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April 26, 2007
Curt Schilling's next start isn't until Tuesday at home against Oakland.
He'll even have an extra day of rest because Boston has Monday off.
But this afternoon, Schilling already was preparing for the A's. He was sitting down in front of a video machine, intently watching himself pitch against Oakland in a game from last season, no doubt looking to pick up some pointers on how to handle the A's at Fenway Park next week.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 6:00 PM | Permalink
Dice-K in The Big Apple
Daisuke Matsuzaka will get his first look at Yankee Stadium tomorrow night when he pitches the opener of the three-game series.
Dice-K, though, already has seen the vaunted Yankee lineup. And, while he got credit for the 7-6 win last Sunday night at Fenway Park, the right-hander was fairly ordinary, surrendering six runs on eight hits in seven-plus innings.
Now, New York will be facing Matsuzaka for the second time. It will be interesting to see how batters fare against Dice-K and his funky delivery and arsenal of pitches the second time around, having seen his act once.
Francona doesn't seem concerned.
"Hitters are going to make adjustments. That's part of baseball," said Francona. "But Dice-K has a lot of different pitches and command of a lot of different pitches. Our hope is we get a game plan we can execute. He can pitch backwards sometimes (fastballs in breaking-ball counts, and vice versa).
"He's a pretty good pitcher. There will be a lot of firsts. His first time on the mound at Yankee Stadium. In New York for the first time. But we didn't sign him to help us in the first three months of the year. We signed him to help us for a long time. And the more we find out about him, the more excited we get," said Francona.
Dice-K got a head start to New York. He left the Sox' clubhouse before batting practice this afternoon after getting in a light workout. He was taking Amtrak's Acela to New York.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 5:50 PM | Permalink
Center fielder Coco Crisp, who has been suffering from tightness of his left oblique, took some batting practice in the cage this afternoon, the second day in a row he participated in that activity.
Manager Terry Francona said Crisp didn't feel any ill effects from yesterday's session and remained hopeful that he'd be able to start tomorrow night in the opener of the three-game series in Yankee Stadium.
If he can't play, there's the possibility Crisp would have to be placed on the disabled list.
Crisp wasn't in the best of moods this afternoon.
"I'm fine," he said softly. "I'm just not a very talkative person right now. I feel the same. Play Friday? That's the plan."
Crisp now has missed five straight games. Once again, Wily Mo Pena replaced him in center.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 5:44 PM | Permalink
The Sox on The Sock
Curt Schilling emphatically refused this afternoon to discuss the latest controversy surrounding his bloody sock, the one he wore during the second game of the 2004 World Series, which resides in a display in the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Catcher Doug Mirabelli, though, who was thrown under the bus by Orioles TV announcer Gary Thorne Wednesday night for allegedly having admitted the blood was really red paint, did speak to the media. So did manager Terry Francona. And Thorne met with the media briefly yesterday as well.
"It was miscommunication," said Thorne of the remark he said Mirabelli made that led him to believe the sock was painted and not bloody.
"I was doing a (Red Sox) game. I don't remember when it was, but it was well after the (Sox' 2004 World Championship) fact. It (Mirabelli's remark) was joking or being sarcastic in the clubhouse that I took to be serious. We were talking about something else and my last question was about the sock really being bloody," said Thorne, standing around the batting cage, surrounded by TV cameras and other media members as the Orioles took BP.
"I never really thought much about it at the time (of uttering the remark). It came up, a comment was made (Wednesday night). I didn't think it was a big deal. It's a non-issue. It (2004) was a great year (for the Sox). It was a tremendous playoffs. Schilling was outstanding. He did the warrior stuff. So, okay. I guess I don't get it. Obviously this is much bigger than I thought," said Thorne.
Thorne called Mirabelli yesterday and the two of them hashed it out.
Mirabelli said his main concern was that the "off-the-cuff" remark would affect his relationship with Schilling.
"Any time you're associated with something like that it came damage relationships with friends and teammates," said Mirabelli, who said he didn't even know who Thorne was until seeing his face in the Orioles media guide.
Schilling assured him there was no damage control that needed to be addressed.
"(Thorne) said he assumed from what I said that (the sock was painted). By no means was that what I meant. He said I said to him, "We got a lot of publicity out of that." That's all he can recall," said Mirabelli.
