Sox to Sign Wade to One Year Deal
(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Nick Merrill)
"Wade Miller, I think that’s a great pick up. I got to see him quite often the last couple of years, the only thing that’s stopped him is he’s had a couple of freak injuries rather than actual injuries where he needed surgery or what else I’m not sure what the injuries were. Great pitcher, hard thrower. He pitched well against us many times over the last three years." -- 12.22 Matt Clement on new Sox pitcher Wade Miller
ESPN's Peter Gammons to BDD: "When the Red Sox were talking to teams about Dave Roberts before the 20th deadline, they discussed a Roberts-Miller deal with the Astros. Theo Epstein had promised Roberts, out of respect, that he would try to trade him to a team where he would play regularly, and Roberts did not see that opportunity in Houston with Lance Berkman coming back in May or June and the possibility of Carlos Beltran signing, and ended up in San Diego in what could be a very good trade for Boston. The Sox will pursue Miller, but as one GM told me, "there will be a dozen to 15 teams in on him, and it could be costly for the risk involved."
Schilling on SoSH: "Wade Miller would be a good sign IMO. In addition to being a serious competitor he knows how to pitch. Given the dynamics of the staff that handles players here this would be a very different situation for him to be in. A lot less pressure and a lot more attention. Look at what the training staff did for Pedro this past season. They got him to the post, along with his hard work for every start. I love the thought of this guy coming here and being able to come back as he can. He can pitch and he can win. Put him in front of this offense and it could be a steal. Bringing guys this good here in this kind of situation seems to me to be a win win given that he'll most likely sign a deal that's incentive laden. I think it's a great move. Considering the staff that's being assembled in NY this year is gonna be another huge challenge and pitching once again IMO will carry the day when it all comes down to it."
"There is surprise in some baseball circles that the Red Sox are holding to budget with certain players and are not going the extra mile, especially since they raised ticket prices... I don't think Clement is a good fit in Boston, he has too many idiosyncracies, superstitions, and doesn't handle pressure well."-- 12.22: Buster Olney on WEEI D&C
Matt Clement: I don't know Buster Olney and I don't know how he'd know if I had any idiosyncrasies and I really don't care what he thinks that way but as a person, during times like this people try to pull things out, and try to get you, try to put... it's always negative talk that tries to come out of it. I, myself just try to go out there and pitch. You have your few things you do when you're on the mound as a routine, but in my eyes I don't have any idiosyncrasies or superstitions that I know about, so maybe he can tell me what they are.
The Matt Clement Conference Call
Matt Clement: I've heard there's a lot (of scrutiny of the team) since I've signed and even before I made the decision, I've always been the kind of person that is up for a challenge like that and I've been pretty well prepared being at Wrigley Field the last three years and for me to sit here and compare the two atmospheres, the scrutiny and everything else would be terribly irrelevant because I've never been through it in Boston before. Chicago's not the easiest place for a player or team to play, especially, there's a lot of similarities with the Cubs and the Red Sox until what happened at the end of last year so I think I've been well prepared, if it's a little tougher it's something that you're gonna have to adjust to but I'm so excited, how many pitchers get the chance to pitch at Wrigley Field for three years especially in the excitement we did and now I get to come to Fenway Park for three years and get to do the same thing especially after a World Series and to be in contention . I am just unbelievably excited to come to Fenway Park and be a pitcher for the Red Sox.
No matter what the case, I'm going out there, 110% and I'm gonna be out there to answer the call if unless it's physically impossible for me to get out there. I'm a ground ball pitcher. I use my slider as my effective out pitch. And I'm just gonna attack the hitters aggressively the best I can.
A huge thing for me was the catching situation, and hopefully that's the same as it's been for a while here. It's something that as a pitcher, when I watch games, I watch how the catcher performs and think to myself, "man, I'd love to throw to this guy" and I remember saying that many times about Varitek, both him and Mirabelli last year and that's something that I'm very excited about.
