23 February 2005

Red Sox Readying to Rumble...



Looks like Curt threw 47 pitches off a mound this past week, the first such tosses off a mound since his surgery after that amazing injury-laden playoff performance(s) this past October. Schilling wasn't pleased with the results, but both his manager and pitching coach were impressed nonetheless.

``From my perspective, I was thrilled to see him on the mound and not stumble and not (show) visible give-way or limp,'' Francona said. ``From where I stood, I think he was terrific but he's such a perfectionist. He wants to be dotting every corner right now and throwing splits, and that's just not going to happen.''


Horrigan's article from the Herald is interesting in how optimistic it is despite Curt's disappointment in himself- hopefully, this speaks to Wallace/ Francona's appraisal of his feeling as a result of his perfectionism. Speaking of Schilling, David Laurila at RSN.net has a terrific interview online with the man here.

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Both the Globe and the Herald had articles this past Thursdauy on Mark Bellhorn- the Globe article, by Chris Snow (doing a great job his first season on the Sox beat), features more of Bellhorn's reaction to his struggles in the postseason last year, and his eventual emergence as a huge catalyst. The piece from the Herald focuses more on Bellhorn off the field, his being an extraordinarily quiet guy. Francona had this anecdote as he took his post last Spring Training:

``I called my buddy, Jamie Quirk, in Colorado and said, `Jamie, you've got to help me,' '' Francona said, referring to the Rockies coach. ``I said, `This guy hates me. He won't even talk to me!' Jamie started laughing like hell. He said, `Don't worry, he just doesn't talk. We called him Mute.' That made me feel better.''


I really feel optimistic about Bellhorn this season with a new contract and a promise of full-time position. It's easy to forget that he was the most productive at his position in the AL in 2004, and was one of the (if not the) biggest bargains in baseball last year.

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Manny just could not be happier. Seriously, he's happy as a clam, and he's gonna be diesel... again. I've almost decided 100% that I'm going with a Manny Ramirez for my road jersey. Updates on that to come.

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Some really encouraging news regarding Bill Mueller, who is currently well ahead of schedule. In fact, some articles are speculating he could see action in Spring Training games.

"I'll probably miss the first week [of spring games]," Mueller said. "After that I hope to be ready to go. My goal is to play the most games I've ever played in my career."


A healthy Mueller, Nixon, and Varitek, all at the same time and for the entire season would be huge (of course, this is true of every starter).

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Some more pictures...


Trot wears a Millar jersey, Sox walk on water...


"Well now, I'm embarassed."


Grown men also cry... GROWN MEN ALSO CRY!

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Even before this story, I was really pulling for Petagine. Not sure why. I always manage to attach myself to some marginal Sox player in Spring Training, pulling for him all year in hopes he turns out much better than expected, something I did last year with Bellhorn, certain he'd be great if given the chance. This year for me it was Petagine, a guy they got for nothing, and who could end up bringing great reward. Here's to Roberto...

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FINALLY...

Evan has both parts of the Sox Blogger Roundtable up over at Firebrand of the AL. I appear as "Tim" (strangely appropriate), and I had a great time, thanks again to Evan. Check it and Evan's terrific site out when you get the chance.

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