BDD is a feature of It is not produced by The Boston Globe Sports Dept.  More

BDD Home

Most Recent

Boston Dirt Dogs home

Rotoworld News for Boston Dirt Dogs:

38 Pitches

Baseball Almanac

Baseball America

Baseball Prospectus


Bradford Files

BoSox Club

Boston Sports Blog

El Guapo's Ghost

ESPN Red Sox Clubhouse


Hit and Run

The Joy of Sox

MLB Players Association

Red Sox Reality Check

The Remy Report


Seth Mnookin Blog

Show Me the Money

Soxfan vs. Yanksfan

Sox Nation.Net

Sox Prospects

The Soxaholix

Sports Illustrated Sox Page

Surviving Grady

Touching All the Bases

Keeping Up with
Old Friends

Bronson Arroyo

Josh Bard

Mark Bellhorn

Orlando Cabrera

Scott Cassidy

Tony Clark

Roger Clemens

Wil Cordero

Rheal Cormier

Johnny Damon

Jorge De La Rosa

Brian Daubach

Andy Dominque

Adam Everett

Carl Everett

Cliff Floyd

Casey Fossum

Chad Fox

Nomar Garciaparra

Tony Graffanino

Shea Hillenbrand

Adam Hyzdu

Byung-Hyun Kim

Sunny Kim

Damian Jackson

Derek Lowe

Brandon Lyon

Matt Mantei

Pedro Martinez

Lou Merloni

Ramiro Mendoza

Cla Meredith

Doug Mientkiewicz

Kevin Millar

Bill Mueller

Matt Murton

Mike Myers

Trot Nixon

Jose Offerman

Jay Payton

Roberto Petagine

Hanley Ramirez

Edgar Renteria

Dave Roberts

Freddy Sanchez

Scott Sauerbeck

Jeff Suppan

Ugueth Urbina

Todd Walker

Scott Williamson

Other Characters

Barry Bonds

Jason Giambi

Randy Johnson

Carl Pavano

Mariano Rivera

Alex Rodriguez


Barks and Bites

Baseball and Football

Bob Lobel Chat

Catching the Bus

Cowboy Up!

The Critical Moment

Dirt Dogs History

Don't Blame Buckner


Evil Empire

Grady's Defense, pt. 2

Hench's Hardball

The Lucchinos

Millar Time!

The Nation Speaks

Nine Eleven

Sale of the Century

Second Page

Theo Epstein Chat

Theoretically Speaking

Yankees Suck?

Yesterday's News

2002: Strike Out

2001: A Sox Odyssey

Most Beloved Since '67:
BDD All-Beloved Team

Most Beloved Since '67: BDD All-Beloved Team, a Japanese-language Red Sox blog
What is this?

Discussion Boards

Dirt Dogs
Sox Board

Playoff Bound in '07?

On the Front Burner

Off the Field / Fodder


Major League Matters

Sons of Sam Horn

The Remy Report


Most recent news

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003

July 2003

June 2003

May 2003

April 2003

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003



If You're Going to Fort Myers, Go Here First:

Spring Training Guide

A Look Back on the
2004 Regular Season


Please email for more information or questions.

Contents Copyright 2001-2006, except logos used in accordance with the Fair Use provision (section 107) of US Copyright Act.

Photographic images published with full rights from The Boston Globe and Associated Press unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Dirt Dogs Home

Boston Globe: Sox-Yanks pitching matchups > Sox do it again > Wake Comments were doctored > Robinson's legacy set in stone >  Thumbs

Boston Herald: 'Tek good in pinch > Heckuva first game > Cora corralled > Schilling offers a far-from-Curt response > Chamberlain to miss Sox

ProJo: Varitek's 9th inning homer fuels comeback > Ailing Cora could be put on the DL > Schilling insists: I won't play for Yankees > Wrapup

Hartford Courant: Farnsworth comes up big in Yankees win > ESPN settles with Reynolds > Phillies beat Astros > Tigers rally past Twins

It's Red Sox vs. YankeeZZZzzzzz: Rivalry's Buzz Takes a Beating
38Pitches: 'Umm, no.' | Wilbur: Space Shot | Yankee Swap
Video: Big Papi Explains Reason for Hitting Woes

Chasing Millar

Chasing Steinbrenner is the story of two journeys through baseball's most warped division. It chronicles the 2003 season of both the Red Sox and Blue Jays, and the people who run them. A few of the chapters regarding the Red Sox include the Contreras/Millar off-season, following Theo during opening day, and the inner-workings of a trading deadline deal.

Chasing Steinbrenner, published by Brasseys, will be available in late April.

Change your thoughts and you change your world. -- Norman Vincent Peale.

