PAWTUCKET â€“ Tim Norton has spent the better part of his professional career battling back from countless injuries. His latest setback is akin to the baseball gods kicking a man when heâ€™s down.
The homecoming originally planned for this weekend never happened. Norton did not pitch at McCoy Stadium for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before friends and family hailing from Burrillville. Instead, the 28-year-old is toiling under the hot sun in Tampa, Fla., the Yankeesâ€™ spring-training facility â€“ Steinbrenner Field â€“ the scene of Nortonâ€™s latest attempt to rehab from shoulder woes.
PAWTUCKET â€” Kyle Weiland did more than raise a curious eyebrow. The right-handed pitcher began besieging Notre Dame pitching coach Sherard Clinkscales with a series of self-doubting questions stemming from his mound troubles surfacing during his 2007 sophomore season.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The feet of Jose Iglesias proved to be the difference in Pawtucketâ€™s 6-5 win over Rochester Thursday. The shortstop prospect, known more for his defense than causing havoc on the basepaths, swiped two bases in the bottom of the eighth with the score knotted at 5-5. A wild pitch by Rochesterâ€™s Anthony Slama proved fortuitous as Iglesias scampered home, sliding feet-first.
PAWTUCKET â€” Sometimes staying put may well prove the best option. Kevin Millwood agrees, hence why heâ€™s not looking to leave the Red Sox organization anytime soon.
â€śI enjoy it here and feel that there could be some opportunity in the future [to once more pitch in the big leagues],â€ť said Millwood, addressing the thought process behind not exercising a recent opt-out date in his contract. â€śIt just seemed like a good situation to stay here and keep pitching. â€śMy biggest thing is this is a place Iâ€™ve enjoyed. I like the organization and hopefully it works out.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” Darlington Americanâ€™s 2011 Major Division All-Stars revived some memories of leagueâ€™s illustrious District II history on Thursday with a 10-0 mercy rule romp over Riverside in the playoff opener for both teams.
DALL broke open a 0-0 game in the bottom of the third inning with a seven-run explosion that featured three home runs. Leadoff hitter Elliot Vadnais, cleanup batter Sean Dunphy and No. 9 batter Nick Crawley all homered as the home team sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.
PAWTUCKET -- The Pawtucket Red Sox proudly unveiled the latest addition to McCoy Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, as Mondor Gardens was open to the public behind the left-field fence near the McCoy Stadium ticket office.
The handicap-accessible area, which is a tribute to late PawSox owner Ben Mondor, who passed away last October, is landscaped with paved walkways, granite steps, six park benches, and a collection of trees, plants, and flowers.
The area also contains six miniature bronze statues of young children playing baseball that Mondor purchased two years ago in Florida.
PAWTUCKET -- Kyle Weiland brought out his best on Wednesday night, and the Rochester Red Wings had no answers for the rookie righthander.
Weiland struck out 12 batters and threw spectacular one-hit ball through eight innings, and the Pawtucket Red Sox rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to help produce a 4-1 victory over their I.L. North foes at McCoy Stadium.
Weiland, who was picked by the Boston Red Sox in the third round of the â€™08 MLB Draft, improved his record to 7-6 and the PawSoxâ€™s mark to 42-36 with unquestionably his finest outing of the year.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Navigant Credit Union Post 85 found a way to cool off red-hot Collette Vacations Post 79.
The Woonsocket-based club seems to have caught a little fire, too.
Navigant went to work early against its Pawtucket foe on Wednesday night, scoring three runs in the top of the first. The bats kept going from there as Post 85 left Max Read Field with an 8-1 victory over Collette in Senior American Legion action.
PAWTUCKET â€” Randy Williams is a bit of late bloomer. In his case, thatâ€™s meant to serve as a compliment.
Normally you donâ€™t associate a 35-year-old with a mid 90s fastball, but you do with Williams. Add to that the fact that the Texas native throws left-handed and suddenly thereâ€™s intrigue â€“ the kind that suggests a return trip to the major leagues is closer than it appeared at the start of the season.
â€śA lefty who throws 95? I would,â€ť said PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur when asked if Williams is someone who falls in the â€śworth watchingâ€ť category. â€śHeâ€™s got power stuff.â€ť
CUMBERLAND â€” There was a lot of talk last year that the upcoming Cumberland American All-Star team had potential to be something special this season, especially after the latest batch captured the state title for 11-year-olds.
Two games into the District 4 Major Division Tournament, Cumberland American is proving it just may have what it takes to advance far this summer.