Thursday, June 11, 2009

# 113 -- Rogelio Moret

Rogelio Moret

He's better known in later issues by the Americanized "Roger". I always connect he and Oil Can Boyd. Both were tall and thin. Roger was 6-4, 175 and The Can was 6-1, 150. They both pitched for just a few years with the Sox then went elsewhere and didn't do as much. They also each had pretty good winning percentages. Finally, they were each just a little nuts.

He was somewhat of a sidearming lefty. Not quite like Mike Myers, but he was probably more like Pedro Martinez in that he came from a lot of different angles. It must have been effective. From 1970-1975 he was 18-7 at Fenway, generally regarded as a place of death for lefties.

He was trying to get ahold of his control in the early 70's. He'd have probably stayed in the majors quicker, but he walked too many. For example, in 1971 he had a 4-3 record with a 2.92 ERA in 71 innings. Pretty good, right? Gave up only 50 hits and the league only hit .205 off him. That ought to work. He struck out 47, but walked 40. That won't keep you in the big leagues long.

He found his control in 1973 and went 13-2. In 1975 he helped the Sox to the World Series by going 14-3. There are references in the usually reliable Baseball Library and Baseball Reference Bullpen to him having a wreck at 4:30 a.m. on August 25, but going ahead and pitching that night against Jim Palmer. The game log shows Luis Tiant pitched (and lost) to Jim Palmer and that Moret didn't pitch between July 31 and August 11. Looks to me like he may have had the wreck, but didn't really pitch, simply missing that start.

He had 3 appearances in the 1975 Series. In the wild (that could have been said about many of those games) Game 3 in Cincinnati he came into a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the 10th with runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. It was that situation instead of a runner on 1st with 1 out (or nobody on and 2 out) because Carlton Fisk threw wildly to 2nd as Eddie Armbrister bunted. That was one of the most controversial plays of the Series, with Darrell Johnson certain that Armbrister interfered with Fisk. Moret intentionally walked Pete Rose to load the bases. He struck out pinch-hitter Merv Rettenmund and then Joe Morgan singled to center. Imagine. If the Sox had won this game then Fisk's Game 6 homer could have been a walk-off World Series winner.

The Red Sox sold high on Roger, trading him to the Braves for Tom House after the 1975 season. Turned out to be no big deal for either team. Moret then went to the Rangers where his career ended one day when he had something odder than a 4:30 a.m. car wreck 150 miles away keep him from a start. He was found in the locker room in a catatonic state holding a shower shoe outstretched in his arm. He never pitched in the big leagues again. He wasn't the same anyway. Still, I'll remember Moret as a skinny whip-armed pitcher that almost never lost.

1972 Feature
Juan Marichal fell to 2-10 on the season in a 4-0 loss to the Cubs. Who would have thought Marichal to have 10 losses 10 weeks into the season? Dick Drago shut out the Yankees 1-0. In the first game of a double header the Brewers and White Sox combined to hit 7 homers (2 by MVP Dick Allen) in a 6-4 White Sox win. Lots of solos that day. My Game of the Day will be the Tigers coming from behind with 1 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th to beat the A's.

Through 7 innings Ken Holtzman shut down the Tigers with 1 run on 2 hits. He'd retired 13 in a row since walking in a run in the 3rd. Aurelio Rodriguez tripled to lead off the 8th and scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the score. The A's get runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 out in the top of the 9th off Chuck Seelbach. Mike Hegan pinch hit for Larry Brown, but Seelbach picked Downtown Ollie Brown off 2nd to end the inning. Bill Freehan then sent everybody home with a homer leading off the 9th.

Billie Jean King's brother (Randy Moffitt) made his debut as a reliever for the Giants on this day. He had a pretty good career as the Giants' bullpen ace in the 70's.


  1. I'm pretty sure Moret struck out 3 batters on 9 pitchers while with the Sox. Any idea when that happened?

  2. Hello my name is warren moret, this my dad and I have not seen him from the time I was 4 years old, any information please call 321-960-6435, Thanks

  3. I got a hit off Roger when The Bosox beat our Annapolis team 14-2 in 1972. Roger singlehandedly beat us with his bat and his arm. He was a happy guy then, I hope he still is...

  4. warren..i just met your dad a day ago i seen him today again

  5. Bill Lee said about the car crash, that the Red Sox kept asking him if he could pitch that night, but never asked him how he was physically or emotionally.
    He hated being called Roger. I read an article a long time ago that he had serious mental health issues and had to be hospitalized.