ROCCO’S RHODE ISLAND RETURN
It was a treat to watch Rocco Baldelli in action on Monday night in Pawtucket for several reasons. The Red Sox outfielder is on a rehab assignment for his hamstring. However, that is just the beginning of the story. The Hendricken grad signed with the favorite team of his childhood after becoming a free agent. He has battled back from illness and injury and is a feel-good story. Throw in the fact that he is a local guy who lead the Hawks to a R.I. Interscholastic League state title the last time he played at McCoy. It was as much fun to watch him work with the media before the game as it was to see him drive in a run with a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield in the PawSox 2-1 win. Baldelli fielded questions from the local media witha great deal of patience and eloquence before Monday’s game. Perhaps his greatest achievement though, was the “spread” he purchased for his PawSox teammates. As I walked through the Pawtucket clubhouse after my postgame interview with Daniel Bard, I was overcome by the intoxicating aroma of the fare from Wes’ Rib House. Trays of ribs, chicken, beans, onion rings, potatoes and corn bread overflowed on a huge table. As I walked by (apparently drooling) Manager Ron Johnson invited me to dig in. If not for my postgame show obligation, I think I’d still be there. It is customary for Major League players on rehab assignments to by the meal for their minor league teammates when they are rehabbing. Daisuke Matsuzaka is pitching for Pawtucket on Tuesday and has big shoes to fill. Rocco, Dice-K and Mark Kotsay are all in town these days.
If I didn’t hate the Yankees so much, I might feel a little bad about Joba Chamberlin’s mother being arrested for selling methamphetamines. 44 year old Jacqueline Standley was apprehended Saturday night. Bond was set at $5000. She is in a Lincoln, Nebraska jail. My mother has been peddling drugs for years. I should probably mention that Lucille is a registered pharmacist.