pedro martinez


News Archive for June 1-15, 2001
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Friday, June 15, 2001

Pedro's discontent evident
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

One of the sadder aspects of this week's Pedro Martinez saga, at least to me, has been watching what it's been doing to the man himself. ...

[M]ore and more, he's become moody and withdrawn, trapped by his own high-profile status. ... For the first extended time in memory, Pedro seems tired of being Pedro. The smile, humor and zest for each day's adventures, which have been trademarks of his, are seen less and less. Martinez seems to be approaching baseball as a job, and not a game, more and more.

Pedro proclamation: I'll be A-OK
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez knows that his fans are concerned. And the Red Sox ace wants them to know that despite the fact he will skip a scheduled start tonight in Atlanta, his sore right shoulder is already feeling better.

Williams makes a late call -- Arrojo gets the nod to go against Maddux
Allen Lessels, Boston Globe

Stiff-shouldered Pedro Martinez, the reason the Red Sox will start Arrojo tonight, was still not talking in the clubhouse before the game. Martinez will miss tonight's start, but speculation is he'll make his next one at Tampa Bay.

Martinez did speak to reporters earlier in the day at an appearance for Fleet Bank. ''If everything goes all right, I'll be in Tampa. If not, I'll just wait a little big longer. Whatever the situation might be, I'm going to be OK. I'm glad it's not anything serious. There's not anything the fans need to worry about me because I know my body and I know that I feel a lot better. There's a little bit of inflammation in the tendons back there, but it's going to be OK.''

Pedro tells fans not to worry
Ian Browne,

The health of Pedro Martinez often has a direct correlation to the psyche of Red Sox fans. So needless to say, there has been a lot of public concern since the team announced that Martinez would miss his start Friday night in Atlanta with an ailing right shoulder.

But Martinez -- through a conversation with team spokesman Kevin Shea -- urged all Red Sox supporters to rest easy. Essentially, Martinez told Shea that he isn't worried, so the fans shouldn't be, either. Asked if putting Martinez on the disabled list was a consideration, Red Sox Manager Jimy Williams said, "Not at this time."

Martinez mum about mysterious shoulder injury
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald/The Sporting News

The club was hoping Martinez could pitch on June 21 in Tampa Bay, but a decision on that appearance is many days away.

State of the BSG Site -- Notes on the final few days, the future and more
Bill Simmons, Boston Sports Guy

If you read yesterday's "Links," you caught the section near the top where I mentioned that the BSG site was nearing the end of a four-year run at Digital City Boston. Since many of you seemed jolted by the news -- despite every warning from the past few weeks -- I thought I'd elaborate in the form of a Q & A.


Thursday, June 14, 2001

Red Sox continue to roll despite plethora of injuries
Sean McAdam,

Over the weekend, it was revealed that Martinez was sufficiently worried about his shoulder last month to go for an MRI. That's why Williams has been even more vigilant about pitch counts, limiting him to 90 last week at Yankee Stadium.

It's Pedro's third annual spring break
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

Surprising no one, the Red Sox made it official last night when they announced that Pedro Martinez would indeed miss tomorrow night's start in Atlanta because of slight shoulder tendinitis.

Pedro will miss Friday start
Mike Petraglia,

Red Sox manager Jimy Williams confirmed Wednesday afternoon that ace Pedro Martinez will miss his next scheduled start this Friday in Atlanta.

The Sox skipper said the club wants to allow Martinez some time to rest his right shoulder. "He threw long toss yesterday and felt better [than last week's long toss] after it. I think it's in his shoulder. He's just a little tired, that's all. He competes on every pitch like it's his last. Maybe [he has lasted] this long this season because of the caution we've shown."

Official: Pedro will skip turn
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

Finally, everybody's stories match: Pedro Martinez will not pitch tomorrow night in Atlanta. Instead, the Boston Red Sox hope he'll be able to avoid the disabled list and pitch sometime during the June 19-21 series in Tampa Bay, though that plan carries no guarantees, either.

Pappas sizes up pitchers' plight
Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe

If you had a nickel for every time you heard Pedro Martinez - because he's only 5 feet 11 inches, 170 pounds - is more susceptible to breaking down than bigger guys such as Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson, you'd be rich.

