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More Heyman hogwash.

7.5.04: Apparently New York Newsday has become the Weekly World News overnight because John Heyman continues to embarrass himself with another nutty piece published on July 4th:

"When the Red Sox should have been obsessed with the Yankees, they instead were obsessing over a tidbit in Newsday about Jason Varitek chiding Curt Schilling over missing the pre-series pitchers' meeting.

And that's what it was, a tidbit. Until they made it into a full-blown controversy by complaining loudly, then concocting a cover story.

Maybe the Red Sox need to re-focus.

As for the tidbit, now that Varitek, Schilling and Terry Francona have vociferously denied the dugout confrontation, I regret 1) burying the information two-thirds into a column and 2) suggesting Varitek was "half-serious" in sending his message.

Further investigation found Varitek was deadly serious.

They're all now publicly claiming Varitek was "kidding" by confronting Schilling. But there was nothing funny about it. Just to be sure, I asked around. Word is, Varitek was just getting started. Word is, Varitek "undressed" Schilling later in the clubhouse.

Varitek didn't accept Schilling's continuing whine that "no one told me." Back in the clubhouse, Varitek let Schilling have it, telling him, "You want a caddie, go to the golf course. You talk about commitment, then what do you do? What example do you set?"

Varitek stayed on Schilling. "You're our No. 1 pitcher and you can't go to the meeting? If a rookie said, 'No one told me,' you'd tell him, 'Welcome to the big leagues, kid.' You talk it, you've got to walk it."

Publicly, Francona is saying it's fine to blow off the meeting - no surprise because Francona's a kept man, owing his job to Schilling's referral. But Schilling's held Gary Sheffield to 11-for-55; couldn't teammates have benefited from his counsel? Sheffield contributed key hits in Games 1 and 2 last week. Mike Timlin (who also chided Schilling) threw an ill-advised down-in-the-zone fastball in Game 2 that Sheffield hit for a go-ahead double down the line.

Perhaps Schilling revealed his rationale for denying the confrontation when he proclaimed, "What's said in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse." The reason for that thinking is obvious - what's said in the clubhouse is sometimes embarrassing. And occasionally idiotic. Such as when Schilling denigrated Scott Williamson for removing himself (Williamson is now on the DL with elbow trouble).

Poor Francona. He doesn't know whether to play puppet for the controlling front office or for the prima donna players. (He's still claiming publicly it was his decision to sit Nomar Garciaparra when he told insiders the opposite, that Garciaparra showed no interest in playing.)

There's no denying this: Boston's a mess.

...Schilling called me a "hack" on the radio and blamed the perception that Randy Johnson disliked him on "hacks" - Arizona hacks.

Going by his track record, I'm confident Johnson despised him. And maybe that means Johnson would prefer the Yankees to the Red Sox. Folks have suggested Johnson doesn't want to go anywhere. But while some say he got annoyed a few winters ago by a lone Yankees phone call he now believes was made to gain leverage against David Cone, maybe that's superseded by the chance for another ring. Arizona's top scout, Brian Lambe, was in Columbus yesterday, raising Yankee hopes."  -- Newsday nonsense

As you may recall in "Heyman was had", poor John was the victim of a spontaneous sting put on by Schill and Tek. Earlier the same day, Curt busted his ass to get in TV appearances for the "Top Good Guy" award, raising more money for ALS/SHADE, in one day. He came back and went right to the gym in the Stadium. He didn't know about the pitcher's meeting going on. Tek saw him when the meeting broke and started busting him for missing the meeting in front of a few members of the NY media. Schill yelled back. All a put on.

Almost 100% of the column was complete fabrication, including the perceived poor relationship between Schilling and Randy Johnson. Heyman is indeed a hack's hack. Tek and Schilling never, ever had a disagreement, nor argued. In fact what Heyman wrote might be the complete opposite of what actually happened. Seeing as Tek and Schill met soon after he supposedly heard them arguing and went over pretty much the whole Yankee lineup. Schilling doesn't blow off meetings, he never has in 15 years.

Steve Buckley also said that Heyman was absent from the clubhouse for the remainder of the series in New York, a typical sign that the reporter was doing some serious cya. But instead of trying to apologize or trying to make the story go away, John Got it Wrong decides to go full boat on the offensive with a fabrication of made up dialogue and no known sources. Interesting strategy but the bottom line is he lied.

Regarding Williamson, Schilling did not have words with him regarding the condition of his injury. Anyone reporting that would be incorrect.

---

Model citizens.

The New York Post chimes in with an embellished report from Page Six on July Fourth:

"Red Soxers Kevin Millar, Alan Embree and Scott Williamson comforted themselves after their 11-3 Tuesday night trouncing by the Yankees with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue models Petra Nemcova and Mini Anden, who danced on banquettes at Suede and downed Turi vodka. Maybe they should have gone back to the hotel instead: They lost on Wednesday night, too." -- Elisa Lipsky-Karasz

---

Gammons this week.

Gammons on Red Sox Baseball This Week on WEEI: Pete continues to hammer home the idea that Nomar was upset with the Red Sox initial diagnosis of his Achilles' injury. Is he full of sheath? He also said Big Schill should be the starter vs. Clemens at the All-Star game for what he's meant to the Red Sox season. Long shot at best. And he says we need to lose the Yankees Suck and all the Yankees hatred once and for all. Mentioned Angels as possible trading partner for Nomar with first baseman Kasey Kotchman as part of the package, but the trade market was going to be very thin in general.

---

South Florida getting warmer?

The latest Nomar trade rumor (already shot down across the board) is speculated below by Sun Sentinel lead baseball writer Mike Beradino:

"According to major league sources, the Marlins are weighing the merits of renting the superstar shortstop. Having received maximum production last season out of a pending free agent (Pudge Rodriguez) at a premium position (catcher), the Marlins could try the same approach with Garciaparra.

As their offensive woes deepen -- just two major league teams are batting worse with runners in scoring position (.237) -- the Marlins are telling other teams they need another bat at least as much as they need bullpen help.

The most likely trade bait would be shortstop Alex Gonzalez, a longtime favorite of Boston owner John Henry. If the Marlins thought Garciaparra could (or would) move to first base, they might be willing to part with Hee Seop Choi instead.

Because the Red Sox have Pokey Reese, they wouldn't necessarily need a shortstop in return. Starting pitching would be more apt to catch their eye.

The Red Sox have asked about right-hander Brad Penny in the past, and Carl Pavano, named Sunday to his first All-Star team, began his career in the Boston organization. Red Sox scouts Bill Lajoie and Murray Cook were at Pro Player Stadium for the recent series against Atlanta, when Penny and Pavano started on consecutive days."

Imagine, an old goat like Carl Pavano being named to the All-Star team.

---

Adding insult to perjury.

In the latest spin on Nomar's missing the critical Yankee sweepstakes, Red Sox owner John Henry now admits that Nomar accidentally sat in some super-glue on the visitor's bench before Thursday's game. He was waiting for the NYFD to arrive and free him from the bench. That's what Tito meant when he said Nomar was "trying to get loose" all night, and explains why he couldn't hop three feet to join his mates on the dugout rail during the most important rally of the season. If you're keeping track at home, the glue story supersedes Theo's "no medical clearance" story, Jim Kaat's "Nomar asked out" story from Tito, Tito's "I forgot that he needs a day off every now and then story" and Nomar's "I was trying to find the right situation over 13 innings story." Just awful. Let's move on. I'm sure Tito will explain it all straight up with Dale & Neumy on Wednesday.

