Archive - Sports Article
August 21st, 2012
CENTRAL FALLS â On the morning of Tuesday, July 16, Central Falls High head football coach Mo Jackson walked into his new classroom 107 at Calcutt Middle School and looked out a window bordering the courtyard.
His first thought: What courtyard?
âI was doing some summer programs, and I wanted to get the room ready for the kids,â admitted Jackson, who discovered since school year's end that he would be a new teacher's assistant and behavioral specialist at Calcutt. âI popped open the window, and I couldn't see anything. It looked like a jungle. I thought, 'My God, what happened to it?'
PAWTUCKET â If the Washington Nationalsâ decision to pose an innings limit on ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg was debated and haggled over in a court of law, itâs quite possible the rendering would be a hung jury.
Such a case involving a high-profile player and a playoff-starved franchise that has October baseball in its sights poses a provoking conundrum that can be argued and debated from both sides of the equation.
On one hand, Washington can be viewed as looking to protect the investment they have in Strasburg, a star at age 24 who underwent Tommy John surgery nearly two years ago.
PAWTUCKET â Daniel Bard admits thereâs somewhat of a weight of his shoulders, knowing that regardless of how heâs fared with the Pawtucket Red Sox â 7.45 ERA in 28 appearances â he remains very much on Bostonâs radar.
Asked to respond to an item in Sundayâs Boston Herald in which an anonymous Red Sox source clarified that he will pitch again for the big-league team in 2012, Bard took the occasion to explain how he can use the remaining few weeks in Pawtucketâs season to his advantage.
PAWTUCKET â Who better to clarify any myths regarding the perceived toxic environment that is the Red Sox clubhouse than a player who spent a hearty amount of time inside the ropes?
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Darnell McDonald, the former part-time Boston outfielder whose access to the team was short-circuited upon getting designated for assignment in late June. Fortunately for this particular exercise, McDonald is seen as the perfect go-to guy to set the record straight in a Red Sox season that has taken on the tenor of a soap opera in terms of firestorms and drama.
PAWTUCKET â At this point, you have to feel for Daniel Bard.
The Red Sox can point to the fact that Bard was not touched for an earned run in his inning of work Thursday night, but make no mistake: it was another tough night at the office for the struggling reliever. In case youâre just joining us, Bardâs latest attempt to get back on track provided a nice, tucked-in capsule of what has plagued the reliever during his two-plus month stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
PAWTUCKET â If Daisuke Matsuzaka made what he dubbed a âsmall mechanical adjustmentâ prior to taking the mound for the fifth inning Wednesday night, itâs news to both PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur and catcher Dan Butler.
âWhatever tweak he made, he made on his own,â stated Sauveur on Thursday, one day after Matsuzaka delivered what could be coined a mixed bag of an outing.
There was good Matsuzaka â four scoreless innings in which he retired 12 of 13 Scranton batters â following by bad Matsuzaka, the damage pertaining to the five runs (four earned) he yielded in the fifth.
WOONSOCKET â Barbara Dixon will never forget the first-ever Blackstone River Valley Greenway Challenge, held in late September of 2001.
In fact, she and other organizers questioned whether they'd be able to take care of the logistics in time.
âThis is how bizarre it was that first year,â noted Dixon, who works closely with the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission, located at the old train station near Main Street.
PAWTUCKET â The Elizabeth Beisel Welcome Home Tour made a stop at McCoy Stadium Wednesday evening, as the North Kingstown native and Olympic medalist threw out the first pitch and signed autographs at the ballparkâs Cox Fan Center.
Standing on the field in her Team USA jacket and a PawSox cap, Beisel was presented a Pawtucket team jacket by General Manager Lou Schweichheimer and infielder Tony Thomas, who took the occasion to tweet the following after catching the ceremonial toss: âNot a bad arm for a swimmer; thanks for keeping it close so I could catch it!â
PAWTUCKET â Stop if youâve heard this before, but PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur feels that embattled reliever Daniel Bard is closer than the numbers suggest.
Sauveur provided words of reassurance on Wednesday afternoon, one day after Bard had a devil of a time locating the strike zone. You probably know the grizzly numbers by now, but here they are again: On his way to recording one out Tuesday night against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Bard walked four and allowed two runs. Just 10 of the 27 pitches he recorded were strikes.
ATTLEBORO â There are plenty of recent high school graduates out there who don't have a clue as to what their immediate future may hold.
Connor Harrington, who in mid-June received his diploma from St. Raphael Academy, definitely isn't one of them.