Mirabelli is known for his dead-pan style, which, in the context of what passes for clubhouse humor, makes it likely this is all a case of two plus two adding up to be eight.
"This is a non-story, childish," said Mirabelli. "The media made it up and is running with it, keeping this stuff going. As far as I'm concerned, it's over."
That's Francona's sentiment, too.
"I'm disappointed this happened," said Francona, whose sleep was interrupted several times this morning from media members seeking comment.
"That (Schilling's performances on a sutured ankle) was one of the most miraculous performances I've been around," he said. "I'm disappointed there are factions of people who want to believe (it was paint and not blood). That's a shame. It's not true. Gary's a great guy. I'm hopeful it was just wires getting crossed and we'll move on."
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 5:10 PM | Permalink
Tonight's lineup, with more to come
BALTIMORE -- The lineup for tonight . . .
Julio Lugo ss
Kevin Youkilis 1b
David Ortiz dh
Manny Ramirez lf
J.D. Drew rf
Mike Lowell 3b
Jason Varitek c
Wily Mo Pena cf
Dustin Pedroia 2b
Josh Beckett p
Brian Roberts 2b
Melvin Mora 3b
Nick Markakis rf
Miguel Tejada ss
Aubrey Huff 1b
Jay Payton lf
John Gibbons dh
Ramon Hrernandez c
Corey Patterson cf
Adam Loewen p
We're in the clubhouse now, and we'll soon have . . .
-- More reaction on sock-gate. We've talked to Doug Mirabelli and are waiting for Curt Schilling.
-- News on Coco Crisp, who took hitting today.
-- A look ahead to Daisuke Matsuzaka's first start at Yankee Stadium.
And more. Come back soon.
-- STEVEN KRASNER
Posted by Art Martone at 4:41 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for April 26
-Josh Beckett is 4-0 for the first time in his career. He's 7-1 with the Red Sox in April.
-Alex Cora is 6 for 15 in his last 6 games with an at-bat. He's batting .368 for the season.
-Mike Lowell has hit safely in 11 straight games, and is 16 for 42 (.381) during that span with two doubles and four home runs.
-David Ortiz is 19 for 57 (.333) with 5 home runs and 18 RBI in his last 15 games.
-J.D. Drew is 0 for his last 8, and 3 for his last 18.
-Julio Lugo is 2 for his last 15 and 4 for his last 31 (.129).
Red Sox vs. Adam Loewen
-Manny Ramirez, 3 for 4, 1 HR
-Jason Varitek, 2 for 3, 0 HR
-Coco Crisp, 1 for 2, 0 HR
-Wily Mo Pena, 3 for 7, 0 HR
-Mike Lowell, 2 for 6, 0 HR
-Kevin Youkilis, 1 for 5, 0 HR
-Julio Lugo, 0 for 1
-David Ortiz, 0 for 2
-Dustin Pedroia, 0 for 3
J.D. Drew has never faced Loewen.
Orioles vs. Josh Beckett
-Jay Payton, 5 for 11 (.455), 0 HR
-Miguel Tejada, 1 for 3, 1 HR
-Aubrey Huff, 1 for 5, 0 HR
-Paul Bako, 0 for 7
-Corey Patterson, 0 for 5
-Jay Gibbons, 0 for 3
-Melvin Mora, 0 for 3
-Nick Markakis, 0 for 2
Chris Gomez, Kevin Millar and Brian Roberts have never faced Beckett.
-At 13-7, the Red Sox are tied with the New York Mets for the best winning percentage in the majors (.650).
-Manny Ramirez last night passed Bernie Williams and now has more RBI at Camden Yards (67) than any opposing player. He has 137 RBI against Baltimore, which is third all-time behind Carl Yastrzemski (170) and Harmon Killebrew (165).
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:31 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Bloody Sock -- Sox' Response
The Red Sox' only official response to the latest questions about whether Curt Schilling had blood or paint on his sock in the 2004 postseason came from Boston President/CEO Larry Lucchino this afternoon.
"In regards to the remarks made on Wednesday by Baltimore Orioles announcer Gary Thorne, the Red Sox will not respond to or dignify these insinuations with extensive comment. Such gossip occurred in 2004 and we will not participate in further comment other than to remind everyone that we remain steadfastly proud of the courageous efforts by a seriously injured Curt Schilling -- efforts that helped lead the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series Championship."