But those thoughts are worth about a nickel, because they aren't based on any scientific or medical evidence. Red Sox medical director Dr. Arthur Pappas said, ''I suppose it makes for good fodder, but I can't say that's a true statement.''

Team is left with a number of options for replacing No. 1
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

In Martinez's absence, the Sox face the challenge of fielding a capable starter - without overtaxing the rest of the rotation - when they open a three-game series tomorrow night against the Braves in Atlanta. Greg Maddux is scheduled to pitch for the Braves.

... As for Martinez, who is expected to travel with the team, he went a fifth straight day yesterday without discussing his condition - or anything else. ''Jimy already explained it,'' he said through team spokesman Kevin Shea. ''With all due respect, I'm not going to talk.''

... David Cone: ''When players go through something like that, it's hard for them to figure out for themselves what's going on, much less explain it. 'Sometimes it can get a little confusing and you can get a little defensive."

Roque may get the call: Could substitute for Pedro
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

With Pedro Martinez now officially scratched from tomorrow's start in Atlanta, the Red Sox may purchase the contract of former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Rafael Roque from Triple-A Pawtucket to open the three-game series at Turner Field.

Roque, 27, presently is scheduled to start for the PawSox in Norfolk tomorrow, but he has been put on alert that he may be needed to face Greg Maddux instead. The left-hander is 6-2 with a 2.55 ERA and has been the most consistent starter for the Sox' top minor-league affiliate.

Plan eyed to rebuild Fenway in place -- Sox bidders would avoid landtakings
Meg Vaillancourt, Boston Globe

As they prepare to review the Red Sox's confidential financial records, several prospective bidders are also studying plans to rebuild Fenway Park on its current site.

Study says new stadium could hurt Sox
Isaac Baker, Boston Globe

The Red Sox would struggle to increase revenue and attract fans if the club follows through with plans to tear down Fenway Park and build a new stadium, according to a study released yesterday by Save Fenway Park and consumer activist Ralph Nader.


Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Pedro likely to miss his start in Atlanta
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

Though no official determination has been made, all signs point to Pedro Martinez missing his next scheduled start, Friday night in Atlanta, as the Red Sox give him additional rest to recover from mild right shoulder tendinitis.

Duquette: Martinez likely to miss start
Mike Petraglia,

Red Sox General Manager Dan Duquette said late Tuesday afternoon that "there is a strong likelihood" that Boston pitcher Pedro Martinez will miss his next start.

"[Pedro] has still has some tenderness and soreness in his right shoulder," Duquette said. "With a day off yesterday and a day off [June 18], we feel he could use the rest. Tomo Ohka is likely the pitcher who would take his place in the rotation for one start."

Pedro To Miss Start In Atlanta
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said Tuesday that Pedro Martinez will miss his scheduled start Friday in Atlanta. Martinez, who has experienced stiffness in his right shoulder recently, played catch in the outfield for about 10 minutes as pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and trainer Christopher Correnti watched. Martinez refused to talk and Kerrigan was unavailable before the game.

Martinez likely to miss start
Howard Ulman, Associated Press

Pedro Martinez probably will miss his next scheduled start with tenderness in his right shoulder, Boston Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said Tuesday night.

Here we go again: Now that Pedro's down, how long will he be out?
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez walked into the clubhouse and onto the field, but by then the issue had been all but determined. The inimitable ace of the Red Sox is suffering from inflammation in his right shoulder, but the real question isn't whether Martinez is going to miss a start.

Bypass operation -- Martinez to skip start; Williams out of loop
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

It was supposed to be about Pedro. But as so often happens around here, it deteriorated into another sorry round of Jimy and the Duke.

The news that Pedro Martinez will miss his next start, Friday in Atlanta, was overshadowed by the way it was delivered. Less than a half-hour after manager Jimy Williams emerged from his office before the game to tell the gaggle of TV cameras and notepads that he would inform them of Martinez's status the next day, a different message was being broadcast on Radio Free Duke.

Sox take Pedro news in stride
Steve Conroy, Boston Herald

In another year, Red Sox players might have reacted a little differently to the news that Pedro Martinez will miss a start.

But the first-place Sox have already dealt with the loss of shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and are now dealing with catcher Jason Varitek being out 2-3 months. So the fact that their ace, Martinez, will miss Friday night's start in Atlanta didn't seem to faze his teammates.


Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Pedro to test arm: Ace still mum about injury
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez has refused to talk to the media since questions of his health resurfaced in Saturday's loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, but a few tosses today to pitching coach Joe Kerrigan should speak volumes about the immediate future of the Red Sox ace.

Pedro still mum
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

When it comes to his health, Pedro Martinez has been a man of mystery for years, as Boston Red Sox fans well know.

Even his employers don't always know what's going on, which is why the Red Sox felt compelled to issue an odd medical statement Saturday. It stated that all their information indicated Pedro was healthy while emphasizing they could only go by what he's told them

Sox should wing it for now
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

Sometime this afternoon, Pedro Martinez will head out for a brief session of long toss under the watchful eye of pitching

Pedro's frailty something we have to endure
Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal

His first start was the first game of the season, on the road in Baltimore. He next pitched six days later, against the Devil Rays at home. Then it was six days later against the Yankees. Do you see a pattern here?

Hoping For Pregame Victory
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

The Red Sox continue the first wave of interleague games tonight when Cliff Floyd and the Florida Marlins come to Fenway Park for a three-game series. ... In the afternoon, pitcher Pedro Martinez will have a long toss session with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan to determine if he will make his next start Friday in Atlanta. By the time Martinez is done with his workout, the Red Sox should know whether Manny Ramirez will be in the lineup.

Still the one
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Take away Martinez - which is hardly written in stone as the course of action the Sox intend to follow - and you're still left with a staff earned run average of 3.49. With Martinez, the Sox lead the major leagues with an ERA of 3.24, more than a run below the league average of 4.45. Subtract Martinez's numbers, and the Sox' staff ERA is still the best in the bigs.

Sox have strength in numbers
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

"Depth is one of the competitive advantages we have,'' said Sox general manager Dan Duquette. "When you have injuries, and injuries are inevitable over 160 games, it's helpful to the organization to have good depth.''

Target date iffy for Garciaparra
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

With a month to go until the All-Star break, Nomar Garciaparra has yet to begin baseball-related activity, which would seem to make the chance of his returning at that time unlikely. Garciaparra, recovering from surgery on his right wrist, has dropped hints that he may not be back by then, saying he never targeted the July date.


Monday, June 11, 2001

Most common scores in baseball history

A look at all National League and American League games from 1901 to 2000.

Shoulder woes return; Pedro may miss start
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal 

Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez is again suffering from mild right-shoulder tendinitis, the same ailment which sidelined him for two weeks in the middle of the 1999 season, placing him in jeopardy of missing his next start, scheduled for Friday in Atlanta.

Pappas gives Martinez exam, says pitcher is OK
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Whether Pedro Martinez makes his next start will not be known until after he plays a game of catch with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan tomorrow. But beyond some tenderness in his right shoulder, which is normal for the day after he pitches, and some general fatigue, the Red Sox ace appears to be OK, according to Arthur Pappas, the team's medical director.

With Pedro, it's better safe than sorry
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald

Sure signs that another Boston summer is upon us: The Sagamore Bridge is tangled up on Friday afternoons, the Duck Tours are doing brisk business . . . and Pedro Martinez is hurt again.

Medical news worse for Sox
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

It's become hard to say which set of Boston Red Sox medical news is worse, the known or the unknown. ... After the game, Red Sox physician William J. Morgan issued a statement saying that "as far as the medical staff is concerned, based on his communication with us, he's fine. He has had a continuing problem with his oblique muscle for the past few years, and he has adjusted to it as far as we know."

The Red Sox were clearly saying they could only go by what Pedro was telling them, while keeping open the possibility that he wasn't telling them everything.

Rebounding name of game
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Six times this season the Red Sox lost a game started by seemingly infallible ace Pedro Martinez. Six times they have simply returned to work, unaffected, and secured a victory in the next game.

...  Martinez, for his part, was in attendance yesterday, hamming it up in the Sox dugout and declining to speak with reporters. It's his prerogative. Meanwhile, as general manager Dan Duquette indicated that he has not been apprised of any injury to the pitcher, pitching coach Joe Kerrigan acknowledged that Martinez had a brief visit with team doctor Arthur Pappas.

