Report: Foulke flew to Alabama to review pitching mechanics

Foulkegate Closed

Lucchino Says Foulke Traveled to
Get a ‘Fix on Some Mechanical Issues’

Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino addressed the Foulke situation this morning in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan. Gerry Callahan: “Are you concerned, and do you even know the state of your closer physically, mentally? Do you know where he was Monday?

Larry Lucchino: Ah yes we do. We know where he was Monday. We know he was traveling to try to get a fix on some mechanical issues. There’s no physical issue that I’m aware of. But sure, you’re concerned. No team wins in this day and age without an effective closer. Keith Foulke was a very effective closer for us last year and has been for several years. So of course you’re concerned about it, but we have a lot of faith in the guy and he’s gonna work himself through whatever mechanical issues he has and it is essential for that to happen because without a bullpen, without a closer, you’re gonna find yourself watching in October. …We don’t want to have a backup plan, we think Keith Foulke is the plan. We do have Matt Mantei by the way who has closed for two teams in baseball in Florida and in Arizona and he is a guy with plenty of closer experience as well but I don’t think we’re ever gonna have to get to that.

Herald Says That Foulke Went to the
American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham

In contrast to Michael Silverman's rant on the Red Sox pre-game show Wednesday night, the Boston Herald is now reporting that Foulke went to ASMI in Birmingham to have his pitching mechanics analyzed. A Sons of Sam Horn member posted that Keith's and A's former pitching coach Rick Peterson used ASMI in the past. In a 2003 Baseball Prospectus interview, Peterson talks about working with A's pitchers and mastering a pitcher's delivery through biomechanical research and states "the core of efficient delivery theory comes from the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) lab of Dr. James Andrews."

Sweet Home Cooking Alabama?

In the Boston Globe's notebook, Keith Foulke admits to going to Alabama on Monday but says he did not go to ASMI, but instead went to eat at a barbecue restaurant called "Happy Day" and called the visit a non-issue. When pressed on the spontaneous trip south after the Sox 6-1 loss in Toronto, Foulke said "you're not going to break me."

CBS4 Reports that Foulke Went to Alabama to See Advisor

CBS4's Dan Roche learned through sources on Wednesday that Keith Foulke flew to Alabama on Monday to see a "team-approved advisor" and go over a computer assessment of his pitching mechanics.

Francona Update from the Red Sox Pregame Show

Jerry Trupiano: "There are a lot of reports out there about Keith Foulke not being at that Hall of Fame Game and what have you, can you tell us his status?"

Terry Francona: "Well again, I haven't talked to Foulkey today, I mean there, I kinda heard some of the stuff going on I can tell you right now Foulkey did not go see a doctor. Foulkey's healthy um there are some things between myself, Foulke and Dave Wallace that I'm just not sure how you know... that's Foulkey's business but it certainly wasn't going to see a doctor."

Foulke Signing Rep Was Told the Sox Reliever Was Injured

Boston Dirt Dogs spoke to the autograph signing representative, Jack Berke, who confirmed that he was told Foulke "was injured" and that was the reason the Sox reliever did not make the trip to Cooperstown. When Berke was told that Doubleday Clubhouse Shop owner Ron Brown said Berke told him Foulke cancelled his signing appearance because he had to "fly to Alabama to have his arm checked," Berke replied "that's what I was told." When asked who told him that Foulke was injured, Berke replied "I'm not going to reveal that" and would only reveal that he was told Foulke would not make the trip to Cooperstown "because he was injured." When asked if Foulke did indeed make the trip to Alabama, Berke replied "you'll have to call the Red Sox to get that information." The New York City based Berke, who has promoted athlete autograph appearances in the past, said that he is an agent who works with Dan Horwitz, Foulke's agent from the Beverly Hills Sports Council in California. On Sunday, Berke passed the Foulke injury report on to Ron Brown, who was to host the autograph signing at his Cooperstown store. Brown passed the information on to the fans who showed up to the cancelled signing. According to the Hartford Courant, Foulke accused Jack Berke of "making stuff up" and wishes he didn't open his mouth saying "He doesn't need to be going out telling everybody what my business is. If he has all the answers, call him back up. I just don't like having my [business] put out there by someone that I've met one time."

