pedro martinez
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News Archive for November 1-15, 2002
Older links may no longer work.

 

November 11, 2002

Beane not headed to Red Sox
Ian Browne, mlb.com

Just when they thought they finally had their man, the Red Sox have apparently lost him. Hours after agreeing in principle on a contract, Billy Beane withdrew his name from consideration as the next general manager of the Red Sox, The Associated Press reported Sunday night. Beane instead chose to stay in that capacity with the A's, the team he is under contract with through 2008. "He left a very attractive offer on the table," A's spokesman Jim Young told AP. "He felt he belonged in Oakland and obviously we couldn't be happier."

Beane says no to Red Sox offer -- He spurns job as general manager
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

In a stunning turn of events, Oakland's Billy Beane last night abruptly scotched an agreement to take over as general manager of the Red Sox, saying through a spokesman that he reversed course to stay with the Athletics for personal reasons. Beane agreed in principle early yesterday morning to a pact that would have made him the highest-paid GM in baseball at more than $2 million a year. But not long after baseball officials publicly acknowledged the agreement, Beane began to backpedal, even as both teams negotiated a lucrative compensation package for the A's.

Count Beane out: A's exec backs out of GM job with Sox
Tony Massarotti and Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

According to one source, the A's and Red Sox may even have reached agreement on compensation when the deal with Beane fell apart. The same source indicated that the clubs had agreed on a pitcher, presumably a major leaguer, which led to immediate speculation that promising left-handed pitcher Casey Fossum may have been involved. Prior to yesterday, speculation about a possible compensation package for Beane centered primarily on outfielder Trot Nixon, who earned $2.7 million this year and is eligible for salary arbitration. Center fielder Johnny Damon's name also surfaced, but Oakland officials privately stressed that a limited player payroll ($40 million last year) prevented them from taking on higher-salaried players, a description that might also fit Nixon next year. As a result, Fossum and third baseman Shea Hillenbrand were deemed possible candidates in a compensation package given their low salaries. The name of minor league third baseman Kevin Youkilis also surfaced, an ironic twist given that Beane is said to be quite fond of the Red Sox prospect.

A's Beane reverses field, stays home
Rick Hurd, Contra Costa Times

The financial terms were in place. A compensation package was coming together. And all that remained was to make everything official. ... a package could've included players, cash and/or draft picks. An A's official said Sunday that young players with reasonable contracts would have been the most attractive, a group that included Red Sox third baseman Shea Hillenbrand and outfielder Trot Nixon. A Red Sox source said lefty reliever Casey Fossum also may have been included in a deal.

No Beane In Beantown -- GM Will Stay In Oakland
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

The Red Sox spent six weeks requesting permission from the Oakland A's to speak to general manager Billy Beane. ... After the teams had discussions Sunday, Beane contacted the Red Sox and informed them he wanted to remain in Oakland. The Red Sox told Beane to think about it for a couple of hours. Two hours later, Beane called back and affirmed his decision.

Beane bails on big Boston bucks
Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle 

After some soap-opera-like to-ing and fro-ing, Billy Beane will stick in his original spot, as general manager of the A's. ... The announcement capped a wild day during which, according to sources close to the discussions, Beane had agreed in principle on a five-year deal worth more than $13 million before back-pedaling, citing personal reasons.

Beane staying with A's
Darren Sabedra, San Jose Mercury News

One day after reports surfaced that A's General Manager Billy Beane was headed to the Boston Red Sox, Beane pulled off another stunner. He's staying. ... "For what the Red Sox deserve, I cannot give to them,'' Beane said. "John Henry and the Red Sox were great to me. They were willing to pay me more money than I could believe. But it's more than money; I've never been about money. I made one decision based on money in my life -- when I signed with the Mets rather than go to Stanford -- and I promised I'd never do it again.''

About-face makes sense for wide variety of reasons
Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News

Cocksure, gun-slingin', mind-going-a-million-miles-an-hour Billy Beane . . . now wouldn't he be the last general manager you would expect to experience a public midlife crisis? Brash, bold, brilliant Billy Beane. How is it possible that after marching his way to the deal of a lifetime with Boston -- a deal that would reward him with millions -- Beane is the one who blinked?