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 3:04 PM | Permalink
| Comments 1
Pitching Manny inside
On two notable occasions, Baltimore Orioles pitchers buzzed Manny Ramirez inside. Once it worked, the second time it didn't. In the first inning, flamethrowing starter Daniel Cabrera fired one high and tight. Ramirez dropped his bat and backpedaled out of the box. Cabrera ended up getting Ramirez on a called third strike to end the inning.
Later, in a critical spot in the seventh inning, sidearming former Sox reliever Chad Bradford spun a pitch right in the direction of Manny's knees. Once again Ramirez scurried out of the way. But Bradford doesn't deliver the heat that Cabrera does, and in any case Ramirez was not intimidated. He ended up lining a pitch to right-center for an RBI single, ending Ramirez's 0-for-12 drought. Still later in the game, he hit one much harder, but Corey Patterson (who probably could have caught the seventh-inning single had he played it better) made a spectacular catch to possibly rob Ramirez of his third home run of the season.
Interesting managing, by the way, by Baltimore skipper Sam Perlozzo, who brought in Jamie Walker to face David Ortiz, even though Ortiz was 5-for-9 for his career with 3 home runs off Walker. Ortiz had a terrific at-bat, facing 11 pitches despite falling behind 0-and-2 before placing a single into left field in front of Jay Payton, who was playing way deep. Then it was exit Walker, and enter Bradford, to face Ramirez, even though Manny was 7-for-12 with a home run in his career off of the pitcher. This is why the Sox are 21-3 against these guys since September 2005.
In case you missed it, Ramirez talked manager Terry Francona out of resting him for last night's game. That makes Ramirez one of only three Red Sox players (along with Ortiz and J.D. Drew) to appear in all 20 games so far.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 2:19 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Another sock update: Dr. Morgan also says it was blood
Dr. Bill Morgan, the Red Sox team physician during the 2004 postseason who performed the surgical procedures that allowed Curt Schilling to pitch despite his injured ankle, said today there is no question that the red spots on Schilling's socks were, in fact, blood.
''Absolutely,'' he said on WEEI Radio's Dale and Holley Show.
''It was what it was,'' said Morgan. ''You can't stick a needle into a guy and don't expect him to bleed a little bit.''
Morgan explained why the procedure caused the bleeding.
''We used a pretty big needle to be able to stitch his skin down to the bone,'' he said. ''And in doing so, after putting in six to seven stitches, it's going to ooze a little bit even if he wasn't going out to play professional baseball. I expected a little bit of bleeding, and these cotton socks are like a sponge. They make a [small amount of bleeding] look like [a lot].''
He also dismissed the notion that Schilling would think of discoloring his sock.
''We were in a very, very intense game,'' Morgan said, ''and I think he had a little bit more on his mind than manicuring his sock.''
Posted by Art Martone at 1:15 PM | Permalink
Projo SoxTalk: Schilling reinvents himself on the mound
Today on projo SoxTalk, Steve Krasner speaks to us from his hotel in Baltimore, where last night he saw Curt Schilling put on a vintage performance -- sort of. The results were vintage, but the method was not. As Schilling loses velocity on his fastball, he's forced to rely more on wits.
Here's an excerpt from Steve's conversation with sports editor Art Martone:
Krasner: "He's getting outs, as he says. He's certainly not throwing 96 miles an hour anymore, in fact his fastball is more in the 88-89 range, but he's managing to get outs. He's getting the opposition to swing early in the count, which keeps him in the game longer."
Martone: Do you think eventually this changing style of pitching, the other teams will adopt to it, and that they'll be able to hit him a little bit easier, or do you think he's actually reinveting himself for the maybe third time in his career and is going to be able to continue pitching this way indefinitely?
Krasner: Well he's definitely reinventing himself, and I think quality pitchers are able to learn and adjust to what they have and be able to survive because you're one step ahead of the hitter, or your able to put the ball where you want to. Location obviously is important. I think the opposition will catch up to what he's doing, and I think what that means is maybe they'll be looking more offspeed and not worried that he's going to blow the fastball by them, because at 88-89 they'll be able to react to it. So it's a constant battle of adjustments for everybody, and certainly for Schilling, but when you're a quality pitcher, somehow someway you find ways to get outs."
