December 2009

NO, NO I SAID HE’S AT SHORT

Friends, I don’t think you need me to tell you this is a crazy world.  You’ve got Ron Artest of the Lakers admitting he drank French cognac at halftime of NBA games when he played in Chicago (MMMMM refreshing!!).  There’s the situation in Florida where the former Swedish nanny whacked around the worlds’ most famous athlete  with a golf club because he had several “transgressions”.  Bobby Bowden pushed out at Florida State.  The Patriots not showing up for their Monday Night meeting in New Orleans. One Florida Panther accidentally nearly decapitating another with his stick.  The list goes on and on.  And all this happened within the last week!  You can’t make this stuff up.  You don’t need to because it happens all the time.  So forgive me if I yawn when Terry Francona talks about moving Dustin Pedroia from second base to shortstop.  It’s not like we’re asking him to split the atom or cure cancer.  Pedey was a standout shortstop at Arizona State University.  The National Defensive Player of the Year while he was in Tempe, Pedroia succeeds because of the tremendous belief he has in himself.  When the media approached Dustin about this possibility, he embraced it as if it was his newborn son, Dylan. “They’ve asked me if I think I can play shortstop.” Pedoria said in a recent interview.  The Golden Glove second baseman continued- “They’ve put it out there and I’ve told them I’m all for it.  I can do it.  I can’t wait for Tito to call and ask ‘Can you do it?’  I can do it.  In fact, I really want to do it.”  While there are still other options, it would add another chapter to the improbable story of the kid from Woodland California, who has already been named the Rookie of the Year and the American League MVP.   Listed at 5’9 and 180 pounds (probably both exaggerations) Pedroia has made a career out of proving the naysayers wrong.  He is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met.  I encourage you to read his biography “Born to Play”.  Written by Ted Delaney, it offers insight to the man and why he has become so successful.  It is in all bookstores and would make a great Christmas gift.  My favorite part is on page 126.  You’ll have to pick it up and read it to see why.  Will the Sox move Pedey?  It isn’t the ideal situation.  He is one of the best second basemen in the game.  But given what I have seen from the young man, he’d be a success no matter where he played. 

THE STORY ON TOREY

The Boston Red Sox surprised at least one guy when they named Torey Lovullo as the replacement for Ron Johnson as manager of the PawSox.  I fully expected them to promote from within, but true to Sox form, they went out and hired the best man available.  Lovullo (pronounced luh VELL oh) has been managing in the Indians organization, most recently in Columbus.  I won’t profess that I know him really well, but what I do know, I like very much.  He has always treated me, as a visiting broadcaster very well.  I had the opportunity to speak to him on Tuesday to congratulate him on his new job and welcome him to the family.  Understandably, Torey was excited.  “I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this organization.  The Boston Red Sox are a class act, run by class people.”  Although he is new to the PawSox, he is certainly no stranger to McCoy Stadium.  “The PawSox are run so well, they really couldn’t be any better.  I always enjoyed coming to Pawtucket as a visitor and now I really look forward to calling it home.”  Torey Lovullo has history with several key members of the organization.  In 1999 he played for the Phillies and then-manager Terry Francona.  He also worked with Boston pitching coach John Farrell and Director of Player Development Mike Hazen while with the Cleveland chain.  This reunion is exciting for Lovullo.  “I played for Tito and John and Mike and I go way back.  It is very exciting to join such a great group of guys and such a fine organization.”  PawSox fans probably won’t get their first glimpse of Lovullo in person, until January.  Torey said he expected to be at McCoy for the annual Hot Stove gathering, but nothing was etched in stone, just yet.  “It’s a busy time with the Holidays and my kids, but I am really looking forward to getting there to meet everyone.”  While the Sox haven’t yet made a splash in the free agent market or trade arena, the seem to have hit a home run in naming Torey Lovullo the manager of the PawSox.

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