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Tom Caron pre-Game 1 chat transcript -- Wednesday Oct. 13, 2004

Tom_Caron:Hey everyone... sorry it took so long, but these things can only move as quickly as I can (and that's trouble)
Shawn_Collins:Q: Tom, Do you feel that Pedro Martinez can come out tonight in Yankee Stadium and prove to be an ace? If not then who can we turn to, Bronson Arroyo has been good, but does he have enough confidence to carry this team against the Yankees?
Tom_Caron:That's the million dollar question (actually, more like $13 million a year for three years!) It's on Pedro now, and I'm looking for him to step up big. He did it last week against the Anaheim Angels (after losing four straight games). I'd expect nothing less.
Henyan:Q: Why wasn't Lowe used instead of Wakefield when it was 7-0?
Tom_Caron:I was asking the same question. Actually, I thought he'd be the first guy out when Schilling struggled. Terry Francona said he had Lowe ready for "matchups" that never came to be. It'll be interesting to see if he gets in a little work tonight.
bsimons:Q: How much do you think last nights' extensive use of the bullpen will affect Pedro's pitch count knowing his late inning issues vs. the Evil Empire?
Tom_Caron:Not at all. Francona's been taking some grief for the way he used the 'pen last night, but I'll say one thing: he didn't overextend anyone. With a day off tomorrow, virtually everyone is available tonight. Remember, no one pitched more than an inning in relief last night.
Shawn_Collins:Q: TC, who are you looking for to have a big game tonight? I usually see Trot Nixon as a Yankee-killer type of player, but he didn't show me too much last night, do you think V-Tek can keep it up, his bomb last night was BIG!?
Tom_Caron:Varitek is such a great post-season performer. His homer last night was the eighth post-season homer of his career -- a Sox record...
Tom_Caron:Millar is a .429 lifetime hitter against Leiber (9 for 21), Mueller is 15-for 31 (.484) against him, and Ortiz and Nixon have had success in smaller samples. The Sox should get the offense going against Lieber tonight.
kp:Q: What is the latest on the ankle?
Tom_Caron:We're waiting for an update. Francona will be addressing the media at 5 pm. Unfortunately, I won't know much more until then (and until I hear from intrepid reporter Eric Frede, who's working the clubhouse as we speak.)
ArmySoxFan:Q: Tom ....I do not agree with your articleregarding the pressure being on the Yanks.....if the Sox do not win tonight and come back to Boston 0-2...we are history (especially if Schilling is out) Pressure is on the Sox...not the Yanks tonight. Thoughts?
Tom_Caron:I'll meet you half way. The pressure is on Pedro Martinez, who has always handled pressure in his career. If you believe some commentators, Pedro wanted to be the Sox No. 1 man in the post-season. Guess what? He might be getting his chance...
Tom_Caron:Let's not overlook the pressure on Jon Lieber. This guy hasn't impressed me, despite his 14-win season. After watching the Sox late-game offense last night, I expect Martinez to get some early run support, which is always important to his ability to execute.
FlaSoxFan:Q: Tom, Big series, shouldn't sox management know how well Curt's foot is PRIOR to a game start??
Tom_Caron:I think they knew it was troublesome, but you HAVE to go with him in that start. He's a tough competitor, and he thought he could get the job done. Even if he went 4-5 innings of 3-run ball, it would've been worth it. Francona said he "gave every chance" for Schilling to get it done, and he just couldn't.
Oil_Can:Q: Is Francona's job safe no matter what happens in these playoffs? (another Grady blunder)...How much blame if any do we start directing towards Dave Wallace on keeping these starting pitchers in the game a batter or two too long? Or is it all on the manage
Tom_Caron:I doubt the Sox would fire another manager after another ALCS appearance. As for the in-game decision making, that's ultimately the manager. He relies on information provided by Wallace, trainer Jim Rowe and physical therapist Chris Correnti, but he makes the ultimate call.
Jeter_s_daddy:Q: Tom, what do you think of the Sox' chances of winning the series if Schilling doesn't make another start?
Tom_Caron:Believe it or not, I still think they'd have a chance. Not as good a chance, but I still like Pedro over Lieber and Arroyo over Brown (at Fenway.) I'll leave Game 4 up in the air because of the uncertainty of the Yankees' starter. That, I assume, would leave Derek Lowe to face Mussina in Game 5. At Fenway Park, the Sox could get to Mussina...
Tom_Caron:Do they have as good a chance w/o Schilling? Absolutely not. But, given the state of the Yankees pitching (starting and relief), it's by no means a lock for New York.
yankeehater11:Q: What is the deal with Pedro? does he have the flu? rumors are flying around and i need to know!!
Tom_Caron:I have not heard that. He took part in pre-game ceremonies last night. He chose not to speak to the media in the schedule press conference, but he didn't last week, either.
BIGNateDawg:Q: What kind of "counter-chant" should the Fenway faithful use when the series comes back the Hub?
Tom_Caron:Good question. How about "HIT THE WALL" (w/ the appropriate rhythmic clapping afterwards) as Brown takes the mound Friday night. Maybe "Four More Years" in honor of no World Series win since 2000?
ArmySoxFan:Q: Tom - I read last weeek that Damon is having migraines and has his back worked on weekly now ... any idea if this is affecting his game? 0-4 with 4 whiffs?
Tom_Caron:If it is, it came on suddenly -- after he went .500 against Anaheim (7-for-14). I doubt it affected him as much as Mike Mussina did last night.
erin:Q: What can the sox do to get Matsui out? 22 rbi un 20 games is ridiculous.
