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October 8, 2003

ALCS Roster Moves
by Larry Mahnken

The Yankees made a couple of roster moves for the ALCS, dropping Chris Hammond and adding Erick Almont-E.

By totally random chance, I happened upon the YES network while Mike Francesa and Chris Russo were doing a phone interview with Joe Torre (seriously, I never watch that show). Torre said that he was leaving Hammond off the roster and leaving Weaver on because Weaver was a "long man", and he wanted to keep Contreras for the "Ramiro Mendoza" role. I guess I can understand that, you do want to have someone around to take one for the team if the Sox explode offensively, but I'm perplexed that Torre has completely abandoned Hammond in the past month, only using him in blowouts. I would have dropped David Dellucci instead of Hammond, but Torre really prefers having the long bench and short pen, and Hammond--an offspeed pitcher--might not be effective after being shelved for most of the last month.

Another interesting thing Torre said was that there was a "better than good chance" that Enrique Wilson would start Saturday against Pedro Martinez. Pinch-hitting Sierra for Johnson, starting Enrique Wilson in the playoffs...someone should really tell Joe about the concept of "sample size".

If you want to find a practical reason for Enrique Wilson's success against Pedro, there is a story that he's on friendly terms with Boston's ace, and doesn't fear getting hit, so he bats calmly and confidently. Hey, maybe that's it, but I'm leaning more towards "fluke".