The Hagerstown Suns were hammering Dan Generelli this past Sunday, but the Augusta GreenJackets reliever hopes it was a blessing in disguise.
On one hand, Gerenerlli was angry with himself after giving up four runs on six hits in one inning, allowing Hagerstown to cut the deficit to 10-9.
On the other hand, the young pitcher heaved a huge sigh of relief.
"It could turn out to be a good thing," Generelli said. "Maybe they won't want me now."
Generelli was referring to the Montreal Expos' interest in making him the player-to-be-named later in last month's trade that sent star outfielder Cliff Floyd to the Boston Red Sox.
Because Generelli is one of several Red Sox Class A farmhands the Expos can take, the Massachusetts native says the subpar outing could work to his advantage. In the stands that day was Expos scout Paul Tinnell. Prior to last Sunday, the Expos did not have a scouting report on Generelli.
"Nothing against the Expos, but I want to stay (with the Red Sox)," said Generelli, who celebrates his 22nd birthday today. "I've been here three years and I know the organization; it's what I'm used to. They're also my hometown team. I would hate to leave."
For the past three weeks, Generelli says he's been a nervous wreck waiting for that unwanted phone call to come, the one from Boston officials telling him to pack his bags.
The constant looking over his shoulder was the result of a Boston Herald story in early August that identified Generelli as the player headed to Montreal.
But the Herald jumped the gun. Sources have indicated that Generelli is only one of a dozen or so players the Red Sox have made available. The trade is expected to be completed after the minor-league regular season ends next Sunday.
"Ever since that story came out, I've been waiting and wondering when the day was going to come when I'd be on my way out of here," said Generelli, a 20th-round pick by the Red Sox in 1999. "It's definitely had an affect on me. So, it's nice to know now that I'm not the only guy on the list."
Jackets manager Arnie Beyeler sympathizes with Generelli, but says he's handled the adversity well.
"It can't be easy to pitch with something like that hanging over your head," Beyeler said. "But I think he's done a pretty good job putting that out of his mind and just concentrating on doing his job."
Generelli is 1-2 with five saves and a 4.13 ERA in 37 appearances this season.
MACAY MCSTAR: Former Screven County High School star Macay McBride of the Macon Braves was named the South Atlantic League's top pitcher on Friday, as selected by league managers, general managers and media.
McBride, the 24th overall selection in the 2001 draft, leads the Sally League with a 2.21 ERA, and is 10-8 in 23 starts. The 19-year-old left-hander has struck out 129 batters and walked only 44 in 121 1/3 innings.
Walter Young of the Hickory Crawdads earned the league's two other top postseason honors: most valuable player and top prospect. Young was a 31st-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1999, but has emerged as one of the top power prospects in the minors. He leads the Sally League with 22 home runs and 94 RBI, and is third in batting with a .333 average.
Young is one of six Crawdads named to the postseason all-star team. The others are: second baseman Jeff Keppinger, outfielders Vic Buttler and Jeremy Harts, designated hitter Chris Shelton and manager Tony Beasley.
McBride was named the top left-handed pitcher, while Kris Honel of the Kannapolis Intimidators - the 16th overall pick of the Chicago White Sox in 2001 - was selected as the league's top right-handed pitcher.
AREA PLAYERS: Aiken High product Darvin Withers has emerged as a legitimate prospect with the Oakland A's this season at high Class A Modesto. Withers is sixth in the California League with a 3.17 ERA and has one of the top ratios in the league (103 strikeouts-28 walks). ... Former Strom Thurmond standout Joe Mathis is sixth in the independent Atlantic League with a .306 average. The Newark Bears outfielder leads the league with 89 runs and is fifth in the league with a .517 slugging percentage. The Atlantic League features several former major leaguers, including Newark's Mark Leiter, Ryan Minor and Jeff Tabaka.
Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425.
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