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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Salty likes Koji's streak, but wants more

By Gordon Edes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Sure, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is impressed with Koji Uehara. Who isn't?

The Sox closer has retired the last 31 batters he has faced -- the equivalent of a perfect game plus four batters -- and has not allowed a run in his last 28 1/3 innings. That's the longest single-season streak for a Sox reliever since the Monster, Dick Radatz, had a 33-inning streak from May 13 to June 14, 1963.

The Japanese word for monster, incidentally, is "kaibutsu," a nickname that Daisuke Matsuzaka was given in Japan but was something he didn't quite live up to in his tenure with the Sox. Certainly, Uehara has a more legitimate claim to it here, based on his body of work.

But Saltalamacchia and fellow catcher David Ross want more, and have let Uehara know.

"As far as I'm concerned, he owes me and Rossie a Rolex," Saltalamacchia said Tuesday night. "Complete-game no-hitter, now he's working on another no-hitter. At some point, he's got to get us something."

Had Saltalamacchia conveyed that demand to Uehara?

"It's been two weeks now we've been on him," Saltalamacchia said. "Rossie has been on him. So, we told him tomorrow we had to have something."

Well, tomorrow arrived, so we took a pass by Saltalamacchia. Anything? "No," he said. "Rossie yelled at him."

And what does the pitcher think of his catchers' extortion attempt?

"I want something," he said with a laugh. "Not them. I want something."