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LOU MERLONI #13

THIRD BASE/SHORTSTOP

lou.jpg

NAME: Lou Merloni
BORN: April 6, 1971
BIRTHPLACE: Framingham, MA
HEIGHT: 5'10"
WEIGHT: 201 lbs.
BATS: R
THROWS: R
COLLEGE: Providence
DRAFT: 1993-10th round by the Red Sox

Some Lou Favorites
~Favorite Food: seafood
~Least Favorite Food: Thai food
~Favorite Boston Restaurant: Ciao Bella
~Favorite Restaurant on the Road: Smith & Wollensky's - New York

~Favorite Traditional Holiday Food: Ravioli
~Favorite Of Season Hobby: Golfing and watching movies

Batting
 Last 3 years Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS  
 2001 BOS 52 146 21 39 10 0 3 13 6 31 2 1 .267 .306 .397 .703  
 2002 BOS 84 194 28 48 12 2 4 18 20 35 1 2 .247 .332 .392 .724  
 2003 BOS 15 30 4 7 1 0 0 1 4 8 0 0 .233 .324 .267 .590  
 2003 SDG 65 151 20 41 7 2 1 17 22 33 2 3 .272 .362 .364 .726  
 Career   338 871 111 235 54 6 10 95 71 165 7 6 .270 .332 .380 .712  

Last updated through games completed on Oct 25, 2003

Lou graduated from Framingham South HS in 1989. He attended Providence College, where he had an average of .421 and hit 10 home runs. He received Big East Co-Player of the Year honors. His college average (career) was .333. During his senior year he hit 13 home runs and was selected as Male Athlete of the Year. In 1992 he hit .324 for Cotuit Cape Cod Summer League and won the batting title. The Cape Cod League is a well-known league for college players. The best college players are invited to play for the Cape Cod league. Other Red Sox players who played for the league include; Nomar Garciaparra, Mo Vaughn, Jason Varitek and many more. Some of baseball's greatest players played there.

On May 9, 1998 his contract was purchased from Pawtucket. He made his Major League debut on May 10, 1998, he went 0-3. He made his first Major League hit on May 14, 1998, against the Twins. He hit it off Mike Morgan in the 6th inning. His first Major League home run came against Kansas City on May 15, 1998. It was a 3-run homer in the 2nd inning off of Jose Rosado. This was his first time batting at Fenway Park. In 16 games he batted .300 going 12-40. He had home run and 8 RBI's for May 1998. He made 11 starts, 8 at 2B and 3 at 3B. He had a career-high 3 hits June 14, 1998 against Tampa Bay. He then tied his career high June 16, 1998 against the Chicago White Sox, in Chicago. During June he batted .286 and went 14-49. He made 14 starts at 2B. He was placed on the 15-day DL with patella tendonitis in the left knee on June 29. On August 31, 1998 he was transferred to the 60-day DL. On September 12, 1998 he came off the DL. He made an overall 22 starts at 2B, the Red Sox were 15-7, he also made 3 starts at 3B, the Red Sox were 3-0. He hit 12-28, .429 with runners in scoring position.

He began the 1999 season on the Red Sox roster where he hit .333 during the month of April. In 37 games with Pawtucket he hit .292, had 30 runs, 3 home runs and 18 RBI's. He was recalled on 6/17 and went 10-32 (.313) for the rest of the month. He played for the Red Sox during the Divisional Series against Cleveland. His post-season average is .333. On 11/22/99 Yokohama (Japan) purchased his contract from the Red Sox.


In 2000, he played part of the season in Japan's Central League, Yokohoma Bay Stars, before he re-signed with the Red Sox to a minor league contract. He signed on 7/31/00. He played 11 games for Pawtucket and batted .410, going 16-39, he hit 1 home run, had 6 runs and 5 RBI's. His contract was purchased on 8/14/00 by the Red Sox. He made his Red Sox season debut that day against Tampa Bay, he played 3B and hit 1-2. He began his season with a 6-game hitting streak. The streak included 5 consecutive multi-hit games 8/14/00-8/19/00. During this streak he went 14-25 averaging .560, with 2 runs and 4 RBI's. On 8/29/00 he left a game against Tampa Bay in the 3rd inning with a mild concussion that was due to a brawl. He missed 4 games. During September he batted .333 (22-66) had 6 runs and had 9 RBI's. He had a season-high 7-game hitting streak from 9/19/00-9/26/00, he went 13-28 hitting .464 with 5 RBI's. He had 11 multi-hits games and hit safely 24-40 games for the Red Sox. 

In the 2001 season he played 51 games for the Red Sox. Of those 51 he played 5 at 2B, 1 at 3B and 45 at SS. He had an average of .267, with 39 hits, 21 runs, 3 home runs, and 13 RBI's.

Random Lou Facts

~Lou's celebrity crushes are Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Biel and Hally Berry

~His ideal first date is somewhere quiet so he and his date can talk and get to know each other, such as a romantic place for a low-key dinner

~Lou says he thinks all pickup lines are cheesy and if a girl falls for one then she is not the girl for him. But the worst is when a guy looks at a clothing tag and says "I just wanted to see if you were made in heaven."

