Proving that you never know what you've got till he's gone, the Sox then tapped El Tiante to be pitching coach for the Lowell Spinners. But before and after the Spinners season, he could be in the SBN booth with Villaman and another newcomer, Juan Baez. Now there's talk that the Sox want to keep El Tiante in Boston, to work on the field before the game, then tend to his SBN duties, meaning he'd be on hand for all 162 games.
One of the BC players is freshman pitcher-outfielder Joseph Martinez. He was asked if he'd like to meet Pedro Martinez. "I really want to meet [Luis Tiant]," he replied. "My father is Cuban, and Luis is a hero to him. It would mean everything to my father if I met Luis Tiant."
For the second time this week, the Bruins are going national. Tomorrow's home game with Detroit will be on ABC (Channel 5, locally) at 3 p.m., meaning New England Sports Network's Dale Arnold and Gord Kluzak are being pre-empted for Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and Brian Engblom. John Saunders and John Davidson expound from the studio . . . Channel 25 also has the Sox at 1 p.m. today (Marlins) and tomorrow (split squad vs. the Yankees). Sean McDonough and Jerry Remy will be in the booth for their spring debuts . . . NESN has the ECAC hockey semifinals today at 4 (Harvard-Clarkson) and 7 (Cornell vs. last night's Dartmouth-RPI winner) . . . Fox Sports New England has the first Hockey East semifinal (New Hampshire-Lowell) at 4 this afternoon, but the 7 p.m. Maine-BU game will be on tape following the 8 p.m. Celtics-Grizzlies telecast . . . Another sign spring is coming: ESPN has the Florida Derby at 5 tomorrow afternoon . . . WEEI and the Sox are building both pre- and postgame studios in the Diamond Room at Fenway, sites for "The Big Show" to broadcast before games and Ted Sarandis to do his show after games. The new studio under construction at CMGI Field in Foxborough will be used by WEEI next season for "Patriots Monday," which the station has wrested from WWZN in a multiyear deal with the team. WEEI will broadcast from Foxborough from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. on Mondays . . . If you believe that the truest words are often spoken in jest, there may be something to WEEI's on-air joshing that Pete Sheppard may move to the overnight shift in place of ESPN's syndicated Todd Wright show.