Beane Will Stay With A's
Ross Newhan, Los Angeles Times

Whether Billy Beane agreed to the parameters of a contract with the Boston Red Sox Sunday only to have second thoughts while the Red Sox were attempting to negotiate a compensation package satisfactory to the Oakland Athletics is uncertain. This much is clear: The job as Boston's general manager was his if he wanted it, but Beane withdrew his name from consideration Sunday night, choosing to remain the architect of an Oakland team that has reached the playoffs for three consecutive years despite one of the lower payrolls in baseball and the consistent loss of key players.

 

November 9, 2002

Plan Lacks Teeth -- Boss may try to save by eliminating dental insurance
Ken Davidoff, Newsday

In this offseason of Yankees cost-cutting, George Steinbrenner is taking yet another bite out of his employees' wallets. According to multiple team sources, Steinbrenner is threatening to eliminate the dental plans of approximately 150 employees by Jan. 1. Such a move, some team officials believe, would save Steinbrenner roughly $100,000, which wouldn't be enough to pay outfielder Raul Mondesi's salary for the first three games of the 2003 season. ... "He always does this kind of stuff at this time of year," one employee said of Steinbrenner.

 

November 8, 2002

11/07/2002 11:42 am ET [award was announced at 2:00 pm ET]
Pedro earns fourth Cy Young Award
He takes greatest pride in this one, his third in Boston
By Ian Browne / MLB.com

BOSTON -- Pedro Martinez, one of the most dominant pitchers of this generation, added another trophy piece to his legacy Thursday, carting home the AL Cy Young award. It was the fourth Cy Young award for the Red Sox ace, and the third in his five years in Boston. Martinez won his first Cy in 1997, his final season with the Expos.

In one of the most intriguing and heated individual award races, Martinez beat out Oakland ace Barry Zito and teammate Derek Lowe.

Coming off a year in which he made just 18 starts due to a small tear in his rotator cuff, Martinez came back in a big way in 2002. He went 20-4, led the Major Leagues with a 2.26 ERA and his 239 strikeouts were tops in the American League.

In the past, Martinez hasn't been shy about giving his Cy Young awards to others. He gave his first to fellow Dominican legend Juan Marichal. The second went to the brother he idolizes, former Major League pitcher Ramon Martinez. But this one isn't likely to go any further than the residence of the trophy winner.

"I'd put it in my trophy room," Martinez said late in the regular season. "I earned this one by working so hard in the winter. This would probably be the most important one because of all the things I went through. Even for myself, I never expected too much."

When the Red Sox left Spring Training, Martinez was the most glaring question mark on the team. Nobody, including Martinez, knew how well his arm would hold up. Adding to the concern, he was shelled on Opening Day, giving up seven earned runs in three innings against the Blue Jays.

But he gradually got stronger, and by the summer months, he was as prolific as ever.

"He just progressively got better and better," Red Sox manager Grady Little said on the day Martinez earned victory No. 20 in Baltimore. "There could be an argument that this was his most impressive season, whether he wins the Cy Young or not."

Martinez's most glittering month was July, when he went 5-0 with an ERA of 0.64.

In 11 of his 30 starts, Martinez didn't allow an earned run. Though he lessened the strain on his arm by relying more on pitching and less on his fastball, he still struck out 10 or more nine times.

Martinez joins Roger Clemens as the only pitchers to win three Cy Young awards in a Red Sox uniform.

The print edition of the Boston Globe on November 8
has information on individual voters and their choices:

Votes for Pedro Martinez:
Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press, Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram, Kansas City Star, New York Post, Orange County Register, Tampa Tribune, Toronto Sun

Votes for Barry Zito
AP (Kansas City), Chicago Sun Times, Dallas News, Detroit News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Hartford Courant, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kyoda News (Seattle correspondent), Lake County (Ohio) News-Herald, Los Angeles Times, St Paul Pioneer Press, San Francisco Chronicle, Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat, Seattle Times, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, Toronto Star, Washington Times

Comments from various voters; comments were not provided for all voters. I will make no comment except to say that if there is a drug problem in major league baseball, it clearly isn't confined to the players. Caution: This is some scary stuff.

Doug Tucker, AP, Kansas City
First place to Zito "It came down to the fact that Zito had three more wins and just one more loss". He placed Pedro third.

Roch Kubatko, Baltimore Sun
First place to Pedro

Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
First place to Pedro. "Martinez led the league in ERA, strikeouts, winning percentage, and opponents' batting average".

Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
First place to Pedro.

