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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Pedro Martinez says Manny Ramirez must ‘carry the consequences’ of PED use 07.17.15 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at White Sox, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: International Champions Cup, Club America vs. Manchester United, 11 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Pedro Martinez, headed for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame next weekend, said Thursday that “probably 60 percent” of major leaguers were using performance-enhancing drugs in the early 2000s, and he acknowledged it likely will prevent fellow Red Sox great Manny Ramirez from joining him in Cooperstown.

“It’s unfortunate for the Dominican Republic, it’s unfortunate for his career and actually for himself,” Martinez said of Ramirez during a conference call. “Because Manny probably loves the game more than anybody else that you can think of.”

Added Martinez: “Manny has a great attitude. He’s very well-liked by a lot of people. He’s a great teammate. He has so many things going in his favor, but he’s going to have to carry the consequences that many more have had to carry. I don’t condone anybody doing anything bad as far as cheating the game.”

Martinez, who went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA for the Red Sox from 1998 to 2004, said he has no regrets about pitching during the steroid era.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” he said. “There’s no crying.”

Martinez, who will be inducted with former Braves pitcher John Smoltz (who briefly pitched for the Red Sox in the final year of his career), is the first Dominican player to be so honored since Giants pitcher Juan Marichal in 1983.

“The people will see a most unique Hall of Fame induction,” Martinez said. “I’m really excited about the response of the Dominican people. They’ve waited 33 years to see one of their players inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

Martinez also will be honored by the Red Sox by having his No. 45 retired.

“As excited as I am about being in the Hall of Fame, I’€™m really excited about my number being retired, extremely humble and proud,” he said. “It doesn’€™t happen very often, to actually have a number retired forever in the big leagues.”

— Colin Cowherd is the latest big-name personality to part ways with ESPN, with the network announcing Thursday that the host of the “The Herd” midway show on ESPN Radio since 2004 would not be re-signed. Multiple reports indicate he is likely to resurface at Fox Sports.

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Read More: Colin Cowherd, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez,
Pedro Martinez says he was forced to pitch while injured with Mets 05.06.15 at 12:13 pm ET
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With his new book, “Pedro,” which was released on Monday, former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez offers untold stories of his career in baseball. One of those stories came from his time with the Mets.

Martinez wrote in his book that Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon forced him to pitch through an injury in the 2005 season, specifically a toe injury that plagued him in late September when the team had no hopes of making the playoffs.

The New York Times published the excerpt, which said that Mets manager Willie Randolph told Martinez that he was done for the season but Wilpon wanted to sell tickets for a matchup against star Marlins left-hander Dontrelle Willis. Martinez said he protested the order and offered to give back the rest of his contract.

The newly minted 2015 Hall of Famer wrote that Wilpon said, “While I’m the boss here, you’re going to have to do what I say.”

The game, which Martinez pitched and lost, prolonged the toe problem, Martinez claims, and other parts of his body broke down the next season, and Martinez was inactive for the Mets’ run to Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series.

“I couldn’t help but think about how when I was healthy in 2005, our team wasn’t that good,” Martinez wrote. “But as my health declined, I was urged to pitch a meaningless game at the end of 2005 that wound up shortening my recovery time for 2006 and led me to a hospital where doctors performed a three-hour arthroscopic procedure to repair my shoulder.”

Wilpon responded to the excerpt via a statement published by the Times, refuting Martinez’s story.

“Pedro was always a great competitor and deserving of being in the Hall of Fame,” the statement read. “This particular excerpt in the book is false as those kinds of decisions have always been put in the hands of our baseball people.”

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees P Masahiro Tanaka dismisses Pedro Martinez’s pessimism 04.03.15 at 8:22 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Bucks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Thunder at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB exhibition: Twins at Red Sox, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB exhibition: Rays at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Braves at Orioles, 6 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Cubs at Diamondbacks, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)


Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka

— Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka said he was “honored” that Pedro Martinez would talk about him, but he dismissed the Red Sox legend’s assertion that he will not make it through the 2015 season healthy.

Martinez said Wednesday that he thinks Tanaka has been holding back this spring and expressed doubt that the Japanese ace would last the year.

“I feel kind of honored because a pitcher of that stature is talking about me; I was a little bit surprised by that,” Tanaka said Thursday through his translator (via the New York Daily News). “I understand that everybody has their opinion about certain things, about the way I pitch. But for me, I know where I’€™m at, and I feel good, so I think that’€™s most important.”

Tanaka pitched 4 1/3 innings in Tuesday’s spring training game against the Twins, allowing three runs on seven hits. He said he was trying to have his body “relax a little bit more when I’m throwing,” which might explain why it appeared to Martinez that he wasn’t going all out.

