for August 16-31, 2002
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August 31, 2002
has strained hip
Ian Browne, mlb.com
Ace starter Pedro Martinez didn't fly with the team to Cleveland Friday morning. The reason? He has a left hip strain, and he stayed back in Boston to get medical treatment. "We had him get an MRI on it this morning just to make sure he's OK," said Red Sox manager Grady Little. Little suspects that Martinez sustained the injury Wednesday in the latter stages of his last start against the Yankees, in which he walked a season-high four batters and took the loss. He won't join the Red Sox this weekend, and will meet up with the team when it gets to New York for a three-game series with the Yankees, which starts Monday. Martinez's next scheduled start is Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
next start, in N.Y., is jeopardized by hip injury
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal
Martinez apparently first suffered the injury Wednesday night against the New York Yankees. He first felt the discomfort Thursday on the team's off-day. When he reported to the ballpark yesterday morning to travel with teammates, he reported the injury to the training staff. ... "When the smallest thing happens to him," manager Grady Little said, "we want to check it out." ... Despite the availability of Dustin Hermanson, Little seemed to be leaning more toward Frank Castillo as a possible replacement, noting that Castillo had pitched well against the Yankees this season.
soreness leads to MRI for Martinez
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
Pedro Martinez ... wheeled into Fenway Park in his white Mercedes at about 9:10 a.m., dressed in a suit, as he routinely does to travel, and with his luggage. But after he entered the clubhouse, Martinez reported stiffness in his left hip and a strain that extended toward his groin. ... Martinez, who was not noticeably limping, apparently suffered the injury late in his outing Wednesday against the Yankees. Though he did not report any discomfort that night, he clearly was off kilter when he walked two batters and hit another in the seventh inning before he was relieved. ... "Right now, we're uncertain about that start," Little said. "He could be back in there [next] Sunday."
keeps Pedro at home
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald
It may have gone relatively unnoticed at the time, but as the Red Sox all but signaled the official end of a strike threat by boarding their team bus at Fenway Park yesterday morning, they were without one very significant member of their team. Pedro Martinez. ... Martinez underwent what club officials termed a "precautionary" magnetic resonance imaging exam at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton. ... "He's got two strained muscles around his hip, and I just wanted to make sure he doesn't have anything significant going on in his joint," Red Sox team doctor Bill Morgan said. "Luckily, the MRI did not show anything significant." ...
According to Morgan, Martinez strained his hip during Wednesday's 7-0 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park. Martinez threw a season-high 127 pitches in the game, though Little said he had no second thoughts about leaving Martinez in for that length of time. ... "There's nothing wrong with his arm," Little said when asked again about allowing Martinez to throw so many pitches. "There's still nothing wrong with his arm. His arm feels great."
no longer cut it: Air clear, now Sox must do same with heads
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald
Baseball has survived. Next we learn about the fate of the Red Sox. ... "I think with the results we've been getting on the field, we're very fortunate we're in striking distance (of a playoff spot)," Little added. "We all know we have the talent to do it." ... Said blunt Sox outfielder Johnny Damon: "We need to grow some (manhood) and get down to business."
Baseball Survivor Island
Rob Wood, espn.com
... Partly in response to a few well-publicized yet dubious lists of all-time greats announced at the turn of the century, in early 2001 Tom Hanrahan invited fellow SABR [Society for American Baseball Research] members to form an internet community that would discuss, debate, and vote on baseball's all-time best players. Modeled after the television show Survivor, the group would send the 100 greatest players of all-time to a mythical island, and then vote them off one-by-one until the ultimate survivor is crowned the game's all-time greatest player. ... For the complete Top 100 and more information about the Baseball Survivor exercise, click here.
August 30, 2002
Sox thinking about struggles
Ian Browne, mlb.com
As the Red Sox met with reporters following Wednesday night's loss to the Yankees, they talked about a day off, not an offseason. ... They were thinking about snapping out of their recent struggles. ... "I am still confident," said ace Pedro Martinez, who has battled back from a partially torn rotator cuff to go 17-4, and doesn't want the comeback to end like this. "And the same way we came back against Anaheim, we can probably come back against any other team. We have plenty of time, plenty of games."
