BOSTON -- Julian Tavarez has cleared waivers and accepted his minor-league assignment. The right-handed reliever will join the PawSox at some point in the next couple of days. He was designated for assignment on May 12.
Some teams showed interest in the versatile pitcher, but did not grab him. The Red Sox are still responsible for Tavarez's contract, which he's still owed about $2.8 million for the rest of the season.
In another roster move, the Red Sox optioned reliever Chris Smith back to Pawtucket.
BOSTON -- Jon Lester has received a ton of e-mails, phone calls and text messages to congratulate him on his no-hitter against the Royals Monday night at Fenway Park.
Through it all, the Red Sox’ left-hander still hasn’t had time to relax and let his accomplishments sink in.
"Not yet," he said Tuesday afternoon. "It’s probably one of those things that I’ll get to enjoy a little bit later on."
Lester spent most of the day talking to his parents and actually got to say hello to fellow cancer survivor Lance Armstrong during an ESPN SportsCenter standup from Fenway Park early Tuesday afternoon.
After he met with the local media, following Monday’s heroics, he said he would be interested to see how he felt this morning due to the fact he tossed a career-high 130 pitches during his no-no.
"Physically I’m tired from not sleeping,'' he said. "Right now it’s just kind of the normal soreness and it’ll be nice because we get an extra day with the way the rotation is set up. I don’t have to do anything today and I’ll get back to my normal routine (on Wednesday)."
BOSTON -- Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has now caught more no-hitters (four) than any other catcher in baseball history, and manager Terry Francona doesn't it's no accident.
"I don't think that part is a fluke," said Francona. "When pitchers buy into 'Tek, they're going to be better."
As an example, Francona cited Josh Beckett, who often clashed with Varitek over pitch selection in his first season in Boston. When Beckett became less stubborn and let his catcher call more of the game, he enjoyed his first 20-win season last year.
* * * *
Francona has been substituting Alex Cora for shortstop Julio Lugo late in games recently, including four times in the last five games.
That's partly out of concern for Lugo after suffering a mild concussion in Minnesota and partly because Lugo has been in a fielding slump, committing four errors in the last five games.
"Cora's pretty good," pointed out Francona. "Now that we're 50 games or so into the season, I wouldn't be doing my job correctly if I didn't do (things to help us win). Having our best defensive team out there is an obligation."
Francona said he has spoken with Lugo about the substitutions and values the open communication.
"If you're doing the right thing,'' he said, "but you don't get the player to understand it, that it's not the right thing."
* * * * Curt Schilling's throwing program continues, with the veteran pitcher stretched out to a distance of 100 feet recently.
BOSTON -- The cleats that Jon Lester wore during his no-hit effort on Monday night will be heading for display at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
They won't be the only mementos from the special night that will be on the way to the Hall, though.
The no-hitter was the fourth caught by Jason Varitek, an all-time record. Several catchers had been behind the plate for three no-hitters, but Varitek has caught the gems tossed by Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz and now Lester.
Varitek will be sending the entire set of catching gear he wore Monday night for display in the Hall.
The Red Sox bullpen is in right-center, far away from from what Jon Lester was doing on the mound Monday night against the Royals.
The relievers, though, were well aware that Lester was working on a no-hitter. Manny Delcarmen noticed in the sixth inning.
They weren't terribly superstitious in the bullpen as the outs kept piling up. But they didn't want to mention the term "no-hitter" for fear of jinxking it.
"We were trying not to think about it," said Delcarmen this afternoon. "We were talking about other things, anything else."
When Lester fanned Alberto Callaspos for the final out of the ninth, finishing off his gem, Delcarmen led the charge from the bullpen to the infield in front of home plate to take part in the celebration.
"Running in to congratulate him was the fastest sprint of the year for me," said Delcarmen.
Delcarmen, who played with Lester at various minor-league stops, was thrilled for his teammate, especially given the serious health issues that threatened Lester's life, never mind his baseball career, only about 18 months ago.