Sox Hang On As Week Ends In Mystery
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

Playing without their top slugger and with no clue as to what is wrong with their best pitcher, the players were oblivious to the mystery suddenly surrounding them. So the week that began with the manager embroiled in controversy ended in a shroud of secrecy and a 5-4 victory over the Phillies at Fenway Park. And what a week it was.

Pedro's Problem Not Clear
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

As he walked around the clubhouse Sunday morning, the perpetual smile was missing from Pedro Martinez's face. "I'm not talking," he said.

Sox will know more about Pedro on Tuesday
Mike Petraglia,

Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said the team will know more about the status of Pedro Martinez on Tuesday, when the ace is scheduled to throw a side session at Fenway Park. "He's got an extra day's rest and we'll see how he feels."

Long-toss session Tuesday big for Martinez

The Boston Red Sox should have a better idea Tuesday if Pedro Martinez will miss a start. ... He lacked the usual speed on his fastball and is scheduled for his customary long-toss session before Tuesday's home game against Florida. That should help the team decide whether he will start Friday night in Atlanta.

Quite a compliment
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez were honored before the game by the Negro Leagues Museum. Negro leagues great Buck O'Neil ... offered an impressive tribute to Martinez. ''I've seen Walter Johnson, I've seen Satchel Paige, I've seen Lefty Grove,'' O'Neil said. ''This guy is as good as anyone who has ever thrown the horsehide.''

Varitek surgery slated for tomorrow
Steven Krasner and Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

Catcher Jason Varitek will undergo surgery [Tuesday] to repair his fractured right elbow, an injury that occurred Thursday night as he made a diving catch of a fouled bunt attempt. [Also: Herald -- 

Sean's Outside the Box
Sean Forman,

The highest paid players in the major leagues are position players. Pitchers (especially starters) have a horrible time getting MVP votes, yet when it comes time to pick up help through trade every team is looking for pitching help and no one is particularly interested in dealing a young starter.

Why is that? .. I have a couple of opinions. The effect of a single starting pitcher is overvalued. It is blatantly obvious when a pitcher has a dominant or a terrible game. Batters will be noted when they have a fantastic game, but a batter puttering along with a bunch of one for fives will very rarely get a mention. Pitchers kill you quickly, batters inflict a slower, more quiet death.

Strength given by a loving Dad
Albert Belle, Baltimore Sun

I was blessed to grow up with parents who possessed different strengths and skills. Mom was and still is the "glue" of the family, but Dad was the enforcer and "silent pillar of strength."

The Week In Quotes, June 4-10
Derek Zumsteg,

"Ten years? I've got 17 years."
-- Rickey Henderson, Padres outfielder, on being told he had tenure and could bump rookies from good seats on the team bus

"We just have to deal with our suckiness and go from there."
-- Jeff Kent, Giants infielder, on the Giants' current malaise


Sunday, June 10, 2001

The Media
Rasputin, Unobstructed Views

A critical look at the Boston sports media; this time out, a look at Gerry Callahan and Michael Gee of the Herald and Bob Hohler and Dan Shaughnessy of the Globe.

Just What Seattle Needs: a Garciaparra
Ross Newman, Los Angeles Times

Wait a minute. The Seattle Mariners are enjoying one of the best starts in baseball history and now they hope to acquire Garciaparra? True enough, but let's be clear.

Baseball needs to strike out interleague play
Jim Salisbury, Philadelphia Inquirer

Here we are, in the midst of the fifth season of interleague play, and we're still waiting for the Seattle Mariners to show their colors in Philadelphia. The Oakland Athletics, as well. The Cleveland Indians, too.

Wasn't that one of the big come-ons when baseball owners sold interleague play to fans in 1997? ... In actuality, interleague play has been far from what was promised. There is no rotating schedule between divisions.


Friday, June 8, 2001

Varitek suffers right elbow fracture
Mike Petraglia,

Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek suffered a fracture of his right elbow during Thursday night's 8-1 win over the Tigers at Fenway Park. [Also: Globe -- Herald -- Projo]

They'll Have to Step To Plate
Michael Madden, Boston Globe

The Phillies are in town tonight for the start of interleague play, which means the day is fast approaching that Red Sox fans are awaiting with anticipation, fear, dread, and ... well, sheer curiosity. The day that Red Sox pitchers grab a bat.

