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Nomar Garciaparra on M&M: ‘Means so much to me’ to be elected to Red Sox Hall of Fame 02.05.14 at 12:03 pm ET
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Nomar Garciaparra and Joe Castiglione, who on Wednesday were named as part of the 2014 class elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame, checked in with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the honor. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Garciaparra, the former Sox shortstop, and Castiglione, the team’s longtime radio broadcaster, will be enshrined in August along with pitching legends Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens. Martinez’s one-hit, 17-strikeout performance against the Yankees on Sept. 10, 1999, was selected as this year’s “Great Red Sox Moment.”

“What a class to be inducted with, with Pedro and Roger,” Garciaparra said. “It’s definitely special.”

Said Castiglione: “It certainly is a ‘Can you believe it?’ moment for me. … It’s such a thrill to be going in with Nomar, who’s the best all-around player I’ve covered in 31 years of Red Sox baseball, [and] the two greatest pitchers in franchise history.

“And as far as Roger goes, I think a tip-off to how much the Red Sox mean to him, I was about to get on a duck boat November 2nd and I got a text from Roger saying, ‘Congratulations to you and all of the Red Sox on the world championship — 21.’ So it was very meaningful to him.”

Garciaparra, the 1997 American League Rookie of the Year, was a five-time All-Star during his nine seasons in Boston. He was traded midseason in 2004 after a falling-out with management, but he said the team still holds a special place in his heart.

“You mention about [the] trade and how I felt, people will ask me, and I’ve heard, ‘Oh, he was bitter.’ If I was so bitter — I don’t know how much more to explain how much I love the Red Sox and the Nation other than signing a one-day [contract] and retiring as a Red Sox. I wanted to do that,” Garciaparra said. “I don’t know what other action, what I could say more about what the Red Sox mean to me, the organization, the fans and what they all meant to me. That, first and foremost, I think, speaks volumes.

“And now, to be honored like this? Like I said, this is unexpected. I never thought about this or played for this. But to be recognized like this, I’m lost for words. Because it really means so much to me. There was a moment where I was just kind of sitting by myself and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I’m getting inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.’ And what that truly does mean to me, I’m not going to lie, I started tearing up. Because it means that much.”

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Joe Castiglione, Nomar Garciaparra, pedro martinez, Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Joe Castiglione selected for induction to Red Sox Hall of Fame at 10:38 am ET
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Pedro Martinez is a member of the 2014 Red Sox Hall of Fame class. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Pedro Martinez is a member of the 2014 Red Sox Hall of Fame class. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Some of the most iconic Red Sox players in recent memory will enter the team’s Hall of Fame as inductees in 2014, as right-handers Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez, shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione will be so honored later this year. Here is the Red Sox team press release announcing the group:

Former Red Sox players Roger Clemens, Nomar Garciaparra, and Pedro Martinez have been selected as the 2014 Red Sox Hall of Fame inductees. Joe Castiglione, Red Sox radio broadcaster since 1983, has been chosen as the non-uniformed inductee. Martinez’€™s 1999 one-hit, 17-strikeout complete game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium has been selected as the “Great Red Sox Moment,” a memorable moment in Red Sox history that is regarded for its special significance.

The players were chosen by a 16-person panel, which includes club executives, print and broadcast media members, booster club representatives, and historians. Garciaparra was one of 15 position players under consideration. Clemens and Martinez were among 13 pitchers considered.

Clemens, a three time Cy Young Award winner with the Red Sox and 1986 AL and All-Star MVP, spent 13 seasons with Boston beginning in 1984.  He is tied with Cy Young for the most career wins (192) and most career shutouts (38) as a Red Sox, and is the all-time franchise leader in strikeouts (2,590). Clemens had two 20-strikeout no-walk games, in 1986 against Seattle and 1996 in Detroit. He was named to the All-Star Game five times as a Red Sox, including the 1986 game that he started and won. Clemens is second in club history, behind Tim Wakefield, with 382 career games started and 2,776 innings pitched.

Garciaparra, the 1997 AL Rookie of the Year, was an All-Star in five of his nine seasons with the Red Sox from 1996-2004. The shortstop and right-handed hitter has the fourth-best career batting average (.323) and fifth-best slugging percentage (.553) in Red Sox history. He led the AL with 209 hits and 684 at-bats in 1997, the same year he had a 30-game hit streak. Garciaparra tied the club record on May 10, 1999 against Seattle when he hit two grand slams and collected 10 RBIs. He had two 30-RBI months, with 33 in May 1999, and 33 in July 1998. His .372 average in 2000 is the fourth-highest in club single-season history. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Joe Castiglione, Nomar Garciaparra, pedro martinez, Roger Clemens
Pedro Martinez on Big Show: ‘Sad’ that potential Hall of Famers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens ‘did something wrong’ 01.24.13 at 11:56 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez (AP)

Three-time Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez, in an interview on WEEI’s Big Show to discuss his hiring by the Red Sox as a special assistant to the GM, was asked for his reaction to the idea that some of his most dominating contemporaries — players like Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa who have been connected to performance-enhancing drugs — were not elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012, their first year of eligibility.

