Schilling's soreness leaves status up in air

Arm, ankle feel workout

Sox use Wakefield in relief

ALCS notebook

Baseball

October 17, 2004|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

BOSTON - Curt Schilling's status for the rest of the American League Championship Series remained in doubt yesterday, one day after he had an encouraging throwing session at Fenway Park.

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that Schilling had the "usual after-throwing soreness" when he arrived in the clubhouse yesterday, and that applied both to Schilling's pitching arm and right ankle, which has a torn tendon sheath.

"I think probably what I said [Friday] still stands," Francona said. "We have not closed the door on his season. But that's about where we're at."

Schilling gave up six runs in three innings in Game 1 before the Red Sox revealed the severity of the injury. After his ankle was too sore to throw a side session Thursday, Schilling went out with a high-top shoe Friday and gave the team hope he would be able to pitch in this series.

The Red Sox certainly need him. Francona used Tim Wakefield, his projected Game 4 starter, in the fourth inning last night, leaving Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez to start the next two games.

Asked about his Game 5 starter, Francona said, "We haven't got that far yet."

No passing fancy

If New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had pursued a football career, he would have been better than a third of the quarterbacks in the NFL, Red Sox first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz said.

Rodriguez was the quarterback at Miami's Westminster Christian High School, and Mientkiewicz was a tight end. Their team lost by one point in overtime in a game that would have sent them to the Florida state tournament. But they did win a state championship together in baseball.

"There's nothing he does athletically that surprises me," Mientkiewicz said of Rodriguez. "He prepares every day like it's the last game he's going to play."

Was Rodriguez really that good at quarterback? "He was better than Gino Torretta, and he won the Heisman [Trophy for the University of Miami in 1992]," Mientkiewicz said.

When told of the warm-fuzzy memories Mientkiewicz was spinning in the Red Sox clubhouse, Rodriguez wanted nothing to do with it.

"He's really trying to soften me up, isn't he?" Rodriguez said. "I was [terrible]."

Sticking with Hernandez

Friday's rainout also would have given the Yankees a chance to skip Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez and use Game 1 starter Mike Mussina tonight with his regular four days' rest.

But Yankees manager Joe Torre still planned to stick with Hernandez.

"If you don't feel good about him pitching Game 4," Torre said, "you know, how is he going to feel about pitching Game 6 or 7 or whatever?"

Around the horn

With three RBIs last night, New York's Bernie Williams passed David Justice for the all-time career postseason record with 29. ... Yankees first baseman John Olerud left the game with a bruised right instep after grounding out in the sixth inning. He was taken for precautionary X-rays, which were negative. ... Torre was critical of Ruben Sierra's attitude in 1996, but Sierra has made a far more favorable impression in this go-around with the Yankees. "I could see him being a manager, or a heck of a coach," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "You always see him talking baseball. He's always taking young players under his wing." ... ESPN analyst and former Sun sportswriter Tim Kurkijan will be the featured speaker when the Mid-Atlantic Professional Baseball Scouts Association holds its annual awards banquet on Nov. 19 at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor. The association also plans to honor Ripken Baseball. For ticket information, contact Ty Brown at 804-448-1646.

Yankees vs. Red Sox

Best of seven; *-if necessary New York leads series 3-0

Game 1: New York, 10-7

Game 2: New York, 3-1

Game 3: New York, 19-8

Today: New York at Boston, 8:15 p.m.

*Tomorrow: New York at Boston, 5:10 p.m.

*Tuesday: Boston at New York, 8:19 p.m.

*Wednesday: Boston at New York, 8:19 p.m.

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