for July 1-15, 2002
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July 15, 2002
brass: Vaughn report off base
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
Red Sox officials completely dismissed a report out of New York that they were considering reacquiring Mo Vaughn from the New York Mets. The New York Post reported yesterday that the Sox would send underachieving first baseman Tony Clark to the Mets for Vaughn ... "I'll be as short and succinct as possible because I don't want to dignify (the story) by commenting too much: It's baseless,'' Red Sox assistant general manager Theo Epstein said. "We haven't talked to the Mets about Mo Vaughn.''
July 14, 2002
Want Some Mo
George King and Tom Keegan, New York Post
It's not a case of Mo Gone yet, but New England baseball fans have cause for excitement because the Red Sox are considering reacquiring Mo Vaughn, according to industry sources. ... The Red Sox are a cursed franchise. ...
July 13, 2002
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
Pedro Martinez, as promised, returned to the club yesterday and was running in the outfield during BP.
to start tomorrow
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal
The Pedro Martinez Watch ended at 6:06 last night when the ace right-hander strolled out of the Boston dugout with the team in the middle of batting practice. His arrival was greeted by cheers from a few hundred Red Sox fans who were in the stands along the right-field line. Martinez exchanged hugs and handshakes with Tim Wakefield and pitching coach Tony Cloninger and then began throwing long-toss with bullpen catcher Dana Levangie. After getting his arm loose, Martinez threw for a while in the bullpen as Little and Cloninger watched. Martinez, granted an extra day off at the All-Star break by Little, will start tomorrow against the Jays.
July 12, 2002
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
Pedro Martinez was not here yesterday. Little said he gave Martinez an extra day to return from his home in the Dominican Republic. Martinez is not scheduled to start here until Sunday. "It takes a whole day to fly there and a whole day to fly back," Little said in explaining his decision. ... Cracked one member of the Sox staff: "The worst thing that can happen without Pedro is if there's a brawl. Then they've got 25 guys and we've got only 24."
Profits Rise Above The Wall
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
Looking to increase revenue at Fenway Park, the Red Sox have made deals to have two billboards installed in the netting above the Green Monster in left field for the remainder of the season. The Sports Authority will have a sign above The Wall starting July 23. A Volvo ad will go up Aug. 8.
July 10, 2002
midterm exam -- Strong rotation, bullpen have kept team in contention
Ian Browne, mlb.com
First-half review Starting rotation By far, this has been the Red Sox's first-half strength. Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe have given the Red Sox a co-ace tandem they haven't had in years. This is the first time Boston has had two starting pitchers selected to the All-Star team since 1968, although Martinez decided not to attend because he wanted to prepare for the second half of the season. Martinez has come back strong after his injury problems of a year ago and is getting better as the season progresses. ...
Second-half outlook: In the hunt Needs to address .. another front-line starting pitcher. There is always the chance Lowe will get fatigued in his first full season as a starter, and Martinez admits that his situation is delicate after making just 18 starts last year. ...
Key series: Boston's final series with the Yankees is in New York, Sept. 2-4. You can't help but figure those three games are going to be meaningful for both teams in their quest for the playoffs.
Playoff outlook The team's strong first half put it in good position to make the playoffs either as AL East champ or the winner of the Wild Card. The Red Sox's key is to stay healthy; this applies to Martinez most of all. If they make it, the Red Sox -- with all their marquee players and experience -- should have as good a chance as anybody.
Team Might Not Make Payroll
On the eve of resumption of baseball's labor talks, commissioner Bud Selig said a major league team might not be able to meet its next payroll. Selig did not identify the team, whose payroll is Monday. In an interview Wednesday in Milwaukee with the Houston Chronicle and other papers, Selig also said a second unidentified team had so much debt it might not finish the season. There was no way to corroborate his remarks. Reached at his home Wednesday night, Selig refused to discuss the subject.
[And he still refuses to open the books for even one major league team ...]
July 9, 2002
Gets Call Red Sox -- Righthander To Start
Jack O'Connell, Hartford Courant
Derek Lowe might have Red Sox teammate Pedro Martinez to thank for drawing the starting assignment for the American League in tonight's All-Star Game. Martinez chose not to play in the All-Star Game to rest his arm for the second half. That made AL and Yankees manager Joe Torre's decision a little easier.
"There's no question that starting Pedro would have been a consideration," Torre said Monday. "I'm sure Derek would have understood if I went with Pedro. I'm not sure I would have done that. I'm glad I didn't have to make that choice. Derek has had a tremendous season and is very deserving of this start."
thinks he'll get longterm deal from Sox
Pedro Martinez says he's optimistic he will reach an agreement with the Red Sox that will allow him to finish his career in Boston. ''My contract with Boston lasts until 2003, but I believe we're going to reach an agreement at the end of the season. I'm hoping it will turn out that way,'' Martinez was quoted as saying in Tuesday's editions of the Dominican newspaper El Expreso.