~He says that with kissing it is all about feeling, he doesn't mind waiting, but sometimes when tings click a kiss can happen on the first date

~Some turn-ons "I'm a 'legs guy.' Someone who's atheletic, obviously someone who likes sports, a sense of humor. I like the sexy, conservative type. In a group of girls, I'm always curious about the quiet one."

~Some of his turnoffs are "In your face, obnoxious women. Women who look at you like 'You're not good enough to talk to me.' Or women who only like you for being a professional athlete. You can always tell who they are."

~Lou has a baseball field in Framingham named after him, it's called Merlin Field, and is located in the Framingham Baseball complex that is close by his childhood home. (On a personal note: I used to play softball there when I was younger playing in the Framingham Little-Big League)

~In August of 2000, the Red Sox were playing Tampa Bay, and a brawl broke out, Lou got stuck on the bottom and ended up spending the night in the hospital with a mild concussion. As a result of Tampa Bay's behavior that night, the fights and all the players the TB pitcher hit, 8 members of TB were ejected, including 5 players and the manager. 

~He does a grueling weight training program with Nomar Garciaparra in the off season

~ He used to be a substitute teacher at the Framingham High School in Massachusetts, (his hometown.) Lou went to Framingham South HS, but after he graduated Framingham North and South combined to form one high school, so Lou taught for his old high school. If he wasn't playing baseball he would be coaching.

~He played basketball and was on the golf team in HS,  and math was his favorite subject @Framingham South High

~Growing up he looked up to his parents and Wade Boggs was his favorite player, and obviously the Red Sox were his favorite team.

~He got his first major league home run at Fenway, during his first at bat. It happened on his parents 33rd wedding anniversary. They were there to see it happen with his family and friends. GO LOU!! Way to be a Champ!!

~Lou is really close friends with Nomar Garciaparra, and enjoys playing with him. He thinks that part of the reason they have so much fun in the games is because of their close friendship. Nomar can often be found at Lou's house, or with Lou.

~Lou and Nomar often golf together.

~Some of Lou's hobbies are going to the movies and relaxing at home while watching movies.

~On his off days Lou likes to golf.

~Before Lou bats he puts his pendant in his mouth, he has been doing it since high school. The pendant was given to him by his great uncle.

~If you see Lou using his two fingers to pull his eyes open the reason is because he has long eyelashes and it separates them so he can open his eyes easier.

~What does he remember about Japan? "I'd say the crowds at the games. They chant all game long - it's really loud and every player has his own special song. The crowd sings the player's song while he is at bat."

~Lou was once asked in a chat if something happened between him and Nomar since they didn't  seem as close as they used to be...

Lou's response: "He's still a little upset that I decided to leave him last year, so...I had to break it off. :-)"

~The first thing he did when he returned from Japan was go to his parent's house for homemade raviolis.

~The famous "LOU" chants that are heard around Fenway Park when Lou is up at bat have become part of his preparation for hitting now. He hears it every time he's up at bat. So keep the "LOU" cheers coming.

~Lou feels that the main difference between Japanese baseball and American baseball is - "The major difference is the power game. The players in Japan lack the power of American baseball in both - pitching and hitting.

~Lou picked #26 just because it was available and growing up Wade Boggs was his favorite player.  The number doesn't really matter to him.

~He does have superstitions, but is too superstitious to talk bout them.

~His favorite ballpark other than Fenway is Yankee Stadium "There is so much excitement every time we go there. They really hate us so much so there is a lot of excitement."

~He listens to all different types of music depending on his mood.

~Lou's family got a chance to visit him a few times while in was in Japan.

~His favorite Sinatra song is "My Way" or "Summer Wind."

~The best moments in his baseball career were meeting John McCain and hitting a home run in his first at bat at Fenway Park.

~Lou doesn't normally watch people trying to catch foul balls while he is in the field except for one time. "Only when a guy in an attempt to catch the foul ball falls flat on his face and rolls down the stairs. Next time try to keep your feet underneath you."

~The main difference that surprised Lou  when he moved from the minors to majors was - "It surprised me that guys at this level work so hard, before the games, watching films and things. And the pitchers - they get their breaking pitches over the plate more consistently than in the minors."

~When Lou first hit a home run at Fenway he felt "Well, it was very emotional. I was very nervous, with it being my first at bat at Fenway. Knowing that my family and friends were there, I was a little more relaxed. It was a 3-2 count and I was so excited, I was just hoping I wouldn't fall down running the bases!"

~When he suffered from an jury in 1999, the greatest encouragement for him was knowing he would get through the injury. "The healing process is pretty much out of my control. There are some things you can control and other you can't in life. This is one thing I can't control unfortunately."

~"Everyone has doubts during the season, but you just have to continue to work hard and believe in yourself."

~On road trips the team usually sleeps in, they wake up and have lunch, then hang out for a little bit before going to the park. They hang out after then game and then just go to bed.

~His favorite sport other than baseball is football.

~He was a running back and linebacker in the Pop Warner League.

~He prefers natural grass over turf.

