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View Full Version : Boston Globe on Wily Mo's "Home Run"



redsmetz
04-12-2006, 10:24 AM
They're not exactly dancing in the streets over Wily Mo's start. A friend of mine who is from Boston said his sister is livid about the trade. From today's Boston Globe:


Pena's entrance lacked grace
By Amalie Benjamin, Globe Staff | April 12, 2006

The cheers that filled Fenway Park on the final two outs of the eighth inning in yesterday's 5-3 win over the Blue Jays were -- contrary to the view of Wily Mo Peña, who called them ''incredible" -- either in relief or in jest. They certainly were not in support of Peña's (ahem) defensive prowess.

It was simply a coincidence that both fly balls off Keith Foulke headed toward right field to finish off the inning. But perhaps it was a good thing. Peña got some practice. And, if he is to be believed, the raucous support of his new home fans.

It already wasn't going well for Peña, obtained in a trade for Bronson Arroyo from the Reds during spring training, after a weekend in Baltimore that featured six swings, six misses, one ball, and two strikeouts in two at-bats at Camden Yards. Other than an opposite-field double against the Rangers in Texas, Peña hasn't exactly impressed, especially with Arroyo winning games and hitting home runs in equal proportion (two of each).

But when Peña started drifting back on Frank Catalanotto's fly ball to deep right in the eighth, the result was singularly unexpected. Pena seemed in position to catch the ball, to save a sure home run. Instead, with his back contorted over the short fence in front of the Blue Jays' bullpen, the ball bounced off his glove and over the wall for a two-run homer. Not exactly what one might call graceful.

''That was going back, back, back," said Peña, calling it ''not my fault."

''When I hit that wall, my hand was going back, and so that was why I don't catch that ball. But I do the best I can."

''That's a home run," manager Terry Francona said. ''He went back to the wall and he didn't bring it back. I think he probably hit the wall and it bounced out. That's kind of a freak play."

Peña really shouldn't have been in the situation. Had Trot Nixon not suffered a mild groin strain in the second inning, diving for (and missing) a short fly off the bat of Aaron Hill, the Catalanotto mishap likely wouldn't have occurred.

''It is different, when you have a small wall out there," Nixon said. ''You jump and, all of a sudden, your back bends in a way where it shouldn't bend.

''It's kind of a reaction thing. It's not something you can practice. It's just the way the body responds to having the wall hit you in the middle of the back. The ball just squeezed out. It would have been a great catch. It's a great effort anyway."

And not unexpected from Peña.

When Cincinnati came to Fenway for a series last year, Peña helped a Manny Ramírez fly over the wall by the Pesky Pole, lost an Edgar Renteria line drive in the lights, and played a David Ortiz carom into a double. Oh, and he struck out seven times in 10 at-bats (including five in a row) in that series.

But with the outfield injuries -- Coco Crisp's broken knuckle, Nixon's groin strain -- Peña should see more time on the field, including, Francona expects, the next two games.

The manager estimated Nixon wouldn't be out of the lineup for long, saying, ''I think he was concerned because it was getting tight because it was cooling off out there. Doc's already looked at him and I don't think that it is anything that is going to make him miss more than a day or two."

But that's not what Nixon said, explaining that he had spoken to Scott Waugh, the team's physical therapist, who expected that it ''could be a good five to seven days."

''Which is encouraging to me," said Nixon, ''but it's frustrating, in a sense, that all we can talk about half the time, with me, is injuries and so forth. But God's got a plan for me, and just the way I think I've played throughout my career, maybe my body takes a little bit difficult road."

One that, for now, sends Peña back to the outfield.

After the game, in a clubhouse happy with six wins in seven games, Peña wasn't distraught about his performance thus far. He said he needs more time at the plate, more time from the fans.

''I don't know if they're going to expect too much," Peña said. ''I know they just have to know me first. I know I'm going to strike out, but I know I can hit, too. I just have to get ready so I can be ready for every opportunity they're going to give me.

''If they be patient, they're going to see a lot from me."

KearnsyEars
04-12-2006, 10:32 AM
''When I hit that wall, my hand was going back, and so that was why I don't catch that ball. But I do the best I can."

I don't miss wily mo, but I miss his quotes in half english.

Johnny Footstool
04-12-2006, 10:35 AM
Yeah, let's judge the trade after a week and a half of regular-season baseball.

A friend of mine has a sister who knows a guy in Detroit who once took a plane to Miami that connected in Boston, and he said that the fans there are fairly ambivalent about the trade since the team is still winning.

redsmetz
04-12-2006, 10:49 AM
Yeah, let's judge the trade after a week and a half of regular-season baseball.

I'm certainly not saying we should be judging the trade so early. I'm just sharing that the Boston media was less than enthralled with Pena's debut at Fenway. I think ultimately Wily Mo will come around and this can be a genuine "win win" trade.

Johnny Footstool
04-12-2006, 10:51 AM
I'm certainly not saying we should be judging the trade so early. I'm just sharing that the Boston media was less than enthralled with Pena's debut at Fenway. I think ultimately Wily Mo will come around and this can be a genuine "win win" trade.

Agreed.

