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Teeing off

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  March 26, 2009 03:54 PM

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It's a quiet day for Sox news, so what say we hit the links . . .

  • SI.com's Jon Heyman admits he doesn't have much use for Curt Schilling or his myriad opinions -- he says he avoids his blog "religiously" -- but writes that there is no doubt the big righty belongs in the Hall of Fame. He also offers a fresh analogy regarding Schilling's uncanny ability to walk the walk after talking the talk -- particularly in the postseason:

    Schilling called a championship for Boston -- saying that was his intention the moment the Diamondbacks traded him there -- then he delivered. That's almost Namath-like. Joe Namath's career football numbers aren't so perfect, either, and nobody doubted his Hall of Fame qualifications. Championships are what it's all about, and Schilling played as great a role in winning championships as just about any player of his generation except Mariano Rivera.

    Heyman also notes that after Sandy Koufax, his choices to start a must-win game would be Schilling or John Smoltz -- who to some degree is essentially Schilling's replacement in Boston.

  • I'm not sure what's more bizarre: That Pedro Martinez is approaching the Kansas City Royals looking for work. Or that Manny Ramirez of all people is telling Pedro he needs to lower his asking price.

    But it's apparently all true. Writes FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal:

    Martinez is reaching out to prospective suitors, but finding little interest in his $5 million-plus asking price.

    The Royals, before signing free-agent righthander Sidney Ponson to a minor-league contract, rejected an overture from Martinez because they were unable to afford him, major-league sources say.

    Sidney Ponson? Really? Then there's this:

    As a 17-year veteran, Martinez has similar connections with virtually every club, and surely is employing all of his contacts as he continues to seek work.

    Several of Martinez's friends, including . . . Ramirez, have told him that he needs to be more realistic with his salary desires, sources say.

    The Dodgers would be interested in Martinez if he dropped his price dropped to the $1 million to $2 million level. At that level, other teams likely would jump in, too.

    It will be interesting to see whether Pedro lowers his salary request, or if he chooses not to pitch for less than he believes he is worth. He did look like he could help a team during the WBC.

  • The Rangers released reliever Brendan Donnelly, who pitched for the Red Sox in 2007 before undergoing Tommy John surgery that August.

    Donnelly had an 8.56 ERA for the Indians last season and was let go by a Texas club that has its usual unsettled bullpen, with seven relievers still fighting for four jobs. But if the Rangers were sending him a message that it's time to hang 'em up, Donnelly didn't listen.

    "I didn't see this one coming," Donnelly told texasrangers.com. ". . . I thought I was throwing the ball pretty good. I gave up a couple of runs but I was told not to walk anybody and I didn't.

    "I came in there and pounded the zone. Spring Training is a process, each day you work on something and then you put the final package together at the end. I thought I've thrown the ball better than I have the past couple of years."

  • Speaking of trying to hang on, it sounds like Trot Nixon -- who was released by the Brewers yesterday after batting .105 this spring -- and Milwaukee manager Ken Macha might not have parted on good terms.

    "He came to me and he said that he had known me for a long time but that things were a little different between he and I in Spring Training here," Macha told milwaukeebrewers.com "But I said to him, 'No. 1, I am trying to get to know 56 different people here. The other thing is I wanted you to come in here and earn this spot yourself.'

    "I consider Trot a friend and I'm proud of his career. I know his father and his wife, and if he does get on to play, I wish him well. If he doesn't, I told him it's equally difficult for everyone. When you love the game as much as he does, and as I did, it's tough to call it quits. I hope he catches on and gets to play this year."

    Nixon, a popular but oft-injured player during his 10 seasons with Boston, turns 35 on April 11, but he has struggled since the Red Sox chose not to re-sign him after the '06 season. He hit .171 in 35 at-bats for the Mets last year.

    Macha was Nixon's manager for four seasons in the Red Sox system, and the two were reportedly close. You have to wonder if Macha offered him some advice he wasn't ready to hear.

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