... ''People have to understand that we don't practice [hitting] that much,'' said ace Pedro Martinez. ''It's not that we can't hit. We just don't practice.''

''I got a triple once,'' Martinez said, even without being asked. ''It was off [Denny] Neagle ... it was the biggest hit I got.'' ... It came when Martinez was with the Expos and Neagle was pitching for the Pirates ''back in '94 or '95, and I hit it to right-center field and it cleared the bases. That was my biggest hit but, after that, I got a lot of doubles. In my career, I've got to have at least six [doubles] or seven.''

... ''I haven't had much practice,'' Pedro Martinez said of his efforts. ''But I hit one into the net ... no, I hit a couple ... last year when we had batting practice here. No, we only hit here three times but I hit a couple up there.''


Thursday, June 7, 2001

Red Sox Report
Thoughts on the season at the One-Third Point, along with an in-depth look at the Boston pitching staff

Bill Simmons, Digital City

The Jimy Saga seems to have divided the fans, as everyone feels strongly one way or the other about Jimy's right to manage a professional baseball team when he's obviously insane. It's the most heated debate since Roe vs. Wade. ... I don't know about you, but the Jimy Experience has driven me insane. It's gotten to the point where I can't even bear to watch this team in a one-run game anymore. It's agonizing. Watching Jimy pull the strings in a close game feels like watching your grandfather trying to shovel during a snowstorm.

Fenway comes alive with a Latin beat
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald

"We have more Latino players now, and a lot more Latino fans are coming to the stadium, so it's obvious the Latino community will come out to support you,'' said Martinez, who handed out awards to the students with the help of teammates Jose Offerman, Rolando Arrojo, Hipolito Pichardo and Rich Garces...

"It's been this way every day,'' Martinez said. "It is nice that they have a Latino night, but what can I say? It's a full house, everyone is into the game, and it's like that in every single game we play in. ... It's nice to be in a situation where they have added more Latinos to this team, but you have to give Dan Duquette big credit for that.''

... "From the time I leave the bullpen to the time I reach the mound they start shouting, and they really get behind me,'' Garces said. "It can really give you a push going into a game."

Mat At Bat
Mat Olkin, Baseball Weekly [June 6-12, 2001]

"Pedro Martinez has given up only one home run on an 0-2 count in his entire career. He has thrown strike three 419 times."

Give the nod to Williams
Joe Sheehan,

... [R]ight now in Boston, ... there's a collective cry to can Jimy Williams and replace him, preferably with the recently-fired Felipe Alou. What in the name of Connie Mack are these people thinking?

Jimy Williams   Felipe Alou
Year   Record   Year   Record
1997   78-84    1997   78-84
1998   92-70    1998   65-97
1999   94-68    1999   68-94
2000   85-77    2000   67-95
2001   32-23    2001   20-33

... I know it's standard to praise St. Felipe for his work with the Expos, granting him a wide berth because he had his best season taken from him and because he's worked for a pair of clueless, counterproductive ownership groups. But in addition to that string of 90-loss seasons, Alou had a number of good prospects stagnate under his watch, his teams had a gaping plate-discipline hole, and he grew increasingly willing to play up his own martyrdom after the 1996 season.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that Felipe Alou is a bad manager, just that his record doesn't indicate that he's one of the best, the way the records of Billy Martin or Davey Johnson or Buck Showalter do. Alou is like the great majority of managers, a collection of good and bad traits that add up to be a relatively neutral influence.

Jimy Williams drives a lot of people crazy, and defending someone who chooses Darren Lewis over Izzy Alcantara, or Tim Wakefield over Tomo Ohka, isn't an easy task. But you can match his record against just about any other manager without shame. Here's the complete list of teams with better records than the Red Sox since the start of the 1998 season:

Atlanta Braves
Cleveland Indians
New York Yankees

Here's the complete list of teams with more postseason appearances in that span:

Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees

The Red Sox have a tremendous core, with three of the top 10 players in the game -- Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez -- on their roster. Their problems include some roster spots wasted on non-contributors, some questions in the bullpen, and an infatuation with a pretty bad third baseman. Blaming Williams for all of that, especially when he has the Red Sox in first place despite those things, is scapegoating at its worst. Wanting a manager whose primary skill appears to be garnering public sympathy is inexplicable.