Martinez, who was resting in his Caribbean homeland, had been selected for Tuesday's All-Star Game. ... Red Sox spokesman Kevin Shea noted that the team holds an option on the six-year, $75 million contract Martinez signed in 1998 that could keep him in Boston through 2004. ''I want to finish my career in Boston,'' Martinez was quoted as saying. ''The fans and executives of the Red Sox have always given me great treatment.''
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
Pedro Martinez and Trot Nixon were named the AL's Co-Players of the Week for the week ending July 7. Martinez won both of his starts, allowing no runs in 13 innings while striking out 22 batters. ...
enjoying ride with Sox -- Third baseman finally has found his niche
Gary Washburn, mlb.com
Shea Hillenbrand -- who grew up in Arizona and California -- now speaks with a slight Bostonian accent and has the passion of a lifelong Red Sox enthusiast. He was asked at Monday's All-Star media session to imagine -- as many Boston fans have in the past 84 years -- a Red Sox World Series title. "Well, we'd probably have to spend the night in the clubhouse," he said. "Fenway Park is old, maybe the fans would tear down the stadium. But it would be the biggest thing the town has ever seen. It would be incredible."
didn't fight all Knights: Pair passed muster with The Kid
George Kimball, Boston Herald
In the days since his death, much has been made of Ted Williams' long-running feud with the fraternity he sardonically described as "the Knights of the Keyboard,'' but it would be inaccurate to suggest that Ted disliked all sportswriters. One of them was his best friend. Williams regularly hunted, fished and socialized with Bud Leavitt, the late sports editor for the Bangor (Maine) Daily News, and Ted even earned Bud a nice post-retirement stream of income by insisting that he be included in his television commercials flogging Nissen bread.
July 8, 2002
Sox report card
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald
Pedro Martinez (A-) -- The reason why this grade isn't better: Martinez has allowed four or more runs in six starts, but doesn't have a loss to show for it thanks to run support. (In this area, Sox hitters STILL have a large, long-standing debt.) Pedro seems more comfortable by the day, however. And as colleague Bill Ballou stated, he may be having the greatest off-year in history.
Nick Carfardo, Boston Globe
Pedro Martinez received permission to leave a day early for his home in the Dominican.
July 7, 2002
players shrug off latest Yankee moves
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal
The Red Sox were properly philosophical and largely unconcerned over the news that the New York Yankees had obtained Jeff Weaver from the Detroit Tigers in a late-night deal consummated around midnight Friday. "They never give up," said Pedro Martinez of the Sox' chief rivals. "They seem to want to win every year. It was a great move for them. I don't blame for them trying. I actually respect that. ... We're playing good baseball. That's enough. We can't be worried about what they're doing."
Chemistry in Sports, Providence Journal
Does good chemistry breed success? Or does success breed good chemistry? No team in any sport ever took the sum of its parts and made it a greater whole than the 2001 Patriots. And many players credit the atmosphere constructed by management.
Why don't more teams focus on getting the right mix of players as opposed to chasing the best ones? Because chemistry isn't bought, it's grown. There's a striking change at Fenway Park, where the surly 2001 Sox have been replaced by an one-for-all-and-all-for-one version in 2002. Related Story on 2002 Sox
July 9, 2002
The chemistry within a team, which is usually fostered by either a star player or coach, manifests itself in a kind of team personality. The Celtics found themselves in 2001-02, and much of the credit goes to a selfless attitude adopted by the players.
fans bid Kid Adieu
John Updike, New Yorker, October 22, 1960
"Understand that we were a crowd of rational people. We knew that a home run cannot be produced at will; the right pitch must be perfectly met and luck must ride with the ball. Three innings before, we had seen a brave effort fail. The air was soggy, the season was exhausted. Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around the corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope, and this was one of the times, which you now and then find in sports, when a density of expectation hangs in the air and plucks an event out of the future."
season dozen't look half bad
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald
The glass has always been -- well, at least since 1918 -- half-empty for Red Sox fans. Halfway through the 2002 season, however, with the club halfway to a 100 wins with its 50-31 midway record, only the most lonely and diehard pessimist would choose that point of view. ... [F]or now, a dozen reasons will suffice as an excuse to raise a toast in honor of the 2002 Red Sox. ...
#2 PEDRO MARTINEZ -- He made it. For the first time in two seasons, Martinez survived the first half of a season without going on the disabled list -- a remarkable achievement in and of itself considering the frayed rotator cuff Martinez sustained last year. What makes it more amazing is that Martinez' on-the-job training for how to pitch with the injury has resulted in such rousing success. Even Martinez admitted to being ``spoiled'' by the 10-2 record and 2.85 ERA he took into yesterday's final start before the All-Star Game. While he did receive more run support than years past here, Martinez also showed enough flashes of dominating stuff to hold out hope that he could actually improve in the next half. He has not been the first-half ace of the staff -- Derek Lowe holds that honor -- but Martinez is still the protagonist in a Red Sox drama that cannot go on without him.
leave room for upswing
Art Davidson, MetroWest Daily
Overall, the students at the Fenway Academy of Baseball performed well during the first semester. ... Boston still appears to be a playoff team, but that doesn't seem quite as certain as it did a month ago. These are the grades for the first half of the season: ...
