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Home » Category Listing » Spring Training 2006

April 1, 2006

Pains in the Ass

Julian Tavarez will be suspended for 10 days as a result of the punching incident against Joey Gathright and the Devil Rays. He’ll be eligible to pitch on April 13th. I’m beginning to suspect that the front office signined Tavarez as a headlining freakshow to diffuse attention from the rest of the clubhouse. No one will care about Keith Foulke’s love life or Manny Ramirez’s hairstyle while Tavarez is doing one-arm pushups in the bullpen to bulk up in time for April 18th, the first game of the first series with Tampa Bay.

I don’t know what to make of Carl Pavano’s latest ailment. He supposedly bruised his left buttock while diving for a ball and required an MRI. He either has the pain tolerance on par with the protagonist of “The Princess and the Pea” or the Yankees are swathing a more serious injury with an innocuous impairment. Pavano is not expected to return to the rotation until the end of April at the earliest.

Just days after the Twins opened the door for left-handed pitching phenom Francisco Liriano to pitch for them from the bullpen, the young pitcher was collared for driving under the influence. The first thing that popped into my head when I read this was Dwight Gooden. Let Gooden be a lesson to young players who allow their adulation or addiction to dictate the course of their lives. Not everyone is blessed with left-handedness and the ability to throw a mid-90s heater and a slider better than that of Johan Santana’s. It would be a loss to baseball (not to mention a few of my fantasy teams) if such talent were wasted.

March 28, 2006


Spring Training Game 24: March 26, 2006
Red Sox (7-16-1), 3
Phillies (15-9-1), 2
W: Josh Beckett (2-0)
L: Cory Lidle (1-1)

Josh Beckett was about as intense as Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver on Sunday. He was as keyed up as Curt Schilling was when he made his Spring Training debut back in 2004 against Boston College. Beckett had a run-in Ryan Howard, the Phillies’ enfant terrible who was on a torrid homer streak. The Red Sox held Howard to no hits with two strikeouts in three at bats, and his last out in the seventh inning was a long fly ball to center that was brought down by the wind. Howard gazed adoringly at the trajectory of his eventual out, something that Beckett took issue with:

“It’s not like I wanted to fight the guy, but I wanted to make the point that you look like an idiot when you do that and it’s an out. It was my fault. I should’ve let it go. He didn’t do that last year when he was hitting a bunch of homers. I guess one season changes you.”
Interesting words from a World Series MVP about the NL Rookie of the Year. In turn, Howard stated that he wasn’t trying to showboat and wasn’t sure where the ball went. Benches cleared but no blows were thrown. The two teams meet in two series this year: a May series at Philadelphia and a June series at Fenway, so we’ll see if there’s any repercussions.

The Red Sox usually save that sort of thing for the Devil Rays. It’s early, but Julian Tavarez already had his first incident, this time against an animate object. Joey Gathright and the righty reliever got tangled up in a play at home. Tavarez hit Gathright “like a woman,” so I’m surprised the center fielder is still alive to tell the tale. As usual, the Red Sox and Devil Rays will play nineteen times, so there will copious opportunities for retribution. I wonder if Tampa Bay will exact revenge now that Joe Maddon rather than Lou Piniella is the field manager?

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