Krasner and Martone also discuss last night's strange at-bat by Julio Lugo, and last night's great at-bat by David Ortiz. Click here to listen to the full audio.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:50 AM to Krasner
Sock update: Hall of Fame says it's real blood
And they know, according to the Associated Press, because the color of the sock that's displayed in the Hall of Fame, from Game 2 of the 2004 World Series, is now brown, a natural discoloration of blood over time.
Hall of Fame spokesman Jeff Idelson said he has “no idea” where Schilling's bloody sock from the ALCS is being kept, but is confident that the second bloody sock, which Schilling delivered to Cooperstown himself, is authentic.
“We have no reason to doubt Curt, who has a profound respect for the history of the game and is cognizant of his role as a history maker,” Idelson said. He added, “The stain on the sock is now brown, which is what happens to blood over time.”
Posted by Art Martone at 10:50 AM | Permalink
Baseball Today: Thursday, April 26
Interesting day in baseball (though aren't they all?) . . .
ONE AND DONE: It's rare that a 6-1 game is decided in one at-bat, but Steven Krasner says that's what happened last night in Baltimore. (projo.com) The fact that the at-bat was from David Ortiz wasn't so rare. Kraz gives a good breakdown of Ortiz' 11-pitch battle with Jamie Walker that ended with him dumping a run-scoring single to left-center with two outs in the seventh, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving the Sox the lead for good.
HAVEN'T WE BEEN THROUGH THIS? Curt Schilling's bloody sock was front-and-center on the Orioles' television broadcast last night, as announcer Gary Thorne announced casually on the air that the blood seeping through Schilling's stitches as he pitched against the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS and the Cardinals in Game 2 of the World Series ''was painted. Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after. It was all for PR.'' (The Boston Globe) When asked about it by Gordon Edes between innings last night, Thorne said he had been told this by Mirabelli ''a couple of years ago . . . Go ask him [Mirabelli].''
Edes did, along with others in the Red Sox clubhouse and in the organization. The reaction was swift and angry.
Mirabelli: ''What? Are you kidding me? He's [expletive] lying. A straight lie. I never said that. I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood."
Manager Terry Francona: ''What we're going through today as a nation, you hate to use a word like heroic on the field, but what Schill did that night on the sports field was one of the most incredible feats I ever witnessed. [Thorne's remarks] go so far past disappointing. Disrespectful to Schill, to his vocation. I'm stunned. I am just floored. Schill takes his share of shots, and this one is so far below the belt that I'm embarrassed and I wish somebody would have had the good conscience to ask me. I saw the leg. If that had been painted, I wouldn't have had my knuckles so white, and having so much anxiety.''
Team president Larry Lucchino, responding via e-mail: ''I have never heard any such thing internally, and I refuse to believe it now. It was a courageous moment for Curt Schilling and a glorious moment for the Red Sox, and it shouldn't be sullied with such speculation now."
Schilling: ''It gets stupider. I got the 9-inch scar for you. You can see it. There are some bad people in your line of work, man."
The only thing close to a non-denial denial came from GM Theo Epstein, who -- in I-refuse-to-dignify-this-with-a-comment mode -- refused to dignify it with a comment: ''You're kidding me, right? I'm the GM of the team, not Jerry Springer. I couldn't give two [expletives] about what was on his sock, I care that we won the game. The rest, and Gary Thorne, is just noise."
From the Orioles' clubhouse, Kevin Millar chimed in: ''It was definitely blood. He had some stitches there. It was a hell of an injury at the time. So I think that was more [Mirabelli possibly] messing with Schilling. Like I said, I just saw blood and that was the bottom line and thank God we won that game. Blood or ink, it was a win. I mean, it was one of the single greatest performances I've ever been around. He couldn't walk and Dr. Morgan found a way to do something with his ankle and he manned up for us. It was a big performance at the time."
Edes' story concluded by saying the Red Sox may seek a retraction from Thorne.
And talk radio has ready-made programming for the day.