Jimy Williams doesn't deserve to lose his job, and he certainly doesn't deserve to lose it to a man whose performance record doesn't approach that of Williams.

Want an unstable profession? Try managing
Sean McAdam,

In Boston, the firing of Felipe Alou last week seemed to tie the whole thing up in a nice, neat package.

Now that Alou was free to be hired elsewhere, when, many Red Sox fans wanted to know, would he be replacing Jimy Williams? The next day? By the weekend? Surely, before the All-Star break, no?

Outside Boston, the reaction is a little different. Summarized neatly and not so profanely, it goes something like this: "What the hell is wrong with those people?"


Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Seven articles on the Pedro Pitch Count Issue

Go to the source to get a few clues
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

''I like your manager, Williams. Smart guy. He would have felt right at home with McGraw and Huggins, Durocher and Mr. Mack. I covered 'em all. But I've been doing a lot of checking around, and he's got a lot of confused boys in that clubhouse.

''Carl Everett? You guys are so quick to make him out to be the bad guy, but I'm telling you right now, there were some things said by the manager at that team meeting in Oakland that ruined any chance of him ever making things right with Everett. Oh, the center fielder shot off his mouth, too, but when the manager tells you reporters that he has no problem with Everett, there are 25 players in the clubhouse who have heard him yell exactly the opposite.

Unknown man takes Massachusetts pitcher's Porsche on a joy ride
Associated Press

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher drove his new, silver Porsche 996 convertible Carrera to Milwaukee for the team's Saturday evening game against the Brewers, leaving the $112,000 car with valet parking at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel - temporarily.

Shortly after Bere dropped off the car Saturday afternoon, a man approached a valet and confidently asked for the Porsche, according to a police report. The valet turned over the keys and the driver sped away. The driver returned the car about an hour later, unharmed, and left on foot.

ESPN Power Alley rankings

Boston #7: "We say two more starts -- three max -- and the David Cone experiment will come to an end."

Red Sox open homestand with Tigers
Mike Petraglia,

Tigers (22-31, 4th AL Central) @ Red Sox (32-23, 1st AL East)

Pitching matchups
Tuesday: Chris Holt (R) (4-4, 5.52) vs. Hideo Nomo (R) (5-3, 3.60)
Wednesday: Dave Mlicki (R) (3-6, 6.39) vs. Frank Castillo (R) (5-3, 3.88)
Thursday: Jeff Weaver (R) (4-6, 3.31) vs. Tim Wakefield (R) (2-0, 2.24)

Red Sox make Baylor catcher Shoppach first pick
Mike Petraglia,

The Red Sox selected Baylor University catcher Kelly Shoppach with their first pick of Major League Baseball's 2001 First Year Draft Tuesday. Shoppach, honored as an All-American this season for both his hitting and catching skills, was taken in the second round by Boston and was the 48th overall selection in the draft.

Red Sox take draft-eligible Cuban
Tom Farrey,

Concluding that Cuban pitcher Rolando Viera will suffer no irreparable harm if he is taken in this week's Major League Baseball draft, a federal judge denied a request by Viera to be immediately made a free agent eligible to negotiate with all teams.

The Boston Red Sox on Tuesday took advantage of that ruling, grabbing Viera with a seventh-round draft pick. He is a left-handed pitcher who was 18-10 with a 3.12 ERA in his final two seasons with Havana Industriales, one of Cuba's top teams.

Teams should meet evenly throughout the season
Jim Kaat, MSG Network [May 29, 2001]

The Red Sox and Yankees hook up Wednesday and then again next Monday (in a rainout makeup game) for the final two times before the last day of August. ... 

This year's Red Sox are impressive. When you think about two-time batting champion Nomar Garciaparra being injured and out of the lineup, they're really just Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez. Carl Everett hasn't contributed as much offense as he's capable of, although he's always a threat to be disruptive. ... [A]s usual, everybody's saying, 'Big deal. The Red Sox will go away and the Yankees will get better.' I do think the Yankees will improve, but the one hope the Red Sox have is some improved pitching.


Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Pedro earns AL Pitcher of Month honors for May
Mike Petraglia,

Just hours before starting for the third time in 12 days against the New York Yankees, Pedro Martinez received word that he had been voted the American League Pitcher of the Month for May.

Martinez was 5-1 in the second month of the season, posting a microscopic 1.17 ERA in his six starts. In 46 innings of work in May, the Red Sox ace allowed just six earned runs and struck out 67 batters -- 12 batters in a game four times before fanning 13 Yankees on May 30.

It marked the sixth time that Martinez has won the honor. He also won the award for April.

Giving Clowns More Ammunition
Bob Raissman, New York Daily News

...  Derek Jeter blasted a Charles Nagy pitch into the right-field seats. The ball bounced into a runway. In hot pursuit of the ball was a stocky man wearing a blue Yankees T-shirt. The camera focused on him after he retrieved the ball.

As he ran back to his box seat, the man raised his hands one holding the home run ball in celebration. His shirt bunched up, revealing a pistol in a holster strapped to the side of his pants.

... Actually, according to a Yankees official, the man was an "off-duty" corrections officer. Both Yankees security personnel and New York City Police Department officials ran a check on him. He has a license to carry.

Here's the deal. Seeing a guy chasing down a ball, carrying a gun, in a ballpark with 47,300 fans in attendance is scary. Enough strange things can happen in a place where booze is served and passions run high. Nothing good can come from a fan (corrections officer or not) bringing a gun into this scene.


Monday, June 4, 2001

Hotel patrons have a story that will travel very well
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Consider this merely more proof that the best place to chronicle the feats of Manny Ramirez may be in Marvel Comics.

... Dave Capling and Ben Rogers, a couple of buddies who work in radio in Toronto, had paid $7 Canadian for their 500-level tickets. ''We were just joking about it, saying what are the odds of anyone hitting one up here,'' Capling said. ''We were shooting the breeze, then all of a sudden, crack. 'Hey, that's coming our way.'"

Ramirez hits longest homer in SkyDome history
Mike Petraglia,

There are home runs, and there are, in baseball terms, bombs. And that's the only word that can describe what Manny Ramirez hit in the fourth inning Sunday afternoon at SkyDome.

It was only one run, but, Wow!
Sean McAdam, providence Journal

Manny Ramirez 's homer in the fourth inning was one for the record books -- unofficially speaking.

Ramirez hit one into the fifth level of SkyDome off Chris Carpenter that was estimated at 491, making it the longest homer in the 12-year-history of the ballpark. Only eight balls have reached that level -- six to left field and two to right.

"Doesn't matter," Ramirez shrugged. "I did hit it good, though. It was just another homer. It was no big deal."

Ramirez's Homer A Long-Distance Carrier
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant

The moment he made contact, Manny Ramirez knew he hit a home run. But instead of following the trajectory of his fourth-inning blast off Chris Carpenter, he looked down as he jogged to first.

Ramirez: Home run amazes teammates
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

"I don't think I've ever seen one hit farther," said Red Sox manager Jimy Williams, who has been in pro baseball for 37 years.

"He hit one almost as far off me last year in Cleveland," Red Sox starter David Cone said. "I told him I'm number two on his list now."

"I hit it good," Ramirez said with memorable understatement. "It was a split. Just another homer, though."


Sunday, June 3, 2001

Mascots play hurt, too
Injuries: When team mascots take a tumble, sometimes it's not just part of the show

Michael Stroh, Baltimore Sun [May 31, 2001]

Dinger the Dinosaur got socked where the sun don't shine. Wild Wing scorched his feathers. Mariner Moose rammed an outfield wall. And the Oriole Bird discovered he couldn't fly - the hard way.

It may look like fun and games to fans, but the life of a professional sports mascot can be just as dangerous as that of the athletes on the court and in the field.


Saturday, June 2, 2001

Diamond Digits: Teams feasting when table's been set
Matthew Leach,


Friday, June 1, 2001

Babe Magnet
Camden Joy, Seven Days

A review of my book on the 1918 Red Sox.

Is Roger Clemens really the Antichrist?
Bill Simmons (Boston Sports Guy), page 2

My bosses at Page 2 gave me a simple assignment this week: "Please explain to the world why Boston fans believe that Roger Clemens might be the Antichrist."

With pleasure.

