March 31, 2004

Nomar On DL -- Out Till Early May. Nomar Garciaparra was placed on the disabled list today and will rest his right Achilles tendon for the next three weeks. If everything goes right, Garciaparra could begin a minor league rehab assignment and be back on Boston's roster by the beginning of May.

Ramiro Mendoza made his third appearance of the spring against Toronto. He needed only four pitches to get through a perfect 4th inning, then allowed three runs and three hits in the fifth. Terry Francona said Mendoza is healthy enough to break camp with the team. Mendoza: "Last year, I had a problem with my arm and I couldn't throw my sinker, but this year my arm is good. I'm throwing my sinker good and my changeup is nasty. ... I don't want to stay here [Florida]. I want to go with the team." ... Boston optioned left-handed pitcher Mark Malaska to Pawtucket.

On Pedro's way to the clubhouse after his outing yesterday, Martinez "noticed a couple young boys reaching over the fence with baseballs to autograph. Martinez took his off his cap and placed it on one youngster's head." Francona: "I'll be very excited to watch him pitch Sunday night, and then the next Saturday. He's going to be fine. What's the word, aberration? I think that's a [expletive] good word. Put that one down. Don't be missing words like that. I'm not sure what it means, but get it in there."

Dave Wallace: "It sounds crazy, but I think [Pedro's] stuff was a little better than it's been. He just didn't execute some pitches. Sometimes, he gets a little too fast [in his delivery] and ends up pulling the ball through the strike zone. He might have been anxious to get through his last [spring] start. He warmed up as good as he has all spring."

Robert Cremins, a former Boston Red Sox pitcher who in his first big league appearance had to face Babe Ruth, died Saturday at age 98. Cremins made his debut against the Yankees on August 17, 1927. Ruth was the first batter he faced and Cremins retired him on a grounder to first base. He appeared in three more games for the Red Sox and left baseball the following year.

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