“I think Pedro was looking at specifically the last game that I was pitching, and obviously my stuff wasn’€™t the sharpest that day,” Tanaka said. “The games prior to that, I felt my breaking balls were there. In the bullpen, I’€™ve been throwing them pretty well, so I’€™m not really worried about that either.”

Tanaka, signed to a seven-year, $155 million contract last offseason, started 2014 on fire, winning 12 games before the All-Star break. But he was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in early July and did not return until late September. The Yankees are cautiously optimistic that the 26-year-old right-hander will regain his form.

“Whatever’€™s going to be is going to be, but right now he feels great, he feels healthy and he’€™s had a productive spring,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “All I know is, I’€™m thankful that every day he checks in and says he feels good.

“We obviously want him to stay healthy and hope he stays healthy, as does he, but I can’€™t predict the future.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert took a stand against discrimination but voiced frustration with the timing of the Indiana religious freedom law controversy during his annual state of the NCAA address Thursday in Indianapolis, site of the Final Four.

Emmert spoke while Indiana lawmakers worked to revise their controversial bill to clarify that it will not permit discrimination against gays and lesbians. Lawmakers passes the alteration to the bill shortly after Emmert’s press conference.

“Are we happy that this debate is occurring during the middle of Final Four week? Of course not,” Emmert said. “It would have been a lot easier to have the debate some other day.”

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Read More: Jonathan Taylor, Mark Emmert, Masahiro Tanaka, Pedro Martinez
Thinking Out Loud: No reason for new owners to move PawSox 01.09.15 at 3:12 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Nelson de la Rosa.

— The U.S. Olympic Committee’s decision to select Boston as the potential host city for the 2024 Olympic Games is a stunner. I’m speechless. OK, not really. But it doesn’t mean the Olympic Games are coming here. It means there’s a chance they do. Boston has to beat out Paris, Berlin, Rome, Istanbul, Melbourne and perhaps South Africa, too — and Paris would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its previous role as host (1924). Frankly, that’€™s tough competition. But in beating out Washington, San Francisco and two-time Olympic host city Los Angeles for the U.S. candidate bid, well, that’s still wicked pissah.

— This will be debated ad nauseam over the next few weeks, months and years — the International Olympic Committee won’t make the call on the host city until September of 2017 — but if the U.S. is expecting real New Englanders to embrace this bid? To get behind it? To root for it? To show national pride? To spend their tax dollars? To willingly put up with construction congestion and traffic snarls? Well, the latter already is a way of life around here. Whatevah.

— After watching a story on the local news this past week, I cannot imagine, under any set of circumstances, why any potential new owner(s) of the Pawtucket Red Sox would consider moving the team from Pawtucket and McCoy Stadium. This would be devastating news for Pawtucket, and for Rhode Island. Even if the stadium lease can be voided (reportedly it was renewed to 2021), why would a new ownership group do that?

— Part of the attractiveness of a place like McCoy — and many other minor league ballparks — comes from the “old school” feel the stadium gives you and gives to the sport — even after the wildly successful renovations to the old stadium back in 1999. The prices remain affordable for those who can’t (or won’t) spend the big bucks on a trip to Fenway. The team is ultra-competitive, the players often make the short trip up I-95 to help the big club. These factors make the relationship between the big league Sox and the minor league Sox one of the most unique in all of sport — and, of course, in all of baseball.

— If the new owners are from the Boston Red Sox ownership group — reported to be the case — what more do they need here? To be closer to Fenway? More money? Higher ticket prices? New fan base? Total control and world domination? It’s already a “model franchise,” considered one of the best in the country. Where would a new stadium be located — and would the community support the team like Pawtucket has done through thick and thin since 1977, when the late Ben Mondor purchased a dirty piece of coal and transformed it into an absolute diamond gem of an organization?

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Read More: John McDonald, Mike Piazza, Olympics, Pawtucket Red Sox
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Lions WR Nate Burleson wants to be ‘black Wes Welker’ 09.20.11 at 7:49 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson, who lines up opposite standout Calvin Johnson, is comparing his team’s passing game to the undefeated Patriots of 2007, who featured Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Explained Burleson to the NFL Network (via “This year I’m going to try to be the black Wes Welker. I’m going to get as many catches in the slot or on the outside opposite Calvin because he’s going to attract a lot of attention all year.”

Burleson was a teammate of Moss’ on the Vikings in 2003 and 2004, and he sees a similarity this season in Johnson.

