Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Pedro unplugged from Cooperstown

Did you think Pedro Martinez’s pre-induction day press conference would be anything but entertaining?

Here were the highlights from his 21-minute session with the English-speaking media.

How does Pedro want to be remembered? “I’ve always been open-hearted and outspoken about the way I am. I think if you want to grasp a better idea of Pedro Martinez, you have to deal with me on a daily basis. I don’t have anything I can say that they don’t know. Maybe that I am a very regular human being, once I take my uniform off. I am lovely. I’m a joker. I’m a gardner. I’m a fisherman. I’m a father, a very dedicated father. I love my mom. I love gardening with her.”

Should there be baseball in Montreal again? “Great. Great. As soon as possible, we need a team in Montreal. I think Montreal was robbed of an opportunity to have probably a franchise that would last forever. It’s a great city. It’s probably the safest city I’ve ever played in, and I feel in Boston like I’m in my backyard. It goes to tell you that Montreal is that safe. And for people to play baseball and see baseball, and have family time, I think Montreal is the perfect place.”

Pedro visiting the Babe’s statue in Cooperstown. ““Yeah, we are teammates and I had the opportunity to go over and look at his statue and actually I did apologize for the comments I made that day [in 2001]. It was Shaughnessy and Jonny Miller getting in my face and I said those things because I didn’t believe in curses but I know especially after that moment, I got to really appreciate who the Bambino was and how good he was to the people and society, and for baseball. Oh yeah, I am his teammate. He forgave me for what I said. We moved on now. I’m counting on him to go deep and I’m going to get the next eight shutout innings.”

Pedro’s weekend experience: “You know what, this has been great. From the first moment we were announced, for some reason, these are four guys that respect, admire and look after each other to learn something from each other. I’ll tell you what, dealing with Randy, my big brother now, that’s how he calls me, my little brother, I call him my big brother, we have been hanging out together. It’s great to actually see the kind of person behind the uniform. If you watch him and watch me competing, you would never tell that Randy is the kind of guy that he is. John Smoltz, the same way. You didn’t know that John Smoltz was one guy that could pull off a prank on you at any moment. You look at them pitching, and it’s so serious, so committed to the game. You don’t perceive that whatsoever the kind of person behind it. I’m the same way. You would never tell that I’m a joker, that I’m someone so happy on days that I’m not pitching when you saw me pitching. It’s great to see that. It’s great to see the family interact with each other. How great they mix together as soon as they saw each other and they saw the way Randy and I walk around.”

Which direction will Pedro take in his speech? “I think it’s a commitment to Latin America. I feel the commitment more than anything as far as what I represent. I think it’s important that I go out there and show the level of education that I have. I’m going to be speaking in two languages, which is a little bit more difficult than people think. I’m going to be able to actually showcase how we are, how our people feel. I hope that I can express with the moment how much I love, respect and treasure everything I did in baseball, America, the people, the fanbases, the teams, the organizations, I hope I can project the right image at the time I get to the podium. Hopefully emotions won’t cut me off guard and make me cut it short.”

The 32-year-gap between Dominicans in the Hall: “You know what, what we got is what we deserve. There’s no crying in baseball we always say, right. We did not have the numbers, we did not have the kind of things that made us qualify to have another one. Juan Marichal was the Dominican Dandy, the one that represented the Dominican Republic for a long time. Now after 32 years, I showed up in the area. Now, I don’t think we’re going to wait 32 years more to get another representative. I think Vladimir Guerrero is right on the edge of becoming the next Hall of Famer. Guys that are still playing and posting numbers, I think, our going to be in the Hall of Fame, especially on the first ballot. Guys that if they decided to retire today, they would be Hall of Famers in five years, for sure.”


A-Rod a Hall of Famer? “No, I’m not talking about A-Rod, but I’m talking about Albert Pujols, maybe David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre – I think those are guys that will make it right away in the first ballot.”


Why not A-Rod? “I’m not going to go into that because there’s nothing I can do with the way voters handle who did what. Certainly the numbers are there but as you know from previous case – why not Roger Clemens, why not Barry Bonds? — because of the same reasons. So i’m not going to go into that and make a big deal out of this. I hope they all make it to be honest.

More on the juice era: “When I pitched it was the middle of that era where they say it was a juiced era. Well, guess what? I wanted the best out there, I wanted to face the best, I wanted to beat the best, I was able to do that. So if you ask me again, if I want to fact that kind of competition, yes I do. If I’m going to be given the 99 and the change-up and the curveball, bring it on again. I don’t care. There’s no crying in baseball right? I’m going to repeat that, there’s no crying in baseball, so I just hope that whoever gets a chance to make it here, makes it. It doesn’t matter. I’m not condoning people cheating the game or doing the wrong things, because I never did it. Hey, enough of the whining, let’s just play ball and face it. Once again, I’m going to repeat – i’m not condoningbad things in the game, but at the same time, let’s go and compete, let it be.”