---

New York hospitality.

A young couple from Boston, seated three rows behind home plate last Thursday night, was thrown out of Yankee Stadium simply for cheering for Mike Timlin in the 10th inning of the then tied game.

---

Fargo away.

Email: Hey, Millar's dye-job reminds me of Steve Buscemi's partner in the movie "Fargo." Remember the hookers telling the detective (Francis MacDormand), "One guy was funny looking, and the other guy looked like the Marlboro Man." - Ted

---

Kentucky fried benching.

Email: Hey There Big Dog,

I just got back from vacation in upstate NY (the finger lakes) where I had to spend the last few days listening to the Red Sox outside in my car.

Bad enough that the Yanks were not on broadcast TV and the cottage we stayed at had no radio, but they lost in a big way

Anyway, enough of my bitchin. I am submitting to you a potential head line for a future BDD.com.
BOYCOTT KFC until Millar is Benched!!

If I see this guy starting again, I am going to throw up!

In the last 12 at bats he has 2 more hits than I do and I didn’t even play!!

Anyway, keep up the good work. Let’s hope we all make it through this before the Celtics mini-camp!

-Bill Rubino (um, Bill, you forgot about the old Super Bowl champs down the road.)

---

Mr. Rodgers new neighborhood.

6.30.04: Old friend Bob Rodgers popped up on FSNE today. He confirmed what most have known about Nomar, namely that the Red Sox brass remains angry with him, many players in the clubhouse don't like him (does his own thing, not involved in Cowboy Up last season), and he won't play Moneyball with them (on or off the field). Bob predicts Nomar is gone by the trading deadline.

Major moves.

Gammo on Baseball Tonight on ESPN says if Sox continue to flounder "the Red Sox will make a major move or two to shake up the team after the All-Star break."

---

Heyman was had.

John Heyman got grifted when he reported on the Schilling-Varitek "flare up" yesterday. There was no beef between Varitek and Schilling on any pitcher's meeting, they just put on a sting for the NY media gossip monger. But Tito was absolutely full of it when he told Red Sox Nation on Mr. Credibility and Neumy that it was "Dave Wallace and Schilling" on the bus call yesterday.
Know this folks, Terry Francona will never be totally truthful publicly, it's all about covering for the team on any issue, any time, which is fine. Just remember that BoSox Lady :-)

---

Gammo goes after Sox, fans.

6.29.04: ESPN's Peter Gammons on with WFAN's Mike and the Mad Dog today (listen on the interview here: Click on "June 29-Mike & Chris talk everything baseball w/Peter Gammons of ESPN". Summary highlights (you don't hear this in Boston on the Ira Toyota WEEI weekly):

"Since the Red Sox left Yankee Stadium on April 25th, they've fallen 10 games behind the Yankees, and I don't even think the Yankees have played that well, they've beat up people, but the starting pitching has not been as good as it can be, but I think they can be better...

The thing that's disturbing about the Red Sox. The starting pitching's actually has been pretty good, Schilling, Martinez, 11 quality starts, Lowe's pitched well the last three times. The starting pitching's been pretty good. But it's the baseball they play. This is incredible to me. They've gone eight consecutive games without turning a double play. That's incomprehensible. They are so dysfunctional defensively. They lead the major leagues in unearned runs allowed. It's really disturbing. And I know it really disturbs management that they're just playing blasé baseball and everybody goes "well they don’t have to worry, because they're going to make the playoffs." They're in a pretty tough stretch right now, it's not that simple and you can see Anaheim or Oakland going right down the stretch the last six weeks winning a ton. If you’re sort of coasting and saying well is Schilling lined up to pitch game one, or is Pedro lined up to pitch game one, all of a sudden, it got away from you.

Mike Francesa: One thing that seems to be missing from this year, and I don't know what their view is, talking about the manager, obviously they made their move (with Francoma), they have to live with it no matter what the situation is, that Schilling, which is not surprising, we like Schilling for his outspokenness, has stepped on some toes. One thing someone relayed to me that he was saying is that Schilling was making a statement that "the team needs to stay together," making statements about players taking less money to stay together, and they said "hey this is my chance to make a big payday, you already made yours, I got a chance to walk, who is he to be telling us to take less money?"

Gammons: I think a couple of people were disturbed by that… although Schilling is making 12-1/2, he's not making Mussina money, he's not making Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson money, he’s pretty much backed it up. He didn't go and say "I'm going to go out in free agency and get the biggest score I can get," he said "I'm gonna go where I want to play. So in that way I think he's genuine about it. But it did ruffle some feathers.

The team is not as wild and fun loving as last year. I don’t thing its bad (chemistry). It's strange because they've sort of waited for Nixon and Garciaparra to come back. The biggest thing is the way they play. You can’t fail to turn double plays and give away unearned runs. They don’t bother to get the guy on second over. If you play that style, you better play good defense and they haven't done it.

If they get right and Garciaparra starts playing well, they can be a dangerous team in October. Bullpen is OK if Foulke is fine like he should be. Pretty good pitchers 1-through-8. No Tom Gordons, but Schilling, Martinez, Lowe, and Wakefield have won in October.

Francesa: How do you rate Francona? Why are they having trouble playing when it's not the Yankees?

Gammons: I put a little bit (of the blame) on him. He’s very well respected by the players because he doesn’t give them up. And that's important in Boston and New York. But there never seems to be a sense of urgency. And that's something the team has lacked. He did call a team meeting the other day but it's always fine and "oh I did it." Sometimes you have to get a little gruff. Don't want to sound like I'm a member of the Joe Torre fan club, but Joe knows exactly when to put the foot down, and when to let up.

I think that’s something Terry’s learning. Now Boston is more intense, it’s more difficult than New York. It should be more about loving the Red Sox and not this Yankees bleep stuff.

There were fans were down there (at Fenway) screaming obscenities at Mia Hamm (after Nomar's error against Twins in 10th). It's insane! I had to have people removed for what they were yelling at Derek Jeter.

Tremendous expectations built up this year. This obsession over the Yankees by this ownership is a dangerous thing... their marketing strategy for this year built up expectations beyond what they should have been.

If this team continues to struggle through July, things could get very ugly in Boston."

---

New York minute.

Yankee fan rubs it in with:

a) Manny Ramirez hits a fly to center and barely leaves the batter's box. Had Lofton dropped it (like he did against the Mets), Manny could've even been tossed out at first - and this is a close game at the time.

b) Derek Jeter beats out the throw from Garciaparra on an error. If Jeter doesn't hustle, Sheffield never hits the 3 run HR to put the game out of reach.

If Manny ever played under Torre and pulled this kind of thing, he'd find himself on the bench PDQ. One thing Torre does not allow at any time is loafing (and mouthing off, but that's another kettle o'fish.)

I find it hard to fault Nomar on those errors, by the way. Those throws are very catchable - Millar nearly fell down on the first throw. If you notice, Rodriguez and Heredia nearly threw balls away, but Tony Clark snagged both of them (chiefly because he's 6'6"). But a first baseman should be able to scoop those throws by Nomar. They were very catchable.

Johnny Damon is the first Red Sox centerfielder EVER to hit two HRs at Yankee Stadium.

---

Sox are shopping the shortstop.

6.29.04 update: Multiple sources now confirm that the Boston Red Sox are shopping Nomar Garciaparra. The Red Sox remain upset with how Nomar has handled himself this season, and while there are no immediate trading partners/players who match up at this time, Nomar will remain available to interested teams for the foreseeable future.