I don't think Theo can give me a sure answer on (Varitek signing). You're probably better off asking Theo about that and I'm sure you guys have done that already. As far as I know it's something that they're trying as hard as they can to do and as I said, it's not really, especially just being in the organization for one day to really give a great opinion on it, it's just something I'm hoping for.
I called Bill Mueller, it was somebody I was close with when we played on the same team in Chicago, we had some of the same values and ideas about things and I feel like I can fit into any team, I'm not a hard person to get along with, I never have been and I can adapt well. More of my question was about living in Boston as far as my family... he wasn't trying to sell me but he had unbelievable things to say about all his teammates, about the organization, the area, and I trust Bill and what his decision was, I tried to call people that I trust and weren't going to sway me one way or the other, they were going to tell me the truth and I take a lot of credibility in what Bill says.
Others talked about my being on a good team for three years, a catching staff that hopefully will be completely in place here soon, and I heard more raving reviews about him from different people than I ever had in the past about anybody.
Much has been made about pitchers coming from the National League to the American League, as a guy who has pitched in the NL his whole career, are there any particular challenges?
I'm up to a challenge. I'm not really gonna miss hitting all that much, that's why pitchers don't like to leave the National League after they're there. I'm sure Curt Schilling's a pretty good person to talk to since he just did it and he's been pretty successful with it. For me it's a thing where I just, a lot has been made of switching, I've never really put much into it. I love to pitch. It's a different league, I've always pitched pretty good in interleague play, I know that's not a great barometer but I've had 10-15 starts in interleague play in the last 3-4 years. For me it's going to be an adjustment period probably, but it's a challenge I'm definitely up to and it's something that I hope won't be expecting to be a big deal.
How much did it factor into your decision to see that the Red Sox averaged just under six runs a game?
Definitely. Going into the offseason here and the free agent period was new for me and there were a lot of things were going to factor in. I definitely wanted to go to a team that… I don’t know if it was so much just the runs, that’s obviously a nice perk to have, how great their offense is. It more factored in the whole team, the ability to reach the post season year after year like they have. And also the ability to do what they did last year, and win the World Series. I wanted to go to a team that had a chance to experience that. I started to get on the brink of experiencing that in Chicago with what we were able to accomplish the last two years and it was a place where I wanted to go where I think I can get to that next step.
Why in your view were you dropped from the rotation in the end of September, with the team right smack in the middle of the race? Was it purely physical or did it go beyond that?
I think I’m always the type of pitcher, or I have been in the past, that pitches through everything I’ve ever felt. If I’m sore, if I don’t feel right, I’ve always pitched through it. I have a lot of pride in making all my starts. I think in honesty, the whole thing how it fell down, I was fighting through a soreness in my trap and neck area at the end of the year, and it came down to the fact that I was fighting through it, and I think in May or June, when I’ve fought through stuff like this before, I’ve been able to get through it because my arm’s still fresh. Here it was the end of the year and was probably bad judgment on my part and I think that, I was told, they made the decision for me, just because they didn’t want it to get any worse and they thought that I wasn’t getting through it like I normally do. It was awful. It was the worst week and a half of my career probably so far because especially earlier in the year when Woody and Mark were down, and hurt, and not being able to contribute and Carlos (Zambrano), myself, and (Greg) Maddux, it was put on our shoulders pretty heavy, and then Glendon (Rusch) came in and did a good job, and felt like I was a big part of why we were in the situation we were in. And at the end of the year to have it… you know there was no way in the world it was going to be my decision where I wasn’t going to get to pitch, and they kind of did it, it’s a thing where you really can’t express yourself either the way you feel about it, just because it’s about the team at that point in the season. You have to go with it. I fought tooth and nail to go out there and it was a decision they came up with. I wasn’t happy about it. It was a tough week to sit there and see what happened, especially against the Reds, but that’s something you live and learn and maybe next time when I first feel something I won’t try to pitch through it from the get-go.
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