The other big story this week was that Keith Foulke flew to Alabama on Monday to have his arm examined at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham. Initially, on Tuesday, both Foulke and Terry Francona adamantly denied the story (Tito: "The part about the doctor is so inaccurate that it's a shame. It's just wrong." Foulke: "I did not see a doctor. I went down to get some barbecue.")
However, the next day, in his weekly WEEI interview, Larry Lucchino acknowledged that Foulke had, in fact, made the trip to the ASMI. ... The Herald also noted that pitching coach Dave Wallace may have gone with Foulke.
Now the closer's Alabama getaway is being reported as fact. In today's Herald, Michael Silverman wrote: "On the subject of Keith Foulke, who went to Birmingham, Ala., Monday to get a mechanical tune-up at the American Sports Medicine Institute, Francona said because of an agreement he had with Foulke, he could not elaborate on his whereabouts...." Tito still denied that Foulke was checked out by doctors.
I'm not sure what the big deal with keeping this a secret is. Clearly, Foulke has been pitching like crap far too often, and it would be in everybody's best interest if he got himself checked out, explored every possible malady, etc. Maybe A-Rod can recommend a shrink.
Francona says Kevin Millar will start tonight against Randy Johnson, but John Olerud might play on either Saturday or Sunday. Something has to be done with Millar. His batting average is .231 (.211 on the road and .162 against LHP) and after almost two months, he has only eight extra-base hits. Which means his OBP on-base percentage (.333) is higher than his slugging percentage (.314).
He doesn't strike me as the middle infielder type, but Kevin Youkilis has been taking grounders at second base. ... The Red Sox hit only .235 (23-for-98) in the Blue Jays series, but Edgar Renteria went 6-for-12, raising his average to .257.
Yankees analysis from Cliff Corcoran: Taking Stock and Second Place. In New York:
Friday: Wakefield (4.24) / Johnson (3.94), 7:00
Saturday: Clement (3.34) / Pavano (3.69), 1:20
Sunday: Wells (6.81) / Mussina (3.38), 8:00