BDD is a feature of It is not produced by The Boston Globe Sports Dept.  More

BDD Home

Most Recent

Boston Dirt Dogs home

Rotoworld News for Boston Dirt Dogs:

38 Pitches

Baseball Almanac

Baseball America

Baseball Prospectus


Bradford Files

BoSox Club

Boston Sports Blog

El Guapo's Ghost

ESPN Red Sox Clubhouse


Hit and Run

The Joy of Sox

MLB Players Association

Red Sox Reality Check

The Remy Report


Seth Mnookin Blog

Show Me the Money

Soxfan vs. Yanksfan

Sox Nation.Net

Sox Prospects

The Soxaholix

Sports Illustrated Sox Page

Surviving Grady

Touching All the Bases

Keeping Up with
Old Friends

Bronson Arroyo

Josh Bard

Mark Bellhorn

Orlando Cabrera

Scott Cassidy

Tony Clark

Roger Clemens

Wil Cordero

Rheal Cormier

Johnny Damon

Jorge De La Rosa

Brian Daubach

Andy Dominque

Adam Everett

Carl Everett

Cliff Floyd

Casey Fossum

Chad Fox

Nomar Garciaparra

Tony Graffanino

Shea Hillenbrand

Adam Hyzdu

Byung-Hyun Kim

Sunny Kim

Damian Jackson

Derek Lowe

Brandon Lyon

Matt Mantei

Pedro Martinez

Lou Merloni

Ramiro Mendoza

Cla Meredith

Doug Mientkiewicz

Kevin Millar

Bill Mueller

Matt Murton

Mike Myers

Trot Nixon

Jose Offerman

Jay Payton

Roberto Petagine

Hanley Ramirez

Edgar Renteria

Dave Roberts

Freddy Sanchez

Scott Sauerbeck

Jeff Suppan

Ugueth Urbina

Todd Walker

Scott Williamson

Other Characters

Barry Bonds

Jason Giambi

Randy Johnson

Carl Pavano

Mariano Rivera

Alex Rodriguez


Barks and Bites

Baseball and Football

Bob Lobel Chat

Catching the Bus

Cowboy Up!

The Critical Moment

Dirt Dogs History

Don't Blame Buckner


Evil Empire

Grady's Defense, pt. 2

Hench's Hardball

The Lucchinos

Millar Time!

The Nation Speaks

Nine Eleven

Sale of the Century

Second Page

Theo Epstein Chat

Theoretically Speaking

Yankees Suck?

Yesterday's News

2002: Strike Out

2001: A Sox Odyssey

Most Beloved Since '67:
BDD All-Beloved Team

Most Beloved Since '67: BDD All-Beloved Team, a Japanese-language Red Sox blog
What is this?

Discussion Boards

Dirt Dogs
Sox Board

Playoff Bound in '07?

On the Front Burner

Off the Field / Fodder


Major League Matters

Sons of Sam Horn

The Remy Report


Most recent news

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003

July 2003

June 2003

May 2003

April 2003

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003



If You're Going to Fort Myers, Go Here First:

Spring Training Guide

A Look Back on the
2004 Regular Season


Please email for more information or questions.

Contents Copyright 2001-2006, except logos used in accordance with the Fair Use provision (section 107) of US Copyright Act.

Photographic images published with full rights from The Boston Globe and Associated Press unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Dirt Dogs Home

Boston Globe: Sox-Yanks pitching matchups > Sox do it again > Wake Comments were doctored > Robinson's legacy set in stone >  Thumbs

Boston Herald: 'Tek good in pinch > Heckuva first game > Cora corralled > Schilling offers a far-from-Curt response > Chamberlain to miss Sox

ProJo: Varitek's 9th inning homer fuels comeback > Ailing Cora could be put on the DL > Schilling insists: I won't play for Yankees > Wrapup

Hartford Courant: Farnsworth comes up big in Yankees win > ESPN settles with Reynolds > Phillies beat Astros > Tigers rally past Twins

It's Red Sox vs. YankeeZZZzzzzz: Rivalry's Buzz Takes a Beating
38Pitches: 'Umm, no.' | Wilbur: Space Shot | Yankee Swap
Video: Big Papi Explains Reason for Hitting Woes

Jun 19, 2006:

20/20 Commentary

FARM REPORT by Gary Jacobs

5 Rules for Adam Stern

Red Sox Adam Stern raises his glove after hitting the wall while making a catch against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the sixth inning of MLB action in Boston, Massachusetts April 19, 2006.

(Reuters Photo)

JUNE 19, 2006 | PAWTUCKET - Adam Stern's first stint with the Red Sox was less than satisfying, for player and team, and everyone from Theo Epstein on down knew it. But based on the mysterious, multifaceted, and some would say unfair guidelines governing the Major League Baseball Rule 5 draft, if Stern didn't spend a full season with the Big Club, they couldn't keep him.

To sum up the Rule 5 draft in 30 words or less, if a player has four years' service (three if they were under 18 when he was drafted) and isn't protected in the Big Club's 40-man roster, he is eligible to be drafted in a winter draft. Stern wasn't protected by Atlanta, so the Red Sox plucked him from Atlanta's roster in 2004.

But there's always a wrinkle, and the Rule 5 draft has a doozy: Any team drafting a Rule 5 player has to keep that player on its major league squad for a full year, or be offered back to the original team for half the $50,000 draft fee. This rule effectively prevents the overuse, or misuse, of the draft by restricting the field to legitimate major-league prospects.

So when the Sox drafted Stern, they knew what they'd have to do: keep him riding the pine for a full season and hope that he could make a contribution.