Colin Cowherd disparaging the intellect of Dominicans: “It’s only going to be an insult to anyone that falls to that level, I’m not at that level, I’m sorry. I’m dealing here with polite people people that understand human rights, people who understand who we are and these are the people I’m paying attention to. That person, I don’t even know, I never heard of him, I don’t want to know him. I want to know the people that represent something, that mean something to us, the people that understand how we can get better.

More on Cowherd: “Yes, we are a Third World country, yes we don’t have the resources to be more educated but you know what every once in a while you’re going to get one like me, that’s not afraid to face you guys, to tell you how educated or uneducated I am, how proud I am of becoming who I am. We’re not going to stop and go back to probably the third world country that we were 30 years ago, we want to go forward, we’re looking forward. We don’t want to look down, to where he is, I want to look up to you guys, the voters, the seniors who are here, the Hall of Famers who are here and hopefully set the bar high like Roberto Clemente did.




On the bilingual approach Sunday: “Bear with me. It’s going to be in both languages. I have to go back and forth. With all due respect to America and the understanding it’s America’s pastime, baseball, and it’s played in America, I am committed to the Latin community and I am committed to America.”


Representing different cities and teams: “The same way we have fan bases in Boston, the same way in New York — believe it or not, I was a Met, and I’m proud of it. I was a Phillie, and I’m proud of it. I ran the Eastern division, I moved around. So I’m going to have people from all over and all of you are welcome and appreciated the same way. Mon amis in Montreal are welcome as well. Everybody that’s coming over is welcome. It’s part of baseball. It’s part of a huge tradition. I’m extremely proud to have had the opportunity to represent baseball in so many places, and to do it with honor and humbled to do it.”


Pedro on the fans of Boston: “They’ve got a place right here, in my heart. They’re with me here. I’m representing Boston. Like I said, I represent many things, but Boston is one place that I’m representing proudly. They can feel comfortable that Pedro is going to be Pedro. And Boston, whatever Pedro is, Boston is going along with it. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain this very much to the Bostonians, because they know what I’m made of and they know who I am. I’m a walking party in Boston. The parade just keeps going.”

Game 2 in Philly

After a glorious weather day on Opening Day, the Red Sox and Phillies are playing under dreary and raw conditions tonight.

It was somewhat interesting that Shane Victorino was not in the lineup for Game 2, after a day off on Tuesday. But Daniel Nava is going to get his share of starts also, and the same goes for Allen Craig. John Farrell has a lot of depth to manage.

Farrell said that part of the reason Victorino was sitting was the weather. No use risking an injury for someone coming off back surgery.

Victorino was 9-for-27 lifetime vs. Harang entering this one. Nava was 1-for-2.

This was the first time we’ve had a chance to speak with John Farrell since Rick Porcello signed his new contract. Here is what Farrell had to say about it.

“We’re talking about a free agent to be at 26 years old who’s pitched 200 innings, that’s evolving in his own right to be an upper echelon type of starter. It’s clearly a commitment on our ownership’s part. It’s also betting on a guy that we’ve grown to have a pretty good understanding in the two months that he’s been here, even though he hasn’t thrown a pitch yet,” Farrell said before Porcello took the mound against the Phillies. “You bet on the individual when you make these kind of investments. Rick is very detail-oriented and he’s committed to his own personal routine to prepare each and every day. And the fact he’s going to be pitching this season at 26 years of age, the five years we’re going to get him ideally at the prime of his major league career given the age and what all information would suggest with guys of that age group.”

Catching up with Papelbon

While David Ortiz was the only Red Sox All-Star this season, there was a familiar face in the room during the availability for National League All-Stars on Monday afternoon.

Jonathan Papelbon, a four-time All-Star with Boston, was back on the big stage again, this time for the Philadelphia Phillies.

As was always the case during his years with the Red Sox, Papelbon had plenty to say on a variety of subjects.

Has Papelbon’s newfound wealth changed him? “It hasn’t changed my life at all. I’m good, man. I bought two four-wheelers for hunting camp. That’s about it, man. I went from a Back Bay penthouse to a Renthouse Square penthouse. That’s about it, man. When it’s all said and done, man, I’m easy breezy. I mean, the contract for me, it never real was about money. I’ve said this from the beginning. If it was about money for me, I would have tried to stay and start.

