March 8, 2006

Dominican Duo In Mid-Season Form

David Ortiz hit two home runs (both off LHP) yesterday, leading the Dominican Republic to an 11-5 victory over Venezuela in the first round of the World Baseball Classic. He also walked twice, drove in three runs and scored three times.

Curt Schilling wondered: "What's more ridiculous, that or Manny?"

Ramirez went 2-for-2 with 3 RBI in his first spring game yesterday. Papelbon: "Singling on the first pitch [in the first inning] -- the whole dugout started laughing." ... Schilling: "Hasn't seen a pitch in what, six months? Single to right. Yawning."

Schilling says he'll be pitching more aggressively inside this season. "It's something I've never, ever done, for any length of time in the past. It's something I've always needed to do. I've said in the past I would try it and do it and I've never really been efficient at it. I'm going to change that this year."

John Flaherty (who had a rough time catching Tim Wakefield on Sunday) has retired, leaving Josh Bard and Ken Huckaby fighting for the backup catcher spot. I'm rooting for Bard. Huckaby (while he has intangibles) remains slowed by a sore knee (tweaked in BP after offseason surgery).

Earlier this week, both Bronson Arroyo (1.2 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs) and Josh Beckett (3 IP, 5 runs) were less than impressive in their first outings.

Would the Sox start the season with a 10-man pitching staff? Tito: "Having two days [off during the first week] can throw things into a little disarray. It's going to be interesting. Maybe health plays a part, but I'm not comfortable having a five-man rotation with two days off. ... The one thing I’m worried about is not getting enough out of Papelbon. He’s such a dominant pitcher at this age, I want to make sure we get the most out of him that we can."

Sean McAdam has some good quotes about the possible effects of MLB's policy of testing for amphetamines:
Jerry Remy: "For years, I think they've been a bigger problem than steroids. They were a common practice for as long as I've been around the game."

A National League manager: "I'll have to manage differently. Players are going to need more rest."

Longtime MLB player: "It's different for pitchers, but for position players -- I'm not sure how those guys do it, playing every day, in the heat, for six months. Really, I don't."

Longtime scout: "I don't think it will be noticeable in the first half. But it means the dynamic in August will change. The guys who play on emotion will be affected the most."
Three notes from the CHB:

This from a new book, "Pedro, Carlos and Omar," by Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News: "Pedro mentioned how he was not eagerly awaiting the Mets' 2006 interleague schedule, which called for a June 27-29 series in Boston, with an off-day in Beantown before the opener, no less ... Pedro even suggested he might ask pitching coach Rick Peterson to align the rotation so he could avoid the Red Sox and instead pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays, then at Yankee Stadium."

The Red Sox already have contacted Ted Kennedy about throwing out the first ball five years from now when Fenway celebrates its 100th birthday. Kennedy, who will be 80 in 2012, said, "I'm practicing. I've been watching and checking the distance and getting ready. That would be great -- especially since Grandpa threw the ball out in 1912." Boston Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, Kennedy's grandfather, threw out the first pitch at the inaugural Fenway opener.

Johnny Damon T-shirt seen in Florida: "Looks like Jesus, acts like Judas, throws like Mary."
And Johnny? Why don't you talk about your own teammates for a change? Or better yet, just STFU!

David Wells does not like Bud Selig: "He needs to resign ... there's so much hatred against Bud right now. It's a joke. Nobody likes him. ... He has no clue. He's clueless. ... He's a piece of [expletive]. And you can quote me on that."

Not that there's any bias towards certain players in the Boston media (cough, cough) but can you imagine the firestorm if Manny had called Selig (I'm assuming here) a "piece of shit"?


Zenslinger said...

It has not been a boring spring, I can tell you that. I'll be relieved to get to some actual baseball.

I live in San Francisco and I'm not looking forward to going to the Park and listening to people defend Barry.

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock: Who makes what comments certainly does play a part in the press reaction, but since Bud Selig IS a piece of shit and everyone knows it, I don't think you picked the best example.

Does anyone know how good Adam Stern really is? He sure looked special yesterday. Not looking special: Junior, who was dogging it all day...and he wasn't the only one. The guys like Stern, with something to prove, will make the difference in this tournament, and all power to them. The real pros, like Varitek and Ortiz, will also shine, but the WBC is going to tell us a lot about the character of some other "superstars."