Ian Browne, mlb.com
[H]ere is how it lines up for the Red Sox after Lowe on Friday. Struggling John Burkett takes the ball Saturday, and knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who is red hot, starts the finale against the Indians. In the three-game series at Yankee Stadium, it's Casey Fossum, Pedro Martinez and Lowe.
August 29, 2002
cherish fateful Sept. day
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
The labor issues going on in the game now pale in comparison to the labor issues [Trot and Kathryn Nixon] encountered almost one year ago, when their son, Chase, was born on Sept. 11. ... The Sox had just arrived at their St. Petersburg, Fla., hotel following a late-night rainout in New York when Nixon received a phone call from his wife in Boston informing him that she had just gone into labor and was going to give birth to their first child. Nixon hurried off to the Tampa airport and was on a 7:05 a.m. flight back to Boston.
"I was asleep before they finished loading the plane and took off,'' he said. "Then all of a sudden, it felt like we were descending and I kind of woke up and looked out and I said, 'This doesn't look like Boston.' One of the flight attendants walked back and looked like she was sick to her stomach. Usually, you don't see flight attendants look like they are sick to their stomachs. Then the airline pilot came on the intercom and said we were going to have to ground in Norfolk, Va."
call for Sox, baseball?
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald
When he arrived at Fenway Park for the 131st game of the season, John Burkett had his bags packed, his apartment all but vacated, his belongings crammed into cardboard boxes stacked neatly by his locker. Preparing for the worst? "I say, 'Prepare for what happened before,' '' Burkett said last night ... "You know what?'' said an agitated Trot Nixon ... "I'm preparing for tonight.'' ... Derek Lowe: "This is our last game before the deadline, but you've got to try to prepare yourself as if you're going to play. It's definitely a different feeling.'' ... "I have a feeling that something is going to get done because I don't think either side really wants a work stoppage,'' said Tim Wakefield. Countered Burkett: "If we have (a strike), I think it's going to last a long time. ... But I'm still hopeful something gets done because I want to play, too.''
August 28, 2002
Spectre of September 11th
Derek Zumsteg, Baseball Prospectus
There are many who have wailed in the press and on television, saying that major league baseball will suffer catastrophic public reaction and possibly be destroyed entirely if a labor action means there's no baseball on September 11th. Does baseball owe it to us to play on that day, and is it appropriate for us to use the death of innocents to try and intervene in labor negotiations? No and absolutely not, in that order.
The Owners Right?
Ted Frank, Baseball Prospectus
The MLBPA's luxury tax proposal is bogus. There, I said it. The press coverage of the labor dispute, which has been sorely lacking in its failure to question the revenue/loss numbers of the owners, has been just as lacking in its failure to identify that the MLBPA has made a luxury tax proposal that will collect absolutely zero luxury tax and do not a whit (nor an Ernie Whitt) to reduce salaries. As a result, the parties are much further apart than current reporting would lead you to believe. [And a brief response from Doug Pappas.]
Week In Quotes, August 19-25
Derek Zumsteg, Baseball Prospectus
"I feel like I'm in an Expo uniform again. I saw every single person in the stadium on the big screen at least twice tonight. They've got the same promotion here they had in Montreal: dress up like an empty seat and get in free." --Larry Walker, Rockies outfielder, on Marlins attendance
"I absolutely hate to strike out. I hate it. It's embarrassing to me. Sometimes I'll make a weak out just because I hate to strike out. I could be a better hitter if I struck out more, but I get embarrassed walking back to the dugout after a strikeout." --Gary Sheffield, Braves outfielder
"I don't mind if somebody breaks the record but I hope it's not somebody like Big Unit [Randy Johnson] or Curt Schilling. Guys like that are going to have a lot of other records. I hope it's somebody like Kirk Rueter. I'll gladly share it with somebody like that." --Jim Deshaies, former pitcher, who struck out a record eight Dodgers to start a game while pitching for the Astros
"I guess without the two guys getting on in the first, it was a pretty good game." --Cory Lidle, Athletics pitcher, on a one-hit, one-walk complete game shutout in which he struck out eight
at Fenway Takes Backseat
George King, New York Post
With a very real threat that the players will strike Friday hanging in a crisp New England night, David Wells further advanced the belief if a strike can be avoided the Red Sox are Three-D in the AL East. For those scoring at home, that's Definitely Done Dancing, a cop term for stiffs in the morgue.