Toni Ginnetti, Chicago Sun-Times
First place to Pedro. "Not to detract from Zito, but Pedro's outings were just more dominant".

Dough Padilla, Chicago Sun-Times
First place to Zito. "Zito went through the whole season in the rigors of a playoff chase".

Ken Daley, Dallas Morning New
First place to Zito. 

Gene Guidi, Detroit Free Press
First place to Pedro "If you had to pick a guy to win a game for you, who would you pick? I think you'd pick Pedro."

Tom Gage, Detroit News
First place to Zito. "23 wins and an excellent ERA is preferable to me to 20 wins and an outstanding ERA."

Chris Assenheimer, Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram
First place to Pedro. "He seemed like he wasn't completely healthy the whole year and still was the best pitcher in the AL."

Jim Reeves, Fort Worth Star Telegram
First place to Zito. "I thought Zito had the best overall season. He really contributed to the Oakland A's winning."

Dom Amore, Hartford Courant
First place to Zito. "Win-loss record is paramount to evaluating a pitcher. There was no reason to go beyond wins and losses."

Jim Souhan, Minneapolis Star Tribune
First place to Zito.

Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star
First place to Pedro.

Keizo Konishi, Kyodo News, Seattle Chapter
First place to Zito. "I asked Ichiro. He told me Pedro is better for one game, but you have to look at the whole season".

Jim Ingraham, Lake County (Ohio) News-Herald
First place to Zito. "Zito won important games in a pennant race and that carries a lot of weight with me."

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
First place to Zito. "Zito is the guy that won the most games against the toughest opponents."

George King, New York Post
First place to Pedro.

Mark Whicker, Orange County Register
First place to Pedro. "Pedro was just a little bit better in the most significant categories."

Mike Wells, St. Paul Pioneer Press
First place to Zito. "Pedro cashed it in by not playing the last week of the season ... Zito was the overall better pitcher."

John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle
First place to Zito. "It's about who finishes the strongest, look at Randy Johnson and the way he finished."

Jeff Fletcher, Santa Rosa (California) Press Democrat
First place to Zito. "I voted for Zito because he won more games for a better team."

Bob Finnigan, Seattle Times
First place to Zito. "Barry Zito pitched very well against Seattle and his numbers were outstanding."

Chris Anderson, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
First place to Zito. "Zito was very impressive after an Oakland loss. He was better than Pedro against playoff teams."

Scott Carter, Tampa Tribune
First place to Pedro. "Any time you lead the league in strikeouts and ERA and still win 20 games, that's one heckuva season."

Richard Griffin, Toronto Star
First place to Zito. "Pedro started slow, and he didn't make that start in the last week and that mattered to the voters."

Mike Rutsey, Toronto Sun
First place to Pedro. "Zito had more wins, but Pedro was better in pretty well every other stat."

Mark Zuckerman, Washington (DC) Times
First place to Zito. "Zito was a leader on that team during their streak and he helped lead them to the playoffs."

Aced out -- A's Zito is the Cy Young pick over Martinez
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

The vintage Dom Perignon is back home in a specially embossed case, a gift from Manny Ramirez to commemorate Pedro Martinez's memorable season. The Red Sox ace plans to keep it, along with a couple of other memento s from his last start. Good thing he has those keepsakes because the one he most coveted - the 2002 American League Cy Young Award - landed yesterday in the clutches of Oakland lefthander Barry Zito, a disheartening twist for the Sox superstar.

Gracious in one breath, indignant in the next, Martinez reacted to his defeat by congratulating Zito and castigating the voters who deprived him of his fourth Cy Young. The loss felt like a disturbing flash of deja vu to the Sox ace, who in 1999 believed he was unjustly denied the AL MVP award. ... "I was a victim in 1999," he said. "Today it's pretty much the same act from whoever did it." ...

For Zito, the award continues a streak. He also was recognized as pitcher of the year in the Players Choice Awards, The Sporting News, Baseball Weekly, and by the Major League Alumni Association.

A shutdown and a shutout
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

Sadly, even though Pedro was marginally the best pitcher in the American League in 2002, he lost his bid for the Cy Young Award when he "shut it down" after beating the Orioles in Baltimore Sept. 22. ...

Yesterday Pedro issued a statement through the Red Sox indicating that it was his manager, pitching coach, and trainer who prohibited him from pitching in the last week of the season. "I wanted to make that start," Martinez said. 'Grady [Little], Tony [Cloninger], and the trainers didn't want me to make the start, so that I could start up on my workouts to get ready for next year." ...