Notebook: Jays 'solve' Nomo
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

The single allowed by Hideo Nomo in the fifth inning ended a string of nine consecutive hitless innings for him, dating back to his last start against Toronto. Nomo had retired 31 consecutive Blue Jays hitters.

With Alou axed, will Red Sox go after him?
Peter Gammons,

[Alou] is a fiercely proud and competitive man who has no regard for the people who fired him and may want to get that one last chance to win. Boston may offer that.

Former Expos ace pitcher Pedro Martinez criticizes firing of Felipe Alou
Melanie Kentner,

Superstar pitcher Pedro Martinez is sure the Montreal Expos are going to have to move now. The former Expos player said no one is going to support the organization after the firing of manager Felipe Alou.

Alou receives plenty of support
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

"It had to be personal reasons (that led to his firing)," offered Pedro Martinez , "because it wasn't for the job he did. He's one of the best managers in the league. He owns the respect of umpires, coaches, managers. . .He taught me pretty much everything I know. Felipe is the reason I've had the success I've had in the big leagues and am who I am today."

Martinez credits Alou with giving him the opportunity to be a starter. While in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, some thought Martinez would only be a reliever.

Firing of Alou irks ex-Expos
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

"Firing Felipe is like firing me," Pedro Martinez said. "I hope the (star) players like Vladdy (Vladimir Guerrero) put in their time and get their butts out of there. I wish I had a team so Felipe could manage it." Martinez has said if he were ever to leave Boston, he'd consider returning to Montreal. But without Alou, he said, forget it. "Felipe is the reason I am who I am," Martinez said. "Pretty much everything I learned, I learned from him."

Red Sox Notebook
Ron Chimelis, Springfield Union-News

Pedro Martinez laughed when told a TV pyschic had claimed Babe Ruth, speaking through a medium, said he wanted to face Pedro. "Bring him on," the Boston ace said.

Red Sox win one: Monster is theirs
Shelley Murphy, Bosto Globe

A federal jury found yesterday that the Boston Red Sox own the rights to the words Green Monster, finding against three brothers who had sued the team over the right to sell T-shirts depicting the legendary left field wall as a scary monster.

Jury sides with Red Sox on Green Monster trademark
Brita Meng

A Massachusetts jury has determined that ownership of the trademark phrase "Green Monster" rests with the Boston Red Sox and that vendors cannot sell products featuring Fenway Park's fabled left-field wall without permission of the team.

Baseball's Secret Black Book

The codes of baseball
Tim Kurkjian, espn magazine

Baseball codes of conduct have existed since the days of Ty Cobb, who might have invented some of them. They are unwritten but strict -- violation of one often will get you a 90-mph fastball in the ribs. Some codes are archaic, outdated and stupid, but baseball is nothing if not soaked in tradition.

Respect the game and play it right
Buck Showalter,

The game has changed and gotten away from many of the unwritten rules that have been handed down from generation to generation. Traditionally, baseball has advocated a don't-look-at-me mentality. But many old-timers shake their heads in amazement at what players are getting away with today.

.. Because young players are getting to the major-league level so quickly, it is risky for a manager to assume players have been exposed to certain rules before getting to the big leagues and understand the so-called etiquette.

Baseball's unwritten rules

Former major leaguers and current ESPN analysts Dave Campbell (an infielder), Mike Macfarlane (a catcher) and Orel Hershiser (a pitcher), weigh in on baseball's unwritten rules.

Spelling out the unwritten rules
Jim Caple,

I have obtained expressed, unwritten permission from the commissioner's office to write down for the first time a few of baseball's unwritten rules ..

4.1: You may steal a base at any time unless your team leads by six or more runs with two or fewer innings remaining, your team leads by eight runs with three innings remaining or your team's lead at any point equals the circumference of Richard Garces.

The Imbalance Sheet: More on Minnesota
Keith Law,

Minnesotans for Major League Baseball member Thomas Lang weighed in on last week's The Imbalance Sheet by pointing me to that committee's report on the Twins' stadium situation ...

[W]hat I found was a 70-page regurgitation of the same nave, self-serving claptrap that has surrounded every "grass-roots" effort to con voters into funding facilities for privately-owned sports teams.
A place to rant and rave ... and rant ... and rant some more ...

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