6.26.04: Gordon Edes wrote in his mailbag last week: "Well, Beltran appeared to be the only real high-impact position player available at this time, unless Theo Epstein wants to shock the world and move Nomar Garciaparra, who like Beltran is in his walk year. There was a rumor to that effect circulating at Fenway Park this week, but I didn't find sufficient grounds to publish it -- and still haven't."

For what it's worth, a source indicated to us that Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams revealed that Nomar was being shopped before today's game with the Cubs.

Gerry Callahan says today that moving Nomar makes some sense.

Yee Huh?

6.29.04: It's been a horrible season for Kevin Millar at the plate and in the field, be it at first, left, or right. No surprise, his second half of 2003 was pathetic as well. But Kevin scored some sweetheart endorsements this year. No doubt you've seen him knee-deep in buckets of fried chicken between errors. Or picking up the phone for Nextel. Or going for an extra scoop of Friendly's ice cream.

Despite all the commercial gigs, dye jobs, country concerts, and pep talks, Millar remains mired in a horrible slump with RBIs coming as infrequently as a Ramiro Mendoza solid effort.

So has Millar been spending all his extra time in the batting cage with Papa Jack to find the cure? Or has he been seen on the grass with Johnny Pesky taking extra fielding drills? Running 5 miles around the Charles? Nope. He's been working on the next great Red Sox rally cry... "Yee-yah."

Huh? Didn't he get the message in camp that the Cowboy died in the Bronx last October? He was lucky to ram it down our throats the first time around. YOU LIVE IN BOSTON NOW KEVIN. THIS ISN'T BEAUMONT TEXAS!

And you can't just say "Yee-yah!" You have to extend your arms while pointing your index fingers, pull back hard with your elbows, and yell, "Yee-yah!" Whatever it is, just keep it in house this time.

Hey Kevin, we’re not cowboys in New England. Dauber is a heartbeat away from taking your spot and really rallying this team. Get your ass in a cage or grab a glove. Maybe Atkins can help.

Bronx Spelling Beez

Did you see the film clip Saturday from Yankee Stadium with the fans holding up a 3' x 4' sign that read "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JETTER"? Priceless.

You don't live in Philadelphia!

As Sam Wyche would say. Red Sox manager Lou Piñata has been taking a beating on air, online, in polls, and by the ubiquitous water cooler this week. So Tito Bandito had a Little meeting. And the team responded.

Bottom line is Terry Cloth better absorb these initial blows from the fans as the Nation is getting increasingly restless with the convenient excuses, waiting around for weather changes, lackluster effort night in and night out, disinterested defense, etc. He knows the fish rots from the head. And if something's rotten in Denmark, X marks the spot on his bald head first.

It's not like he didn't take a few body blows from the Rocky Balblowhards in Philadelphia. Schilling's favorite Inquirer scribe (not) Jim Salisbury tells us that Tito's wheels were vandalized in Philly. Yikes. The worst thing that will happen in Boston is that we'll come up with goofy nicknames for Francoma while we hope he realizes the real sense of urgency when you're six games out in the loss column in the AL East and knee deep in very late June swoon.

"Francona got his lesson in Red Sox mania after the home opener in April. He and his wife, Jacque, pulled out of the parking lot at Fenway Park and a group of young fans chased the car.

They chased.

And chased.

You couldn't blame Francona for getting a little worried. After all, the Red Sox had lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, and Francona, fans and cars haven't always been a great mix. (Remember the time his tires were slashed at the Vet?)

Eventually, Francona made a clean getaway. The Sox won the next two days. The kids still chased his car, but he didn't worry so much about his safety.

"They're fanatical about this team," Francona said yesterday. "A lot of it is good. Some of it is over the top. But it's never dull. I love it." - 6.25: Philly Inquirer

Theoretically Speaking

"Bill Mueller plays tonight in Pawtucket. We can't slow him down. He's ready to play games. He might be a quick mover. We might see him sometime on this road trip.

Pokey took ground balls and BP. He'll be available today to pinch run. He's going to work a tape job when he's hitting and have a semi-splint in his globe.

Abe Alvarez threw 6 innings of 2 hit ball up in New Hampshire last night. He struck out six. He's been effective on both sides of the plate. We thought he'd be a quick mover and he's proven that. He's well beyond his years in his knowledge of how to get hitters out." - Theo pre-game show on the Red Sox baseball radio network

Surviving Rob

The oh-so-pleased-with-himself Survivor Rob shows up at Fenway Friday night with the ugly version of last year's Cowboy Up shirt (nice call Hollywood) and calls Boston "Beantown" (are you even from here?). No wonder Amber wasn't with him.

---

"If you ever hit me again, I’m going to kill you."

6.24.04: "When Scott Rolen in his rookie year when we were with the Phillies, Nomo hit him four times his rookie year. Scotty didn’t say anything, he ran down to first base. Next year, first game, first at bat Nomo hits him again, Scotty looks at him, runs down to first base, and Scotty hit him well too. Scotty hit a home run off him later on. After the game Scotty says hey I need you come with me real quick. He walks over to the clubhouse, he waits two hours, for Nomo to come out of the clubhouse. I’m standing there. My wife’s pissed. Nomo walks out, Scotty walks up to him, looks at him and says "if you ever hit me again, I’m going to kill you." Walks away. Nomo has never come close to him since. Scotty has raked him ever since too. That’s the way you need to handle things sometimes. You don’t cost your team anything." - Curt Schilling on 105.7-FM with Loren and Wally.

---

Mr. Ed has a horse problem.

6.22.04: Ed Berliner is the host of CN8's Sports Pulse. He's had us on his show (yes, you were the first Ed). Like other RCN customers, I don't get CN8. But here's a transcript of last week's opening segment regarding the Sox, Schilling, and the changing media landscape.

Ed led off the program with his take on the recent flap involving Sox ace Curt Schilling and some in the local media:

"There is a disturbing trend growing around Red Sox Nation, and the time has come for someone to fear not the repercussions, and certainly not fear doing the job we are expected to perform.

Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is the hero incarnate, willing to do whatever it takes to end the years of generational suffering inflected on the Red Sox Nation's masses. Schilling, however, has taken on the persona of a petulant child, one who apparently believe pouting works better than style and grace.

In a story published this weekend in the Boston Herald, Schilling complained about the New England media having too much access to the players sacrosanct locker room area, noting it’s different in Boston than anyplace else. There is no respect for this inner sanctum. And some of the media would rather loaf on players couches than do their jobs.

Was this not the player, who, upon arriving in Boston, promised to be completely accessible to the media? Was this not the star pitcher who promised his availability when asked, but has since become the Claude Rains of the locker room? Schilling’s comments are, at best, an obfuscation, self-serving and just wrong. Media access to locker rooms is controlled by major league baseball, and is the same everywhere. The New England media corps does not loaf on couches, but waits patiently for interviews — and Red Sox players are some of the most accessible and congenial players I have ever met.

While Schilling’s comments are disturbing, they pale in comparison to some veteran members of the Boston media who publicly feel sorry and somewhat ashamed when they use or even think about using Schilling’s comments from a certain web site.

As reporters, our job is to report what we see, what we read and what we hear, without failure or favor. Doing anything less is a disservice to the fans, and risks falling into the dangerous and bottomless pit of becoming nothing more than a shill, an unrepentant homer and someone who cannot be trusted to tell the truth."

Screen shot/voiceover of Schilling quotes: "I understand you guys have a job to do and I don't have a problem with that as long as it doesn't get in the way of the job I have to do and me doing that."