They sat at the table blinded by their belief.

The Millars could have very easily been distracted by their surroundings -- the room at the ritzy W Hotel in the heart of New York City and the three-piece-suit executives who filled out the fancy swivel chairs. If they took themselves out of their own skin for a moment, and gazed upon the afternoon meeting, then it would have been as believable as an Oliver Stone cinematic conspiracy theory.

But even with all the unfamiliarity, the Millars' focus could not be swayed. Kevin Millar did not want to go to Japan, plain and simple.

Just the mere notion that Millar, a 31-year-old who somehow humanly hyphenated the phrase "out-going," was being courted by any team outside the innocuous world of the independent leagues he had left behind 10 years before was baffling. It wasn't as if the right-handed, pull-hitter hadn't entrenched himself in the world of the majors. There was no arguing that he had become a very good major league player. It was just that Kevin had always been the chaser, not the subject of the chase.

The Dragons however, didn't care where Millar had come from. All they cared about was where he was going -- especially if it was anywhere but the Land of the Rising Sun.

The Chunichi representatives sat ominously across the table from Kevin, his wife, Jeana, his father, Chuck, and his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson. The group of Dragons' officials came from Japan to reiterate the terms of the agreement Millar had originally agreed to on January 8: He would earn $6.2 million to play for the Japanese Central League team for the next two seasons.

For Millar, a player who had begun his professional career making $320 every two weeks, the deal with Japan had been a jackpot. The season before, his fourth in the majors, Kevin hauled in $900,000 for hitting .306 and 16 home runs. But now he was begging out of getting his career deal, spending more than $10,000 for his wife and dad to join him in trying to seal his residence in the United States.

Nothing ever came easy for Kevin, and this was no different, except this time the fight had potentially life-altering ramifications. The meeting was the kind of moment Chuck had trained his son for. The family had a buzzword for peak performance in times of extraordinary pressure -- "It!"

"It!" was a state of mind. Remembering to prepare, work hard and be ready for anything before finally letting the moment transpire under the influence of nothing more than relaxation. "It!" was about allowing your instincts to take over.

Chuck had learned the power of "It!" in the most unusual of venues -- the bowling alleys of Southern California. His mother, Greta, had been a bowling instructor in the 1950's and had taught her son well enough so that he could finally use the sport for his financial gain. He always worried that his love of sports would yield him helpless in the professional world, but thanks to his mom's lessons and the pro bowling circuit called the Potbean League, for one year Chuck had his outlet.

They called it "bowling for hamburgers," but so many times it was a lot more. Winning a match could mean anything from $20 to $500. Chuck made more in his job as a lab technician, but the lessons learned in going up against the likes of Dave Hawthorne and Manny Manchester were priceless. In a nutshell, the message was that if you try too hard to knock down that '10 pin' it's usually not going to happen. Just throw the ball and don't give a shit. This was remembering "It!"

Now, with these strangers from a strange land putting the heat on, Kevin was being reminded of the family's mantra. "It!" was tattooed on his arm, and it was being ingrained in his brain.

Midway through the group's second meeting, it was Chuck who almost allowed his son's preparation and pre-get-together focus to slide into oblivion.

Kevin's dad initially appeared to be on his game, telling the Chunichi folks that with the impending military action in Iraq he wanted his entire family to be stateside. Chuck still had two sons in elementary school and didn't want them worrying about their big brother's safety overseas.

Team Chunichi said no problem, the team would put the kids up in one of the area's best schools and hire a security detail to protect them. And if that wasn't enough, the Dragons offered Chuck $1 million and a house. That's when the kicking started.

Kevin saw the look on his dad's face, and didn't like what he saw. The son started booting his father under the table, leading the pair to take an impromptu bathroom break. Once in the rest room the Millars just broke into laughter. Chuck was a lab technician who would commonly work two shifts a day, but was on the verge of turning his back on $1 million and a free house. It was all too surreal.

If there weren't going to be laughs, there would be tears -- some tears of frustration, but more tears of joy. The kid who didn't even hit cleanup for his youth baseball team was now telling his dad to politely dismiss more 0's on one check than either had thought they would see in a lifetime.

The Millars had come a long way, with a hotel bathroom suddenly serving as the journey's most memorable checkpoint.
-- .

"It just proves how good Millar is, and all this makes good headlines." -- Dragons' president Junnosuke Nishikawa.

