Why In The Hell Was Pedro Even Pitching The Seventh Inning? Read today's game stories and you'll get the picture -- the muddy mound, the rain-slicked mound, the wet pitching rubber, the constant drizzle. In the top of the seventh, Boston had taken a 12-2 lead and Pedro Martinez had thrown 83 pitches. There was absolutely no reason to send him out for another inning. But that's what Terry Francoma did, thus ruining my enjoyment of another Red Sox win.
Just like Baltimore's Todd Williams, Martinez had trouble keeping his footing on the mound. He later said that while pitching to Javy Lopez (who doubled), he "felt a little pinch in my right hip. I thought it was going to go away, but it continued to pinch. I tried to stretch it a little bit, and it felt worse." Martinez needed 9 pitches to get Karim Garcia to pop to shortstop. At that point, "Dave and Tito [and trainer Chris Correnti] came out and tried to take me out. I said, 'No, let me see if I can continue to actually get the couple of outs that I was supposed to get.'" Jerry Hairston and Larry Bigbie followed with singles before Martimez was pulled.
After the game, Martinez's hip was still sore, but he said he plans "to run the crap out of" the injury in the next few days.
Francona on the trip to the mound: "I just wanted to make sure he was OK. In a game like that I didn't want to leave him out there longer than he needed to stay out there." ... It's shit like this that make me seriously question Francona's intelligence. Leaving Pedro out in the pouring rain, nearing 100 pitches and working with a 10-run lead in the 7th inning is beyond moronic. ... And I was not alone in my annoyance. A very small sample:
"Someone stick a mirror under Francona's nose to see if he is still breathing!"
"It's a @#%$ huge deal if Pedro hurts himself. I was at the Hermanson non-game, and I don't want to see a replay here. Tito is a dolt."
"Now they run out thinking he MAY be hurt ... and LEAVE HIM IN THE GAME!"
"If Pedro slips and pulls something here though Terry may not make it to the end of the year alive let alone employed."
"If there is a better recipe for injury, I don't know what it is."
"Just a moron. Total buffoon running this team."
Trot Nixon isn't ruling out the possibility of missing the rest of the season. Jerry Remy's comments during NESN's broadcast last night were pretty ominous. The Red Sox are considering their options for right field. Sean McAdam mentions Boston has spoken with Colorado about Larry Walker.
Kevin Millar was named co-AL player of the week. His hot streak started after noticing Seattle's Miguel Olivo's open stance. "He looked like he was on a lot of pitches, so I went in the cages and I tried it and I liked it. That night I ended up getting three hits and I was like, 'Yeah, I like this stance.'" Here's a shot of Millar celebrating his award, courtesy of SoSH's Dennis Upperdeckersley:
Scott Williamson will throw a side session today, make another rehab appearance Thursday and likely be activated Friday or Saturday in Minnesota. ... Alan Embree said the Sox are being conservative and "a little paranoid" over an irritated nerve above his left elbow. ... Gordon Edes asks: "What does a 6-foot-10-inch pinstripe look like? Sooner than later, it appears, we are about to find out."
Howard Bryant in a Herald pay column: "Manny Ramirez and manager Terry Francona had a spat before the All-Star break, and the Sox slugger took himself out of the game immediately before the break and three games later in the week citing a bad hamstring. ... Upper management, never pleased with Ramirez outside of the batter's box, believed he was attempting to sabotage the season in a way similar to last season. ... Ownership, at this point, again believes Ramirez to be a major problem. ... One American League executive said Sox ownership underestimated the emotional turmoil of its players. ... Even in victory, there were speed bumps. In one of the wins against Oakland, Pokey Reese, upset at his utility role, groused at mop-up duty in a blowout. He eventually went into the game."
Another reason to love Nixon: David Heuschkel reports that "Nixon was upset ESPN baseball broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe mentioned on the air Sunday night that Nixon hurt himself during Saturday's brawl ... The statement was retracted after a Red Sox official informed ESPN it was inaccurate. Nixon, who said Sutcliffe apologized to him, couldn't resist taking a shot at Tim McCarver. 'McCarver does it all the time,' Nixon said. 'He might as well put a Yankees jersey on.'"