Red Sox: Catching up with old friend Manny Delcarmen

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 20: Manny Delcarmen
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 20: Manny Delcarmen /

Looking back at the career of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Manny Delcarmen, who currently plays in the Independent Atlantic League.

Manny Delcarmen was just a kid from Hyde Park who aspired to take the mound for his hometown team. Those dreams would come true in 2000 when he was selected in the second round of the MLB amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox.

Growing up outside of Boston, Delcarmen spent much of his youth taking in games at Fenway Park. Back when he was pitching for West Roxbury High School, Delcarmen would study the great Pedro Martinez during the apex of one of the most dominant stretches by a pitcher in modern history. A handful of years later he would step onto the same mound that Pedro became a Boston legend pitching from.

While he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010, Delcarmen’s baseball career is still going strong. The 35-year old is now pitching for the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Independent Atlantic League.

YouTube reporter Tyler Boronski recently caught up with Delcarmen to reflect on his time with the Red Sox.

Much of the emphasis of the interview revolves around the 2007 season, which was by far the best of Delcarmen’s career. He posted a 2.05 ERA and struck out 41 batters over 44 innings out of the Red Sox bullpen.

Delcarmen credits the organization’s development system for putting him in a position to succeed. After getting his feet wet with a brief stint in the big leagues in 2005, Delcarmen spent the following year battling the inconsistencies that many young pitchers face. 2007 was the first time that he felt that he had a set role in Boston’s bullpen. The trust that manager Terry Francona showed in calling on him in key situations late in games built the confidence that Delcarmen needed to thrive.

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That year also gave Delcarmen his first taste of the postseason during Boston’s path to a World Series title. Three years after watching his idol Pedro hoist the trophy wearing a Red Sox uniform, Delcarmen would get his chance to celebrate being a champion.

Boston was favored to win the American League pennant that year, but they hit a bit of a stumbling block along the way in the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians. After cruising to a blowout victory in Game 1, the Red Sox would drop three in a row to put themselves on the brink of elimination coming back home to Fenway.

One of the most interesting tidbits from the Boronski interview was Delcarmen reminiscing on the mentality of the team at that point. Indians first baseman Ryan Garko made a regrettable comment about how the champagne will taste just as sweet no matter where they drink it. Delcarmen reveals that every Red Sox player had that quote pinned in their locker, which proved to be all the motivation they needed to storm back with three lopsided victories to finish off Cleveland.

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The Colorado Rockies had to wait around for five days for the Red Sox to finish off their seven game series against Cleveland, which Delcarmen believes gave his team the edge. Boston came in fired up from the epic comeback in the ALCS and managed to carry that momentum through a sweep in the World Series.

Delcarmen spent parts of six seasons with the Red Sox before he was traded in 2010 to that same Rockies team he earned a championship ring against a few years earlier. He logged only 8 1/3 innings and posted a 6.48 ERA pitching in the thin air of Colorado. That would be the last we would see of Delcarmen in the majors.

In 2012, Delcarmen signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees. Putting on pinstripes was borderline criminal for a local kid who grew up outside of Boston. He joked about losing some friends when he signed with the Yankees (maybe he wasn’t joking – after all, it’s the Yankees!). His time on the other side of the rivalry taught him about the business side of baseball and allowed him to understand what players like Johnny Damon and Jacoby Ellsbury went through in switching sides. Delcarmen wanted to keep pitching and the Yankees were the team calling to offer him a contract, simple as that.

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Delcarmen has bounced around to several other organizations since, from Triple-A to the Mexican League. His passion for pitching has yet to fade and he still remains hopeful that a team will give him another shot in the big leagues. It’s been seven years since we last saw Delcarmen with the Red Sox, but we may not have seen the last of him in the majors.