Ed Berliner: We have a job to do as well, I'm sure he'll understand... Steve promises us that going corporate on boston.com will not not change the website. Curt Schilling comes up now as a rather interesting story, this is a guy when he made that statement very happy to be a member of the media core, to be accessible to the media, now he's complaining about the media in the clubhouse, now he's complaining about media access, and now he's basically making statements which are not true in a lot of ways. What's going on with Curt Schilling? Why this change of heart where he doesn't seem to be as accessible as he was?

Big Dog: Oh he's accessible (Ed: when he wants to be) He calls in to radio stations randomly the past couple of weekends. He emails people. He posts on a couple of different websites. He's available before every game. The only time he's not available I think is on the days on which he starts.

EB: Which is normal, exceptionally normal. And his comments in the Boston Herald were rather interesting where he was talking about the media and "it's much harder here than any place I've ever been because of the access Sox management allows." Which is interesting because the standpoint of the Red Sox, you then saw a statement from Glen Geffner, who's the PR director, who accurately pointed out "he wait a minute, baseball tells us, we do things exactly as baseball tells us to do. It seems as if Curt is trying to exercise a little Curt Schilling control here, what do you think?

BD: I think his concern is just that maybe they're bending the rules a little bit. What he wants is that when the game ends, the players need a little space, a little time to blow off steam, to be themselves. The clubhouse is like their home, it's like their living room. And they know the reporters are going to be in there but you gotta think, it's the smallest clubhouse in the major leagues, and the most intense media in the major leagues, so those two things don't mesh. I think he just wants 10 minutes to be able to come in after the game, be able to swear, throw something across the locker room, maybe a guy wants to take a shower and slip out the back door. And I think he feels that the media is always there. They're waiting for them before they even get off the field.

EB: No but he gets that, he gets that though. Speaking as a member of the media standpoint, you can't go into the locker room until there is a cooling off period. Baseball does say that. It just seems as if this whole instance now with Curt, and he's on a website, and he gets on a private site, and he doesn't allow his words on a website to be used by the media, that seems to kind of smack against trying to run the media and telling them "here's what I want you to do, and here's how you will do things."

BD: Well I think it stems from his past. He came from Philadelphia then went over to Arizona. In both those cities he was involved with websites on a much smaller level. He's used to talking to a much smaller group, maybe 100 people in an email discussion group, I don't think he was quite prepared for the media onslaught in Boston, even on the internet side, and he started to post publicly at the beginning, and then a few things happened where things were taken out of context. And it's one thing to be having a discussion on a website, but then a couple of things got picked up by some television stations, a couple of things got picked up on the radio, and they blew into big stories. So the reason for that is that he said "you know what, I like this discussion on the internet, but I don't want to be leading off the six o'clock news every time I say something off the top of my head."

EB: We'll the unfortunate thing is that when you're a member of Red Sox Nation, that's going to happen. Because it's the way baseball is bred here in New England. People love this team. It's funny how his ankle injury is the thing that wound up in cyberspace too. He talked about it there, wouldn't talk about it with anybody else. So it does kind of smack of a little running the media here.

One guy who does not run the media, but sometimes decides he doesn't want to talk to the media is Pedro Martinez. But he's been a little different this year. From the perspective of the Boston Dirt Dogs, is Pedro worth all this discussion, and worth money, and worth going after, and worth keeping, and worth making sure he's happy? Where does it all stand from your perspective?

BD: Putting on my Theo Epstein hat: at the right price. It's all about the value, a good value for the team. Yeah, I'd love to have Pedro Martinez around but I don't want to pay him $17 million over three more years, I'd like to pay him $11 million over two years.

EB: You think he's gone?

BD: No I think Pedro really likes it here. I don't think he wants to move to another stage. That's just my gut feeling on it. I think he's one of the ones that's going to stay.

EB: And finally, Trot Nixon is due to come back this week. You said something very funny on the break,  you said "everybody was talking about Nomar, and Trot just kind of slipped by" nobody noticed did they?

BD: Well, you know, Trot's reputation is well known. The whole dirt dog grinder. If you know Trot Nixon, you know that there's not a guy on the planet who wants to get out there and play more and do more. He had that unfortunate injury with the back, and he got through that, and suddenly he got a quad injury, and you want to mad about it "what do you... how'd that happen?!? Why do you have a quad injury?!?" but what are you gonna do? The guy can't play, he can't play, but he's coming back Wednesday.

EB: You hear everything's fine as far as the Boston Dirt Dog's sources and embedded moles will tell you that he's in good shape?

BD: Nixon is, yes.


Mailing it in. 6.20.04 update: 'Cause we're off to the MassCap. Emails of note last week:

New addition: "This guy is killing us! EMBRY (sic) STAYS IN AGAINST THE RIGHT HANDER?? I thought Embry (sic) was a freaking specialist meant to pitch PRIMARILY against lefties!! Why the hell was he still in the game, especially after he tanked the night before??!! Where the hell was Williamson??!!

This Francona refuses to sacrifice bunt, he sits Nomar, Damon AND Nixon against the lefty Giant pitcher, but he leaves Embry in to face the righty? Am I hallucinating or is Terry Francona just about the most moronic freaking manager we've ever had?? How much longer is this crap going to go on?

Theo looked absolutely unhinged after the game, like he couldn't believe what instilled him to hire this idiot for a manager."

---

"Boston Nation, Here we go again. Mr. Barry (Balco) Bonds opens up his mouth and spews out some good old slanderous accusations about the good people and town of Boston.

I know he hasn't had his day in court on the steroid issue, but to come out and disrespect the BoSox and their fans and town is tantamount to saying that all Giants fans are gay (um, not that there's anything wrong with that right Denn?). To me his comments are nothing more than the ravings of a man who is nothing more than a Prima Donna.

For one thing where does he get off with the arm protector. If I were a pitcher I would do like the Rocket did when he was a Yankee. I would plunk his big fat behind right on that piece of plastic. If not there then in his big fat behind. Well, that is all I have to say.

In closing "Go Sox" and "God Bless Boston and her fans."

---

"hi DD, i'm a big fan of your site, keep the funny headlines coming. anyway, don't you think all this coverage lately of your OWN news, reactions to your OWN news, disagreements about your reports, etc... reeks a bit of what we always call the media on for making *themselves* part of the story?

I love your site, man, but myself and everyone i know who likes it reads it to hear about the red sox, not about what certain people do or do not think about your own reporting.

You take a lot of swings, you have some hits and some misses, and I'm willing to bet no actual fan of yours cares as long as you admit the mistakes and just keep movin on. But you might want to get your own internal news off the hot seat there, just to avoid the charges of hypocrisy.

Keep up the good work."

---

"Mr. Big Dog: Who really cares about your news scoops??...you make a big deal out of them but we are really not interested.....you like to gossip and that sux....you like to get on Nomar and that's even worse. You will be proven wrong about Nomar and his dedication as the season develops....You started a good thing with your site...don't get too cocky or get caught up in yourself or the scoop.

Just the facts man....we really don't give a F@#& about the media inside game!"

---

"...Hey, From the "you didn't hear it from me" department, Schilling will skip his next start regardless of the MRI results."

---

"About Schill vs. Mazz, this has become a battle between player and the media. Luckily for Schill, he will win this battle, but Tony has definitely gotten his shots in. Because of the public's disdain for media types, Schill will get some sympathy, but at the same time, those who do not understand the Internet's power (i.e., Mazz) will deride those who take part in chat rooms and bulletin boards.