‘€œOne of the biggest factors with me signing with Detroit was Calvin Johnson, hands down,’€ Burleson said. ‘€œPlaying with Randy Moss, I know first hand the benefits of playing with a guy who is going to attract a lot of attention. Calvin, by far, in my opinion is the best wide receiver in the league. If you haven’€™t been paying attention, four touchdowns in two games: The guy is pretty much showing everybody that he is.’€

‘™¦ With Tigers ace Justin Verlander at 24 wins and counting, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 most dominating pitching seasons. Two Red Sox are on the list. No. 9 is Roger Clemens‘ 1990 season, when he went 21-6 with a 1.93 ERA. No. 7 is Pedro Martinez‘ 2000 season (1.74 ERA). Belmont native (and former Red Sox) Wilbur Wood ranks No. 4 for his 1971 season with the White Sox (22-13, 1.91).

In The Los Angeles Times, Helene Elliott ranks the sports commissioners. Despite the lockout, NBA boss David Stern holds the top spot, ahead of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Baseball’s Bud Selig and hockey’s Gary Bettman are below the commissioners for college’s SEC and Pac-12.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 20, 1955, which player who would go on to become an executive with the team made his debut as a catcher with the Red Sox?

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Read More: David Stern, Justin Verlander, Nate Burleson Calvin Johnson, Pedro Martinez
Monday’s Morning Mashup: ‘Disrepectful’ Yankees anger Orioles over rescheduling 08.29.11 at 7:15 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

No games scheduled


‘™¦ The Orioles are not pleased with what they perceive to be insensitivity on the part of the Yankees regarding the rescheduling of a game in Baltimore postponed by Hurricane Irene. The Yankees were pushing to cram in another game Friday afternoon in an attempt to avoid losing one of their two remaining days off in September. The Orioles, however, wanted to avoid a doubleheader on Friday partly because they were planning a tribute to Mike Flanagan, who died last week. And with Hurricane Irene affecting millions of people in the area, there was little sympathy for the ballplayers.

The comment that apparently angered Showalter came from Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who said of the decision not to play Friday afternoon: “It’s silly to me.”

“First of all, I felt that some of the stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny quite frankly,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told “That didn’t sit with me very well. I can tell you that. ‘€¦ I’m sure if [the Yankees] stopped and thought about it, if the same thing that happened to one of their greats, that they probably would have given a lot of consideration to how they were going to handle that day.”

Added Showalter: “Their opinion on what the Baltimore Orioles should do for their fans and for their organization isn’€™t really that relevant to me personally. I can tell you that.”

‘™¦ Apparently, the Red Sox aren’t the only major league team with disagreements between players and management about treatment of injuries. All-Star right fielder Andre Ethier complained to The Los Angeles Times about playing through pain, implying that the team was not listening to his concerns. “I keep getting put in the lineup, so what am I supposed to do?” he said.

The Dodgers responded by sitting Ethier Sunday, but manager Don Mattingly said the situation was a surprise to him. “I was a little taken back by it,” Mattingly said. “I talked to ‘Dre about it to see if he felt that the way it came out was accurate. To me, the way I read it, was that ‘Dre’s been telling us he can’t play and we just said: `Well, you’re playing, anyway.’ And that’s definitely not the case. I would never do that. That’s not part of my DNA.

“To me, that takes a shot at my integrity, the organization, the training staff and Ned. But it really gets back to me, personally – that I would put a guy out there that was hurt and was taking a shot at hurting his career. I would never do that. And I told ‘Dre that, too.”

‘™¦ BYU basketball player Brandon Davies was reinstated Friday after his March suspension for a violation of the school’s honor code, and he does not appear to be bitter. “I’m excited to be back at BYU and look forward to the future,” he said in a statement. “I’m grateful for this opportunity.” In The Oregonian, John Canzano is amazed that Davies returned to the Cougars.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 29, 2000, Pedro Martinez had a perfect game for eight innings in a beanball-marred game in Tampa. Which Devil Rays hitter ended the bid with a single to open the ninth inning?

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Read More: Brandon Davies, Buck Showalter, Don Mattingly, Ethier
LEEInks List: Best All-Star Game performances by Red Sox players 07.12.11 at 11:52 am ET
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The Red Sox every year seem to have multiple players selected for the All-Star Game, but for the most part the Sox players never seem to do anything outstanding. Only four Sox players have been named All-Star MVP: Carl Yastrzemski, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and, most recently, J.D. Drew.

This year the Red Sox had six players named to the All-Star team. They include pitchers Jon Lester and Josh Beckett and position players Adrian Gonzalez (starter), David Ortiz (starter), Kevin Youkilis, and Jacoby Ellsbury. Lester will not play due to injury. takes a look at the 10 best performances in All-Star Game history by Red Sox players.

