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playattheplate

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MLB's clout helped break Millar logjam


By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff, 2/16/2003

ORT MYERS, Fla. - The breakthrough in the Kevin Millar situation, which ultimately led to his sale to the Red Sox yesterday morning, came after Japanese officials were told that if the standoff continued, Major League Baseball might not proceed with plans to send the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's to Japan to open the 2003 season there next month.



An industry source would not provide further details, other than to say the players' union was deeply involved in the matter. For Millar, who left late yesterday afternoon from his home in Beaumont, Texas, and planned to drive all night to reach the Sox camp this morning, all that mattered was that the five weeks he'd spent in limbo were finally over.

''Holy cow, huh?'' Millar said when reached by phone yesterday morning after Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, with manager Grady Little sitting beside him, announced Millar had been purchased from the Florida Marlins after the Chunichi Dragons relinquished their claim on Millar and returned his rights to Florida.

''It has been a wild, wild ride, I must say, but I will tell you one thing, I'll tell you it's a relief to have this finally behind me, so I can jump in my car and drive down there and get ready for some baseball. I was a player sitting here, not knowing what was going on. That was the toughest thing. But this is a dream come true, man.''

The Marlins returned the $1.2 million to Chunichi that the Dragons had paid for those rights, then sold Millar to the Sox for the same amount, plus $300,000 the Red Sox will give to the Florida Marlins Community Foundation as a charitable contribution. Florida GM Admin Beinfest confirmed details of the sale to reporters yesterday. Millar had agreed to a two-year, $6.2 million deal with the Dragons, though his agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, argued that he did not sign a valid contract, and Millar said he did not want to go to Japan with the possibility of a war with Iraq pending.

''We were not obligated for him to go to the Red Sox,'' Beinfest said. ''We did entertain some other things and threw some other ideas out there. I'll just say the Red Sox were the viable option.''

Beinfest and Epstein have not spoken since the Sox placed a claim on Millar as the Marlins were trying to pass him through waivers as a prerequisite to the sale of the player to the Dragons. The Sox' claim in such a sale was unprecedented, but entirely legal, though it left some hard feelings. The Sox had attempted to acquire Millar in a trade, their last offer being $350,000 and two lesser prospects, a proposal that was rejected by Florida.

Millar's sale to the Sox was negotiated on the ownership level, according to one industry source.

Millar, 31, was called one of the ''better unknown hitters in baseball'' by Epstein, who sees Millar playing a good deal of first base, DH, and outfield. As a defensive first baseman, Millar ranks somewhere between Jeremy Giambi, who is looking more like a DH every day, and David Ortiz, who probably is the best of the three defensively. Shea Hillenbrand could also play some first base.

Asked if the Sox had a surplus of similar players, Epstein said: ''We're not building a lineup of 1 through 9, we're building a roster of 1 through 25, and we have extraordinarily deep quality.''

Millar led the Marlins with a .306 batting average last season, and in 500 major league games, the former independent league player (St. Paul Saints of the Northern League) has a .296 average with 59 home runs. Epstein said the Sox like him not only for his high on-base percentage but for his makeup, placing him in the same class as newcomers Bill Mueller, Todd Walker, and Giambi.

''He's a hard player,'' Little said. ''You're talking about a guy who won't leave anything in the clubhouse. He's the kind of player you look for.''

Millar said he is friends with Trot Nixon, Walker, Lou Merloni, and Nomar Garciaparra, and said he was excited about joining such a ''tremendous mix.''

''I'm as blue-collar as they come,'' Millar said. ''I love the game more than anybody, and I play as hard as I can every day.

''I'm not physically blessed like some guys, with awesome size or speed. I'm a ballplayer, that's it. I don't have a toolbox. Of the five tools, I don't know if I have any. But I'm a grinder. That's what got me where I am today.''

This story ran on page F8 of the Boston Globe on 2/16/2003.
 

playattheplate

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''He's a hard player,'' Little said. ''You're talking about a guy who won't leave anything in the clubhouse. He's the kind of player you look for.''