It's unfortunate that a private chat which should have stayed private became public knowledge. While Tony can be faulted for reporting this story, remember it was a SoSH member who violated the rules of the membership and ratted Curt out. When Schilling revealed his injury to SoSH members, a member or members decided to leak the chat. Perhaps new rules should be established so chats like Schill's remain private.

We are living in a whole new world here. Before sites like the Dirt Dogs, SoSH, BSMW and the Remy Report existed, it was just TV, Radio and newspapers. Now, the Internet is making an in-road giving athletes and fans ample opportunity to communicate without the middle man. Traditional media is fearful because their role is diminished.

Some reporters like Bob Lobel "get it" while others such as Sean McAdam and Mazz see their influence on the decline. This is similar to the 1950's when newspaper reporters like Dick Young would curse into radio and TV microphones rendering their tape and film useless.

To lash out at internet sites shows Tony Mazz' true character. He sounds like a whiny, smarmy person. He may not be, but from what I've seen and heard, I have no reason to think otherwise.

Steve, keep up the great work. Thanks for giving Red Sox fans a place to gather and giving us ACCURATE and up-to-date information."

---

"You will never win anything with Terry Franconia as your manager"

---

"I love some of the stuff on your site but your Nomar bashing is pathetic. Was there anything in his quote that was off base? Weren't you the one complaining when he played an extra day down in Pawtucket? It took your boyfriend Trot Nixon longer to come back and for some reason he's a hero, the original dirtdog, a gamer. Give me a break. You probably think its better that Nomar is gone next year. You're not a fan, you're an idiot."

---

"...I was under the impression you'd gimme a shout on something like this." (Schilling sore about skipped start report). We're sorry already for not running it by you first Schill, yeesh.

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"Subject: prescience

An all-star prediction for Carlos Beltran of the NYY? Freudian slip or a Carnac moment?
Great site, my daily addiction - don't let the Globe Grady it up. Staci Leonard"

(That Empire Statement email was sent in by a wishful thinking Yankee fan Staci.)

---

"i think its kind of funny how this stuff has played out in recent days with maz and such. is it me or do the traditional media seem extra defensive about the "new media?" it is that bad to provide information in a non-stereotypical format? so i guess its a viable source when it directly benefits them? its the same thing with the record industry... web media is reality... they'd be better off embracing it. your "media" kicks ass. czz, worcester"

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"Hey douche..." ... "how does crow taste?

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"Good poke at Bruce Allen. It appears Bruce wants to be a star and hear his name on WEEI. Great site, love the headlines. Nice to see Vinnie P on your site. I was an intern for Vinnie back at Kiss 108 many moons ago. Remember he was a big Sox fan. Tell him “Chickenman” says hello. Best of luck and keep up the great work."

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"wow, whats up with you and bruce adams?" - Boston media member

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"Bruce now admits that Ordway said "THE" bostonsportsmedia website. I guess Bruce wanted him to say "dot com". Maybe Bruce wanted his name mentioned. He may have overreacted a bit. Did he need to get into namecalling on his front page ("short fat guy")? No!"

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"Big Dog:

I'm sure I'm not the only Sox fan who frequents this site who is sick and tired of reading about the endless battle between SoSH, WEEI, the Boston newspapers, and Curt Schilling. Your website has all of the information a Sox fan could possibly want, but the mindless banter and "he-said-she-said" B.S. that I've been reading on this site for several weeks now is getting on my nerves, and I know for a fact that I am not the only one. Please try to stick to Boston Red Sox baseball, not personal or professional rants against the myriad forms of media we are bombarded with everyday. The majority of readers of your site don't come to read about the endless conflicts between these different forms of media. Spare us the controversy! This is really getting sad.

Thanks, Rick Hirko"

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"What's up dude, love the site, Being a red sox fan and living in new york, your site is my first stop everyday before heading off to work, I just wanted to send you a little something that my buddy made for me, he makes custom figures, and I asked him to make this hulk figure for me. Everytime I look at it, It gets me pumped, I figured it might have the same effect on the rest of the Red Sox Nation. By the way his name is steve and this is his site decaygraphics.com. Thanks for the great site and keep up the good work, and most of all GO SOX!!!!!!

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"Hi Jerry,

I am assisting the Zoo in acquiring autographed items that could be used to raffle/auction for Zoo's Boo in the Zoo Event in October. The Zoo has been under funded due to the tough times. The Zoo is an excellent place for the inner city youth to go. Any autographed item that could be donated to help the zoo raise money would be greatly apreciated. Could you forward the person to contact for the Red Sox to see if they would donate an item. I see Ben Affleck on your NESN telecasts could you forward this e-mail to his contact if you know it. Any help would be greatly appreciated."

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"Rizzuto just said that in 1941 that Joe D and Ted Williams should have had co-MVPs (on Mike and the Mad Dog). Phil's also slowing down -- his mind is starting to slow. Still nice to hear stories about his being at Hubbell K'ing 6 straight, knowing Lazzeri, etc."

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"Hello fellow Red Sox fans,

My name is Joel Wilson and I live in Lockport, New York (a small town outside of Buffalo). A few months ago I saw the posting on the Boston Dirt Dogs web site for the rest of New York to get on board and show their pride with a sox vanity license plate. Well, a few days ago I got my best public display of Red Sox Pride besides my "Yankees Suck" (gulp, yuk) T-shirt. I also want to say that you guys run one hell of a site! It's always updated way before the game is even over. Thanks again and GO SOX!!!!!!

One voice from the nation,
Joel Wilson"

---

 

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How bizarre. 6.15.04: The following bizarre nasty rant appeared in an afternoon update on the Boston Sports Media Watch website yesterday:

"That sports radio station with the little fat guy and the baseball writer from the tabloid newspaper with the high pitched voice was talking about a certain paragraph on a sports media web site today. (And no I'm not talking about any filthy canines.)

The guy with the high pitched voice denied that he had ever suggested that if a certain pitcher with a local baseball team wouldn't cease and desist from engaging in Internet conversations with fans of said team that aforementioned high pitched voiced writer would refuse to promote charities of the pitcher. Writer was shown to be a liar when tape of writer saying exactly that was played by the esteemed producer of the radio show.

Seriously...what a bunch of bunk. Reading an entire paragraph off here, but can't mention the correct name of the site?"

Oops. The problem with the above rant is that Glenn Ordway, host of WEEI's Big Show, gave the website 100% credit. It's crystal clear on the tape. And all Glenn was doing was simply quoting the BSMW passage on the Schilling/Massarotti situation posted earlier that morning, essentially plugging the site. The segment in question started this way:

Michael Felger: “What did Schilling say about it Big O?”

Ordway: “Well the only thing I’ve got right now is we’ve got something off the Boston Sports Media website here: "Score one for the media…." Glenn simply went on to read a passage quoted earlier in the day. I would imagine we'll see a front page apology today on the Boston Sports Media site as someone must have given Bruce Allen some very bad information about that exchange.

The Big Show spent most of the show on the Schilling/Massarotti dust up. Tony took a beating on the air the likes we haven't heard in years. Earlier in the day, Dale and Neumy made some excellent points about Schilling's desire to talk to all of the fans unfiltered (we'll update this later in the week).

Glenn Ordway also contradicted himself later when he talked about the information he received on the Schilling incident. Day one: "We get all these emails but we're not going to run with it (Schilling surgery story emailed to the Big Show) because we don't know if it's real. Maybe it was a hoax then we find out later it wasn't what he wrote." Day two: "We'll you know they're real Tony because you get all these emails, all from different email addresses, with the exact same quotes. So you know it's real."

