Vicente Padilla, Red Sox reliever
Padilla looked like the ultimate villain character in a B-movie, but for a while he was the ultimate savior to a beleagured Red Sox bullpen, working as the set-up man for fill-in closer Alfredo Aceves.
The 34-year-old master of many pitches appeared in 56 games for the Red Sox and finished 4-1 with a 4.50 ERA and one save. He had a stint on the disabled list in August due to bicep soreness.
The Nicaraguan hurler had a tendency to hit batters during his days with Philadelphia and Texas, but plunked only three with the Sox last season. He is one of the few pitchers in baseball to throw an eephus pitch, although he rarely threw it at Fenway.
During the season, Padilla accused the Yankees Mark Teixeira of mistreating his Latin teammates while they played together in Texas and also said Teixeira once threatened to hit him with a bat, a charge Teixeira denied. Padilla also said Teixeira would be “better off playing a women's sport."
Padilla, a 2002 All-Star with the Phillies, signed a minor-league free-agent deal with the Red Sox in the offseason, and earned $1,500,00 in Boston. He was granted free agency in October.