On Tuesday morning, the unassuming, modest 18-year-old loaded his belongings into his car and trekked by his lonesome to New Jersey. His wants: Not only to begin his odyssey at Bergen Community College (he plans on becoming a veterinary technician), but also follow his dream of playing junior hockey for the New Jersey Renegades.
PAWTUCKET â Pawtucket Red Sox Team President Mike Tamburro will never forget the phone call he received from then-Red Sox General Manager Lou Gorman in June 1990.
âHow would you like Johnny Pesky to be your new manager?â was the message Gorman relayed to Tamburro. âI said, âWe would love to have Johnny (pilot the PawSox).ââ
Donât tell area high school football coaches that these truly are the dog days of summer. They donât want to hear about such talk.
Monday marks the commencement of preseason training camps across the state and to suggest that teams are seeking to hit the ground running would be a gross understatement. The importance of the coming week cannot be underscored â albeit for a myriad of reasons.
PAWTUCKET â Andrew Bailey doesnât know when he may return to the Boston Red Sox, but heâs more than anxious to do so.
In Pawtucketâs 6-3 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs at McCoy Stadium on Thursday afternoon, Bailey relieved starter Billy Buckner in the sixth inning and allowed just one hit (without a walk and fanned a pair in his one-frame stint.
That, coupled with a solid outing the night before when he hurled one inning of flawless ball (with a strikeout), the 28-year-old from Cherry Hills, N.J. likes how heâs feeling.
PAWTUCKET â Despite a 6-3 matinee loss to the Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday afternoon, Pawtucket Red Sox skipper Arnie Beyeler sat in his McCoy Stadium clubhouse office afterward explaining his pleasure with three relieversâ respective outings.
In a rehab assignment with Pawtucket, righty Andrew Bailey allowed just one hit and fanned two in a single-inning stint (20 pitches, 14 strikes), while Daniel Bard took over in the seventh and yielded a hit, run and two walks while whiffing one. (In the process, he hit 97 mph on the radar gun, and threw 22 pitches, 12 for strikes).
PAWTUCKET â On his first official day as a member of the Pawtucket Red Sox, Danny Valencia found himself out of Wednesdayâs starting lineup. His placement under the âextra hittersâ portion of the lineup card only furthers the argument that itâs going to be tough for the 27-year-old to carve out regular playing time.
Valencia is a third baseman by trade, a position where heâs logged 2,281 innings in 262 big-league games. Coming over from the Minnesota Twins via trade on Sunday, Valencia joins a PawSox ballclub that's pretty well stocked at the hot corner.
PAWTUCKET -- Edd Pedro has only a few wants for his ninth annual âFight for a Cure Mega-Raffle and Wiffleball Tournament,â slated to begin at 9 a.m., Sunday at Slater Park.
First and foremost, heâd love the day to be graced by good weather; second, he hopes to raise $20,000 to give to the Arthritis Foundation, with the New England regional headquarters stationed in Warwick; and, finally, heâd like for a few more teams to register for the tourneyâs divisions, including Adult Competitive, âJust for Funâ and Youth (12-and-under).
Tuesday may have been a rare day off for the PawSox, yet the baseball chatter never ceases âŠ
For the point of this exercise, letâs start with the definition of the word âmanageâ â to bring about or succeed in accomplishing, sometimes despite difficulty or hardship.
Or to take charge or care of represents another form of usage. Or, finally, someone in a position to manage conducts business by the following means â to handle, direct, govern or control in action or use.
Nights like the one that transpired at McCoy Stadium Saturday night donât come around too often âŠ
PAWTUCKET â As much as he enjoyed his two-year stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox, Wade Boggs wanted no part of the Triple-A ball club upon reaching the parent team in 1982.
Any ballplayer will tell you that his goal is not just to make the majors, but to make it and stay there, leaving the minor leagues in their rear-view mirror for good. When Boggsâ promotion came after almost six years in the minors, he felt he had learned everything he needed to begin his big-league career.
PAWTUCKET â You really have to reach a certain age before taking part in some deep-rooted retrospection. Trying to size up lifeâs journey along the way is simply too tall an order, not to mention how distracting it can be from the pursuit of reaching what each individual interprets as the zenith.
Itâs easy to get swept up with the sentiment that for Lars Anderson, Tuesday was Liberation Day.
The moment the Red Sox brought Adrian Gonzalez into the fold in December 2010, Andersonâs path to reach the big leagues with the club that drafted and developed him became infinitely harder. The deal with the Padres made Gonzalez a rich man while simultaneously poured cold water on the notion that Anderson was Bostonâs first baseman of the future.