Tom_Caron:While I certainly classify him as a "certified Red Sox killer," he's only .136 lifetime against Pedro (3-for-22) According to the scouting reports, he is weakest when you pitch him low and inside. Let's try that.
JimReilly:Q: Who has a better "system", you or Remy?
Tom_Caron:If I had a "system," it would look a helluva lot better than the "moss" I've got up there now.
Air_Force_Daddy_:Q: Tom my guys here at Dover AFB /Dover DE want to know what is the feeling in Bean town right now Panic ? or What???
Tom_Caron:A little panic. Nothing Pedro can't settle down tonight.
lewistongerv:Q: TC what do you think of moving cabrera to the 9 spot and mueller to the 8th... cabrera seems to be struggiling in the post season
Tom_Caron:Interesting thought... although I'm not sure that the switch from 8 to 9 is that significant. That, and I like Mueller hitting just before Damon.
p905:Q: Do you see Pedro throwing at Matsui tonight after 5 RBI's last night? Especially if things don't start out well for Pedro?
Tom_Caron:He'll pitch inside, to say the least. I don't think he'll be going at anyone. There are more important things than drilling someone right now.
OV:Q: Who's responsible for setting the Sox outfield defense? It seemed like Manny was playing WAY too shallow on that back-breaking Bernie double. This isn't Andruw Jones we're talking about here!
Tom_Caron:He's always played shallow. He should've had the Bernie Williams fly ball, but he took a very circuitous route to the ball. He's played the corner pretty well at Yankee Stadium, just remember the catch off Miguel Cairo on 9/17.
hey-rod:Q: When will people stop having this love affair with wakefield? He throws belt high wiffleballs and gets hammered all the time
Tom_Caron:Don't forget what he did vs. the Yankees last year. Boone doesn't hit that homer, Wakefield's the ALCS MVP. When it dances, he's effective; if he doesn't, forget about it. I still like him as one of the four post-season starters.
K-Dawg:Q: Although it would seem the Sox would be able to pound a guy like Lieber, the statistics say otherwise. The entire Sox roster only has 44 hits in 161 At Bats with only 6 HR's lifetime against him. Can you explain this ?
Tom_Caron:No. Althought the majority of those problems stem from Cabrera (2-for-18) and Reese (1 for 19), who faced Leiber was with Pittsburgh and, more importantly, the Cubs (a 20-game winner for Chicago in 2001.)
Eddie_Romero:Q: Howard Bryant was just on the radio here in SF saying that some Sox players were privately criticizing grady..i mean francona for most of his moves last night....Timlin too long, Wakefield instead of DLowed. have you heard that as well?
Tom_Caron:No. When a team loses, I expect anything from the clubhouse.
Idiot_Savant:Q: Is there any chance we can get through this game without yet another questionable move, or more likely non-move on Terry Francona's part? Seeing Mike Myers warming up in the 3rd inning in ridiculous.
Tom_Caron:I still don't know what that was all about. I don't want to see Myers pitch to more than one (maybe two) left handed hitters. Period. Ultimately, I wanted to see him pitch to Matsui in the 8th, but Timlin got him out.
rsoxrule:Q: Tom: would you prefer the Sox players to be quiet until such time as they actually win something? Schilling put his foot in him mouth about quieting 50,000 fans at the Stadium, and we'll never hear the end of Pedro's "daddy" comments!
Tom_Caron:Nah... that stuff doesn't bother me. It's all about what you do on the field. You're right, though... they need to get it done there.
hibricc:Q: How do Bronson Arroyo's parents feel about Tim McCarver re-christening their little boy as "Brandon"... TWICE!
Tom_Caron:Leave Tim McCarthy alone. He does a great job.
BrianW:Q: Doesn't the t-shirt flap (basically, MLB taking sides) call into question the integrity of MLB? Will the Sox file a more formal, legal protest?
Tom_Caron:No. They're just selling merchandise. Who cares?
LuisRivera:Q: What do you think of the faux patriotism by the Yankees when they outstretch God Bless America, which in turn, screws up the rhythm of the opposing pitcher?
Tom_Caron:Be careful. Last post-season, Ron Gardenhire complained about it and got villified for being anti-American. I've always thought it knocked the opposing pitcher off his rhythm.
RobWoodward86:Q: Does Sheffield win the MLB Mr. Intensity Award?
Tom_Caron:He certainly gives it his all, despite the shoulder injury. Still can't figure out how he gets that metronome of a bat around so quickly.
pau_nofsky:Q: But tom, MLB was santioning on its website those obnoxious "Who's your daddy " shirts but rejecting an "Evil Empire" jersey the Sox tried to make official? talk about hypocricy!
Tom_Caron:Well... MLB does have control over the Yankees and REd Sox logos. I'm guessing "Evil Empire" is trademarked by Lucasfilms or some such. Don't get me wrong: I didn't like the T-shirt. I just don't think it's that big of a deal.
Vinny:Q: Tom, weren't there a couple of great signs for hope last night, like the Sox doing some damage against Gordon AND Rivera? We had a chance to tie in both the 8th and the 9th...
Tom_Caron:If I'm Joe Torre, I'm worried about that 'pen. Gordon and Rivera are the foundations of the relief corps. If they're ineffective, the Yankees are in big trouble...
pau_nofsky:Q: tom would you use gabe kapler for late inning defense ofr manny or nixon but only if you knew their spot in the batting order would you appear again in the game?
Tom_Caron:Dr. Bill Morgan is about to have a press conference concerning Schilling's ankle. Gotta run. As they say, stay tuned...
Tom_Caron:Thanks for your questions. It was fun. Hopefully, tonight'll be fun as well.
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