Two Quick Baseball Thoughts

Saturday, June 4th, 2005 @ 1:16 pm | Sports

Two quick baseball thoughts on this fine weekend day…

It was fun to see Orlando Cabrera back in Boston last night. I’m trying to remember if he’s the first member of last year’s team to play against the Sox in Fenway. Ramiro Mendoza made a cameo appearance when the Yankees were in town for the ring ceremony, but he wasn’t on the active roster. Pokey Reese‘s new team, the Mariners, were in town for early May, but Pokey was on the DL and not with the team that weekend.

On the one hand, it would’ve been nice to see OCab get his ring last night at Fenway, but the Sox already sent somebody out to Anaheim for an individualized presentation. I can understand why the Sox wouldn’t want to take a break to honor an opposing player prior to a game.

Whatever the case, anybody else think it was fitting that Edgar Rentaria made a nice play to get OCab at first following his first at bat?

Octavio Dotel‘s having what sounds like Tommy John surgery that’s expected to knock him out of baseball for 2 years. This is after 4 doctors recommended rehab over surgery.

Tough break for the A’s, as Billy Beane likely planned on trading Dotel at some point to some pitching-hungry playoff contender (see Billy Taylor).

This news also makes appreciate the fact that that the Sox were able to get somebody like Curtis Leskanic last year. Leskanic was never really healthy and pitched ineffectively before getting his release from the Royals. The Sox then picked him up and he pitched relatively effectively through the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. It sounded like Leskanic’s shoulder was basically held together by spit and bailing wire by the end, but he pitched when he probably shouldn’t have because he wanted to win.

Granted, there are differences between Leskanic and Dotel. We have no idea how much pain Dotel’s actually experiencing. Dotel’s 5 years younger than Leskanic and probably feels he has a longer career ahead of them. Dotel hasn’t yet made the jump to a contender, but that was probably just a matter of time.

Leskanic’s willingness to pitch through pain was a big factor in the Sox coming back against the Yankees in the ALCS — without Leskanic, the Sox would’ve been forced to either use a lesser pitcher or extend a tired pitcher during Game 4. There’s no guarantee that the Yankees wouldn’t have scored the go-ahead run under one of these scenarios.

I wonder if Dotel’s decision will end up haunting some team that ends up with a shorter bullpen come October.

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