has wild ideas
John Harper, New York Daily News
...[I]f it weren't for a potential wild-card berth, school would be out for the Sox and tortured New Englanders surely would be grateful for a strike to put them out of their annual misery. ... the way these teams have parted company in recent weeks, the Sox could play into December and not catch the Yankees ...
just firing on all cylinders
Howard Bryant, Bergen Record
So much for the Red Sox' last stand in the American League East, which is now virtually over ... Boston looks tired and helpless ... The Red Sox are folding. Not only did they appear listless, but also did the sellout crowd of 33,810 ... perhaps the crowd response was a recognition that the Red Sox have run out of gas, and thus cannot win. ...
off the chase: Red Sox' AL East hopes all but over
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald
So much for all that talk - most of it screaming from the yaps of beery, history-challenged New England baseball fans - that the Red Sox are going to overtake the Yankees and reclaim first place in the American League East. Yeah, right. And Al Gore is going to reclaim the Democratic presidential nomination.
August 27, 2002
Sox find a spark, get cooking
Jackie MacMullan, Boston Globe
''What's the headline?'' asked a jubiliant Pedro Martinez. ''Where's Shaughnessy? I scared the ghost out of the [expletive] dugout [during the rally]. It has to make people wonder now are they really done or not?'' Pedro speaks the truth. Admit it. After the developments of the past couple of weeks, it was hard to imagine this Red Sox team remaining a legitimate wild card contender ... ''Half the fans left the park,'' said utility infielder Lou Merloni in the spirited clubhouse. ''Look at that. Change the headline: 'Sox left for dead, find new life.'"
on the Yankees!
Tom Singer, mlb.com
The late night began with half of the 32,869 house leaving. It ended with a few hundred refusing to leave, milling at the corner of Brookline and Yawkey Way to cheer the Red Sox players as they strode from the clubhouse into their rides. ... "You guys had your stories written before the game ended, didn't you?" Boston catcher Jason Varitek, who apparently understands the art of deadline-writing, grinned at some reporters. "Shame on you." ... "They had this game over even on TV," third baseman Shea Hillenbrand said a few feet away. "I saw the screen. They had Scott Schoeneweis as the winning pitcher and Bobby Howry losing. It's nice to come back and turn around that."
[It's true. NESN's first
final line score had Anaheim winning 9-7 with Percival getting the save.
It was on screen for about 2 seconds, then disappeared. What is most amazing is that NESN
knew after the Sox tied the game in the bottom of the 9th that the final score would not be 9-7.
Then after some commercials, the Angels batted in the top of the 10th.
Then, after another round of commercials, Damon battled through a 9-pitch AB.
And NESN still never changed it.]
keeps Bosox well-armed
Andrew R. Tripaldi, New York Daily News
It's unusual for Pedro Martinez to be in a jovial, easy-going mood this late in the season, yelling across the clubhouse to his teammates or sitting in his black, leather chair by his locker looking relaxed. Then again, by the time August and September arrive, Martinez, 30, is usually batting a debilitating injury and can no longer pitch. ... "So far this year, I achieved more than everybody expected, especially after losses, and after losing streaks," said Martinez, who will start tomorrow night's game opposite Mike Mussina. "I have been very fortunate. ... I feel really pleased with the way things have gone, especially physically (because) I feel great. I had a couple of outings where I had a little bit of a struggle. (But) those days when things weren't so fine, I managed to stay healthy."
bash and carry
Mark Blaudschun, Boston Globe
Last night's game against the Anaheim Angels ... was a victory highlighted by a 5-for-5 effort by Ramirez, which included two home runs and four RBIs. "'I think that's the best game I played in my life,'' said Ramirez. ''And with the comeback, it was awesome.'' Consider what Ramirez has done in the last month: A 23-game on-base streak (still in progress), which is the longest by a Red Sox player since Ramirez's 23-game at the start of last season; a streak in which he has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games; and an incredible stretch in which he reached base in 14 straight plate appearances. ... ''I've seen better efforts from Manny,'' said a playful Pedro Martinez, ''but never with such good results.'' ... Ramirez elevated his batting average to .344, which puts him back into the hunt for the American League batting crown.