Numerically, Pedro was no lock for the award. One can easily make the case that Martinez was the best pitcher in the American League, but Zito made five more starts, pitched 30 more innings, and won three more games for a division winner. The A's went 10-0 in Zito's final 10 starts - games that had postseason significance. Pedro gets the nod in winning percentage, ERA, walk-to-strikeout ratio, and opponents' batting average. He was certainly more dominant, but he didn't have enough cushion to take the final week off.

It'll be interesting to see if Pedro is bitter when the Sox arrive in Fort Myers in February. He sometimes sees demons where none exist, and is on record demanding that the Sox extend his contract before the start of next season - or risk losing him to free agency (after the 2004 season).

Zito wins Cy, Pedro simply sighs Tony Massarotti,
Boston Herald

Understandably, Barry Zito expressed delight at being placed in the same class as Pedro Martinez yesterday. In 2002 American League Cy Young voting, however, the irony is that Martinez was not seen in quite the same class as Zito. ... "I am disappointed about all the excuses I have heard about why I didn't win. ... If it was about numbers of wins, then why didn't (Mark) Mulder win last year? Isn't that an interesting question? If it had been Clemens or (Randy) Johnson going through what I went through coming back from injury and rehabbing like I did, would we be asking these questions now or be having these discussions right now?"

Cy-swiped: Bad math, faulty logic takes Cy Young Award away from Pedro
Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald

Pedro don't surf. Pedro doesn't play guitar, either. Or study Zen or do yoga or act like Jeff Spiccoli in a sport full of banal cliche machines. As we in Boston well know, Pedro is a free spirit and a unique character, but he failed to play up that angle the way Zito did. This is a 24-year-old man, after all, who carries a teddy bear on the road and says "dude" a lot. Sometimes the wild man even wears his cap backward in the dugout. In a recent on-line profile, a reporter called Zito "one of the most interesting cats to walk into a big league clubhouse in a while."

So Pedro had the edge in nearly all the significant statistical categories, but there was no way he could compete with Zito in the all-important "fun quotient," as one Chicago writer put in on ESPN Wednesday. "Zito was a blast," the scribe said. "We know Pedro was great - he's a Hall of Famer - but I'm tired of Pedro."

So there you go. This pundit was tired of Pedro ... apparently he was not alone in press boxes around the country. Martinez, who was screwed out of the MVP three years ago when two baseball writers decided to ignore the rules and discriminate against a pitcher, was robbed again yesterday. ... Maybe that's the lesson this offseason, Pedro: Stop working out so hard and start surfing. Gotta crank up that fun quotient, dude.

Pedro got ... a mind-boggling five third-place votes. ... you've got to REALLY be tired of Martinez to rank him third, behind Derek Lowe, who topped his teammate in exactly zero relevant statistical categories. Unless, of course, you count being fun. Lowe always has been good at that. ...

Zito's team won 103 games and went to the playoffs, but how, exactly, can that be held against Pedro Martinez? On the contrary, Pedro deserves credit: He pitched for an inferior team, in a smaller ballpark and got less run support. The Red Sox had a weaker schedule, but Pedro, as always, was superb against all comers. His ERA against winning teams was better than Zito's (2.14 to 3.64). ...

Zito driven to succeed: A's ace proved worth on Cape
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald

Barry Zito won the American League Cy Young Award because he was a wire-to-wire horse who did his best pitching against the best competition, emerging as the game's next great pitching star. Some of you will argue the award should have gone to Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, and you'll be able to haul out truckloads of statistical evidence to back up your claim. Fine. Go for it.

Pedro, Lowe Cy Young runners-up
Ian Browne, mlb.com

Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe were silver and bronze medalists, respectively, in the AL Cy Young Award race, the results of which were announced Thursday afternoon. ...

Martinez said last month that this would be the most significant Cy Young for him after all he went through. But it was not to be. "The first thing I want to do is congratulate Zito," said Martinez, who issued quotes through the Red Sox. "He deserved to win. I'm a big fan of his. Like I said before, whoever wins it, deserves it, and Zito did as good a job as I did. So I give him all the credit. I'm also a big fan of his. ... But you hear about all these excuses -- he didn't make his last start, his number of wins, and so on. I would like them to give me the answer to this -- to me or through other media. I would like to hear from the voters the answers to these questions." ...