It's not entirely unheard of for a Rule 5 pick to end up with a major league career, or even a Hall of Fame plaque: Pittsburgh made a smart Rule 5 pick with a kid named Roberto Clemente in 1954.

But Stern wasn't ready for prime time, and his numbers bore grim testament to it: in 16 plate appearances with the Sox over 36 games in 2005 he went an anemic 2 for 15 with no walks and one sacrifice, good for a .133 BA and .188 OBP. Stints on the DL and surgery to correct a labrum problem prevented him from getting any more of the at-bats the young player so desperately needed. As a result, he was optioned down to Pawtucket the day after he fulfilled his Rule 5 obligation. Conventional wisdom at the time was that four ABs a day every day would do the lad some good.

Since then Stern has spent just about every game in the PawSox lineup, usually at the leadoff spot (he gave it up for Coco Crisp during his one-game rehab stint here). And the work does seem to have improved his average, though probably not as much as the Brain Trust would like: Stern is batting .237 (49/207) in 50 games played. He's also using his speed to his advantage, as evidenced by his two bunt singles and two runs scored in a recent game against the Richmond Braves.

While he's pleased with his progress, he acknowledges that he's got a ways to go.

"Any time you lose a year, like last year I lost to injury, and you try to come back, you have to try to find your swing," said Stern one recent Sunday evening. "This year my swing has been inconsistent -- that's why you'll have good games and then you'll go on a bad streak. I'm just trying to find my swing right now, find my comfort zone, and as the season goes on -- hopefully not too late -- I'll find it."

So, in honor of the Rule 5 draft that brought him to the Sox, here's five rules for Stern to get promoted:

1. Bring the average up. .237 in Triple-A isn't going to cut it -- and will just barely cut it in the bigs as a fourth or fifth outfield guy. He admits that something isn't right with his swing, which is a good thing: it's not like he's reached the upper end of his talent. And while we're talking about his hitting, he also needs to…

2. Increase his slugging percentage. Teams are a lot more forgiving of someone who hits infrequently if he can clear the bases when he does connect. Stern's .357 SLG puts him in the middle of the PawSox pack, third among outfielders, behind David Murphy and Ron Calloway. Not bad, but again, it's not the bigs.

3. Stay healthy. His 2005 season started off on the wrong foot -- or should I say hand -- with a thumb injury that turned out to be a fracture on March 5. He injured his hamstring on his rehab assignment, further hampering his comeback efforts. He was finally given a clean bill of health in mid July and stayed healthy for about a month, but then jammed his injured thumb, earning him another stint on the DL and a rehab assignment. Any league-wide muttering that the Sox were exaggerating the extent of his injury was erased when, while down in Pawtucket, he felt pain in his shoulder, and needed arthroscopic surgery to correct his torn right labrum.

This year it's been so far, so good: he's spent no time on the DL for Pawtucket and has played in 50 of the 57 games he's been around for, and has no more aches and pains than the average ballplayer this time of year.

4. Improve against lefties. In his time in the bigs he had a grand total of one AB against left-handed pitchers; the book on Stern was that he was ineffective against them. But this liability already seems to be turned to an asset: as of June 14 (the most recent date his splits were updated) he was batting 24 points higher against lefties than righties (.262 versus .238).

5. Remember his plus tools. Stern is blessed with above-average speed and fields his position extremely well. His most memorable performances make use of his speed by legging out bunt singles, stealing bases, and keeping pitchers off-balance and preoccupied. And combining his speed with his defensive abilities can be electrifying: one of the most lasting images of Stern's tenure with the Big Club was in his penultimate game, when his improbable acrobatic catch of a dying quail against the Devil Rays this past April 18 saved the game for a scuffling Jonathan Papelbon.

"This year, I kind of got away from that a little bit," says Stern. "[But] I've been talking to [Mark Budaska,] the [Pawsox] hitting coach to utilize my speed a little more, start putting down the bunt a little more."

When -- and if -- he does reclaim his swing, he should be ready for the Show; his fielding and speed are already there. The Sox, when healthy, are a little heavy in the outfield, with Ramirez, Crisp, Nixon, Pena, and Harris -- to say nothing of up-and-comer David Murphy; but Stern has most of Harris' speed and even at this point in his development, all the bat that Harris brings.

If he doesn't end up with the Boston Big Club, he's got a major-league future ahead of him somewhere -- provided he follows the rules.

Get BDD Gear Here

Get the BDD women's T's, tanks, and more

Get Frank Galasso's 2007 Red Sox Lithograph

Frank Galasso Litho

Rally Against Cancer
Start a team today to win a visit from Dustin Pedroia

Dana Farber license plate

Hot Stove, Cool Music

Get the CD. Support Paul and Theo Epstein's Foundation to be Named Later.

The Gabe Kapler Foundation

The “Curt’s Pitch for ALS” program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling and The ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Curt’s Pitch Goes Global!

Run for SHADE!

For the fourth consecutive year, SHADE Foundation of America will be represented at the Boston Marathon by a team raising funds for SHADE. SHADE is currently seeking marathon runners to join the team . For more information on running with Shonda Schilling on SHADE’s team or sponsoring runners, please visit SHADE's marathon page here. The SHADE Foundation thanks Red Sox Nation for joining in their fight to save future generations from melanoma.

Get a Danny O Fenway Litho, as Seen in the Cooperstown Catalog

Danny O

Why Not Us?
Chasing Steinbrenner
One Day at Fenway


Box Score and Schedules

Yesterday's News

Barks & Bites

Second Page