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August 14, 2007
Sean McAdam rejoins us today for the latest edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. The topics: Tim Wakefield's amazing 18-2 record against the Devil Rays; Eric Gagne; Bobby Kielty; Wily Mo Pena; and Clay Buchholz.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments.
On Wakefield's 18-2 record against Tampa Bay: "Even [Rays manager] Joe Maddon, who has been there for a handful of these over the last couple of years, was stunned by that statistic after the game. I don't know if there's any plausible explanation, maybe the fact that the Devil Rays have certainly the last few years been comprised of very young and inexperienced hitters who don't have the patience for the knuckleball. I suppose you could factor in that Wakefield loves to pitch in domes and infield stadiums, where the action on the knuckleball is better, and of course in theory half his starts would come at Tropicana Field -- a domed stadium in St. Petersburg. But it may not be anything more complicated than the Devil Rays aren't very good, and when Wakefield's knuckleball is on, it's tough for any team to hit."
Will Gagne's role change? "They seem content on using him exactly as they had envisioned. Terry Francona said the worst decision I could make would be to do the easy thing, and that is, not pitch him in those [key] spots. But they know that Eric Gagne's much better than he looked in those two games in Baltimore, and they think it's important to stay behind him and show confidence in him, and know that he's going to come out of it pretty soon."
Why no one seems to want Wily Mo Pena: "It's one thing to take a gamble on Pena and not have to give up too much, because the Red Sox' asking price is obviously pretty modest here. but the problem becomes -- thanks to his service time and his arbitration eligibility -- he becomes a $4-million player next year. ... And people are saying, 'Do I really want to pay Wily Mo Pena $4-plus million in 2008,' and that is what scares a lot of teams off."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:58 AM to McAdam