As for Martinez, he's already looking ahead to an even better 2003. "I started my workouts already. ... That's why I missed that last start, so I could get ready for next year," Martinez said. "As I said, to make sure that what I got is going to be there next year and maybe better. And that is what my goal is."

Zito Beats Martínez to Win First Cy Young Award
Tyler Kepner, New York Times

The advertisement in the local paper offered pitching lessons for $50 an hour, given by Randy Jones, a man with a Cy Young award on display in his living room. Joe Zito wanted the best for his son Barry, a 12-year-old left-hander, so he took the boy to Jones's home in Poway, Calif., where there was a pitcher's mound in the backyard.

Zito captures Cy Young honors -- A's southpaw the youngest winner since 1986
John Schlegel, mlb.com

The last time a pitcher as young as Barry Zito won a Cy Young Award, it probably didn't mean a whole lot to Zito himself. He was only 8 years old at the time.

Unique lefty Zito takes home first Cy Young Award
Greg Beacham, Associated Press

In jeans, loafers, a stone necklace and a concert T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, Barry Zito received his first Cy Young Award in the same way he pitches: with his own unique, inimitable style. By beating Boston teammates Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe in the American League voting announced Thursday, Zito became the youngest pitcher to win the award since Roger Clemens, who also was 24 when he won the first of his six Cy Young Awards in 1986. ...

"A guy like Pedro really can't be beat," Zito said. "I remember guys talking like, 'We have to wait for Pedro to get out of the league before we can win the Cy Young.' I've been watching that guy ever since I've been coming up. He's immortal. He's a God."

Zito edges Martinez for AL Cy Young Award
Ronald Blum, Associated Press

Now Barry Zito can stare at a Cy Young Award every day. After winning the American League honor for the first time Thursday, he thought back to his youth, when his parents paid former major leaguer Randy Jones $50 a lesson and he went to his teacher's house after workouts. "It was sitting there in his living room every day," Zito said, "and I would kind of marvel at it."

 

November 7, 2002

Bottom line: Pedro should get the win
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Today is the day the results of the 2002 American League Cy Young Award balloting will be announced. Today is when we learn if Pedro Martinez has reclaimed the crown that is rightfully his. And, incredibly, the only arguments anyone seems to be making against Martinez are that he did not win enough or that he has already won too much.

Cy of the beholder -- Three have case in this AL race
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

It's a hot-stove extravaganza, a history-making, numbers-crunching feast of a debate with Pedro Martinez and Barry Zito as the main courses and Derek Lowe as an intriguing side dish. ... In a contest that shapes up as one of the closest ever, one of the three will be presented today as the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner - unless, of course, 28 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America went completely batty before casting their ballots. There should be no other candidates.

Pedro, Lowe gave Sox stability
Sean McAdam, espn.com

More than once, as the Red Sox's season wound down, well short of its intended goal, manager Grady Little sat in his office, a look of exasperation on his face. The second-place finish and a third consecutive season without a spot in the postseason were disappointing to be sure. But Little knew it could have been worse. "Sometimes," Little would say, "I ask myself where we'd be without those two guys." "Those two guys" were Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe, who combined to win 41 games. No other Red Sox starter topped 13 victories.

Martinez between Zito and history
Chris Jenkins, San Diego Union-Tribune

Hundreds of major league ballplayers have come from San Diego, including scores of pitchers. ... None, however, ever won a Cy Young Award. ... Until today. Perhaps. With a capital "P." As in "Pedro." If his chief competition were anybody but Pedro Martinez, local product Barry Zito of the Oakland Athletics might be considered a left-handed lock for the Cy Young Award ... As it is, there's a good possibility he'll be the third straight A's pitcher to finish second in Cy Young voting. Tim Hudson was runner-up to Martinez in 2000 and Mark Mulder lost to Roger Clemens last year.

He's been mesmerized by James's Abstract art
Art Martone, Providence Journal

I suppose I'm the wrong guy to speak objectively on this topic. Because for seven glorious years in the 1980s, Christmas, for me, wasn't Dec. 25. Christmas was whatever day the Bill James Baseball Abstract happened to arrive in my local bookstore. ... James's imprint is already on the game. It was through his writings that many of the concepts we now embrace as baseball truths -- that the two most important elements of a baseball offense are the ability to get on base and the ability to drive runners around, that the stolen base is a trivial offensive weapon, etc. -- were introduced to the public. Wittingly or unwittingly, many teams (well, some teams) have re-formed themselves in James's image over the last two decades. ...