~Lou's favorite ice cream flavor is Black Raspberry with chocolate jimmies on a sugar cone from Friendly's.

~When Lou was called up to the majors he got lost on his way to the hotel and had to call Nomar for directions to the hotel. It happened in Kansas City.

~His first thought when he stepped onto a Major League field was; "I can't believe I  made it to the big leagues."

~If he could play baseball with any living or dead player it would be Ozzie Smith. He watched him play while growing up and thought he was the greatest short stop.

~He likes Tim McGraw and Shania Twain.

~He feels that playing on a team outside New England would be different. He has got so used to playing in front of his family and friends, due to the fact he has played in New England his whole life. He played in his hometown of Framingham through high school, then at Providence College, he played in the Cape Cod League and in the Red Sox Minor League Organization.

~Lou thinks Jerry Spring is entertaining.

~He is a fan of wrestling

~The biggest influence on his life has been his parents. He feels that they turned him into the person he is today.

~There was a sandwich named after Lou at the Trenton Ballpark Deli. It was called "Gooey Louie" it was; pastrami, turkey, swiss cheese, thousand islands dressing and cole slaw.

~He leaps over the first base line on his way to the field as part of his superstitions. "I'm very superstitious and that baseline to me is evil. I always try to avoid it."

~Lou had a routine in the batter's box in college that he cut down a little bit. When asked if he thought his or Nomar's was longer he responded; "When I was in college, mine was probably just as ridiculous as his is."

~He has two older sisters Jill and Lisa.

~In Lou's first game in Boston he had to wear Nomar's cleats, because his were shipped back to Pawtucket.

 

Lou's Favorite Recipes*

Spaghetti Sauce
2 large onions, chopped
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
2 (14oz) cans tomato puree
1 small piece of salt pork
1lb. ground hamburger or pork
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup Italian seasoning
Dash hot pepper, water, olive oil

In a saucepan heat small amount of olive oil, add chopped onions and salt pork. Cook until onions are brown, add meat and brown. Add tomato paste, cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomato puree and then fill both cans with water and add to sauce. Add spices, let shimmer for 3 hours

Meatballs
2lbs. hamburger
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 cup Romano Cheese

Mix ingredients together thoroughly. Make into 2" balls, add to spaghetti sauce. Simmer meatballs in sauce for 3 hours.

*From Red Sox Wives' Cookbook Crowding the Plate

FROM "IMPROPER BOSTONIAN" JANUARY 22-FEBRUARY 4, 2003

pg. 16
A major league catch, Lou Merloni was born and raised in Framingham. Despite early plans to pursue a career in baseball, he recognized the importance of getting an education and went to Providence College, where he was honored as Big East College Player of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year, His dream on joining the Red Sox took time to realize; Merloni was a tenth round draft pick in the 1993 draft, and he didn't make his major league debut until May 10, 1998. Five days later, he played his first home game, hitting a 3-run homer in his first at bat at Fenway. One indication of what a romantic family-orientated guys he is: That night also happened to be his parents' 33rd wedding anniversary so he hired a limousine to bring them to the game. Despite a knee injury that sidelined him in 1998, being bounced back and forth between the minor leagues and the Red Sox, and a year spent in Japan playing for the Yokohama Bay Stars, he's emerged as a valuable utility player for the Red Sox-he's a hometown boy grown from the Sox' own farm system. His persistence and equanimity, meanwhile, proves he's got heart. Off-season, Merloni is an avid golfer and movie buff and also enjoys playing racquetball and basketball. He earns bonus good-guy points for frequently visiting schools and sports events to motivate the kids. The fans love him, greeting his arrival on the field with chants of "Lou-oo-oo!" The ladies love him too, for obvious reasons. He's all that, and a bag of Fenway peanuts.

The Interview
 
Improper Bostonian: What's your ideal first date?
Lou Merloni: The most important thing on a first date is going somewhere quiet so you can talk and get to know each other. Maybe a romantic place for a nice, low-key dinner.
IB: What was your worst date ever?
LM: I try not to have bad dates,  and I've never had a date get sick or get into a fistfight or anything, but the worst is when, after 10 or 20 minutes, you realize you have nothing in common and you're waiting for the night to be over.
IB: What's the cheesiest pick-up line you've ever heard?
LM: All lines are cheesy, and any girl who'd fall for one isn't the girl for me. But I guess the worst is when some guy looks at the tag on a woman's clothing and says, "I just wanted to see if you were made in heaven."
IB: Secret crush?
LM: I've had a crush on Michelle Pfeiffer forever and she just keeps getting better, but Halle Berry is awful close. So is Jessica Biel.
IB: When should you first attempt a French kiss?
LM: That's a total feeling thing. I have no problem with waiting, but if everything clicks, it might be the first night.
IB:  Name some turn-ons
LM: I'm a "legs guy." Someone who is athletic, obviously someone who likes sports, a sense of humor. I like the sexy conservative type. In a group of girls, I'm always curious about the quietest one.
IB: Turn-offs?
LM: In-you-face, obnoxious women, Women who look at you like "You're not good enough to talk to me." Or women who only like you for being a professional athlete. You can always tell who they are.
 

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