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Jeff TullyIt came as a big surprise...

Jeff Tully

It came as a big surprise to fans of baseball player Freddy Sanchez.

But for Sanchez, he had braced himself for the bad news.

On Thursday, the Boston Red Sox demoted the former Burbank High

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standout to its triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket after less than two

months with the big-league club.

Sanchez, a 25-year-old infielder who also played at Glendale

Community College, was sent down with right-handed pitcher Jason

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Shiell to make room for left-handed hitter Jeremy Giambi -- who had

been on the disabled list since June 28 with what was described as

bursitis in his left shoulder -- and Casey Fossum .

Sanchez, who had just 34 at-bats since being called up May 30 and

played second base, shortstop and third base for the Red Sox, said

although he is disappointed with the team’s decision, it didn’t come

as a complete surprise.

‘“From the first day I was called up, that was in the back of my

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mind,” Sanchez told the Boston Globe. “I’m not a stupid guy. I could

see what was going on. It was on my mind any time I took the field. I

didn’t feel too secure. I never felt like I was here for good.

“But I’d be lying if I said this was easy, because it’s not.

“The toughest part, you know, is that you feel you can play here,

that you feel you do belong when you look at some of the guys around

you. But I started the year hoping for a September call-up, and I’m

hoping I’ll be back.”

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Sanchez -- who was called up for the final month of the season in

2002 -- had a .235 batting average with two runs batted in.

His biggest accomplishment came on the field with his defense. On

June 14, he came close to tying a major league record in a game

against the Houston Astros. Sanchez got the start at third base and

had 10 assists, one away from sharing the all-time mark of 11.

There was talk that the Red Sox might be in line for a trade

involving Sanchez. The move was a possible three-way deal for New

York Yankees’ pitcher Jeff Weaver, with the Texas Rangers getting him

from the Yankees for Juan Gonzalez, then turning around and dealing

Weaver for Sanchez and Kevin Youkilis.

Sanchez rejoins the triple-A PawSox after beginning the season

with the team. In 41 games, he led the team with a .391 batting

average and had 61 hits, 23 runs batted in, 14 doubles, five home

runs and 26 walks.


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