How dull would life be if Boston reliever Keith Foulke limited his public statements to paid appearances on local radio shows?
Just as dull as it is already, I suppose, but the newsworthy part is that Foulke claims he’s ready to go. From the Hartford Courant’s David Heuschkel.
Foulke blurted out a few words of dissatisfaction Friday on the mound – “uncle” wasn’t one of them – as he pitched a simulated game, the first time he faced hitters this spring.
All in all, it went smooth. Foulke threw 43 pitches to minor league players Dominic Ramos, Zach Borowiak and Andrew Pinckney.
“I didn’t get hit today,” Foulke said, meaning with a ball back to the mound. “If I remember correctly in my last live BP, Trot [Nixon] drilled me. I didn’t get hit today. I didn’t blow out. I didn’t pull anything. I didn’t hurt anybody else. So that’s a good thing.”
Foulke, who nicked Ramos with his fifth pitch, expects to start the season on time after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in October and his left knee in July. To lubricate the joints and relieve pain, Foulke has been receiving shots of Synvisc in both knees this spring. The treatment is administered by a series of three injections in each knee. He will have the third shot in his right knee today and a second shot in his left one.
“I will be ready Opening Day. There’s no doubt in my mind,” Foulke said. “I’m stronger now than I have been in four years.”
“The big hurdle was after my last injections. Me being able to squat down and pick up my son with no pain, that’s a big hurdle,” Foulke said.
The next hurdle will be pitching in an exhibition game. That might not happen until next weekend. Foulke will probably pitch another simulated game Wednesday or Thursday.
“All I need is me, a catcher and that hitter. That’s a game to me,” he said. “I don’t care if there’s a million people in the stands or nobody out there. When I’m out there today, my intention is to get those guys out every single time. I don’t need the big stadium. I don’t need the adrenaline. I don’t need the save situation. When I go out to the mound to pitch, the one thing I love to do is compete. I don’t need to drive to Bradenton to get adrenaline to pitch.”
Foulke paused for a second and said, “I hope that doesn’t offend anybody in Bradenton,” making sure his comment wasn’t misinterpreted, a la his infamous Johnny from Burger King rant last year.
If there’s a battle between Brian Daubach and Scott Spiezio for the honors as Albert Pujols’ backup in St. Lous, here’s hoping that Daubach does indeed, have the inside track.