Minor League Adventures

So I saw the Sox AA team last night, and pitching was converted knuckleballer
Charlie Zink. You may or may not have heard his story. Here’s a Globe
Story
with his background. Unlike Wakefield, a converted infielder, Zink
was always a pitcher, and throwing the knuckler may or may not be his ticket,
as he evidently doesn’t have the normal stuff to be an MLB pitcher.

Now I only saw this one performance, and having watched Wakefield for the past
9 years I know that knucklers are prone to have bad games…but my snap judgement
is that Zink is no Tim Wakefield. And his manager left him in to get tatooed;
9 runs over 5 innings with at least 5 or 6 balls that bounced off of the tall
outfield walls of New Britian stadium.

Zink is now 0-5 with 8 starts, averaging 5 innings a start, with a 6.08 ERA.
Here’s hoping for a turnaround for you, Charlie.

On the bright side, this is the first time I’ve seen the Sea Dogs in a while…I’m
going to go online today and order one of these jerseys. Is there any question
that this jersey was made for me?

In other news, some Sox players are now publically complaining about the travel
schedule (Shilling commented on it privately about a month ago):

And the schedule has been a tad hectic. The Red Sox just finished a stretch
of 20 games in 19 days. There’s no telling whether fatigue has contributed to
the recent rash of errors.

Then there’s the travel. Several players say it has never been worse for
them.

“You can’t complain about it because you got to do it,” Alan
Embree said. “But you can complain about it because you got to do it.”

Nobody was griping Monday, the first day in three weeks that the Red Sox
didn’t have to be at a ballpark. So the players should be fresh tonight for
the opener of a three-game series against the Devil Rays.

At least one would think so.

“It feels like July right now,” Johnny Damon said, “and
that’s no good.”HEUSCHKEL

Can’t say I disagree much with this notion…that while travel can’t be used
as a major excuse, it cannot be discounted.

EDIT: Zink is featured prominantly in this New Yorker article titled Project Knuckleball. Props to psf chatter Q for directing me to this article.

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