''I'm as blue-collar as they come,'' Millar said. ''I love the game more than anybody, and I play as hard as I can every day.
Way to go Red Sox!! A real team! That will go to the playoffs for sure!!
He will break the curse! The guys in the clubhouse will love him and benefit from his personality and gamer qualities!!!

I don't get the marlins? And nobody else does either...except for a few a**-kissers on here!
 

Ramp

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whiptee f***ing doo

go watch the Red Sox..... you werent a real fan anyway if you cry over spilt milk

what it a dumb move? probably

get over it dude, its sad really
 

playattheplate

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whiptee f***ing doo

go watch the Red Sox..... you werent a real fan anyway if you cry over spilt milk

what it a dumb move? probably

get over it dude, its sad really
I'm getting real sick and tired of you questioning my fanatcism Ramp!!!

And apparently you are not reading that whole article!!! Do you remember Gordon Edes?? he worked for the Sentinel here and saw him at every Spring Training for many years from the start of '93 on... just like we followed kevin's career from the beginning!!

Have you been to every 1st pitchers & catchers practice for the last nine years!!
 

Ramp

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then just shut up about Millar already, he is GONE....

move on...

oh dont go threatening people you dont know.....

no i dont remember Gordon Edes and why should i care who he is?

ill im reading from you is blah blah kevin is gone, sob blah blah
 

DurableTear

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Can we just end this Kevin Millar crap... it's really getting stupid
 

Maxx

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Ramp, you don't like it, don't read the thread, it's as simple as that. Stop the bull$hit already. Thank you.
 

Marlins2003

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The idea of kevin Millar playing the Green Monster is laughable. Having lived with for forty years a Red Sox fan its gonna (yes I know its "going to" but its late) eat him alive. The Red Sox got him for one reason, his bat. I hope they get the one he dipped in deer urine and stunk up the joint the first part of last season.

I don't miss him one bit.
 

Mephisto

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He wont be playing LF alot he will DH mostly so I dont see your point.
 

Marlins2003

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My point is -- to quote the above referenced article, Epstein (Boston GM), "...who sees Millar playing a good deal of first base, DH, and outfield." is in for a rude awakening. The Green Monster is the worst left field in baseball, it has destroyed the careers of better ballplayers than Kev.

Just quotin' what the article said. No one else wanted Kevin last year or this except the John Henry-run Red Sox. No one else wanted a one dimensional, slow, lousy fielding, no arm left fielder except him.

There is no one more fitting to continue the curse of the Bambino than John Henry and he deserved to pay through the nose for Millar. For $ 8 million I could get Bobby Bonilla back in uniform too, lololol. Or maybe depending on how deeply rooted his fetish, he could sign Orestes Detrade for $ 5 mil. Go for it John Henry.
Jerk.

He ruined the Marlins, I suspect the same in Boston.
 

Marlins4lyf

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Who cares he gone lets all be happy for Millar he moved on.. He migh be a star later on.
 

playattheplate

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Listen, Rampy, take a time out from playing "Naked Twister" with your roommates, Terry & Miguel, for a minute...tell them to put some PineSol on that puppy or an antibacterial swiffer or something.
Now let me explain how it works...you insult me, I tell you're a knucklehead and why you are wrong with real facts or reasons to back it up! And you do the same!
I explained why I think you're wrong, and backed it up with facts...

Now I think it would be perfectly acceptable if you were to say for instance, "A**Kisser! Are you refering to me Play!! You jer*off! I am not an a**kisser! Here is why...
List..
1.
2.
3.
Etc.
And Kevin Millar is no good! And I'm okay with the fact he's gone BECAUSE!!
List..
1.
2.
3.
Etc.....

Does that sound logical??
 

RossInfoMan

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Ok, thats quite enough. The boards are not a place to go at someone personally. You obviously have different opinions, which is fine. The need to go at someone personally because they dont agree with you is completely unnecessary.
 
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