THE TRANSCRIPT: Allan Wood relates the entire conversation between Thorne and fellow announcer Jim Palmer. (joyofsox.blogspot.com)
I HAVE TO ADMIT, I SMILED AT THIS ONE: Old friend FelixMantilla on the Sons of Sam Horn board finds it ironic "that now it's G38 who is getting 'Swift-Boated.' '' (sonsofsamhorn.net)
FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH: Schilling himself doesn't address the issue at all in his breakdown of the game, in which he calls the game-tying home run by Miguel Tejada "an inexcusable mistake" on his part ("I went to [the] curve ball, and threw what can only be described as a hanger. I knew when I let it go that I didn’t finish it, and was praying that it went to the backstop or something, but it didn’t.'') He also ruminates a bit on last weekend's Yankees series, and laughs at those who think Mariano Rivera is losing it. ''Check back in September when he’s sitting on 40+ saves and a 2 ERA,'' he writes. (38pitches.com)
NEXT TIME, CALL TIME: Kraz' Inside The Game examines the strange episode in which plate umpire Angel Hernandez refused to grant Julio Lugo time when he stepped out of the box, resulting in a called strike, then instructed Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera to throw when Lugo wouldn't step back in, resulting in another called strike. (projo.com) Can't say I've ever seen that one before.
FAMILIAR SIGHT: This one, though -- Coco Crisp possibly headed to the disabled list because of an early April injury -- is a little too familiar. (projo.com)
LET'S TRY AGAIN: This is one of the entries that got wiped out in yesterday's computer crash. Joe Posnanski asked Bill James to come up with a list of players who could have made the Hall of Fame had the circumstances of their careers been just a little different. (thesoulofbaseball.blogspot.com) James' list has a distinct Red Sox tinge to it, as it includes Fred Lynn (Hall killer: leaving Fenway Park), Elston Howard (Hall killer: playing behind Yogi Berra for so many years and spending 95 percent of his career in the Death Valley-for-righthanded-hitters known as the old Yankee Stadium) and Luis Tiant (Hall killer: playing two meaningless years at the end of his career, delaying his Hall eligibility past the time when pitchers with similar statistics to his, like Catfish Hunter, were being elected, and into a time when a wave of 300-game winners hit the ballot, crushing his chances). It's a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it.
A LOOK BACK: Mention of Tiant prompted Posnanski to take a closer look at Looie's incredible 1968 season with the Indians . . . which is of particular interest to Joe, since he grew up in Cleveland as an Indians fan.
SAD BUT FAMILIAR: It like Bill James once said: There are probably more players who could have been Hall of Famers were it not for injuries than there are Hall of Famers. (Chicago Sun Times)
HOLD YOUR HORSES: FoxSports' Dayn Perry puts the pace in perspective. Though I don't know, why couldn't Josh Beckett go 36-0?
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:50 AM | Permalink
Was that paint on his sock?
The TV play-by-play man for the Baltimore Orioles said during last night's broadcast that Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli told him that it was paint, not blood, on Curt Schilling's sock during Schilling's fabled Game 6 performance in Yankee Stadium during the 2004 American League Championship Series.
Gary Thorne, a broadcaster with a national reputation, said this to broadcast partner Jim Palmer, according to today's Boston Globe: "The great story we were talking about the other night was that famous red stocking that he wore when they finally won, the blood on his stocking."
"Nah," Thorne said. "It was painted. Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after. It was all for PR."
The Globe's Gordon Edes caught up with Mirabelli after last night's Red Sox win. Mirabelli said this when told of Thorne's remark: "What? Are you kidding me? He's [expletive] lying. A straight lie. I never said that. I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood." According to the Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck, Mirabelli could be heard after the game saying he wouldn't know Thorne "if he walked in here."
Schilling also denied the story, offering to show reporters a nine-inch scar and adding: "There are some bad people in your line of work, man," Edes reported.
Former teammate Kevin Millar spoke up in Schilling's defense in the Baltimore clubhouse, while the Red Sox told Edes that they may seek a retraction.
Thorne is a newcomer to the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which broadcasts Orioles games, but he has spent seven years broadcasting the NHL for ABC; covered the Nagano Olympics in Japan for CBS; and has been a radio broadcaster for the New York Mets and a TV broadcaster to the Chicago White Sox, among many other listings on his broadcast resume.
It will be interesting to see if Schilling addresses this issue today on his 38Pitches blog.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 7:31 AM | Permalink