Well which is it Glenn? If you know it's real as you said, why didn't you report on it when it came in?

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6.13.04: Ready or Trot. Hurt Dog is back... finally. The heart and soul of the Red Sox makes his triumphant return from two injuries this Wednesday in Colorado. And on this trip, and with the Yankees nearly unstoppable, we need him now more than ever. Welcome back Trot Nixon.

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Dinner with Nomar. Had dinner with Nomar Saturday night at Sonsie on Newbury Street... well, OK, Nomar was having dinner with a couple of friends and our group was a couple of tables over. Nomar was sporting a black "Extinction Sucks" t-shirt (link below on icon) as he obviously has burned through the 90 "Grrrciaparra's Back" Boston Dirt Dogs shirts we gave him in 2001. He was nice enough to pose for pictures with the standard table of all girls and seemed in good spirits all night. Our only exchange was my thumbs up sign when Nomar finally got up to go to the men's room after sitting for four hours straight. He was very animated in his conversation throughout the dinner and we tried our best to read lips on a few occasions to no avail. So no scoops on his sheath. But our rock solid medical mole, who told us back on June 2nd that Schilling may be headed to the DL, writes in that "Nomar is still in a lot of pain. Another trip back on to the DL, or at least missing a few games, is absolutely not out of the question. He may escape the DL because they have Pokey and Bellhorn but he's not going to risk any type of permanent injury. This whole experience has freaked Nomar out because the Achilles is so difficult to treat and if he were to tear it, his career could be over. He's  completely in the driver's seat as to when he'll play and won't play."

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Schill still out there. While he's taking a break from posting off-the-record content behind the SoSH Iron Curtain (thanks again Tony Mazz), Schilling took his unfiltered story directly to the unwashed masses this time via that old fashioned device, the radio. Curt called in again to those web mavens Mustard and Johnson (sarcasm, these luddites set internet discussion back 10 years... it's painful to listen to) on WEEI to update those without internet access on his injury. Curt reiterated that there is absolutely no structural damage in his famous right ankle right now. He's been consulting with the top docs in the field and will shut it down when and if it starts to cause structural damage that could threaten his career. Curt said he prefers to pitch through the discomfort and that is what he intends to do provided it does not cause additional damage. He said every pitcher and player on the Sox is playing with some pain. Naturally, as long as he isn't doing any permanent damage, he said he doesn't mind pitching with the pain.

Hoss is also hesitant to shut it down completely because his shoulder and arm will be affected if he does not pitch for a couple of weeks to rest the ankle. He would then need a couple more weeks to rehab the arm as he wouldn't be able to throw. He's talking a minimum of a month with no guarantee that the ankle would feel any better upon his return.

The off-season surgery option is arthroscopic and exploratory, and if and when he were to go down that road, he wouldn't be able to walk without assistance for weeks. He stressed that surgery remains a last resort and he will not consider it during the season.

He went on to talk more about his media bitching in Karen Guregian's Herald piece today. Curt talked about a recent situation when about 25 media members were in the clubhouse, only a few were actively working on stories. The other reporters were sitting on the players' couches watching TV or sitting at the table playing video games or hanging around watching players play video games.

He wants the media to simply do what they have to do and get out of the clubhouse. It's the player's sanctuary, and it's limited as it is with the crush of reporters and the cramped quarters. He said that before he brought it up, the media would be in the clubhouse waiting for players as they came off the field. That access has now been tightened up as the reporters aren't supposed to be allowed into the clubhouse until 10 minutes after the game ends so the players can have some private space and time to let loose or leave the park without facing the Nation if they want to.

---

More on media. Also on WEEI Sunday, Lobel was in studio at Fenway and revealed that, as an SoSH member, he saw Schilling's detailed comments on his injury earlier in the week, but respected Curt's wishes to keep those specific comments, which included the surgery option, off-the-record.

Meanwhile the SoSH Members Only section comments continue to pop up elsewhere as "Mark," one of the administrators of a Boston sports media message board sends messages to our inbox announcing that he cut-and-pasted private commentary from the SoSH Members Only area into all his posts on that site. File under: private parts.

Oh and the next time someone other than SoSH founder Eric Christensen thinks it's a good idea to call into WEEI to explain the site or read stats from a notepad, think again. It's embarrassing. As good as most of the members are with the keyboard, they are typically horrible on air. First it was some kid "Mike from Hamilton" boring hundreds of thousands of Sox fans last week droning on about groundball to flyball ratios, trying to convince us that the Sox are better off with Bellhorn at second. Then yesterday it was "Charlie" calling in to wrongfully explain why Schilling goes online. It reminds me of the debacle when someone named "Steve" embarrassed the site, lying about his membership, bragging about job titles, and highlighting the porn links.

Chris Collins had an excellent interview with Peabody's Jeff Allison tonight on NECN's Sports Late Night where Jeff was very candid about his drug use. Catch a replay if you can. We'll also be on CN8's Sports Pulse with Ed Berliner on Monday night at 10:00pm.

Del Jones of The Patriot Ledger just launched a site of his own called Boston Sports Forum with daily topics, a message board and chats, and regular sports commentaries.

We're going to be lost without seeing Frank McCourt on TV or in newsrooms every 10 minutes.

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Horse buys horse. "Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling claimed the 9-Year-Old New Zealand-bred gelding Thunder Storm N for $45,000 on Saturday night (June 12) at Balmoral Park. Curt Schilling added his name to the list of standardbred owners racing in Illinois. The 37-year-old Schilling who sports an 8-3 record for Boston this year and 171 career victories has always been a big contributor to local and national charities during his stops in Philadelphia, Arizona and now in Boston. Thunder Storm N will be trained here in Illinois by John Podres. If that name sounds familiar to baseball fans it should, as his father John was Schilling's pitching coach during his years with the Phillies." Schilling claims Thunder Storm

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Bird's eye view. 6.12.04: Fenway dogs chime in: "I was at the game, sitting by third base, thinking about how awesome it is to shut the Dodgers out with my favorite stress-free addition to the team, Keith Foulke. Then suddenly, the ball was lifted into the air by the crack of the bat. I looked up into the sky scanning for the ball, but saw a small flock of seagulls instead. These seagulls were chalky in color and being a spherical shape, could easily be mistaken for a baseball. They had some mystique to them, almost as if they magically appeared out of thin air only to cause chaos in the Fens. Then, I looked down at Manny who was either doing the meringue or trying to catch a seagull. Either one obviously didn't help because his last scamper for the real baseball proved very ineffective... and you know the rest of the story. It's a tough no decision from Lowe (who pitched the best this season), but definitely a good thing that Shrek aka Papi aka Ortizzle came through clutch. It may sound funny, but maybe Manny does have a real, legitimate excuse for his error."

---

Michael culpa. Michael Silverman claims we were wrong in accusing him of being the source for Tony Massarotti's ill-advised Herald story about Curt Schilling's off-the-record comments on SoSH. We like Silverado. Nice guy. He's had a very good year. If he says he didn't tip Tony off to the off-the-record-remarks, we believe him. Our apologies for the wrongful accusation.

Schill driven offline. On a related note, Tony Massarotti's weak reporting, unnecessarily using off-the-record info and anonymous sources, and his ongoing vendetta against the internet, has now caused a problem for Curt. Thanks to Tony, Schill will go offline indefinitely and will no longer be providing post-game reports online. Thanks Tony. The SoSH crowd has the pitchforks and blowtorches out. Good luck coming out of this one unscathed Mazz.

