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Vance Worley asks for Dustin Pedroia’s autograph, gets denied

Big League Stew

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Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Vance Worley recorded a signature victory against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night, pitching seven strong innings in a big 2-1 win.

Indeed, the rookie righthander was so good — allowing one run and striking out five — that it was easy to see his John Hancock written all over this one.

You might say that even the disappointed Red Sox clubhouse had to endorse the effort.

Yes, the penmanship puns are everywhere this morning as Worley beat the Red Sox for Philly's second straight win in the big series and then related the story of how he had been rebuffed by Boston's Dustin Pedroia when he sent a clubbie to ask for an autograph before the game. According to Worley, his chances were hurt by two violations of protocol.

From the Associated Press: {YSP:MORE}

"He wouldn't give me (an autograph) until I met him," Worley said. "Then I threw one up and in on him so I probably won't get it now."

Though the 23-year-old Worley might seem like a star-struck greenhorn in asking for his autograph, players make similar requests all the time. Some players collect signatures to raffle off for their charities, while others like to keep collections in their trophy rooms.

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Worley wanted Pedroia's autograph because of their common bond of being from the Sacramento area. He can also remember sneaking away from the Cape Cod League a few years back to go see Pedroia and the Red Sox play at Fenway Park.

But while his onfield pitch was hardly fawning — Worley struck out Pedroia in the first and limited him to a single the rest of the way — it sounds like he might have a good shot at getting that signature from the Red Sox second baseman down the road.

"He had great mound presence, and we were all very impressed," Pedroia said. "It's really good for a kid that young to have a presence like that on the mound. He's going to be a good one."

Worley has been a good one for the Phillies as they try to patch over the injuries to Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton. Over seven starts, he's 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

Keep that up and soon he'll be the guy being asked to sign things before the game.

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