10. Fred Lynn, 1979

Lynn’€™s best All-Star Game moment occurred in 1983, but he wasn’€™t a member of the Red Sox at the time, he was a California Angel. He hit the only grand slam in All-Star history in that game and went on to be named MVP. Lynn was named to nine All-Star Games, including six with the Red Sox. In the 1979 game Lynn hit a three-run home run to give the AL a 3-2 lead. The AL went on to lose the game 7-6.

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Read More: All-Star Game, Carl Yastrzemski, j.d. drew, Pedro Martinez
LEEInks list: Best starts in Red Sox uniform over last half decade 06.11.11 at 12:39 pm ET
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Adrian Gonzalez is off to a scorching start in his first season in a Red Sox uniform. The powerful first baseman is leading the American League in RBI (57) and is also in the top 5 in batting average (.338) as of Saturday. If Gonzalez were to keep up that type of production for the remainder of the season, an American League MVP award could be in his future. But where would it rank among the greatest first seasons in Boston? To help answer that question, here’€™s a look at the top 10 first full individual seasons in a Red Sox uniform since 1961. (Apologies to Ted WilliamsJimmie Foxx and Cy Young, each of whom could have earned spots on this list without the time restricition.)

10. Bill Mueller 2003, .326, 19 HR, 85 RBI

The former Red Sox third baseman is probably most remembered in Boston for his base hit that drove in Dave Roberts to send Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS into extra innings, but what a year he had in 2003. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Mueller was expected to be a sure-handed third baseman who would do nothing more than just hold his own at the bottom of the Red Sox order. Instead, he exploded for career highs in not only average, home runs and RBI but also hits (171), runs (85) and doubles (45). His .326 average beat out Manny Ramirez (.325) and Derek Jeter (.324) by just points for his first and only batting crown.

9. Jonathan Papelbon 2006, 0.92 ERA, 35 saves, ROY runner-up

Before Papelbon made ‘€œShipping up to Boston’€ a fixture of the Fenway Park experience, he was a starter-turned-reliever coming into the 2006 season that came in and took the closer spot from Keith Foulke. From there, the hard-throwing righty flourished in the role that he still holds to this day. He allowed earned runs in just six of his 59 appearances (68 1/3 innings) and also walked only 13 batters over that span. A shoulder injury kept him from pitching in September and may have kept him from securing the Rookie of the Year award (won instead by Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander), but the fact remains that Papelbon’€™s 2006 campaign may have been the best ever by a rookie closer. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian beltre, Adrian gonzalez, Fred Lynn, Manny Ramirez
Pedro Martinez contemplates return to MLB 10.29.10 at 3:23 pm ET
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Former Cy Young Award pitcher Pedro Martinez is contemplating a return to the big leagues. Martinez did not pitch in the majors this year after a short 2009 stint with the Phillies. Martinez went 5-1 with a 3.63 earned run average during 2009 but was not signed by a major league club.

The former Red Sox ace is now working out in the Dominican Republic and he may choose to play winter baseball for the Licey Tigers. Martinez has battled injuries in recent seasons and no major teams have been willing to pay a high price for the veteran.

‘€œI’€™m looking for motivation to come back,’€ Martinez told ESPN’€™s Enrique Rojas.

Martinez, 39, was a three-time Cy Young Award winner in 1997, 1999, and 2000. He was also a eight-time All-star and a member of the 2004 World Series Champion Red Sox. Martinez has a career record of 219-100 with 3,154 career strikeouts. Over his career, Martinez played for the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Pedro Martinez, Rumor Mill,
LEEinks List: Biggest names to leave Boston via free agency 09.29.10 at 10:15 am ET
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Although the season is not yet over for the Red Sox, speculation already has begun about whether or not the team will resign All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre. Because Beltre undoubtedly will warrant top dollar, there is a good chance the Sox may pass on locking him up long-term. Good players come and go through a city all the time; it is the nature of the game. A player performs well during a contract year, or finishes up a long deal with the team, and decides a change of scenery is necessary.

With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of the best players who have played here and then decided to leave for greener pastures via free agency.

10. Jason Bay

Bay came to the Red Sox in the Manny Ramirez deal in 2008, showing fans right away why he was an All-Star outfielder for the lowly Pirates. In his two years in Boston, he batted .274 with 45 home runs and 156 RBI. He seemed to be a perfect fit on the team. Instead, he joined the Mets in the offseason, and has struggled in New York, battling both injury and inconsistent play.

9. Luis Tiant

Tiant made his MLB debut with the Indians in 1964, and in 1968 led the league in ERA (1.60) and shutouts (9). The Cuban right-hander then came to Boston in 1971 and became one of the more popular players in the team’s history. Unfortunately for Sox fans, Tiant joined the Yankees at the end of the ’78 season, playing two years with the Bronx Bombers.

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Read More: adrian beltre, Bobby Orr, Pedro Martinez,