On Friday, WEEI's Big Show used a call on the intro each hour that said "Hey Curt Schilling, what about those of us who can't afford a computer or get on the internet? Never mind your private chats with your private fans, why don't write a column in Herald twice a week and talk to all of us?" Excellent idea, they can call it "The world according to Curt."

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Kentucky Fried Cowboy. 6.11.04 - Hey Kevin, we don't need to see your 4-HR, 18-RBI-on-the-season (nice double tonight for 2 RBI slim) belly flopping fielding face tearing through six buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken during every Sox game on NESN. Never mind "Chicken Capital," make it Batting Cage Capital as you pull outside pitches harder than you pull those wings apart. Thank god that option kicked in. Do you need a Wet-Nap?

Flash in the fan. In the late innings, a suddenly topless female fan was ejected from Fenway. Good times. Rem chimed in "wonder what that looked like in HD?" File under: Boob tube.

Burks on the bench. "We're back to square one" said Ellis Burks after more swelling in his knee has put off his previously reported quick return to the Red Sox. It was good to see The Rim Man on Extra Innings but it doesn't sound like he's coming back anytime soon. Looks like the Vinoy hotel bus driver (retired back in 1991 from Revere, MA) who said Ellis told him he may need more knee surgery may have been right.

Trick or Trot. Nixon looked good, running hard hitting a double in Pawtucket last night.

Pitching with Pride. Old friend Juan Pena picked up the win for Nashua last week.

Can't forget Duquette. We're enthusiastically supporting the Dominican flood relief effort, and glad to see the Red Sox advertising the cause during the games, but it reminds us of how poorly John Harrington and Dan Duquette (and the Red Sox as a team) mishandled the relief effort for New Englanders who died in the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Sessions with the Shrink. Derek Lowe reveals his deep thoughts from therapy with Dr. Melfi on CBS-4's Sports Final this Sunday.

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Empire Statement

6.10.04: "Dog,

It's been an Annual Tradition on the old AOL Message Boards to offer up my All Star Projections. Anyways, any bias here is because Joe Torre is the American League Manager thus giving every Yankee a chance to be at the All Star Game this year.

We'll see you guys at the Stadium over the 4th of July, Fireworks won't be needed then.

STARTERS (8)
C Ivan Rodriguez DET
1B Jason Giambi NYY
2B Alfonso Soriano TEX
3B Alex Rodriguez NYY
SS Derek Jeter NYY
OF Manny Ramirez BOS
OF Vlad Guerrero ANA
OF Johnny Damon BOS

RESERVES (21)
1B David Ortiz BOS
2B Ron Belliard CLE
SS Michael Young TEX
3B Hank Blayock TEX
IF Melvin Mora BAL
OF Hideki Matsui NYY
OF Carlos Beltran NYY
OF Ichiro SEA
OF Gary Sheffield NYY
C Javier Lopez BAL
C Jorge Posada NYY
P Mark Mulder OAK
P Barry Zito OAK
P Mark Buerlie CHW
P Roy Haladay TOR
P Curt Schilling BOS
P Tom Gordon NYY
P Denys Baez TB
P Keith Foulke BOS
P Joe Nathan MIN
P Eddie Guardado SEA

Team Breakdown
NYY: 7
BOS: 6* w/projected 30th Man
TEX: 3
SEA: 2
BAL: 2
OAK: 2
Others: 1

30th Man Candidates
Garciaparra BOS
Jason Varitek BOS
Kevin Brown NYY
Javier Vazquez NYY

Teams who wouldn't get an All Star without the stupid rule: Minnesota, Toronto, Tampa Bay

Last Two In: Tom Gordon NYY, Hideki Matsui, NYY
I'll assume Torre would really like to reward both Gordon, and Quantrill who have meant the world to him this season in middle relief.

Last Two Out: Kevin Brown NYY, Mariano Rivera, NYY
Again, a matter of which Yankees Joe Torre takes....With the injury past of Brown, and the chance to give Rivera a few days off Torre might decide to let the hitters travel, and the pitchers rest.

Torre's Troops - Yankee All Stars
Jeter, Rodriguez, Posada, Sheffield, Gordon, Matsui, Giambi

Red Sox All Stars
Ramirez, Damon, Ortiz, Schilling, Foulk

The Red Sox Torre wants to take
Wakefield

The Red Sox most likely to be the 30th Man
Garciaparra

The Troops Torre Wants to Take
Quantrill, Rivera, Brown, Vazquez

Interchangeable Parts
Baez/Carter TB
Buehrle/Lolazia CHW

Deserving but left out in the cold
P: Kenny Rogers TEX
SS: David Eckstein ANA
UT: Chone Figgins ANA
P: Frankie Garcia SEA

Not Deserving, but currently slated to start
SS: Derek Jeter NYY
OF: Johnny Damon BOS
A case could be made for a Giambi/Ortiz debate, though Jeter and Damon are clearly not deserving of a bid.

Projected Starting Pitcher: Mulder, OAK

CANDIDATES
BOS X David Ortiz 1B
Curt Schilling P
Keith Foulke P
Kevin Youklis 3B
BAL X Melvin Mora 3B
Javier Lopez C
NYY X Gary Sheffield OF
Kevin Brown P OF
Mariano Rivera P OF
Paul Quantrill P OF
Tom Gordon P OF
Jorge Posada C C
Hideki Matsui OF C
Javier Vazquez P P
TB X Danys Baez P
Lance Carter P
TOR X Vernon Wells OF
Roy Haladay P
Reed Johnson OF
CHW X Mark Buehrle P
Juan Uribe 2B
Esteban Lolazia P
Magglio Ordonez OF
CLE X Ron Belliard 2B
Matt Lawton OF
Cliff Lee P
CC Sabathia P
DET X Carlos Guillen SS
Alex Sanchez OF
KC X Carlos Beltran OF
Ken Harvey 1B
MIN X Lew Ford OF
Joe Nathan P
Carlos Silva P
ANA X Jose Guillen P
David Eckstein SS
Chone Figgins UT
Felix Rodriguez P
Jared Washburn P
OAK X Tim Hudson P
Mark Mulder P
Scott Hatteburg 1B
Eric Byrnes OF
TEX X Kenny Rogers P
Michael Young SS
Hank Blaylock 3B
SEA X Ichiro OF
Eddie Guardado P
Frank Garcia P"

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Table for 191, 611 please. 6.1.04 Exclusive: A friend of ours had dinner with Peter Gammons the other night. As always, don't shoot the messenger (this is mutually exclusive from a similar earlier report):

"- A-Rod, not Theo, John Hart or John Henry, initiated the talks b/w The Sox and the Rangers... always wanted to come to Boston... thought it'd be great for baseball to have him in Boston and Jeter in NY... wanted to keep Boras out of it b/c he didn't want it to get F'd up... just wanted out of Texas. Happy to be in NY but would rather be playing in Boston.

- At one point during the whole saga, A-Rod was talking to Gammons as he walked through Downtown Crossing and people were shouting things like "What's gonna happen?" and "Is it gonna get done?" at him... he held up his cell phone and was like "Do you hear this?" and A-Rod was all fired up about the passion of the city and the Sox fans.

- Did A-Rod bastardize his career by moving to 3B? Yes.