J.L. was sent to Beaumont by the Dragons to basically not let Millar out of sight or mind. The intensity exuding from the Japanese team was wearing off on their representative in the United States. J.L. was everywhere, and so was his desperation. There were suggestions that he might commit suicide if he couldn't bring Kevin back to Nagoya. The man from Chunichi even asked the Millars for bank account numbers, Kevin's or his dad's, to put chunks of Chunichi money into (again, Chuck was tempted). Understanding the Japanese's end-of-the-world approach wasn't easily accomplished.

The pressure, and the presence of J.L., was getting unbearable for Millar. On top of his future;s uncertainties, he had also heard the rumors that the Japanese mafia might be involved. Then there was the time he returned from a workout to find 67 messages on his answering machine. "Why me?" he thought. Millar didn"t have anything against anybody. He just wanted to play in Boston, not Nagoya. Hadn"t Japanese outfielder Norihiro Nakamura done the same thing when he had agreed to a contract with the New York Mets a month earlier, only to back out at the last moment? The whole thing was out of hand. Millar had to get away.

So while J.L. was joined by more Chunichi reps in Beaumont, Levinson continued to grease whatever wheels he could, and Major League Baseball tried to figure out what to do, Millar headed to the land of all waiver claims in limbo -- Las Vegas.

Finally, Kevin could go back to being Kevin --carefree without fretting how he was going to fit into a lineup behind some guy named Kazuyoshi Tatsunami. Thanks to a high-roller friend, a lawyer whom Millar had met through his Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealings, he hopped aboard a Lear jet and wasted away the hours until decision day by stacking his buddy's chips (and there were a lot of them). And after the casino came an impromptu trip to South Dakota, where the posse decided to do a little pheasant hunting.

"Dad," Millar said to Chuck though his cell phone, "you're not going to believe this, but right now I'm riding down a dirt road in South Dakota with a million dollars of cash on my lap!" Life was good again for the Beaumont Basher.

Back in Boston, there was no getting away. There wasn't much of anything the Red Sox could do since Major League Baseball had told them to stay back in the shadows while an agreement was mediated with Chunichi. And whatever Epstein did know from MLB, it wasn't for public consumption in and around the Sox offices.

And, thus, the "Millar-O-Meter" was born.

Epstein would enter the office, the subsequent "How's it going?" would come from somewhere inside baseball operations and the general manager would inform the masses using an adjusted form of RPM's. When it came to cracking this case, nothing was coming easy.

The ordeal continued. Millar had gone to Vegas, taken his family to New York for the face-to-face with the Chunichi people, taken some time in California and finally returned to Beaumont to continue the waiting. The only certainty was that every morning was going to be full of questions and the closest answers could only be found by riding around on his Harley.

Finally, in the waning hours of Valentine's Day, Millar heard from the unfamiliar voice of Epstein. "You're a Boston Red Sox," his new boss said. Five hours later Kevin had loaded up his stuff and Jeana into his black Cadillac Escalade, put in a healthy pinch of Copenhagen chewing tobacco and driven straight through to the Red Sox's minor league complex on Edison Avenue in Fort Myers. The driving time was 16 hours, but it was well worth it after enduring the five-week sentence in the mitts of Chunichi.

One of the first people Millar saw upon venturing out onto the expansive fields where Boston began spring training was Epstein. They had never met, and had talked just a couple of times, but that didn't mean a hug wasn't in store. "I'm the invisible player, you're the invisible general manager and now we're together," said the exhausted but elated Beaumont Basher. It was, as Millar later said, like they had known each other their whole lives.

The wildest off-season a 29-year-old general manager had ever experienced was officially over with.

Nobody thought that trying to win a World Series was going to be easy.

Exclusive to Boston Dirt Dogs

Get BDD Gear Here

Get the BDD women's T's, tanks, and more

Get Frank Galasso's 2007 Red Sox Lithograph

Frank Galasso Litho

Rally Against Cancer
Start a team today to win a visit from Dustin Pedroia

Dana Farber license plate

Hot Stove, Cool Music

Get the CD. Support Paul and Theo Epstein's Foundation to be Named Later.

The Gabe Kapler Foundation

The “Curt’s Pitch for ALS” program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling and The ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Curt’s Pitch Goes Global!

Run for SHADE!

For the fourth consecutive year, SHADE Foundation of America will be represented at the Boston Marathon by a team raising funds for SHADE. SHADE is currently seeking marathon runners to join the team . For more information on running with Shonda Schilling on SHADE’s team or sponsoring runners, please visit SHADE's marathon page here. The SHADE Foundation thanks Red Sox Nation for joining in their fight to save future generations from melanoma.

Get a Danny O Fenway Litho, as Seen in the Cooperstown Catalog

Danny O

Why Not Us?
Chasing Steinbrenner
One Day at Fenway


Box Score and Schedules

Yesterday's News

Barks & Bites

Second Page