The media tends to overreact and blow things out of proportion in the interest of selling a story. I think a couple of monsterous Wily Mo homers will shift their loyalties.

kbrake
04-12-2006, 11:03 AM
This is part of what I feared about this trade. I thought from the second I heard the deal that it was a great move for the Reds. However I really like Wily Mo and hope this is not the norm for him this season. I was afraid that the combination of a difficult right field, a difficult media, and at times difficult fans Wily Mo might really struggle. After seeing the guys on Baseball Tonight get a good laugh out of that play yesterday I cant help but feel bad for the guy. I really do hope that he puts together a monster year.

traderumor
04-12-2006, 11:08 AM
Yeah, let's judge the trade after a week and a half of regular-season baseball.

A friend of mine has a sister who knows a guy in Detroit who once took a plane to Miami that connected in Boston, and he said that the fans there are fairly ambivalent about the trade since the team is still winning.

Looks to me like some valid points made in the process of evaluating the trade in favor of WMP's overvaluation have already come to pass, with near prophetic precision ;)

NJReds
04-12-2006, 11:16 AM
http://bostondirtdogs.boston.com/Headline_Archives/BDD_WMP_open_bgml.jpg

Falls City Beer
04-12-2006, 11:18 AM
Yeah, let's judge the trade after a week and a half of regular-season baseball.

A friend of mine has a sister who knows a guy in Detroit who once took a plane to Miami that connected in Boston, and he said that the fans there are fairly ambivalent about the trade since the team is still winning.

Um, it's Boston's paper grousing about WMP's play.

JohnnyBench
04-12-2006, 11:22 AM
A friend of mine has a sister who knows a guy in Detroit who once took a plane to Miami that connected in Boston, and he said that the fans there are fairly ambivalent about the trade since the team is still winning.

I beg to differ, because I know a guy whose brother's mailman's sister's roommate who once drove from Fort Wayne to Phoenix and the guy who pumped his gas said his aunt's paperboy's father said it was a great trade for the Reds.:D

blumj
04-12-2006, 11:25 AM
Whether or not Boston fans wind up okay with the trade is going to depend more on how their rotation holds up without Bronson than how well Wily Mo plays. I think they'll handle the adventures of Wily Mo a lot better if David Wells and Matt Clement don't have too many adventures of their own.

registerthis
04-12-2006, 11:33 AM
Yeah, let's judge the trade after a week and a half of regular-season baseball.

A lot of people didn't have problems judging the trade before the season even began.

Spitball
04-12-2006, 11:44 AM
Whether or not Boston fans wind up okay with the trade is going to depend more on how their rotation holds up without Bronson than how well Wily Mo plays. I think they'll handle the adventures of Wily Mo a lot better if David Wells and Matt Clement don't have too many adventures of their own.

I think Wily Mo will be loved in Boston. I grew up just north of there and have watched the faithful embrace certain types. I remember Dick Stuart, notorious Dr. Strangeglove, driving the fans wild with his indifference to defense and his towering homeruns. He once got a standing "O" for cleanly fielding a hotdog wrapper.

Also, he is Latin, and ever since Louis Tiant charmed the city with his fractured English and unorthodox ways, there has been a certain love and acceptance by "The Red Sox Nation" of Latin players, Pedro, Manny, Ortiz.

Johnny Footstool
04-12-2006, 11:48 AM
A lot of people didn't have problems judging the trade before the season even began.

Yep, based on the value of the players exchanged at that time.

I don't think a week and a half has changed those values significantly.

westofyou
04-12-2006, 11:53 AM
I don't think a week and a half has changed those values significantly.Not of the players, but the effect the players have on their teams is really more of the issue than the individual talent level at this point.

registerthis
04-12-2006, 12:30 PM
I don't think a week and a half has changed those values significantly.

I don't think anyone is saying that they have. For example, I feel *exactly* the same about the trade now as I did before the season.

1Wildcat1
04-12-2006, 01:03 PM
I sat in right field for the at fenway for the Reds-Red Sox series last year and Wily Mo looked completely lost out their. They are not going to put up with Wily Mo's lack of defense or strikeouts for long in Boston. The fans will be calling for his head soon, if they havn't started to already.

traderumor
04-12-2006, 01:12 PM
I'm trying to think of some prediction about WMP's career track, and I'm not even sure I'd give him a Reggie Sanders type solid MLB contributor path at this point. I'll be surprised if he ever becomes anything more than a streaky HR hitter whose deep, prolonged slumps and poor defense far outweigh the fun of seeing how far his HRs traveled.

ochre
04-12-2006, 01:13 PM
Didn't he have a similar gaffe last year at Fenway?

Newman4
04-12-2006, 01:37 PM
Hey, we'll take him back if they get tired of him. We'll keep Bronson though too.

TeamBoone
04-12-2006, 02:52 PM
Ironically, didn't the media trash talk the Reds for giving up WMP when this trade was made? Didn't they think they were foolish?

That said, for Pete's sake, he's only played in three games and had only five ABs! Give him a chance before the ridicule starts in.

And those ESPN guys p*** me off! They're always making fun of someone.

Reds Nd2
04-12-2006, 06:24 PM
Didn't he have a similar gaffe last year at Fenway?

Yes. 6-13-05

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20050613&content_id=1088548&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

And while Milton didn't serve up any home runs, his replacement, Matt Belisle did. Ramirez stepped up and ripped a three-run home run to right that all but ended the drama.

Belisle could hardly be blamed for the homer, though, for Wily Mo Pena had the ball in his glove before it bounced into the seats.