Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on June 10, 2003 · 213
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · 213

Hartford, Connecticut
Issue Date:
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
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THE HARTFORD COURANT TUESDAY, JUNE 10,2003 C5 BASEBALL Learning From Pedro By DAVID HEUSCHKEL COURANT STAFF WRITER BOSTON Pedro Martinez couldn't speak Korean and Byung-Hyun Kim didn't understand Spanish. One pitcher was coming offa Cy Young season, the other was coming off his first season in the majors. That didn't prevent them from bonding at Bank One Ballpark before a spring training game between the Red Sox and Diamondbacks in 2000. "We met in the outfield and talked," Martinez said. "Since then we've kept on talking and showing the same admiration. I like him, too. I think he's real good. I respect him a lot, too." A year ago this week, Red Sox fans got their first good look at Kim. The submarine righthander closed out three games as the Diamondbacks swept the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Kim makes his Fenway debut with the Red Sox tonight when he starts the opener of a three-game series against the Cardinals, who are playing in Boston for the first time since the 1967 WorldSeries. The first time Kim pitched at Fenway was for Korea in 1995 at an international tournament. He still has the Red Sox cap he brought home with him. "I used to wear that around in Korea," Kim said. "Hopefully I can sell more hats over in Korea now." He will sell a ton of jerseys in Boston if he gives the Red Sox a reliable arm, eitherasastarteroracloser.Heprefers to start "But whatever the team needs, 111 be willing to do," Kim said. It will be difficult to take him out of the rotation if he pitches as well as he did Wednesday in Pittsburgh. In his first start since the Red Sox acquired him May 29 from Arizona, Kim alio wed one run and five hits in seven innings. He didn't fare as well in his two relief appearances, giving up six runs in three innings. Kim, 24, doesn't think hell have a problem adjusting to a new city. "I heard a lot of Korean students are there in Boston," said Kim, who uses assistant trainer Chang-Ho Lee as an interpreter. "And also the big city reminds me of Seoul in Korea, which helps me to adjust better than over in Arizona because it wasn't a metropoli-tancity." Kim has learned from watching Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in Arizona. He said he can learn more from Martinez because they have similar body types. "First of all, I can't grow four or five inches to be like Randy," said Kim, who at 5 feet 9 would have to grow 13 inches to be as tall as Johnson. "Also, I don't throw a split like Schilling. My selection of pitches is very similar to Pedro and I can learn quite a bit more from him. I also like the fact that Pedro is a type of pitcher who challenges the hitter. It's a style I like." 1 KIM Kim admires Martinez so much that he watched him throw in the bullpen Sunday in Milwaukee. "He talks to me a lot," Martinez said. "He told me from the first time we went to play Arizona in exhibition games that he admired me a lot because we're pretty much similar." The relationship between Kim and catcher Jason Varitek will be even more important "I talk to him," Varitek said. "I sit next to Chang and talk to him. The rain delay in Pittsburgh last week, we sat and hung out and talked." Varitekwasbehindtheplatethenext day when Kim made his first start Kim shook off the catcher several times, but Varitek didn't seem to mind. "When he takes the ball in his own hand like Pedro, he's certain in what he wants to throw," Varitek said. Kim's only victory in seven starts with Arizona this season was against the Cardinals. He gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings of a 4-3 victory April 19 in St Louis. Williams Goes Tonight Probable starters for the Cardinals series: Kim (1-0, 6.30 ERA) vs. Woody . Williams (8-1, 1.99) tonight; Martinez (4-2, 2.83) vs. Brett Tomko (2-4, 4.71) Wednesday; Tim Wakefield (5-2, 5.35) vs. Garrett Stephenson (3-5, 4.81) Thursday. Red Sox Name Wallace Interim Coach BOSTON Waterbury native Dave Wallace was named Red Sox interim pitching coach Monday. He will assume the role while Tony Cloninger takes an indefinite leave of absence to recover from bladder cancer. Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said Wallace will remain in the organization when Cloninger returns. "Tony will remain a Red Sox, that's for sure," Epstein said. "His role upon his return will really be determined by his health. But Dave Wallace is the interim pitching coach and this is his staff now." Wallace, in his 34th season in professional baseball, left his job as senior vice president of baseball operations for the Dodgers. He spent 20 years in the organization, starting as a minor league pitching coach in 1981 before becoming a roving pitching instructor from '87-95, playing a role in grooming Pedro Martinez. Wallace was the Dodgers pitching coach from '95-97. He was the Mets pitching coach in 2000 when they went to the World Series. "As much as I do love the Dodgers, I think you reach a point in your life where family becomes a real important fact" said Wallace, 55. Wallace said it shouldn't take him long to familiarize himself with the Red Sox pitching staff, which has the second highest ERA (5.26) in the American League. DAVID HEUSCHKEL Red Sox-Cardinals Has History By PAUL DOYLE COURANT STAFF WRITER He is on the field before each home game, hitting fungoes and talking baseball and wearing his St Louis Cardinals uniform. For 61 seasons, baseball has been the center of Red Schoendienst's life. And for much of that life, the Cardinals have been at his core. So as the Cardinals make their first appearance at Fenway Park since the 1967 World Series, there is no greater authority on the significance of the return than the 80-year-old Schoendienst Schoendienst was the .Cardinals manager in 1967, when his team defeated the Red Sox in seven games. And 21 years earlier, he was a 23-year-old second baseman for another Cardinals team that defeated the Red Sox in the WorldSeries. "Boston," Schoendienst said, "will always be special to me and to the Cardinals." ' If the histories of these two venerable franchises are linked by two matchups, Schoendienst is one of the few to witness both. Each team also had a coach on the '67 staff Bobby Doerr with the Red Sox and Dick Sisler with the Cardinals that played on the '46 teams. But Schoendienst had a major role in each series. He was the leadoff hitter in '46 and made a series-ending stop on a grounder with two runners on base in Game 7. In '67, he was the steady hand in the dugout that navigated a veteran team to a title. "We had two great series against the Red Sox," Schoendienst said. "They both went seven games, remember. When you get two talented teams together, the series can go either way. It was that close in both years." Schoendienst has come to be the face of baseball in St Louis the way Johnny Pesky, the Red Sox starting shortstop in 1946, has in Boston. Schoendienst spent 15 years of his 19-year playing career as a Cardinal He later coached for the Cardinals before managing the team for 12 years. There have been stints with other franchises, but Schoendienst is in the Hall of Fame as a Cardinal By phone from St Louis last week, Schoendienst said he has strong memories of Boston. He came through the city to play the Braves early in his career and returned as a member of the Milwaukee Braves for exhibition games against the Red Sox in the late 1950s. "I always loved the city," Schoendienst said. "Fenway is justagreat ballpark, too. That old wall out there . . . and the fans are right on you. It was quite a place to come in and play, one of the best in baseball." In '46, Schoendienst was a member of a team that included Stan MusiaL Whitey Kurowski and Enos Slaughter. But the Red Sox were favored. "Obviously, going in, you try to stop big old Ted Williams," Schoendienst said. "That was a great Boston team. I thought we were pretty evenly matched and we expected it to be a close series." The Cardinals held Williams to five hits in 25 at-bats, but the series was ultimately decided in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 7. With Slaughter on first, Kurowski hit a ball into the left field corner. Slaughter didn't stop running and he beat Pesky's relay throw to the plate for the lead run. Pesky was said to have hesitated on his throw an assessment he has disputed. "We were lucky to get away," Schoendienst said. "But you can't blame anyone. It was just two good teams battling." In '67, Schoendienst had a team that included pitching ace Bob Gibson, along with Orlando Cepeda, Curt Flood, Lou Brock and Roger Maris. The Red Sox had Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski and Cy Young Award winner Jim Lonborg. , The difference? Gibson was 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and three complete games in three starts. "We had the ace," Schoendienst said. "He was just tremendous. But that was a heck of a team we had. We had to be good to beat that Red Sox team" Now, the Cardinals are back in Boston for the first time in 36 years. Schoendienst doesn't travel with the team, but he'll be watching closely. "These teams are part of each other's history," Schoendienst said. "I've been looking forward to this series." Rule Book Strike Zone: The strike zone is the area over home plate, the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants Oust below the elbow), and the lower level is a line at the hollow, or bottom, of the knees. The zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as he is prepared to swing at a pitched ball. Strike Zone Device UUi.k ...... '-trnj !i if; ft-, V - ' ' ASSOCIATED PRESS THE DIAMONDBACKS' CURT SCHILLING in May offers his hand for examination to manager Bob Brenly. Schilling was hit in the hand twice in a game against the Padres and had to leave. CONTINUED FROM PAGE CI The system has come under attack through legal channels, by a World Umpires Associationgrievance that will be heard next month, and in a more forceful manner by Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling, who smashed a camera with a bat two weeks ago, for which he was fined $15,000. According to reports of the incident when Schilling confessed his crime to plate umpire Doug Eddings, the ump said, "Do us a favor and break the other one." With their union's grievance pending, umpires have been instructed not to talk publicly about Ques-Tec, but have talked privately about feeling constrained by it. Mets pitcher Al Leiter said he has had umpires tell him, "I'm on the computer today." QuesTec's game results, matching the system's ball-strike calls and those of the umpire, are kept on compact discs, one of which is given to the plate umpire after a game. It's doubtful those CDs are as high on an ump's play list as, say, Norah Jones. The Mets-Braves series at Shea May 30-June 1 contained an abundance of questionable calls. A matchup of former teammates Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux featured the two pitchers perhaps most affected by the return to the rulebook strike, which rewards pitches more vertically than horizontally, as opposed to umpiring trends in recent decades. Few pitchers made their living more on the corners than Glavine and Maddux. "I hear they want us to speak out against it because they don't like it but they can't say anything," Glavine told reporters last week. "Greg and I are probably the poster children for it. There was so much scrutiny for years about the calls we got, but now it's probably flipped the other way. The system is putting umpires in the position of not wanting to screw up, rather than calling their game. They're so worried about how they'll be graded by the computer that they're not calling that pitch you work your butt off in the bullpen to be able to make in a big spot" "The umps are trying so hard not to call a strike on a pitch mat's off the plate that they're missing pitches on the plate," Mad-duxsaid. "This system is one of the worst things that has happened in baseball," said Braves reliever Darren Holmes after giving up a lead in one of the games of that series. "They are going to feel ramifications because of the system. It's a joke. Umpires want to make calls and be themselves, but with this system they can't When you have to throw the ball down the middle, it makes it tougher. Anything borderline, a strike or a ball he's going to call it a ball." QuesTec board chairman Steven Greenfield, a West Hartford native, said the system was not designed to intimidate umpires, but to help MLB attain its goal of a uniform strike zone in compliance with the rules. "We always hesitate when someone suggests our technology could be used for offr dating, but we believe MLB and the umpires have gotten it just right" Greenfield said. "We can contribute to the quality of the officiating process without intruding into the game or disrupting baseball's traditions." ; J That's not exactly how umpires are ' viewing it but major-league officials seem determined to get the strike zone under control and away from the whims of individual umpires. "We don't be lieve that this current challenge is based on the QuesTec system," MLB vice president Sandy Alderson said. "We think it's based on the unwillingness of a handful of individuals to get with the pro gram. They don't want , a uniform strike zone. They want to do it the way they've done it the last 20 years. We're trying to create a situation where umpires are perceived to be outstanding across the board. That there are mistakes made, they are viewed as exceptions to the rule, rather than being viewed as a general indicator of incompetence." To the chagrin of the union, Robert K. Adair is also on QuesTec's side. Adair, a physics professor at Yale, was asked by the World Umpires Association to study the system and give his opinion. Adair told ESPN.com: "I've looked at it intelligently from the viewpoint of somebody who looks at data with some degree of precision, and I seriously doubt that anyone else has. There are problems, but it's a pretty good system. They have a limited amount of money. To get the last bugs out of a system can be very expensive, but it's not a bad system. The umpires' strike zone and the QuesTec strike zone are consistent but in different ways. The umpires' strike zone is much wider than home plate, at least a one-ball width on the outside corner and half a ball on the inside. And the umpires' strike zone is smaller by a ball and a half at the bottom and half a ball at the top." As for the implication by umpires that they are forced to call pitches differently in parks equipped with QuesTec, a recent study by writer-statistician Bill Arnold of Sports Features Group in the Bay Area disclosed only marginal differences. Arnold said strikeouts were up slightly in parks without the system 12.9 per nine innings compared with 12.4 but walks were almost identical, 6.4 to 6.3. Arnold also reported that games in which QuesTec was used averaged 110 balls and 190.4 strikes; games without averaged 111.4 balls and 192.5 strikes. ' Some players believe umpires are using QuesTec as an alibi for wrong