The Red Sox admitted to a longstanding fib yesterday.
For years, the left-field wall was marked as being 315 feet from home plate. But last night the distance was listed on the Wall as 310 feet.
Evidently, groundskeeper Joe Mooney remeasured the distance to the Wall earlier this week and, after huddling with Sox management, decided to make the change.
“I was wondering when someone would notice,” said Mooney with a laugh. ‘’I was sitting in the stands before the game wondering when someone would come up and ask about it. Nobody did.”
In a Globe story last month, columnist Dan Shaughnessy, who personally measured the distance, listed it at 309 feet 3 inches.
“That’s about what it is,” said Mooney. “We rounded it off. It came out in that story, so why hide it?”
Clemens has encouraging BP outing
Roger Clemens threw 60 pain-free batting practice pitches to hitters for the first time yesterday at Fort Myers, Fla., in his rehabilitation from a muscle strain.
If things continue to go well, he would pitch for the Florida State League Sarasota Red Sox May 22 against the Fort Myers Miracle at Hammond Stadium, then would pitch for the Pawtucket Red Sox either May 27 or 28 against the Syracuse Chiefs at McCoy Stadium.
Minor league pitching coordinator Sammy Ellis said Clemens threw “about 70-80 percent velocity. We’ve tried really hard to hold back the reins on him
because he feels so strong he wants to do more. But he had an excellent warmup today. We weren’t intending for him to throw hard but to throw about batting practice speed. But he looks terrific.”
Ellis said Clemens would throw one more round of batting practice Monday and would then throw in a simulated game Wednesday at the Sox minor league complex.
Subtracting, not adding
General manager Dan Duquette foresees no new faces on the Red Sox by early next week as teams begin to pare their rosters.
“We’re going to have enough trouble trying to get down to our 25 men,” said Duquette.
He has been pursuing a signing or two, but nothing has come to fruition.
The Sox’ list of candidates to be cut has changed somewhat in the past few days. Originally, Wes Chamberlain was scheduled to be released, but the outfielder improved his chances with a game-winning home run Tuesday against the Orioles. The Sox will likely send rookie second baseman Steve Rodriguez to the minors, along with three pitchers. Mike Hartley, Joel Johnston, Jeff Pierce and Frank Rodriguez are candidates for demotion.
Yankees have aches and pains
The Yankees are a hurting crew. Paul O’Neill could be placed on the disabled list with a sprained right wrist. Other Yankees banged up include Don Mattingly (left hamstring, lesion over right eye) and Mike Stanley (bruised left knee) . . . Rheal Cormier will back up Zane Smith, who is scheduled to make his first start tomorrow. Cormier appears the odd man out and the new lefty in the pen, though he does get a start against the Brewers Thursday . . . Terry Shumpert got the start at second base over Luis Alicea . . . The Red Sox have hired their second replacement player for their minor league coaching staff. Righthander Dan Gakeler was hired as a pitching coach and will eventually report to Utica. Pookie Bernstine was hired as a coach at Sarasota . . . The Red Sox announced that they will open a Hall of Fame that will be temporarily housed in the New England Sports Museum, beginning this fall. It will later be moved to Fenway’s successor. Six unidentified players have been nominated, and all Boston members of the Baseball Hall of Fame are automatically in.