WEEI’s Dale & Neumy managed to scare up a few guests on their midday show today. They had Pawtucket Manager Buddy Bailey on to discuss Manny. (What else) Manny will DH tonight in Scranton, not play tomorrow, but come to the park early, workout, do batting practice and outfield drills and then fly back to Boston. He’ll get checked out here. He will play in the Pawtucket games Saturday, Sunday and Monday. (Red Sox are off Monday) He’ll be joining the Red Sox for sure on Tuesday. Neumeier told Bailey to pass the message along that the fans are clamoring for his return to the big club. Bailey was asked about reliever Jeff Wallace, the team has to make a decision on the lefty today as his rehab assignment has ended. They’re considering either bringing him up to majors or optioning him back to Pawtucket. He’s improved lately, basically because the pitching coach found that he was gripping the ball too tightly and it was messing with his control. They then asked him which players on the PawSox roster could potentially help the Red Sox, Buddy pretty much through his whole roster and named them and almost each of them was “playing well”…not too much detail given. He mentioned right-hander Wayne Gomes who had 19 saves for the Phillies in ’99. Bailey talks to Little and Port at least once or twice everyday. Both Dale & Neumy felt much better after talking to Bailey, that the decision is being made by Little and Port along with Bailey. Manny of course has the ultimate say in matters, he’s the one who can say how the finger feels. He DH’d last night because of the artificial turf on the field. There is some swelling with the finger, which is to be expected but not really pain.
They also had Bob Nightingale of Baseball Weekly on, who despite Bud Selig saying that the owners want Steroid testing, says the owners do not want it. If there’s no offense, people aren’t going to come to the ballpark, and they don’t want to risk losing stars. They talked some about Luis Castillo of the Marlins who has the 33 games hitting streak. Castillo apparently is a Manny-like character who sometimes as a switch hitter wears the wrong helmet to the plate, loses his glove between innings and doesn’t know who all his teammates are. He thinks Derek Lowe should be the AL starting pitcher in the All Star game, over Clemens and Garcia of the Mariners. Amazing turnaround, Nightingale said, sort of the opposite of the Dodgers Gagne, who went from so-so starter last year to lights out closer this year. He doesn’t think the players will set any strike date before September 16…that way they only lose one paycheck. There were rumblings among the players during the last work stoppage that they lost too many paychecks striking in August. None of the players really want to strike this year, the ones he’s talked to don’t want to strike at all. The players aren’t about to give up three, four or five paychecks.
Finally, they had Sox GM Mike Port. They told him too that Bailey made them feel better. Neumeier questioned Manny only playing 5 or 6 innings each night. Manny went 14 innings last night, and had a number of at-bats and they weren’t that good of quality. They’re examining things on a day-to-day basis. On the longer end of things they’re looking at Tuesday for him to rejoin the team. Dale talked about things always changing, because they really need him. Port said players vary from player to player as to how long they need to return, but it’s always a moving thing, it’s a day by day deal, but they’re approaching the end of the trail. Neumeier said fans were afraid that this is just another case of the team kissing the feet of the superstar and inmates are running the asylum. Port said he understand, and wish they could say this is what is going the happen, but you just can’t do that. Again, he said, we’re in the home stretch of this thing. On the John Henry Williams thing, it was done out of respect for Ted. The club was approached a number of days ago with the interest from John Henry Williams and the ownership thought given the association of Ted Williams with the Red Sox that they would see where this would go. Port talked about working out a football player a number of years ago, great athlete, but couldn’t hit faster than a batting practice fastball. He again said this was something down out of respect for Ted Williams. He doesn’t think it came directly from Ted. Some listeners had e-mailed about the younger Williams lack of skills from college. Port diplomatically pointed out that some players develop late. Some not drafted out of high school get to become high draft picks after college. On to Jeff Wallace, he’s rounding into form and given the need for left handed pitching, he will be “kept in the inventory” either the big club or Pawtucket. As for the hitting, the club has faced some great pitching in interleague play with the Diamondbacks and Braves, and some guys might be pressing and trying to do too much. Asked if he had heard from MLB about Castillo, Port wryly stated that he think they’re still busy investigating Roger Clemens for hitting Bonds. Asked about deadline trades, he said the first priority is always starting pitching.