August 6, 2006

Ortiz Is First Red Sock To Hit 40 HR In Three Straight Seasons

With his home run this afternoon, David Ortiz is the first Red Sox player to hit 40 homers in three consecutive seasons. Only two other Boston players -- Carl Yastrzemski (1967, 1969-70) and Manny Ramirez (2001, 2004-05) -- have hit 40 or more homers in three different seasons. ... Flo: "I had no idea. I think I'm going to have start following history, what do you think?"

Jonathan Papelbon on throwing three straight fastballs to Dioner Navarro, who hit the third one for a game-tying home run in the eighth:
I wanted to go in on him there. ... I left it over the middle of the plate. I got him out the night before on an elevated fastball. He probably did his homework. It's all hindsight right now. I probably should have mixed it up a little bit better on him.
Shoulda seen the splitter on 0-2.

An MRI of Mike Lowell's left foot did not show a fracture and he hopes to play on Tuesday. Interestingly, the Globe reports that Dustin Pedroia started at third last night for Pawtucket.

Keith Foulke started and pitched two scoreless innings (1 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 30 pitches, 19 strikes) on Saturday for Pawtucket. He says he's ready ("I'm waiting for a call") but the team plans to have him pitch back-to-back outings for the PawSox on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Doug Mirabelli has a sprained left ankle and will be out three or four more days. ... Sunday's catcher Corky Miller played in the majors with the Reds (2001-04) and the Twins (2005).

Jim Bowden, current Washington Nationals GM, traded for Wily Mo Pena in March 2001 when he was the Reds's GM:
I've always said -- and I believe this -- if you are patient with Wily Mo, as I believe we were when we had him, by the time he hits 27 or 28 years old, he's going to hit 40-50 home runs a year in this league. You have to understand, the Yankees signed him to that contract and he was forced to learn to hit in the big leagues. It cost him three years of development. ...

He's 24 years old right now, and I think he's really in a perfect place. He's got two of the greatest hitters in the game -- David Ortiz and Manny Ramírez -- that he can learn from and emulate. ... As he matures as a hitter, he's going to become more selective at the plate and really improve as a hitter. Let's see the numbers he starts to put up when he gets 500 at-bats.
Nick Cafardo of the Globe says that Ortiz will likely be an overwhelming selection as the AL MVP, but could get some competition from Derek Jeter. He quotes a stupid AL GM: "If the Yankees beat out the Red Sox, I think you have to give it to Jeter in a slight margin of victory."

Why do people still link a player's individual award to the performance of his teammates or -- even worse -- to players in another city?


Jim said...

I remember back when I was about 7 or 8 years old and I was trying to puzzle through how Ted Williams won the Triple Crown in '42 and '47 and the MVP in '46 and '49. Adults would explain to me that, well, sportswriters vote for the MVP, and when people vote for things, they see different things. I would shake my little head and say, but what can be better than the Triple Crown? 50 years later I still can't figure out why some people complicate the obvious.

Miguel said...

Do you think the recent bullpen failures are related to not having Varitek behind the plate?

Starting Aces said...

Mark Loretta pitched a scoreless inning in 2001 with the Brewers. 2 walks, 2 K's. Hmm...

I would not be surprised if these problems were closely related to Tek being distracted by his injury when he was in, and his complete abscence now. Get him in that dugout, asap.

Jack Marshall said...

Miguel: I think Varitek's mystical pitch-calling skills are way over-played. The pitchers still have to throw a good pitch in the right spot. Tek's pitch-calling didn't do much to help Taverez earlier in the season; Beckett still threw all those home-run balls. Maybe Papelbon's errant fastball would have been a splitter with JV calling the game, but I'm dubious.