"I'm so happy for him," said Delcarmen. "He's been through so much. And here he's been in the World Series (the winner in the decisive Game Four against Colorado) and now this. He keeps getting milestones and hopefully there will be more to come. It's pretty cool."
The current weather forecast (provided by the Red Sox private weather service, Meteorlogix) in the vicinity of Fenway Park calls for the possibility of light rain showers during the late afternoon and evening hours.
The Fenway Park gates will open at the regularly scheduled time of 5:05 p.m., and the Red Sox expect that tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game with the Kansas City Royals will be played. However, the Red Sox would like to alert our fans to the current forecast.
This forecast is of course subject to change as the day progresses. Additional updates will be provided as necessary.
Charlie Zink gave up two unearned runs and one hit in six innings of work, while Jonathan Van Every and Chris Carter hit home runs today as the Pawtucket Red Sox beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 3-2, to complete their four-game series in Pennsylvania. Former New York Yankee Jeff Karstens took the loss.
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Lester writes Red Sox history
Click the play button below to hear Sean's comments, recorded this morning. Today's edition is all about Jon Lester's no-hitter, including a review of the many memorable starts in Lester's career so far, how the Sox might try to manage Lester's workload after he threwing so many pitches last night, and how much impact Jason Varitek has had on the Sox' remarkable wealth of no-nos.
NO NO? The pitcher was Jon Lester, the opponent was the Kansas City Royals, the site was Fenway Park . . .
Journal photos / Bob Breidenbach
YES YES! . . . and the result was the fourth Red Sox no-hitter in the last eight seasons, and the second in 8 1/2 months. (ProJo Sox Blog) It's funny; I came in from walking the dog as the Royals were batting in the sixth inning and I knew right away -- just by the tone of Don Orsillo's voice and the phraseology he was using -- that Lester had a no-hitter. (I'd left the house in the second, and knew from cell-phone updates that the Sox were ahead 5-0.) We all have our superstitions during no-hitters -- the Boston Globe found out what some of the fans' were -- and so, while my wife rocked anxiously and kept saying things like, "This is so nerve-wracking!", I was careful, like Orsillo, not to comment on what we were watching. Even when I was conducting business, such as when I talked on the phone to Sean McAdam in the press box in the bottom of the seventh, I didn't say what I thought was going to happen.
Because what I thought was: This is in the bag.
I really did. Sean has an excellent piece on the future of the Red Sox' young pitchers -- it's pretty rare when two members of your starting rotation, and the two youngest members to boot, both have no-hitters -- in which he talked extensively with Theo Epstein, and I was intuitively impressed, even just by watching from the sixth inning on, with what Epstein articulated: "Stuff-wise, [Lester] was very special. I was more excited about the stuff than the result. For the first time since 2005, he had that good velocity, up in the zone."
Obviously, no no-hitter is guaranteed -- it was just as likely that he'd make a bad pitch, or someone would bloop something somewhere, or even that someone would just put a good at-bat on him and hit a pitcher's pitch into the gap -- but I was pretty confident he'd finish it off. And he did. Kenyon provides the game details.
I REMEMBER MEL: If you're of a certain age, you remember Mel Parnell as the ace left-hander of the '40s and '50s Red Sox. If you're of another age, like me, you remember him as the likeable (if quiet) color commentator on the '60s radio and TV broadcasts. (You may have heard his inelegant call of the final out of 1967's season-ending win over the Twins: "Little soft pop up, Petrocelli will take it, HE DOES! The ballgame's over!" It paled in comparison to Ned Martin's "And there's pandemonium on the field!" declaration on radio.) If your memory doesn't stretch back any father than the '70s, you probably don't remember him at all. But, as Baseball Musings' David Pinto notes, Parnell was the last Red Sox left-hander to pitch a no-hitter prior to Lester . . . and that was back in 1956.
