Five Questions for Manny Delcarmen;
Boston Kid Who Pitched For The Red Sox

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Although there are millions of children across the country who play baseball, few will ever achieve their dreams of playing in the big leagues.

It’s even less common to do so in the city you grew up in and to win a World Series with that team.

For former Boston Red Sox pitcher Manny Delcarmen, who grew up in Jamaica Plain, then lived in Hyde Park and attended West Roxbury High School, that childhood dream was a reality.

Drafted by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft, Delcarmen pitched for the hometown team from 2005 to 2010 and helped the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2007.

Now 41, Delcarmen is the co-founder of Boston Athletic Academy, a Boston-based organization that aims “to educate and train underprivileged student-athletes in an environment that recognizes their culture, language, customs, and most importantly their growth potential as individuals.”

NewBostonPost conducted a telephone interview with Delcarmen about his baseball career. It’s below.


1.  You played high school baseball at West Roxbury which is a Boston Public School. Public schools in the city aren’t known for their high school baseball programs.  How did you get noticed?

We had a really good team in high school. I think my sophomore year, I think there was a Philadelphia scout early, early in my career. My coach John Conley, he was calling scouts to come see me when I was pitching. A lot of credit to him. He definitely put in the work to get scouts there. First, there was a few, but then we had all of the New England scouts from all of the teams start showing up.


2.  You played with multiple Mannys in your career, including Manny Ramirez. Do you have any Manny Ramirez stories that we don’t know about?

A lot of people only remember the bad things about Manny towards the end in Boston where he wasn’t running out balls or chasing balls in the outfield, but him and David Ortiz back-to-back, I wouldn’t want to face them like ever. This guy wore a baggy uniform, but if you saw him without a shirt on, he was ripped. He had humongous calves. He watched video and studied pitchers all the time. He was in the weight room early, even at times when people didn’t think he worked out. He was in the weight room more than anybody. He was an all-around player and one of the best hitters in baseball. And hopefully one day, they see that and one day he’ll be a Hall of Famer.


3.  What’s your favorite baseball road story that’s fit for print?

There’s good things, bad things, and funny things. I remember we played at the old Twins stadium [June 14, 2006] and you know how around the sixth or seventh inning someone will run on the field and think it’s funny? Security couldn’t catch this guy. He was running to first, second, third. Everyone’s just looking at this guy, and the bat boy from our side is a football player in high school and laid this guy out before he hit home plate. They ended up interviewing the bat boy after the game. That was a cool one.

I remember in Cleveland in the playoffs, the fans were throwing hot dogs at us and stuff into the bullpen. These guys were being obnoxious, so we called security over, and I saw one guy get tased, which is pretty cool to watch. And in ‘05, they took me to the playoffs in Chicago, not on the roster, but as an emergency arm. Playing the White Sox in Chicago the year we lost, they had the white towels going. You couldn’t see a single face in the stadium with all of the towels spinning. I thought that was one of the coolest things ever.


4.  What’s the best thing a pitching coach ever said to you in a mound visit?  (Are those visits ever useful?)

Most mound visits aren’t. I played in the big leagues. I played in the minors. I played independent ball. One of my favorite mound visits had to be Rich Garces when I was with the Bridgeport Bluefish. I was struggling a little bit. He came out and he didn’t even say a word — and then just walked away. That was just his way of giving me a breather and just to kind of let you refocus once again.


5.  As someone who regularly threw an upper 90s fastball, what was your philosophy on throwing at hitters?

In my career, I always struggled in the minors to hit guys. The Red Sox were really big into forcing us to pitch inside. I was one of the pitchers where they had to put the dummy in the batter’s box so I could try to hit him. That’s something you have to learn how to do. Obviously now it’s to protect your teammates. When I was pitching in the big leagues, I was told to throw at a few guys and I could never really do it. I think I ended up striking out Alex Rodriguez one time trying to hit him. I didn’t have any trouble hitting ‘em by mistake. But when I was trying to, I’d try to drop my arm and move more to the right on the rubber. I just couldn’t do it. For other guys, they could just aim, pick a spot, and hit ‘em. I hit a lot of guys in my career, but that was trying to pitch inside and brush guys off the plate.


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