“It was a pride thing for me. It was a thing that I felt like, what can I do to go enjoy myself every day man. But the contract for me and wanting to go year to year like I did, and into the free agency like I did, was, I think, more just the competitive thing for me. Like, I’m going to try to be the best on the field and if I can be best on the field, why not be the best off the field? You know what I mean? It’s just kind of the way I tick.”

Papelbon hasn’t lost any motivation just because he has financial security, right? “No, man, I’m always ready to go, ready to rock. I think, when that starts happening, you really have to ask yourself: should I keep playing this game? When your work ethic changes and you start getting lazy and stuff like that … I’m one of those guys, I don’t do anything [less than full speed]. That’s just what I do.”

It would have been tough for Papelbon to stay in Boston without the only manager he ever had there — Terry Francona. “Yeah. I truly do believe that. Tito told me how to play big league baseball. I tell you what, that [guy ripped into me] sometimes. He did. But a lot of times also, he picked me up when I was falling down. He told me the ins and outs of how to prepare, how to be successful, how to succeed. He told me something one day when I was a rookie, he said, I had Michael Jordan in Birmingham and he said, you’ve got to learn how to fail before you succeed. And man, something just clicked in my head.

“It’s things like that, when I was a young kid coming up, everything, from the first Spring Training I had in Baltimore, sitting down with me and explaining how it works and how to be successful and everything. He was like a father figure to me sometimes. A to Z, to go from having him for a manager from ’05 to 2011, it’s just, him being gone, that wouldn’t have been easy for me. I don’t think it’s easy for Dustin [Pedroia], and I don’t think it’s easy for anyone in that clubhouse. There are adjustments you have to make. ”

Was Papelbon gone pretty much the moment Tito left? “I’d say it pretty much closed the door, yeah. Not 100 percent but I wasn’t going to go there and not know what manager I was going to playing for. Even when Philadelphia showed interest in me, I asked around about Charlie, you know, because I think as manager has a lot to do with the way a player ticks and a way a player can go. It did – it had a whole lot. And then Theo bounces, ding, ding, ding, lightbulb went off in my head and I say to myself, Theo bounces, he created all of this. He wouldn’t just leave this behind if … so the wheels started turning.”

How weird would it have been to stay under the new regime? “I think it would be. I don’t think that would be an experience that I could really handle too well.”

The Red Sox never made an offer. “They wanted to see if I could go out and test the market and maybe come back. I don’t know if they would [have countered], but I don’t go back. I go forward.   go full steam ahead, man. I don’t look back. I’ve got a car that don’t have rearview mirrors in it, man. I just go.”

Charlie Manuel reminds Papelbon of Francona. “Charlie’s a really good manager. Charlie’s very similar to Tito. Charlie gets on you when he needs to get on you and lets you be who you need to be.”

Papelbon is thrilled for his close friend and former teammate David Ortiz. “I was saying that earlier. I’m excited for him, I’m happy for him. I mean, I think sometimes he gets his feelings get in the way but that’s Papi, man. Papi, he gets a little emotionally fired up sometimes. You guys know. I mean, I’m happy for him. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Lack of security for Ortiz, similar to Papelbon’s final years in Boston? “I think it fuels him. He just talks about it a little bit more. David, he’s an emotional guy. He puts his heart and soul into this. I find nothing wrong with what David says. I don’t find … you’ve got a small window, bro. a small window to try to succeed. And what David said and what he’s trying to do, I don’t find nothing wrong with that. no, it don’t surprise me, man.”

“Like I said, you have a small window to do your thing in this game. I’m so happy for him, man.”

Should the Red Sox weigh in intangibles more for a player like Ortiz? “Yeah, I think they should weigh it in. you’re talking about, in my opinion, the Red Sox are not the Red Sox without him, period. I don’t care what he asks for. I’m trying to make that big man happy.”

Papelbon is well aware that his former bullpen mate Daniel Bard, who is now in Triple-A, is having a rough time of it.  “I have. I haven’t talked to him. I’ve been meaning to actually talk to him here lately but, you know, Daniel’s the kind of guy, he’s a mature athlete and he knows what it’s about. He’s going to be fine. I really do think he’s going to be fine. He’s taking some bumps and some bruises right now but who doesn’t. You’re not in the big leagues if you’re not taking bumps and bruises. I took my bumps and bruises in 2010. You’re going to take some bumps and bruises. I think he’ll become better.”

Papelbon thinks Bard will be OK.  “He’s a pretty mentally strong kid. He really is. I saw that in the bullpen. I saw the days he got beat up and the way he  came back. I saw him have success the way he handled that. I think he’ll be fine.”