“It makes me sad to see that such names in baseball did not get elected the way they should have because of different situations that they faced in their careers,” said Martinez. “Those are people that I admired, that I respected, that I competed against and it’s sad that they couldn’t quite see the end of their career finish up the way that everybody expected. At the same time, everybody has to carry the responsibility that they have the best way possible. Everybody is going to be held accountable for the things that we do.

“I respect the way the writers go about their business. My duty was to perform the best way possible. I did it. I did it clean. I’m not saying anybody else did it, because I didn’t see them, but obviously the writers that have the right to vote must have big reasons why they didn’t vote. It’s actually sad for baseball to see that probably some of the biggest players ever in the history of the game could not be elected because they did something wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: barry bonds, hall of fame, pedro martinez, Roger Clemens
Curt Schilling on D&C: Hall of Fame shutout ‘one of the prices’ all players paid for failure to address steroids 01.10.13 at 10:16 am ET
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Curt Schilling received 38.8 percent of the votes in his first year on Hall of Fame ballot. (AP)

Curt Schilling

Retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, in an interview on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, said that the collective decision by Hall of Fame voters to not elect a single player to Cooperstown this year was a clear consequence of the failure by players in the era in which he played to police the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the game. (To listen to the complete interview, click here.)

“I think, with a few exceptions, nobody knows [who used performance-enhancing drugs], so the whole lot of us are lumped in together. Nobody knows,” said Schilling. “We didn’t do anything about it. At the end of the day, we didn’t do anything about it. We knew about it. I think we all had an idea, a really strong suspicion, but we didn’t do anything about it. And we sat by, and we turned a blind eye, and I think this is one of the prices that we ended up paying.”

Asked what he would have done differently if he could have had the opportunity to revisit the era when steroid use was rampant, Schilling did not hesitate.

“I think I would have reacted to the first time [former pitcher and leading Players' Association member] Rick Helling stood up in a player’s union meeting and said what are we going to do about testing? And I think there were a lot of players who wanted to react,” said Schilling. “But I think it was one of those things, like everything else that comes from being in a game mentality, you’re afraid to go against the stream. And I think that’s one of the last times in my life that I didn’t.”

Schilling said that, if he were entrusted with a vote, he wouldn’t vote for players who cheated by using performance-enhancing drugs. At the same time, he acknowledged that, from the vantage point of history, it’s problematic that players such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens (as well as Pete Rose, who is banned from baseball — and hence, from Hall of Fame consideration — after gambling on the sport) do not have places in Cooperstown. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: barry bonds, Curt Schilling, Greg Maddux, Phillies
Three Thoughts on Hall of Fame Results 01.09.13 at 4:09 pm ET
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Roger Clemens fell well short in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot. (AP)

Three thoughts on the Hall of Fame results as a nation demands to know just one answer: Who voted for Aaron Sele?

1. The steroid guys … Roger Clemens (37.6%) and Barry Bonds (36.2%) had significantly stronger first years on the ballot than Mark McGwire (23.5% in 2007) and Rafael Palmeiro (11.0% in 2011), which is I suppose is not a stunner, given where they rank in baseball history and the presumption that both were Hall of Famers before the PED stuff, as difficult as that is to prove. To that end Sammy Sosa — fair or not, defined as a product of steroids — received 12.5 percent this year, his first year of eligibility. McGwire had his worst year of support, receiving 16.9 percent, and Palmeiro his worst year, just 8.8 percent (very likely he’ll get less than the five percent needed to stay on the ballot next year). This is where the logic of voters simply eludes me — McGwire admitted he took steroids before his first year on the ballot, right? So if you voted for him at that point, what exactly has changed and why has his support slipped? It’ll be interesting to track Clemens and Bonds over the next couple of years and see if voters remain loyal or if they follow McGwire and Palmeiro. My guess? They’ll continue to slowly move up. Voters (not all of them, which is why I don’t think either will ever get to 75%) are going to get more and more comfortable voting in Clemens and Bonds, it’ll just feel safer than McGwire, Sosa and Palmeiro. And there is the one-year protest element at work here (which is of course dopey and proves nothing, either vote for them or don’t), expect both to have a fairly healthy jump next year.

2. There is zero statistical proof — none — that would lead you to conclude that Jack Morris was a better pitcher than Curt Schilling. ERA, winning percentage, ERA+, WHIP, strikeouts, Black Ink, WAR, postseason numbers — all Schilling and all Schilling handily. Seasons with an ERA under 3.30: Schilling eight, Morris three. Seasons with a WHIP under 1.10: Schilling eight, Morris none (Morris never had a season with a WHIP as good as Schilling’s career number of 1.14.) Actually, Morris has one edge — career wins (Morris 254, Schilling 216). That’s it — 38 wins. And evidently that mattered a great deal to the voters, since Morris finished with 385 votes (67.7%) to 221 (38.8%) for Schilling. Morris is really close to the 75 percent needed but has to deal with Greg Maddux (and it’s amazing to think he won’t get 100 percent of the votes, but statements need to be made) Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina all debuting on the ballot in 2014, the 15th and final year for Morris. This was a solid first year for Schilling, better than Morris did in five of his first six seasons and Bert Blyleven in his first seven years on the ballot, two recent borderline guys. Schilling’s finish this year does nothing to dissuade my belief that he will eventually (and deservedly) be elected.