Bad Getaway Day for Angels
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
This isn't Dave Henderson, but it's close. Henderson ranks as perhaps the most infamous villain in Angel history, with his one-strike-away home run that prevented the Angels from beating the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 playoffs and advancing to the World Series. The Angels have yet to return to the playoffs, and another Boston outfielder struck a dagger into the hearts of long-suffering Angel fans Monday.
fights Yawkey Way plan -- Argues team seeks to end competition
Scott S. Greenberger, Boston Globe
Convinced that the Red Sox want to put him out of business, the publisher of an unofficial team magazine has asked a judge to halt plans by the Red Sox to close Yawkey Way during September home games, jeopardizing what the team's new owners say is a key part of their strategy to remain at Fenway Park. Michael Rutstein, who has earned most of his income selling ''Boston Baseball'' outside Fenway for 13 years, made the request in a motion in Suffolk County Superior Court last week. ... ''The fans may not care now, but when they're paying $7 for a bad sausage and a stale roll, then they'll care,'' Rutstein said. ''Monopoly is not a good thing for consumers.''
August 26, 2002
Owners Play Dirty
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
Red Sox player rep Johnny Damon accused the owners of a public relations ploy to make the players look greedy. ... "They were supposed to come back to us in good honor last night with a counterproposal," Damon said. "But they ran and told the media [they wouldn't] and was blasting it. That doesn't look good. Unfortunately, they're trying to play the PR game with us and trying to make ballplayers look bad and make them look greedy. But we're doing everything in our power to actually get closer to them and they're pretty much laughing in our face. ... That's not how you do negotiations, through the media. You do it at the bargaining table. ..."
August 24, 2002
are, Pedro above all
Michael Gee, Boston Herald
Fans and writers can argue about who should win the American League Cy Young Award. The boys in Vegas have already handed it out. ... The betting line in the Herald made Martinez and the Red Sox a minus-200 favorite over the Angels and their starting pitcher, Jarrod Washburn. ... if you wanted to bet on Pedro, you still had to put up $2 to earn $1. ... No disrespect to Barry Zito, no slight meant to Derek Lowe. But this year, as in any year he's fit to take the mound, the American League's supreme twirler is Martinez.
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald
"It would be really rough on a lot of people. Derek Lowe, having his best year in the big leagues, baseball in general, the fans, everybody else. I would feel really sorry if we would have to go on a strike. We are young and that is why we so far have achieved some of the things we have achieved and I have to back up my team. I support my team any time I have to go but I will be really, really extremely sorry for the fans after coming back and supporting us so well. In the long run, they are going to understand that what we are doing is to bring them something good in the future. It is not for us. It is not for our salaries. It's for the fans and the other teams that need to be on the competitive level. Hopefully everything will be solved."
August 23, 2002
Stories about Pedro's start against the Angels are here.
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
Carl Everett ... did an intriguing interview with sports radio reporter Debbi Wrobleski. ... "Who do you miss most: Dan Duquette, Dan Shaughnessy or Jimy Williams?'' she asked. Everett chuckled and responded: "I miss the Charles River more than any of them. I'd rather be in the Charles River in December than near any of them.''
of health -- Getting with program has enabled Martinez to remain on
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe [August 16]
His choices were simple last summer, Pedro Martinez said. Surgery for his partially torn rotator cuff? Not an option. Red Sox doctor Bill Morgan advised against it, and so did Dr. Lewis Yocum, the orthopedic specialist Martinez went to see for a second opinion, and who had performed shoulder surgery on his older brother, Ramon. ... after one final controversial start in September against the Yankees, which Martinez consented to with only the greatest reluctance, he placed his ailing shoulder - and the future of his career - into the hands of Chris Correnti ... not even a year later, Martinez, who could barely do 10 push-ups and a couple of pull-ups when he started Correnti's exercise program, has astounded the skeptics who predicted that a shoulder already worn from 14 years of pitching professionally could not stand up to another season of constant pounding.