Papelbon unveiled in Philly

How strange did Jonathan Papelbon look in that white pinstriped Phillies uniform late Monday afternoon?

Papelbon, the all-time leader in saves for the Red Sox, is officially gone.

Here is a sampling of what he said at his unveiling today:

“This happened pretty quick, it really did. I was on the phone with my agents for a couple of days and it happened pretty quick. Quicker than I thought. For me and my personal decision, to come here was solely based on the guys showing interest in me here and Ruben showing interest in nme. Im the type of guy, I’m loyal to those who are loyal to me. It really didn’t boil down to going back to the Red Sox and seeing if they wanted me back. I knew these guys wanted me so there was no hesitation.”
Did the Red Sox lack loyalty? “No, it wan’t that at all. it was just the simple fact that the Phillies showed they were interested in me. I wanted to make this d ecision quick and get it over with. The Phillies showed the utmost loyaslty to me. I didn’t want to sit there and debeate whether I should go back to Boston or come here. the Phillies showed they wanted me, so I showed the same respect.”
The 58 at the end of his contract? “I don’t know, you’re going to have to ask Cinco Ocho that question. I can’t give you that. I can give you his phone number if you need it.”

Why the Phillies? “The Phillies were very high on my list. They were probably the number one team on my list for the simple fact is’t an environment that meks me tick. The fans are into eveyr pitch, the fans are knowledgeable about baseball. The fans aren’t going to expect anything more than what I’m going to expect out of myself.”

Fans similar to Boston: “I don’t think I’m looking to preare to come to pitch here. I don’t think anything is going to be different. I’m not going to try to come here and be a pitcher that I’m not or excced expectations or guarantee expectations. I’m going to show up every day and work and prepare the best way I can and the way I’ve done the last seven seasons in the big league.s that’s all I can do.”

Talks with the Red Sox? “To answer the first part of that question, there were no talks with the Red Sox, as far as getting something done and both of us agreeing on. There were talks but I don’t think anything kind of evolved.”

Tito and Theo leaving: “I don’t think that really played much part in my decision. That’s part of the nature of this game. players come and go every year. Coaches come and go every year.”

Any other offers, “We discussed a few other options but for me, my agents called me every day with what could possibly happen. I think one day, I finally told them, listen, I want to go play for the Phillies. Let’s make it happen. they called me two dyas later and they made it happen.”
“There’s something in my heart that feels like I was meant to be here in this city and play for this organization.”

Changing leagues, “Actually I was just talking to Charlie a little bit about that. In the American league, ther’s no looking on deck. In the National League, there’s a little bit more of a cat and mouse game. I don’t think for a closer and in my role, there’s that much of a difference. I have to go out there and preserve wins for the ballclub. That’s the bottom line. As far as the way the season ended last year, I’ve always felt if it doesn’t kill you I’ts going to make you stronger. There’s plenty of situations and plenty of ups and downs. I’ve had my fair share of ups, my fair share of downs. Those experiences, hopefully they make you better.”

Why did Ruben Amaro, Jr. want Papelbon so bad? “I think more than anything else, probably a few things. Obviously his durability,” Amaro said. “His consistency. The fact he’s had postseason experience in a very high-pressured situation. All those things were important to use because he’s kind of gone through the wars. He’s made the last pitch when it’s been necessary. Any time you’ve had someone who’s made the last pitch, that means a lot.”

Phillies GM impressed by the Red Sox

Most national publications will probably predict the Red Sox and Phillies to face off in the World Series this season. Today, the clubs squared off at City of Palms Park, which is obviously a much lighter atmosphere than a potential Fall classic would be.

The Red Sox added Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to their team. The Phillies got Cliff Lee back, their World Series hero from 2009.

Count Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. among those impressed by the Sox.

What does he think of the Sox on paper?

“This is the best club in baseball, I think,” said Amaro. “The combination of speed, power pitching and bullpen — they’re a hell of a ballclub. They don’t have a whole lot of holes.

“Any time you bring that kind of talent to your club, they did a heck of a job. They already had a great team except for a whole lot of injuries. For them being in the race, to hang around as decimated as they were, they were decimated every bit as much as the Mets were a couple years back. For them to kind of keep things afloat is pretty impressive.”

Getaway day against the good Doctor

You know how they say a great performance like the one Daisuke Matsuzaka had Saturday night can get a sputtering team on track? Today is the ultimate test. Momentum is only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher. Well, the Red Sox have a good one going in Tim Wakefield. But they are facing one of the best in the game in Roy Halladay.

