So Nomar finally did what the fans and media have wanted him to do. Showed some leadership. Tony Massarotti applauds. While Tony does mention in passing that Pedro had a role in the incident, Bob Hohler in his game story, tells us a little more about what Martinez did, “cheering wildly” and remaining for the entire game rather than leaving early to rest for his start tonight. Sean McAdam notes that if things don’t get turned around soon, Grady Little will consider wholesale lineup changes. Bob Duffy is able to write an entire article on another hot topic on sports radio in recent days…Nomar actually took a first pitch last night. Michael Silverman looks at the slump-entrenched Johnny Damon, as well as Bobby Howry’s effort last night. Bob Hohler’s Notebook also looks at Howry, while Horrigan’s says Grady might use Embree in save situations down the stretch. Speaking of Embree, Bob Ryan has a column of Embree’s one-pitch outing the other night and examines how the role of the bullpen has changed over the years, even from Bob’s glory days in the 1970′s.
Tom Curran has details on the Jamal Anderson reports. Paul Kenyon looks at Steve Martin. Martin was talked about some by Kevin Mannix and Dale Arnold yesterday, noting that he has a “little” brother who is seven feet tall and about 355lbs. Michael Smith reports on the injury-riddled Tom Knight. George Kimball writes about the possibility of future training camps in Foxboro. Kimball also looks at Jimmy Hitchcock.
Peter May is cranking out articles from San Francisco, where the US team is training for the World Championships.
Larry Lucchino made his weekly appearance on Dennis and Callahan this morning, He re-emphasized the message management has for the team, that they have done their job, now it’s time for the players and coaches to step up. He wouldn’t say they have all the pieces, but he did mention the great effort by Bobby Howry last night. They’ve met about September callups, who is out there on the waiver wire and still looking at relief pitching. When asked about the team’s record in one run games, Lucchino said there is a randomness to the this game, that accounts for a lot of things.
He gets as disappointed as anyone, and feels the game is about two out hitting, if not about pitching. He can’t fault Grady’s Strategic decisions at all. He was though a bit bothered about taking Embree out after one pitch the other night, but understands it’s a rest issue, didn’t want to stretch it out. He noted that the team will celebrate the Worcester Little Leaguers when they return from the series.
About Nomar’s actions last night, Lucchino also wants to give credit to Merloni, for clutch hits, playing with intensity, you need guys wearing the uniform like him. Nomar and Manny have been the least of this team’s problems. Nomar has in the past called meetings, and spoken out on team issues, but it’s more in private.
Onto strike issues, Lucchino thinks that it’s possible a strike will be averted. Issues are not philosophical, they’re talking about two issues, the Luxury tax 34 or 35 percent, and revenue sharing with a certain structure. It still needs to be improved and fine tuned. John Henry siding with the Yankees has been mischaracterized. They work with baseball to consider the view of the Red Sox. The headlines are misleading. Callahan said perhaps both sides should change their front man, especially Selig, let him go behind the scene more. Lucchino agreed that demonization of Selig is easy, cheap and misses the point. He is masterful behind the scenes. Callahan suggested Lucchino should be out front. Lucchino said a leader can be effective even if his hair is messy and his posture isn’t good.
There are only a few owners willing to burn down the village, but the current system works for one of the 30 teams. One team can make money. The sport should be competitive and profit making for all. People in other sports shake their heads in puzzlement because of how involved this players union is with everything. Lucchino doesn’t think the urgency of this has penetrated the top of the association like it has the rank and file. If there is a strike, baseball is not going to just bounce back. When asked if Tony Clark’s role with the Players Association has affected his role on the field, Lucchino said “No comment”.
Fox25 has Red Sox/Rangers tonight at 7:00. At 9:00 tonight, ESPN Classic has game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Celtics and Hawks. CBS has Chargers/Rams preseason football at 9:00.