|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|
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 »
|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|
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 »
|Three Thoughts on Hall of Fame Results||01.09.13 at 4:09 pm ET|
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?
|Potential Red Sox 2013 draft pick: Indiana HS LHP/OF Trey Ball||12.26.12 at 5:29 pm ET|
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.
School: Newcastle (Ind.) High School
Born: June 27, 1994
Height/weight: 6-foot-6, 175 pounds
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.
|Tim Wakefield’s unlucky run towards 200 wins||08.20.11 at 1:45 pm ET|
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 »
|Peter Gammons on M&M: All-Star Game ‘Tough thing to overcome’||07.14.11 at 1:46 pm ET|
MLB and NESN analyst Peter Gammons joined the Mut & Merloni show Thursday to talk about the Roger Clemens mistrial, the All-Star Game and the latest with the Red Sox. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“They are worrying more about steroids than they are about drunk drivers killing people,” Gammons said about the government and the Clemens trial. “It’s our tax dollars at work.”
He said he is surprised with Thursday’s developments that the trial has been declared a mistrial.
“I think it was a major surprise,” Gammons said. “A friend of mine who had been covering it, sent me an email saying the prosecution just blew its self up. They did a terrible job with it. It’s amazing. Rusty Hardin didn’t even need to pull the guns out, he was ready to go after Andy Pettitte and all sorts of people.”
Added Gammons: “A lot of people seeing Clemens and [Barry] Bonds get hung on all this, but just go, ‘All right, enough is enough, let’s move on.’ I sense that they had done that in San Francisco. I thought this trial would be a salacious and vicious trial. The fact that they were bringing Pettitte into it and the fact the prosecutors screwed it up on day one. You would laugh if they didn’t realize how much money they spent on this.”
Gammons also discussed the All-Star Game and how many people within the game were upset with players leaving the game early, or not showing up at all.
“It was bad for the game,” Gammons said. “I know the commissioner’s office was pretty upset with the way all this went down. So many players were out of there by the eighth inning and on their planes going home. I think most people, I know Bud [Selig] is upset about it and he should be, were left with the impression it doesn’t really matter.
“That is a tough thing for baseball to overcome. I am told that there were some words between the commissioner’s office and the players association, that the players association is supposed to think everybody was hurt, but at the same time it did have that impression of, ‘OK, lets get this over with and see what happens.’ ”
|Curt Schilling on M&M: Roger Clemens ‘could have done everybody a favor’ by confessing||07.06.11 at 1:37 pm ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher and current ESPN analyst Curt Schilling checked in with the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to offer his opinions on the state of the team. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The big topic of discussion this week has been the struggles of John Lackey. Schilling had plenty to say about the former Angels hurler who has yet to live up to his big free agent contract in Boston.
“I don’t know that you’ve gotten much different than what was [in Anaheim],” Schilling said. “This was a guy who always pitched to contact, a guy who didn’t have — with maybe the exception of a year – was never a high strikeout guy, coming to the biggest and best and most potent offensive division in baseball.
“I know he’s someone who has always hated pitching in Fenway. He made multiple comments after multiple series — especially in the postseason — about pitching here. I was surprised to see him sign here, actually. I don’t know what the competitive money was, but I didn’t think that this was a place he wanted to pitch.
“Having said that, I think that there’s a lot of stuff going on off the field, as would there be with anybody whose wife is undergoing chemo and the cancer scare that his wife is. Once you start to enter that into the equation — and I know fans don’t want to hear that — I don’t discount that. I don’t discount the impact and the effect that that can have on someone.
“Where they’re at? Jeez, they don’t have options. You’re not going to send him down. You’re not going to release him. Can you put him in the bullpen? Will he go to the bullpen? There’s a lot of things. If you listen to the guys in that clubhouse talk, they swear by the guy, which, for me, is a huge indicator of what kind of player he is.
“My biggest challenge has been a lot of his postgame stuff has been, not lack of accountability, but I just feel like life would be a lot easier if he just sat down after these games and said, ‘You now what? I sucked.’ If he did the Josh Beckett, I think life would be a little bit easier for him. But you know what? They’re going to keep running him out there, and hopefully he gets the ship righted.”
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