The good news is that the Sox have had more success against Halladay than just about any other team, going 14-14.

Here are the Sox hitters lifetime vs. Halladay.

Ellsbury — .259, 2 homers, 4 RBIs
Pedroia — .211, 1 homer, 2 RBIs
Martinez — .333, 0 homers, 0 RBIs
Youkilis — .352, 1 homer, 7 RBIs
Drew — .300, 1 homer, 1 RBI
Beltre — .167, 0 homers, 2 RBIs
Hermida — .667, 0 HRs, 1 RBI
Scutaro — .429, 0 HR, 1 RBIs
Ortiz (available off bench), .273, 6 HRs, 24 RBIs
Varitek (available off bench) .205, 2 HRs, 10 RBIs

With a big series in Tropicana Field looming, the Red Sox could badly use a win today.

Friday night in Philly

Back to Interleague Play, where I’ve already seen John Lackey execute a perfect sacrifice bunt.

What is imperfect for the Red Sox is that David Ortiz can’t be in the lineup despite being red-hot. Kevin Youkilis is equally hot, but there’s no DH, meaning only one guy can play. Tonight, that guy is Youkilis. Perhaps by tomorrow, it will be Ortiz. But one thing manager Terry Francona said you won’t see this weekend is Youk playing third and Ortiz starting at third. Youkilis hasn’t spent any time at third this season with Mike Lowell on the roster as the backup 3B, so Francona doesn’t think it’s fair to throw that at him now.

In another encouraging sign that ace Josh Beckett will be able to return as soon as his DL stint expires on June 3, the righty played catch before Friday’s game.

“That’s the first step,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “And again I haven’t talked to him, but he will kind of ramp back up throwing, and then when he’s ready for a side, we’ll do that and then take it from there. But I think like we said the other day, we weren’t thrilled about putting him on the DL. But I think if you’re going to err — I don’t know that we did
err — but if you’re going to, we want it to be on the side of caution. I think we probably did the right thing. Now we’ll get him back up feeling good about himself.”

Jacoby Ellsbury will be back in the leadoff spot on Saturday night, which will be a most welcome thing for Red Sox followers.

Red Sox are back in season

Now that the Yankees have capped off their 27th World Series championship, the work begins all over again for 30 general managers. This is their time of year. Free agents can’t start filing as early as today.

Jason Bay and Boston’s other eligible free agents aren’t eligible to sign with another team until Nov. 19.

What will this Hot Stove season bring? While the lasting image of the 2009 Red Sox is a sweep by the Angels in the Division Series, the fact of the matter is that this team is in pretty good shape going forward.

That being said, you know Theo Epstein will do something significant. The question is, exactly what?

Will there be major changes or subtle tweaks?

On a side note, it was too bad that Pedro just didn’t have it last night. I could tell from the first pitch it wasn’t going to be his night. He didn’t have that look of excitement he normally has when he knows he has his good stuff. He was so deliberate between pitches. There was little to no life on his fastball. And Matsui got him.

The next baseball game we will see will take place under the warm sun of Fort Myers. Bundle up until then!

Pedro on deck as the drama builds

Now, we have ourselves a full-fledged World Series. This, thanks to Chase Utley and Cliff Lee, who have, in tandem, kept the Phillies in this series.

Pedro Martinez will pitch Game 6 again in enemy territory at Yankee Stadium with a chance to make this Fall Classic truly classic and force a Game 7. The Yankees will counter with Andy Pettitte, and you wonder how he will fare on three days rest at this stage of his career.

Obviously not having a fourth starter is a glaring hole for the Yankees. The next couple of days will tell us if it is a fatal hole.

I’m thinking Game 6 gets the best ratings in the New England market for any non-Red Sox World Series game ever. Still a whole lot of Pedro fans in the Nation.

Phillies will fight to make it a Series

I remember when I was growing up, the Super Bowl went through a bad rut where it seemed like almost every year, it was a blowout. The two games that stick in my mind during my youth that were great games were the 49ers-Bengals in 1988, and the Giants-Bills in 1990. Other than that, blah.

Is the same thing going on with the World Series? If the Yankees win tonight, that would make it six years in a row the Fall Classic has been five games or less.

It would be nice to see the Phillies push this thing back to New York for Game 6, and, who knows, maybe even a Game 7?

That double steal by Damon last night was one of the most surreal things I’ve ever seen. It just goes to show you can see something completely new every time you watch a baseball game. I still can’t believe nobody on the Phillies made an attempt to cover third.

Let’s see what happens tonight. The Phillies should have plenty of fire in their eyes with Cliff Lee taking the mound on full rest.


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