July 7, 2005

Millar: Asking For A Trade?

.248 .309 .299 .608
Those stats are Kevin Millar's numbers away from Fenway Park this season. Overall, he's slugging .260 against LHP this season. Slugging.

Millar had a good June, but that came only after two horrific months that would make Rey Ordonez blush.
         PA*  AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
Mar/Apr 93 .253 .394 .307 .701
May 105 .224 .274 .327 .601
June 67 .377 .420 .574 .994

*: AB + BB + HBP
During Tuesday's NESN broadcast, Jerry Remy said that Olerud would be getting more playing time as the weeks went on. Francona's reasons were (paraphrasing) putting the best lineup on the field and wanting to win. It was not the usual spiel.

And now comes the news that Millar has apparently asked the Red Sox to explore the possibility of a trade. Last night, Peter Gammons said on Baseball Tonight:
Now you turn to Kevin Millar, he's been disappointed. The Red Sox have been playing John Olerud a lot. He asked Terry Francona last weekend, look it, see if you can trade me. They looked around, they talked to Houston, that rumor was out there, that isn't happening. So far there's nothing there but you know with Youkilis and Olerud, you know, playing time is diminished.
And Johnny Damon was quoted in today's Globe as saying:
They've been trying to get rid of Millar since the beginning of the season. Well, guess what? His numbers are the same as last year. Then he caught fire. Now he's definitely looking over his shoulder a little more because we've got a very good backup first baseman in Olerud.
First of all, this is not a case of Millar bitching to the media, demanding "play me or trade me." Someone apparently leaked the in-house discussions to the press.

I haven't seen any comments from Millar, though he did say (when Olerud first joined the team) he didn't have a problem with splitting time, as opposed to the mini-fit he threw last year when Malphabet came on board.

Millar is one of The 25 -- he drew The Walk -- but I won't be upset if/when he goes. He's an incredibly streaky hitter who hasn't really caught fire this year, he's been (for the most part) brutal in the field, and I don't put much stock in his clubhouse intangibles.

Gammons is supposed on WEEI this afternoon and will undoubtedly talk more about it. ... Coupled with assorted players not thrilled with Curt the Closer, it seems like there is a fair amount of unhappiness in the clubhouse.

Also: Jay Payton DFA'd; Ramon Vazquez traded to Cleveland for Alex Cora (.205/.250/.288). Umm ... yay? Actually, Cora can play a decent 2B and SS, has some speed, and isn't hurt. Maybe he can fill the "Pokey" role this year. Cora should be with the team in Baltimore for tonight's game.

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