Foulke Says He Did Not Fly to Alabama on Monday,
Cooperstown Store Owner Stands By Comments from Foulke Rep

Keith Foulke told WEEI's Dale and Holley on Wednesday that he did not go to Alabama on Monday. Boston Dirt Dogs spoke again to Ron Brown, owner of The Factory Store in Cooperstown where Foulke was contracted to appear on Monday, who said "I've known Jack (Berke) a long time and I don't think he would make that up. Somebody's pulling a fib here but I have no reason to be pulling a fib. Maybe he didn't go (to Alabama), but the agent miscommunicated. Maybe he didn't want to show, or come to Cooperstown, but the event is over and done. That's what I heard and that's what I told people."

Francona Talks About Foulke's Practice Sessions, Health

Sox manager Terry Francona told WEEI's Dale and Holley on Wednesday that "we were going to get Foulke up too (in the bullpen last night) just in case the bases were loaded." When asked if Foulke's arm was healthy, Francona replied "yeah, oh yeah, he's healthy. Every bullpen session, and believe me, we try to, I mean the last thing I want to do is panic, or show panic to the players, but we have an obligation to, when things aren't going the way we want them to, or expect them to, to find out why. And his bullpen sessions, every time he comes out of there, we say 'this guy's throwing the ball great.' And if you watch him throw before BP, like all the pitchers do down the right field line, his arm strength is, I'm gonna say it's better than it's been in a while. So that's not it. We check on those things. Um, it's mechanical and he's had some inconsistencies in his mechanics which I think he says he does. And we gotta get him back to where he can go out and be consistent, and not change from outing to outing, and he's having a tough time with that right now... From taking the ball out of the glove until release point, he's inconsistent right now, he can't find it on a consistent basis, and he's frustrated, and he has a little bit of peculiar take away anyway so getting that into a consistent slot has been difficult for him." Keith Foulke was an excused no-show for Monday's Hall of Fame game against the Tigers but no reason was given for his absence. Foulke was with the team at the Rogers Centre in Toronto last night, but did not pitch in the 9-6 loss.

Store Owner Told Disappointed Fans Foulke Cancelled Appearance to
Fly to Alabama to Have His Arm Checked

AP PhotoBoston Dirt Dogs had learned on Monday night that an autograph signing appearance featuring Keith Foulke at The Factory Store Outlet in Cooperstown, NY was cancelled on Sunday. The appearance was scheduled for earlier in the day and according to the store owner, Foulke's signing representative said the Sox closer had to cancel because he had to "fly to Alabama to see a doctor to have his arm checked." Ron Brown, owner of The Factory Store and Doubleday Clubhouse Shop in Cooperstown, NY, told us that Foulke's signing representative Jack Berke called him on Sunday to cancel the scheduled appearance and relayed the comment about the Alabama visit then. Christine Fitch of Cooperstown, one fan who purchased a $45.00 ticket last Friday to see Foulke on Monday, showed up at The Factory Store Monday expecting to see the Sox pitcher. She told us that when she showed up on Monday and Foulke was a no-show "the owner told me that Keith's agent phoned him and said that Keith was flying to Alabama to see some specialist about Keith's sore arm." A Sons of Sam Horn member also posted a message via a site lurker that the owner told him on Sunday that Foulke "had to cancel at the last minute to go to Alabama to get his shoulder checked out."

Famous Sports Doc Practices in Alabama

Dr. James Andrews, founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) located in Birmingham, Alabama, is the medical director for numerous sports teams and a leading pioneer in sports medicine. At the time of the initial report, it was not known whether Foulke was travelling to Alabama to visit Dr. Andrews. Terry Francona and other sources have since confirmed that Foulke is healthy and did not see a doctor during his trip to Alabama. The Providence Journal reports on Thursday that there was an Internet report that Foulke had gone to Birmingham to "have noted orthopedist James Andrews examine his right shoulder." Art Martone, Sports Editor of the Providence Journal, had posted on several internet message boards Wednesday afternoon that he "just talked to Steve Krasner (ProJo beat writer), who's with the team in Toronto. He said the denials, from all sides, couldn't be more unequivocal: Tito and Foulke and everyone they talk to insist (a) Foulke didn't to go Alabama and (b) isn't injured." Foulke later admitted that he did travel to Alabama.

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Globe:

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Boston Herald:

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ProJo:

Lester was once a good hitter, now heading toward dubious record > Travis Shaw brings hot bat to Pawtucket > Ranaudo shines > Betts not a candidate for Boston, yet

NY Post:

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