calls. Disputes about umpires' decisions won't be altered by technology. Roger Clemens railed obscenely against umpire Dan Iassogna's work behind the plate Saturday at Wrigley Field, which is not yet equipped with QuesTec. Who knows? Iassogna might have had some evidence to the contrary with a CD he could have shown to the Rocket EASTERN LEAGUE All-Star Plans Set By ROBERTO GONZALEZ COURANT STAFF WRITER NEW BRITAIN Autograph sessions, a home run derby and other festivities will be part of the Eastern League All-Star Game at New Britain Stadium next month. Rock Cats general manager Bill Dowling and league president Joe McEacharn released ' the schedule for the July 15 Fan-fest and the July 16 All-Star Game on Monday. It will be the first Eastern League-only All-Star Game since 1990. Previously, there was a Double A All-Star Game with each league providing players. McEacharn said there were several reasons why New Britain was chosen to host the game. "It all comes down to one word: commitment," McEacharn said. "It's the community's commitment to the East ern League and the Rock Cats. We want to make acommitment back to the Greater Hartford community, which is why we selected New Britain." Fan balloting has started and at least two players one pitcher and one position player from each of the 12 teams will be selected. McEacharn said he believes it's the first time in the minor leagues fans will be choosing players for an all-star game. "That's something really special for the fans," McEacharn said. The players will be announced July 3 and the format will be North Division against. South Division. Balloting ends Julyl. The game will be televised by Comcast Sports, Fox Sports Net and MSG. All club seats and field box seats are sold out Reserved and general admission seats are still available, Dowling said. All-Star Game July 15 Deardorff Homers Fuel Cats FanFest Noon to 7 p.m., New Britain Stadium and Willow Brook Park Complex Home Run Derby Player autograph sessions Guida's Fan Zone: Skills zone, baseball clinics, broadcast booth, Cyber Ball and Mascot Mania Kids Area. Got Milk? Moustache Mobile All-Star Clubhouse Shop Gala at Boathouse on the Connecticut River (invitation only), 8 p.m. -12 a.m. Tickets: $4 for adults; $2 for children 12-under. For more Information, call 860-224-8383. July 16 Pregame Hospitality at New Britain Stadium, 5-7 p.m. All-Star Game, 7:05 p.m. Famous Dancing Christopher and postgame fireworks By ROBERTO GONZALEZ COURANT STAFF WRITER Jeff Deardorff joined the Rock Cats from Triple A Rochester last month with the promise of giving the team power. After some initial pop, he tailed offa bit, but Monday proved the potential is still there. Deardorff hit two home runs in the Rock Cats' 8-3 victory over the Altoona Curve before 3,186 at New Britain Stadium. Rock Cats manager Stan Cliburn had experimented, moving Deardorff out of the cleanup spot and dropping him to sixth. Monday, he moved him back to No. 4, where Cliburn said he is more comfortable. "We need him to step up," he said. "I've been a little discouraged about him lately. We need more of that out of him What was good about today, was he cut his swing down. His swings were really getting long, and he had been striking out a lot." There were five home runs in the game, with the Rock Cats hitting three. Josh Rabe hit a homer in a three-run fourth. "We were taking batting practice and noticed the wind was blowing straight out and the ball was carrying well" Deardorff said. "It was a good day to be a hitter." . Rock Cats catcher Rob Bowen had a two-run double and a single, and Matt Scanlon had a double and a triple as New Britain finished with 14 hits. Brent Schoening (5-3) pitched 6 innings, giving up three runs and nine hits, including two home runs. He also struck out five and walked one. It was Schoening's first win since May 9, but he has been pitching welL "He has been very consistent all year," Cliburn said. "As long as a starting pitcher gives you a chance to win every night and he has done that you have to say it was his turn to get a victory. He has had some tough luck lately." The Rock Cats hit all their home runs off losing pitcher Mike Connolly (3-6), who entered the game giving up only one home run this season in 56 innings. Connolly lasted four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits with two strikeouts. Sea Dogs 2, Navigators O: Chris Elmore pitched six shutout innings and Tony Schrager hit a homer as Portland defeated Norwich in Portland, Maine. Portland (34-23) got strong relief effortsfrom Char: lie Weatherby, who pitched two hitless innings, and Anastacio Martinez, who worked a perfect ninth. "" The Navigators (26-32) hit only three singles against Elmore (1-0) in his Portland debut and advanced only three runners to scoring position. The Sea Dogs scored when Schrager led off the fourth with a homer off the scoreboard in left-center, and added another run later in the inning when Carlos Leon advanced on a single and sacrifice fly. " 1 4 fc mi. r -i'- ft in rr "yarn. ii fr-tti ifc, t

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