Local Yankees fans might be sad to know Andy Pettite isn’t coming to Hadlock Field for a rehab assignment after all. Pettite, who is 39 and trying to work his way back into the New York rotation (around his schedule of testifying against former teammate and alleged fellow steroid user Roger Clemens), apparently is going to pitch for the Yankees’ Class-A team in Tampa.
The lefty was initially slated to take the mound at Hadlock tonight on behalf of New York’s Double-A team, the Trenton Thunder.
However Portland, the Yankees recently learned, can be chilly in late April. Not good rehab weather.
But fear not, local sports fans, your Boston-area teams have got your celebrity fix covered. After rehabbing Red Sox righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday, New England Patriot safety Patrick Chung comes to Hadlock Tuesday.
Chung will sign autographs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and throw out the first pitch for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs’ game against the Trenton Thunder.
A similar appearance is scheduled by Boston Bruin Shawn Thornton, who will sign autographs at Hadlock on June 30. Both Chung’s and Thornton’s visits are sponsored by the Asylum Bar & Grill.
This won’t be Thornton’s first experience in Maine’s largest city. As a part of the Anaheim Ducks organization during the 2006-07 season, Thornton played in 15 games with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate, our own Portland Pirates.
Finally, last but not least, Sgt. Slaughter is scheduled to come to Hadlock on July 24.
Slaughter never did play for a major Boston sports team, but he did win what was then still the WWF heavyweight belt by defeating The Ultimate Warrior at 1991’s Royal Rumble.
No word on whether he’ll still pay $5,000 to anyone who can break his famed Cobra Clutch wrestling hold.
Here’s an informal poll question for you, while we’re on the subject of Hadlock appearances. Once Daisuke, who’s now two rehab starts into his comeback from Tommy John surgery, gets a clean bill of health, what should the Red Sox do with him?
During the first week of the season, I would have said there were a good three or four spots in the rotation that could use an upgrade. Now, everybody seems to have settled in. Matsuzaka’s never in his MLB career been a reliever (and if he ever did it in Japan, it certainly wasn’t what he was known for). Do you put Bard or Doubront, each of whom has pitched in relief for the Sox to varying degrees of success, in the bullpen to open up a starting spot?
Or do you let Daisuke get accustomed to a relief job? And what about Aaron Cook, who has been lights-out in Pawtucket? They’ve got until tomorrow to either call Cook up to Boston or let him walk. Pretty soon, they’ll have seven starting pitchers and only five rotation spots.