PawSox Vice President Lou Schwechheimer sent me an email Wednesday mentioning two former PawSox players who are in the 2010 WorldSeries. Lou points out that these two fellows were two of late owner Ben Mondor's all-time favorites.
Here's a look at the Pawtucket connection to the World Series.
1.) Texas outfielder David Murphy went from Pawtucket to the Rangers in 2007 in the infamous Eric Gagne deal. Murphy has become an effective fourth outfielder for Texas. He's a sweet-swinging lefthanded hitter who won't start in Games 1 and 2 because Texas must use DH Vladdy Guerrero in right field.
2.) Freddy Sanchez went from Pawtucket to Pittsburgh in 2004 along with lefthanded reliever Mike Gonzalez and cash. Boston acquired Brandon Lyon, Anastacio Martinez and Jeff Suppan in the deal. Sanchez went on to win a batting title for the Pirates before he was traded to the Giants in late July of 2009 for Tim Alderson, a former first-round draft pick in 2007 who pitched for the Pirates' Altoona Class AA farm team.
The Red Sox included Lyon in the deal that brought Curt Schilling to Boston so they did get something out of the Sanchez deal. (Schilling went on to fame as a video game executive after retiring from baseball. His company hopes to work in Rhode Island (over Frank Caprio's dead body).
You really can't blame Boston for dealing these two young players, who essentially were blocked by big name veterans. The Sox signed Mr. OPS himself -- J.D. Drew -- in 2007 to play right field. Sanchez preceded Dustin Pedroia but he still couldn't get past 2003 A.L. batting champion Billy Mueller. Sanchez hit .301 for Pawtucket in 2003 and was hitting .341 in 2004 at the time he got traded.
9:39 p.m. update -- and now Freddy is in the record books after doubling in each of his first three trips to the plate against Cliff Lee. Nobody in history has ever doubled in his first three WS at-bats.
So thanks for the heads-up, Lou. I'll be rooting for both of these guys in the World Series.
Funny thing about the 2010 MLB season. A lot of people in the Northeast thought the three best teams in baseball were the Yankees, Phillies and Red Sox. A lot of us were wrong. The Giants and Rangers deserve to be in the World Series. The Giants' deep pitching staff had all the answers when it came to shutting down the Phillies' potent offense in the NLCS. Texas had both the hitting and pitching skills to dominate the Yankees in the ALCS.
10:15 p.m. -- David Murphy just pinch-hit and singled in a run. It's 8-4 Giants in the sixth inning. Cliff Lee's wife claims a Giants fan just smoked a funny substance in her presence. The woman is never happy with opposing fans. (Hey, I'm kidding. It never happened.)
10:30 p.m. -- Nelson Cruz, who never met a Yankee pitcher he couldn't crush, just popped up meekly to Freddy Sanchez at second base.
10:35 p.m. -- The folks at SOSH (Sons of Sam Horn) are complaining about a dead game thread for Game 1. It's tough for Red Sox fans to admit there's baseball west of the Mississippi.
10:45 p.m. -- It's still 8-4. The Giants' bullpen is deeper than the Pacific Ocean. That's how they beat the Phillies. Imagine. Javier Lopez is October's best LOOGY. In fact, here he comes right now.
Yes, I'm blogging the WS game. What has my life come to? Of course, 50 years ago my father would be listening to games on the radio, maybe reading a newspaper to occupy his mind. The world changes every 50 years or so, don't you think?
10:53 p.m. -- Javy gets Mitch Moreland out on two pitches to end the top of the 8th. Still 8-4. If this score holds up, all the talking heads on ESPN are going to bury the Rangers. They are going to tell us that Texas lives and dies with Cliff Lee. They will declare the Rangers dead after one game. And, of course, the Rangers will win Game 2 and the experts won't even acknowledge their mistake. They are just like TV weathermen in that regard. Right around half the time.
11:10 p.m. -- Now it's 10-4 in the bottom of an ugly 8th inning for Texas. Vladdy, who runs like a stork whose feet are killing him, has made two errors in right field. Freddy Sanchez just got his fourth hit. Ron Washington is out to make a pitching change, just so the game ends before midnight.
11:20 p.m. -- Ex-Red Sox reliever Ramon Ramirez is on to pitch the ninth for the Giants. Edgar Renteria is the shortstop. Sanchez at second. It's like a Red Sox reunion here tonight. David Murphy might be up soon for Texas.
11:22 p.m. -- The channel 10 sports guy glumly report the Celtics lost to Cleveland tonight.
11:23 p.m. -- Goodbye, Ramon Ramirez. He still ... stinks.
11:28 p.m. -- Jeremy Affeldt comes in and walks Josh Hamilton. Here comes Bruce Bochy. He wants his closer, Brian Wilson, the guy who dies his beard black with shoe polish. Does The Great Rivera do this? I think not.
11:30 p.m. -- Umpire Joe West just turned his TV off. He mutters to his dog: "Giants-Rangers is worse than Red Sox-Yankees. This game is an embarrassment to baseball."
11:31 p.m. -- Joe Buck's begging Brian Wilson to end this game. Pretty soon, McCarver's going to get this Wilson confused with the Beach Boys' head writer of the same name.
11:36 p.m. -- It's over in a nifty 3:39. Nellie Cruz doubled off Wilson to make it 11-7. The ball landed in deep right-center and actually spun back in the grass like one of Al Deroche's nine-iron shots at Rehoboth Country Club.
They're interviewing Freddy Sanchez now on TV. Somewhere, Ben Mondor is smiling and saying "That's my boy."