I believe it was former major league manager Jeff Torborg who once tried to soften the blow while getting rid of a player by saying, “It’s nothing personal – it’s personnel.”
Tell that to Rocky Cherry.
(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
The 29-year-old pitcher was released by Boston yesterday, despite having an outstanding season with Pawtucket, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.57 ERA. I have not discussed the move with anyone from the Red Sox, but it could only mean one thing – they had decided he was not a candidate for a September call-up and is not in their plans for next season (which explains why younger prospects with poorer statistics are retained).
As Hyder and I left for the ballpark on Friday, we saw Rocky in the hotel lobby getting ready to catch a cab to the airport and I was glad to have the opportunity to shake his hand and wish him good luck. More often than not, we don’t get that opportunity when a player leaves the team. In many cases, we never see him again.
I certainly hope we cross paths with Rocky again, but with his 30th birthday coming up on August 19th, I know he’s debating whether to keep pitching or to call it quits. His dad, uncle, and brother run a third-generation commercial painting company in Dallas, and Rocky eventually plans to join the family business. He was a 4-time academic All-Big 12 Conference selection at the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in construction science so I’m certain he will be extremely successful in his post-baseball career.
But when said goodbye yesterday, I encouraged him to keep pitching. The family business is always going to be there, but the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues only lasts for so long.
Rocky has been there before with the Cubs and Orioles and proved with the PawSox that’s he’s good enough to return.
Personally, I’d love to see it.
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Chris Carter seems to have a knack for heating up at the right time.
Carter was Boston’s best hitter in spring training and earned the final spot on the Red Sox opening day roster after batting .355 in the Grapefruit League with a team-high 6 home runs in 28 games.
Now with September call-ups just around the corner, Carter is swinging a white-hot bat again.
Carter was 3-for-3 with a walk and 2 RBI in Friday’s 7-6 loss at Gwinnett. In his last 10 games, Chris is 15-for-32 (.469) with 3 HR, 8 RBI, 8 BB, and 1 HBP (.585 OBP).
I know it’s been a frustrating year for Chris as he’s only had 5 major league at-bats, but as Kevin Youkilis and others have told him, this is the way to get back to Boston. When rosters expand in September, the Red Sox will promote players that can help them win one crucial game in the battle to get to the postseason.
If Carter keeps this up, he’ll be hard to overlook.
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Red Sox nation will be playing close attention to the PawSox game on Saturday as Tim Wakefield takes the mound at Gwinnett. It will be Wake’s first minor league game since last pitching for the Pawtucket in May of 1995.
I hope you’ll join us for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.