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March 8, 2008
Baldelli address rumors about his health, denying he has serious problems
BY JOE McDONALD
Journal Sports Writer
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rocco Baldelli has heard the rumors. He knows about the speculation surrounding his injury-prone major-league career. And, he says, the word frustration doesn’t put into perspective how he feels about his latest health issue and all the conspiracy theories.
He’s heard that he has multiple sclerosis. He heard that he has a rare blood disorder, or other serious diseases. He’s heard whispers of steroids. So Saturday he set the record straight for his fans and the people who care about his well-being in Rhode Island and across Major League Baseball, saying these reports are simply not true.
''I can tell you this,'' he said. ''I don’t have MS.''
And the rare blood disorder?
''No,'' he said.
''Come on. Look at this [body],'' he said, laughing, as he gestured to his 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame.
He emphatically denied all it, saying there’s no legitimacy to it to any of the rumors.
''I’ve been tested for everything under the sun, the whole gamut, trying to find the stem of what all these problems are that I’m having. I can tell you I don’t have MS, there’s no chance . . . I know it sounds bad when I’m denying specific things.''
But while he knows what it’s not, he’s still not sure exactly what it is.
Read the entire story Sunday on projo.com and in The Providence Sunday Journal
Posted by Art Martone at 2:57 PM | Permalink
Beckett had back spasms
BY SEAN McADAM
Journal Sports Writer
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox just announced that Josh Beckett scrapped his start because of lower back spasms, the result of landing funny on the follow-through to a warm-up pitch.
Beckett is being examined by Red Sox trainers and medical staff.
More to come, we presume.
Posted by Sean McAdam at 1:27 PM | Permalink
Beckett leaves mound before start
BY SEAN McADAM
Journal Sports Writer
FORT MYERs, Fla. -- Josh Beckett has left the mound at City of Palms Park today, scrapping his scheduled start against the Florida Marlins.
Beckett appeared to grab his lower back after completing a warmup toss. He summoned the umpire, manager Terry Francona and the training staff to the mound and after a brief consultation, Beckett walked off the mound and headed for the dugout.
There, Francona, pitching coach John Farrell, general manager Theo Epstein conferred briefly. Beckett then walked to the runway leading to the home clubhouse.
Manny Delcarmen, who of course had not been warming up, is now the Sox' starter.
More details when more is known.
Posted by Sean McAdam at 1:11 PM | Permalink
Baseball This Weekend: Saturday, March 8
A rare weekend sighting, but there were some interesting baseball items floating around the ether this morning . . .
NIGHTMARE ON 161ST STREET: Red Sox and Met fans in the graduating class are furious over NYU's decision to hold this year's commencement ceremonies at Yankee Stadium. (NYU News)
EVEN ODDS: In his Hacks With Haggs blog, Joe Haggerty thinks it's ''at least a 50/50 proposition that Coco Crisp is still with the team as a fourth outfielder/pinch runner when the Sox leave for Japan on March 19.
'GOD PUT ME HERE FOR A REASON': SI.com's Jon Heyman details Alex Rodriguez' decision to stay with the Yankees, and A-Rod says divine intervention played a part in it.
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS: The Yanks are worried that Joba Chamberlain is being pulled into too many directions -- ''[Kind] of drinking from a fire hose right now," is how general manager Brian Cashman put it -- and want to help him keep his attention on the tasks at hand. (New York Post)
AND THE FOCUS SHOULD BE STARTING . . . Yahoo.com's Vince Gennaro studies the issue and concludes the Yankees ''would derive almost twice as much financial value from having Chamberlain in the role of No. 3 starter instead of the setup role.''
. . . THOUGH RELIEVING WON'T BE SO BAD NOW THAT JOE TORRE'S GONE: So thinks Bronx punching bag Kyle Farnsworth, who blames his struggles -- and, by extension, the loathing Yankee Universe feels for him -- on the departed manager. (New York Post) While it's tempting to dismiss Farnsworth's whining as sour grapes, it's true that the job of Yankee reliever could be a high-risk occupation in Torre's ride-the-hot-arm-'til-he-drops hands; some of them, like new Rockie Jose Vizcaino, look like they're still paying the price. (Denver Post) It reminds me of Peter Abraham's observation from last September: ''Nobody beats The Viz, except the manager.'' (LoHud Yankees Blog)
NOT-SO-FEEL-GOOD STORY: ESPN.com's Jeff Pearlman relates how the Steroid Era casts a shadow of doubt over everything, even as potentially as uplifting a tale as Gregg Zaun's appeared to be.
BOOK REVIEW: Dave Studeman of The Hardball Times loves Bill James' newest work.
FRIEND OF BILL J.: Mariners manager John McLaren finds James' work ''intriguing''. (The News Tribune) This stands in stark contrast to managers of the past . . . like Sparky Anderson, who once called James ''a short, fat guy who don't know nothin' about nothin'.'' (James freely reported Sparky's comments, by the way, though he pointed out that he's not short.)
I'M GONNA MAKE A BRAND NEW START OF IT: The San Francisco Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins things the Mets are just desperate enough to take a flyer on Barry Bonds.
LOCAL BOYS: Ex-Providence College star John McDonald lost his starting job when the Blue Jays signed David Eckstein to play shortstop, but says he understands Toronto's decision because ''I hit .250. I mean, this is the big leagues. Things don't get handed to you.'' (The National Post)
BECAUSE TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH: MLB has sent a cease-and-desist order to Cape Cod League teams that use major-league nicknames, and is threatening to withdraw its $100,000 yearly grant to the league unless the Chatham A's, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Harwich Mariners, Bourne Braves, Orleans Cardinals and Hyannis Mets change their monikers. (Cape Cod Times) What's next, asks Abraham, going after Little League teams?
Posted by Art Martone at 10:14 AM | Permalink