PUT IT ASIDE FOR A NIGHT: On the LoHud Yankees Blog, Peter Abraham -- who notes that we've all been touched by cancer, either personally or through a friend or family member -- says everyone, "even if [the cap you're wearing] has an interlocking N and Y on it," should cheer Lester. "Sometimes it’s OK to root for the other team," he concludes. Most of the commenters agreed, though some -- while not wishing Lester ill -- said they couldn't root for a Red Sox pitcher to throw a no-hitter no matter what the circumstances. But poster "seriously" has perhaps the best take of all: "Robinson Cano had 18 [no-hit] games this season, Lester only one. Don’t worry,we’re still the winner."
VIDEO ENTRIES: Already, amateur videos of the final out are popping up on YouTube. This videographer had wonderful seats just to the right of home plate:
While this one was in Conigliaro's Corner on the right-field roof:
And this one -- who had terrific fan reaction immediately after the last out -- was in the upper boxes on the third-base side:
Quite a night.
THE FLIP SIDE OF THE COIN: Rany Jazayerli, the remaining half of Rob and Rany On The Royals (it's now, of course, Rany On The Royals), wasn't quite as thrilled as we were up here, though he says if the Royals had to be no-hit by anybody, he's glad it was by cancer survivor Jon Lester. Blogger Mark Laflamme, a Royals fan who lives in New England, describes it as hurting as much as "a bicycle crossbar to the crotch." Ouch. In the mainstream media, Joe Posnanski -- saying "[there] are not many places in the world that are quieter than the losing clubhouse after a no-hitter" -- gets the post-mortems from the no-hitees. (Kansas City Star)
'HE'S PLAYING THE HAND HE'S BEEN DEALT': Hank Steinbrenner had praise for the card-player (Joe Girardi) but not for the dealer (Brian Cashman) as he discussed the Yankees' slow start. (New York Times) Still, the Daily News' Bob Raissman says Cashman needn't worry; he believes Hank -- or "Hankenstein," as he calls him -- is more hot air than fire, unlike his father.
THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO JINX A YANKEE: That construction worker/Red Sox fan who buried a David Ortiz jersey at the new Yankee Stadium -- which the Yanks dug up at enormous cost, to break a potential Big Papi hex -- is now telling friends he also buried a program from the 2004 ALCS there. (New York Times)
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Old pal Rob Neyer tries to get to the bottom of one of the Thurman Munson legends -- the one where he becomes infuriated by an item in that day's press notes that he had two fewer assists than arch-enemy Carlton Fisk, so he deliberately dropped three third strikes in order to throw the batters out at first and pass Fisk in the assists category -- and concludes there's nothing to it. (ESPN.com, printing an excerpt of Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends)
THE FALLOUT: Ryan Braun says he didn't think the Brewers went into Boston expecting to win last weekend -- and they didn't -- and general manager Doug Melvin believes it's a matter of confidence. Milwaukee had it last year, he thinks, and now the players have to get it back. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
CHANGE IN PLANS: The Toronto Star's Richard Griffin says things haven't exactly gone as planned during J.P. Ricciardi's term as Blue Jays general manager. The Jays, he says, have not become the player-development machine -- to coin a Theo Epstein phrase -- Ricciardi promised when he took over seven years ago.
Red Sox fan may have buried more surprises at Yankee Stadium
Construction worker Gino Castignoli, who gained notoriety when he buried a David Ortiz jersey at the site of the new Yankee Stadium in an effort to "curse" the Bombers (he may have actually cursed Ortiz, who broke out of his horrendous season-opening slump almost as soon as the Yanks paid to have the shirt dug up), now says that he also left a scorecard from the 2004 American League Championship Series, when the Sox came back from three games down to beat the Yankees.
Is he telling the truth? Who knows. But if he is, as someone here said this morning, we'd like this guy to consider running for president of Red Sox Nation?