option year hasn't come up
Gordon Edes and Bob Hohler, Boston Globe [August 16]
Pedro Martinez ... said Wednesday that the Red Sox have not approached him about the contract option the club is holding for the 2004 season. ... He is due $15 million in 2003, and the club has an option of $17.5 million for the 2004 season. If the Sox don't exercise the option, Martinez will receive a $2.5 million buyout. ... Martinez said no one has broached the subject of the option with him. "With the labor issue, they might not do it,'' he said. ''I actually was expecting them to do it during the All-Star break. I showed I was healthy, thanks to God. I showed more than that. But no, I'm not disappointed. I'm going to be faithful to my contract. If they don't pick up my contract, well, I have one year left, next year. If they don't pick it up, I'll have to deal with that the last year. It's a risk.''
August 20, 2002
disappointed in team
Ian Browne, mlb.com
All season long, Red Sox manager Grady Little has had encouraging words regarding his team. It didn't matter if it was a win or a loss, the cheerful Little always had a way of spreading some sunshine. That changed following Sunday night's disappointing 6-2 loss to the Twins ... "When you have a ballclub like we have ... you just can't go out there and let popups that hang in the air for 20 seconds fall," Little said. "You can't miss the opportunity to turn double plays that are routine. You can't forget to cover first. You can't have a guy hit a double with no outs and not make something happen. ... We've got the talent, we've got the experience. ... We've got to get things turned around and we've got to get them turned around now. "
[Alternate Headline: "Grady Van Winkle Finally Wakes Up"]
to the end: Shea stays loyal as Everett returns
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
"People high up in the organization who are no longer here tried to forbid me from hanging out with Carl Everett, and Carl Everett from hanging out with me,'' Hillenbrand said. "It just made a stronger bond between the two of us.'' It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out which paranoid, controlling, out-of-work former general manager Hillenbrand meant. ... "It was said to both of us separately,'' he said. "I didn't say anything. It was such nonsense, and I don't respond to nonsense. Neither does Carl Everett.''
August 18, 2002
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
Pedro Martinez, when asked if he is prouder of his performance this season because of the uncertain condition of his shoulder, shook his head. "I'm proud of every season. Each one is equally difficult," he said. "This year I've gotten used to doing something I wasn't used to doing, but they're all hard. They're all hard, and that's how I take it." ... And what of the expectations for this year? "This year you guys counted me out," he said. "So did a lot of people. Nobody knew my rehab was going good. The media in Boston are not one to put you up there. They weren't wishing [that things would go badly], but they were going to talk negative all the time." ...
Trot Nixon stuck a copy of last Sunday's Globe - the one that showed a grimacing Pedro Martinez throwing a pitch - into Martinez's locker. ... "I make funny faces. I don't know why. I think it's normal. If you see me after pitching and see me normal, you would say it wasn't me. A girl wouldn't like me with that face. It would scare the kids." ...
Martinez, on whether he likes his new beefed-up physique: "I like the results. I don't care how I look. The body, it doesn't matter how much you polish it. I'm still going to be a mullion forever. But I'll find somebody who loves me how I am, don't you think? Everybody has their pair. You like my chances, right?"
higher authority: Hawkins answers to mom
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins was embarrassed enough after being ejected from Friday night's 5-0 win over the Red Sox for parking in an unauthorized zone. ... ESPN reported on "SportsCenter: that Hawkins had been ejected because he was suspected of stealing catcher Jason Varitek's signs from his seat in the left field corner. "My mom called and said, 'Are you stealing signs?'" Hawkins said prior to the Red Sox beating the Twins, 5-2, last night. "I said, 'Stealing signs? I can't even remember my own signs!'" ... Grady Little: " Don't believe anything you hear or read, especially if it concerns the Boston Red Sox. I don't know where that one came from."
PA guy renames Sox
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal
Legendary Twins' PA announcer Bob Casey is known for messing up names in his booming voice, highly amplified by the Metrodome's speaker system. ... In the opener, he called the Sox' manager "Gary" Little. The third baseman was "Shane" Hillenbrand. Last night, the DH was Manny "Riverez," the right fielder was "Tim" Nixon, and the second baseman was Lou "Merelli."
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