to determine the proportional blame/credit a pitcher and batter should get for a single walk? Would that information be useful?

Bill James: Yes, that was studied many years ago. The batter has more to do with determining when a walk occurs than the pitcher does. This is really the central insight of the on-base percentage discussion--not that On Base Percentage is important; that's self-evident. But rather, that it is the hitter, more than the pitcher, who determines when a walk occurs.

Tim: Do you think the Red Sox have any big sleepers in the minors that maybe we might not know about?

Bill James: Dozens of them.

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