He proved it all by looking things up, by researching things no one ever bothered to research. Instead of taking the sport's hoary preachings and swallowing them whole, as everyone else did, James actually tried to figure out whether or not baseball was 75 percent pitching. Or whether or not there is such a thing as clutch hitters. What he discovered is that much of traditional baseball dogma is a lot of hooey.

Sox have new analyst: James
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 

All else has failed in the last 84 years. So the new owners of the Red Sox are trying a novel approach, hiring Bill James, the godfather of modern statistical analysis in baseball, to help guide the franchise toward championship glory. ... By all accounts, James is no Mike Gimbel, former general manager Dan Duquette's statistical analyst who enraged fans and players by claiming he wielded more influence than any consultant of his status should. ...

Sox dial James' number
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Naturally, the news immediately prompted comparisons to the peculiar existence of former Sox consultant Mike Gimbel, an eccentric statistical analyst who housed alligators in his New York apartment. ... Like it or not, the use of such statistical analysis or "Sabermetrics'' has become more prevalent in baseball. Lucchino admitted he would prefer the next general manager of the Sox to be someone who is "open to modern quantitative analysis,'' an area that is particularly appealing to mathematical whiz and owner John Henry.

Red Sox Hire Author Bill James
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

In the past, James has been employed by agents to provide statistical information about their salary arbitration clients. He also worked as a part-time consultant for the Royals. ... James, who will be based in Kansas City, is believed to be the second "statman" the Red Sox have hired, but Lucchino said James should not be compared to the first one. Mike Gimbel, a meter reader in New York, was hired by former GM Dan Duquette and worked for the team from 1994-97. "It's apples and oranges," Lucchino said.

 

November 6, 2002

Red Sox hire James in advisory capacity
Rob Neyer, espn.com

Next week, the Boston Red Sox will officially announce either their first big move of the offseason, or their first pointless move of the offseason. In the short term, it will depend on whom you ask. In the long term, it will depend on how much Bill James contributes to the management of the Red Sox, and how many games they win. On November 15, the Red Sox will hold a press conference to announce they've hired James as their "Senior Advisor, Baseball Operations" (or something similar). And while James certainly isn't the first sabermetrician to work for a major-league team, nor even the first to work for the Red Sox, he certainly is the most famous.

The rise and fall of Mike Gimbel
Rob Neyer, espn.com

Bill James may be the most visible sabermetrician the Red Sox have ever hired, but he's not the first. James was preceded as a Red Sox employee specializing in the analysis of baseball statistics by a fellow named Mike Gimbel, who worked for the Red Sox from 1994-97. [Also by Neyer: Sabermetricians slowly being added to the inner circle]

Red Sox to hire stats maven James
Ian Browne, mlb.com

Though the Red Sox don't expect to name a permanent general manager until the end of the month, it appears the team has another interesting move in store next week. ESPN.com is reporting that baseball statistics maven and author Bill James will be officially hired by the Red Sox on Nov. 15 as a senior advisor for baseball operations. In the article, Sox principal owner John Henry said, "I don't know how it took this long for somebody to hire this guy."

[Will the Boston sportswriters rip this as Mike Gimbel II?
Who cares!!! This is some of the best Red Sox news in months.]

Zito faces Red Sox duo for AL prize
John Schlegel, mlb.com

For each of the past two seasons, a member of the Oakland Athletics' three-piece set of aces has put together a stellar season only to finish second in American League Cy Young Award voting. Hudson finished behind Pedro Martinez in the voting in 2000, and Mulder was runner-up to Roger Clemens last year. In 2002, Zito's battling it out with Boston's Martinez and Derek Lowe for the top prize. ... "This will be probably the most important one because of all the things I have gone through, especially even for myself because I never expected too much success," Martinez said. "Either way, I give Derek Lowe a lot of credit and I give Zito a lot of credit."

 

November 5, 2002

Zito? Please! Cy Young is all Pedro's
John Tomase, Eagle Tribune

The American League Cy Young will be awarded Thursday. If the winner's name doesn't start with "Pedro" and end with "Martinez," it will be a disgrace ... And yet there's a very real possibility Martinez will lose. The Sporting News and Players Choice awards went to Oakland lefty Barry Zito. Plenty of pundits have trumpeted his case as well. If the baseball writers follow suit, they either weren't paying attention or they've warped the definition of the award.