3. Worst ballot? My choice would be Jill Painter of the Los Angeles Daily News. She voted for Biggio and Edgar Martinez (both should be in, Biggio will get in next year or 2015 but Martinez will not, which is really a shame. If Jim Rice is in the Hall of Fame there has to be a spot for Martinez), Bernie Williams (not worthy, but not an embarrassment), Kenny Lofton (same as Williams) but somehow thought that Shawn Green earned a vote. Shawn Green. She did not vote for Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Alan Trammell, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza or Larry Walker but voted for Green. Oe of the reasons, she explained on Twitter, was that Green did a “ton for the Jewish community.” Also she pointed to his single-game total bases record, his one Gold Glove and the fact that he scored over 1,000 runs, which only 318 players in baseball history can claim (Green is only one run behind Gary Gaetti on the all-time list). How can you take her even semi-seriously after that? And I’m almost OK with the occasional token vote for a player someone might like personally, but can we at least make sure it’s only done if every eligible player clearly better is also on his/her ballot?

Read More: Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling Barry Bonds, hall of fame, Roger Clemens
Potential Red Sox 2013 draft pick: Indiana HS LHP/OF Trey Ball 12.26.12 at 5:29 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Red Sox when it comes to the 2013 MLB draft. For the first time since 1993, the Red Sox have a top-10 selection and will be drafting seventh. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Red Sox to make a selection.


Left-hander Trey Ball is committed to the University of Texas. (New Castle High School)

Position: OF/LHP

School: Newcastle (Ind.) High School

Born: June 27, 1994

Height/weight: 6-foot-6, 175 pounds

Bats/throws: L/L

2013 class: Senior

Committed to: Texas

Achievements: 2012 All-Area Code Team, 2012 Baseball America High School All-America third team, 2012 ESPNHS High School All-America third team, 2012 Under Armour All-American, 2012 Perfect Game Underclass first team, 2012 ESPNHS Preseason All-State, 2012 All-North Central Conference, 2011 Perfect Game Underclass high honorable mention, 2011 Area Code Games, 2011 All-North Central Conference

What he brings: Scouts view Ball as a top-tier pitching talent. He has a very smooth and easy delivery to the plate. His fastball sits consistently in the 90-93 mph range while his changeup drops to the 78-80 mph range. Ball also has a developing slider that sits in the 80- 84 mph range. His delivery consists of a high leg kick and a three-quarter arm slot that is reminiscent of a left-handed version of Roger Clemens.

Offensively, Ball possesses a smooth swing with power potential. He hits well to the opposite field and runs the 60 in 6.67 seconds.

Notes: Ball is desirable because he is considered a two-way player. He is a pitcher who can both pitch and hit well. At this young stage in his development it is unknown if he will make the transition into being a major league pitcher or take a role in the field.

He is a very good runner. Scouts have been impressed with him and have taken note with how effortless he makes the game appear.






Read More: 2013 MLB Draft, Potential Red Sox draft pick 2013, Roger Clemens, Trey Ball
Tim Wakefield’s unlucky run towards 200 wins 08.20.11 at 1:45 pm ET
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Tim Wakefield has been stalled at 199 victories by an unusual run of bad luck. (AP)

With a slightly different series of events, Tim Wakefield’s chase of his 200th career victory would now long since be done. Instead, he might have been in position by now to be eying Roger Clemens and Cy Young for the top spot in the Red Sox’ victory chart.

Instead, at a time when he is nearing a point that should permit him to take a bow in his career, he is dealing with an uncomfortable delay. In his own words (following his fourth straight unfulfilled attempt at career win No. 200), “the Wake Watch” has commenced, in which the milestone is being obscured, in part, by the protracted journey to reach it.

Yet that isn’t a reflection of the pitcher’s performance. In four starts since claiming career victory No. 199 against the Mariners on July 24 (on a day when he allowed seven runs in 6 1/3 innings but received 12 runs of offensive support), Wakefield has enjoyed his most consistent stretch as a starter this year.

In four straight starts, he has pitched at least 6 2/3 innings while allowing four or fewer earned runs. He has a 4.08 ERA in that span.

Yet on a team that is second in the majors in both runs scored and runs per game, Wakefield has gone 0-2 with two no-decisions in those four games. To put that run in context, no Red Sox starter since Brad Penny in 2009 has been winless in four straight games in which he allowed four or fewer earned runs and pitched at least six innings in each outing. In order to find a streak of longer than four straight starts by a Sox pitcher that didn’t net a victory, you have to go back to a five-start stretch by Tomo Ohka in 2000.

It is part of a pattern that has existed throughout Wakefield’s Red Sox career. He now has 112 starts in which he has either been pinned with a loss (55 of those) or taken a no-decision (57) while pitching at least six innings and allowing four or fewer earned runs. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: cy young, Roger Clemens, Tim Wakefield,
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