May 25, 2004

Kim: Second Opinion in South Korea. Bothered by back and hip injuries, Byung-Hyun Kim has gone home to South Korea to see a specialist. There is no timetable for his return. A lot of Red Sox fans don't like Kim, but I'm not one of them. However, I hope this situation is not taking a turn for the worst.

I agree with SoSHer Smiling Joe Hesketh's comments: "Kim was lights out in September last year after being lights out in June and July. He had a rough August that was a result of Grady flogging him like a horse; I've said it many times, check out Kim's 2003 game logs from his ESPN page, he was worked extremely hard and in groupings that would have just killed many other pitchers. In August, beginning August 13, Kim pitched in 14 of the next 20 games, just a ludicrous usage pattern. His strong September was a result of Gump actually giving him some time to rest at the beginning of the month ... and then when he was ready to go Gump mecilessly worked him again."

The logs bear this out. Kim pitched in 11 of 14 games from August 20 to September 3. Then he was rested, appearing in only two of Boston's next 11 games. The yo-yo usage returned when he was used in six of seven games. ... His September stats, however, were sterling: 49 batters in 13 innings, 6 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts. ... A list of the mistakes made by Tito's Predecessor would overload the Internet, but his misuse of Kim has to be up near the top.

Nomar Garciaparra held his 5th (and final) Nomar Bowl yesterday at Malden's Town Line Ten Pin. Teammates Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek, Keith Foulke, Mark Bellhorn, Brian Daubach and Kevin Millar, as well as Terry Francona and Theo Epstein were there. Nomar's agent Arn Tellem said he believes Garciaparra will stay with Boston after this season. ... Nomar is expected to work out with his teammates before today's game, taking batting practice and grounders. ... With eight more plate appearances, Millar will trigger a $3.5 million option for 2005. ... Trot Nixon played his first game since April 29 last night, going 2-4 with a double. Nixon slid hard into second base on the double and seemed fine. He fielded no balls in right field. ... Picking on Jeter is fun.

RIP: Doug Pappas, 43, died last Thursday while hiking in Texas's Big Bend National Park. You can check out his excellent work at his "Busines of Baseball" blog and at Baseball Prospectus." More talk of his work is here. ... A review of Rob Bradford's "Chasing Steinbrenner," which details the 2003 struggles of the Red Sox and Blue Jays to toppling the Yankees. Has anyone read this book?

The Red Sox lead the AL with a 3.51 ERA. Oakland is second at 3.68. ... Two A's comment on Derek Lowe's alleged gesture at the end of last October's ALDS. Eric Chavez: "It was classless, but people sometimes do dumb things. I don't know if he regrets it, and I really don't care." Bobby Crosby: "I wasn't playing, but it made me upset ... I'm looking forward to going and stomping on them a little bit." ... San Francisco Chronicle: "As usual, Red Sox believe this year is really the year." ... SoSHer Jose Melendez has been offering his daily "Keys to the Game"; he outdoes himself today.

Tonight: Curt Schilling (5-3, 2.84) vs. Tim Hudson (5-1, 2.90)
Wednesday: Derek Lowe (3-4, 6.02) vs. Mark Redman (3-2, 3.60)
Thursday: Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 4.10) vs. Mark Mulder (5-2, 2.98)

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