Pedro Martinez -- There are still concerns about Martinez's health, but not as many as there were earlier in the season. Martinez has lost a little off his fastball, but he's still among the game's elite pitchers. Martinez made a good, unselfish decision by opting to bypass the All-Star Game. -- Grade: A
July 5, 2002
replaces Pedro on AL squad
Ian Browne, mlb.com
American League All-Star manager Joe Torre announced Wednesday that Red Sox reliever Ugueth Urbina would fill Martinez's spot on the roster. ... Urbina will join fellow Red Sox players Nomar Garciaparra, Shea Hillenbrand, Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe and Johnny Damon in Milwaukee for the game on July 9. It is the first time the Red Sox will have six players at the All-Star Game since 1978, when they had seven. ... Last June, the Yankees had agreed to a trade for Urbina, but decided not to go through with it after putting Urbina through a physical. "I don't know about failing the physical," said Urbina. "They said I did, but I don't think so. Myself, I know I feel good. .."
July 2, 2002
Thanks, but no thanks
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal
Martinez, who is 10-2 with a 2.85 earned-run average, said he made the decision after talking with manager Grady Little, pitching coach Tony Cloninger, some teammates and his brother, Ramon. ... "This is one All-Star Game that I would be as happy to go to as when I got to my first one (1996, with the Expos) because of overcoming the things that I did -- the injury and everything. Especially not knowing for me and not realizing what was going to happen during the season."
declines his All-Star invite
Bob Ryan, Boston Globe
Isn't it great when your best player is also your smartest player? ... If he's not the best pitcher in baseball any longer, he is, as Dizzy Dean once said of himself, among 'em. Let's all hope he enjoys his three days off during the All-Star break. All you fans should likewise be rejoicing, knowing that on the night of July 9 Pedro Martinez will be far, far away from Milwaukee.
will skip All-Star Game -- Superstar has sights set on World Series
Ian Browne, mlb.com
But Red Sox fans can relax about this: The decision had nothing to do with the way his arm feels. ... "It's the perfect time for me to take a little break and make sure that I continue to be the way I have. ... I have some personal matters to take care of. There are a few personal reasons in my life, unrelated to the game of baseball, that have played a part in my decision. I feel it's best to decline the invitation and open a spot for another worthy pitcher." ... And as Martinez passed up the ticket to the All-Star game, he had his eyes on a bigger spectacle that takes place three months from now. "I wouldn't trade a World Series for an All-Star (appearance)," said Martinez. It might sound a little cocky to say World Series, but that's how I'm thinking."
Pedro Won't Go
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
For the second time in three years, Pedro Martinez has declined an invitation to the All-Star Game. ... "I could go to the All-Star Game. I feel good enough," Martinez said. "I am very pleased and very honored to have [manager] Joe Torre pick me." Martinez's next start is Saturday and the All-Star Game is three days later, which is his turn to throw in the bullpen. So he could have pitched an inning. "But declining it, I think, is the smartest thing to do at this point."
Michael Gee, Boston Herald
Pedro Martinez thinks the Red Sox are holding all the cards they need this season. And as long as Martinez remains the ace in the hole, he's right. "It may sound a little cocky of me to say World Series,'' Martinez said after his 4-0 win over the Blue Jays last night. "But that's what I'm thinking.'' Martinez' pitching ensured he didn't sound overconfident. ... Martinez' fastballs routinely hit the mid-90s. His changeup was an utter mystery to Toronto hitters. Most of all, Martinez had complete mastery of his curveball. With two pitches, the Sox ace is an All-Star. With all three, Pedro's beyond mortal honors or comprehension. In his last three starts, Pedro has one walk and 34 strikeouts.
power of Pedro: Martinez fans 14 as Sox stop bleeding against Jays
Just when Pedro Martinez is pitching consistently like an All-Star, he's decided not to be one. ... [B]eing ready to help his team in the second half of the season is more important than pitching for the AL All-Stars, so he declined the invitation. ... "I'm not as strong as I want to feel or as I have been," he said. Declining the All-Star invitation "is the smartest thing to do at this point."
Martinez sends his regrets -- Pitcher passes on all-star selection to rest
Drew Olson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Boston Red Sox right-hander Pedro Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner who has dominated opposing hitters for much of the past decade, has never pitched a game in Milwaukee. That won't change next week. A day after being named to the all-star team for the fifth time, Martinez announced that he would not participate in the game next Tuesday at Miller Park.
July 1, 2002
push by former owners called into question
Scott S. Greenberger, Boston Globe
After inspecting every beam at Fenway Park, the old regime on Yawkey Way told fans and politicians the ballyard was crumbling and it was neither practical nor financially feasible to renovate it. City councilors recall even more dire warnings - that any attempt at renovation would put workers in danger. ''It would be easier to straighten the Leaning Tower of Pisa,'' declared then-Red Sox CEO John Harrington in April 1999. A month later, the team unveiled plans for a new ballpark. James Healey, a Red Sox vice president, proclaimed a year later, ''Our architects and engineers have thoroughly studied the option of rebuilding in place, and have concluded that it is not physically or economically feasible.''
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