Johnson wins fourth straight Cy Young Award
Associated Press

Player         1st 2nd 3rd Total
Johnson, Ari.   32  --  --  160
Schilling, Ari. --  29   3   90
Smoltz, Atl.    --   1  18   21
Gagne, L.A.     --   2   2    8
Oswalt, Hou.    --  --   8    8
Colon, Mon.     --  --   1    1

 

November 4, 2002

M's Garciaparra has nose for game
Bob Finnigan, Seattle Times

For a guy whose brother has come to symbolize the Boston Red Sox for the past six seasons, Michael Garciaparra is publicly enthusiastic about his own organization.

Bonds should have been MVP
Jim Baker, espn.com Insider (October 28)

Do we even realize what we have just seen? Sometimes, something that unfolds over a period of nine days is not easy to comprehend until a final accounting is done and the act is placed in context. Barry Bonds simply had one of the greatest World Series in history. ...

Here is Bonds' placement among the all-time best World Series performances:

On base average:
.706 Lou Gehrig, 1928 (4 games)
.700 Barry Bonds, 2002 (7 games)
.688 Hank Gowdy, 1914 (4 games)
.667 Joe Gordon, 1941 (5 games)
.647 Babe Ruth, 1928 (4 games)

Slugging average:
1.727 Lou Gehrig, 1928 (4 games)
1.375 Babe Ruth, 1928 (4 games)
1.294 Barry Bonds, 2002 (7 games)
1.273 Hank Gowdy, 1914 (4 games)
1.250 Reggie Jackson, 1977 (6 games)

OPS:
2.433 Lou Gehrig, 1928 (4 games)
2.022 Babe Ruth, 1928 (4 games)
1.994 Barry Bonds, 2002 (7 games)
1.960 Hank Gowdy, 1914 (4 games)
1.772 Reggie Jackson, 1977 (6 games)

... If a player does something historic, that trumps the smaller context. Troy Glaus had a fine Series and he will have the thrill of getting the ring and watching the banner unfurled over his stadium next year, but Bonds had a Series for the ages and — win or lose — that performance should have earned him the hardware.

 

November 3, 2002

GM search off mark
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

While giving the Red Sox the benefit of the doubt, let's be honest: Their search for a general manager is starting to look like as much of a sham as the sale of the team did roughly a year ago. ... [T]he Sox are now stringing along candidates (not to mention the process) with the general manager's meetings set to take place next week in Tucson, Ariz. ... [T]he Sox effectively have now begun the offseason without a GM ... Please, no more excuses for the new owners and administrators, no matter how relatively fan- and media-friendly they have been. ...

Japanese outfielder Hideki Matsui is drawing a great deal of interest after declaring that he intends to play in the United States next season. The Japanese media has placed Matsui's price at $7-$10 million annually, a reasonable salary if Matsui's numbers in Japan translate into major league success. The New York Yankees and the Red Sox are among the teams interested in Matsui, who batted .334 with 50 home runs and 107 RBI this season.

No longer that hot for Sox' Trot
John Tomase, Eagle Tribune

The Red Sox declined to exercise Dustin Hermanson's $7 million option Thursday. That was easy. They'll likely let closer Ugueth Urbina walk. He's not worth $7-$9 million annually. That's also easy. The hardest decision facing the team this offseason looms, and its name is Trot Nixon.

Writers pick their winners
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe

The Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America has named Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe co-winners of the Yawkey Award as Red Sox MVPs. The writers also selected Tim Wakefield as winner of the Jackie Jensen Award for spirit and desire. Those and other awards will be presented at the chapter's annual dinner Jan. 16 at the Sheraton Boston.

 

November 1, 2002

Baseball Crank
Dan McLaughlin, Providence Journal

Sometimes, your luck runs out. People who study baseball statistics have come to one clear conclusion: there's just no evidence that anybody consistently hits well in the clutch. Over time, nearly every hitter will perform, in clutch situations - however defined - about as well as you would expect, compared to his overall performance. As we saw this postseason, this applies as well to guys who have historically underachieved in key situations, like Barry Bonds - his luck turned. Is there such a thing as clutch pitching? ...

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