- Schilling is tough to take in the clubhouse... not surprisingly, he's got an opinion on everything and it rubs a lot of guys the wrong way. Some of the Dbacks who weren't fans of his were out w/ PG once and spoke glowingly about the Big Unit and what a good guy he is... and every one of them, to a man, said if they had to win one game, they'd want Schilling out there.

- Mussina, when he was coming up on Free Agency, told his agent, "I'm going to Pennsylvania (his home), make sure I end up with the Yankees... we shouldn't take less than $10M/year so anything you can get on top of that is fiction anyway... just make it happen" end result --- $15M/year deal.

- Of the four Sox FA's, it'll be Martinez and Varitek that re-sign with the team.*

- Kris Benson and Billy Koch, while at Clemson, were taking an exam together... both were struggling with it and Koch looks to Benson for some help. Benson was little, if any, help... Koch gets up and hands the blank booklet to the professor, walks back and says to Benson "see you in the Major Leagues" ...Gammons said that they use that phrase every once in a while on Baseball Tonight and that's what they're referring to.

- David Ortiz is most likely older than his advertised 28. His locker room presence can't be overstated... keeps everyone loose, the whole team loves him.

- He thinks Arn Tellem wanted Nomar to take the $15M/yr for 4 when it was offered but Nomar's so competitive, he wanted to be paid like Jeter since he's had more production and is a better fielder.

- Last off-season, Steinbrenner took Sheffield and Gooden out for dinner and over a bunch of bottles of wine, they agreed to a handshake deal to bring Sheff to the Yanks... it was only afterwards that Sheff figured out what "deferred compensation" means and backed out. A few weeks later, Cashman had a deal w/ Vlad Guerrero more or less ironed out w/ only some language to be tweaked before making it official... only to have Big Stein come in and squash it, saying "we're signing Sheffield, not Guerrero."

- Back in the mid 80's when Boggs and Mattingly were vying for the batting title, the Yanks played the Sox in the last series of the season. Boggs was ahead of Mattingly by a few percentage points and sat a few games out with a "bad back"... in the last game of the series, Mattingly needed to go 6-for-6 to beat Boggs... first at-bat, he homered, 2nd at-bat, he doubled... 3rd at-bat, he lined out to RF... on his way back to the dugout, Dewey Evans ran by Mattingly and said something to the effect of "It's too bad, we were all pulling for you". Boggs = Bad guy.

- Jim Rice will be voted into the HoF by the veterans committee.

- Dwight Evans was as good of a defensive outfielder as PG has seen... cut-off throws, angles taken on balls, etc... he also referenced Guerrero as a terrible defensive RF who every once in a while will make a eye-popping throw but more often will miss cut-off guys.

- Carl Everetts' wife got into a fistfight with Bernard Gilkey's wife outside Fenway the day that he head-butted the umpire.

- Team has a gag order regarding Nomar's diagnosis but clearly they got it wrong out of the gate. He also said that anyone who thinks he's trying to stick it to the team by sitting out longer than necessary is crazy... he's hyper-competitive and has too much pride.

- If he had to win one game, this would be his line-up SP - Schilling C - Posada 1B - Pujols 2B -Giles SS - (would be Nomar if healthy) Renteria 3B - A-Rod LF - Bonds CF - V. Wells RF - Can't remember... I think he got sidetracked and never got to RF Closer - Gagne.

- When Manny showed up for camp this year, the 3 owners along with Theo sat down with him to clear the air and at one point, Ramirez thoughtfully asked Gammons if he thought Manny was a "cancer" in the clubhouse, as it had been written. Gammons thinks this off-season caused him to do some real soul-searching and has re-dedicated himself to enjoy the game more and embrace Boston rather than keeping it at a distance.

- In reference to the steroid scandal, instead of talking about hitters and power numbers, he focused mostly on pitchers and how velocity is markedly down from starters to relievers... another thing he mentioned is how desperate guys in the minors and overseas are to have just a few seasons earning Major League money... therefore the desire to stay competitive and do whatever it takes.

- While Mo Vaughn was MIA a few seasons back, a member of Mets management received a phone call from a guy in Chicago who was with him... at Scores, the strip club.

- Canseco (biggest waste of talent he's seen) thought the ball hitting his head and bouncing over the fence for the home run was funny and that it'd make a good highlight... the pitchers on that team hated him for that. Also, when he pitched in some extra-inning game later in his career, his arm was dragging so much so that he could barely lift his arm above his head weeks afterwards.

- Gammons was staying at the same hotel in Hawaii that Mia and Nomar (and actually Mia's seats are right next to Gammons' at Fenway so he's pretty tight with her)...they saw on Sportscenter that it looked like he was being traded, that's the first they heard of it.

- Sox brass is keen on Frank Catalanotto from the Jays.

- If Mets are out of the playoff race, don't be surprised if Al Leiter comes up to Boston to pitch at Fenway for the last few months of the season.

- Players in general LOVE Theo... has a way about him that's very approachable and is always super-prepared for any and all discussions. Theo loves to have people surrounding him who will take the other side of arguments re: player ideas, etc.

- Foulke could've got the same money from Oakland but liked Boston b/c he liked the way Theo and the mgmt treated him... Bruins game, etc.

- I hate to mention it but in Game 7 of the ALCS last year, Grady Little unequivocally told Pedro he was done after the 7th inning but then during the top half of the 8th, decided he wanted Pedro to face Nick Johnson only... obviously, he faced more than Nick Johnson… and the rest is history."

* In reference to the "- Of the four Sox FA's, it'll be Martinez and Varitek that re-sign with the team." bullet point on the website, to clarify, Gammons didn't state it as fact, more that that's what he thought would happen.

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Quadrophenia. How do you suffer a debilitating quad injury while rehabbing from a "butt-knot?" After a brief stint of sudden improvement, Trot's recent setback changes the course of his rehab. R&R. No timetable for return. This is ridiculous.

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Johnny P happy about Tony C.  Another outstanding interview by Cambridge at RSN.net:

"RSN: There is talk that Tony Conigliaro's number may be retired by the Red Sox next year. There has been similar discussion of retiring yours. What are your thoughts on each?

JP: Well, I'm not so sure about me. I like the idea for Tony. What happened to him was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. I was managing when he first came up -- he was just a kid, like Kaline was. The first time I saw him in the spring he really opened my eyes. I kept putting him on the field, and he just kept producing. What a great player he could have been."  - RedSoxNation.net

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Louisville hugger.  

"I had the great opportunity to attend the game in Louisville, KY with the Louisville Bats and the Pawtucket Red Sox on Sunday.  I just wanted to let everyone know in dirtdog country that Nomar was fabulous. Even after we had two tornados in the area, one before the game and one after.  Nomar was still a hit.  Maybe not in the sense of getting on base on Sunday, but in the field he did have a work out.  He also was very friendly and signed a lot of autographs.  He did not seem arrogant or put off by the well wishers and people wanting autographs.  He was very nice and appeared to be excited to play again.  There were a lot of Boston Fans there, which was an awesome sight to see.  I didn't realize there were so many Boston Fans in the area, I wanted to go around and gather names for a Boston Red Sox Game Day Party.  I called my uncle in Burlington, MA and bragged that I got to see Nomar play before he did.  It was an awesome day and I will never forget how Nomar signed all those autographs.  Nomar is on his way back to you guys in Boston.

Sincerely a loyal dirtdog fan and Red Sox fan in Indiana,

Yvonne"

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 Help needed. 6.1.04: In case you missed it in the border on the right under the scoreboard:

"Manny, Pedro and David Ortiz have helped now you can also help the people of  Haiti and the Dominican Republic through devastating times.

Now through The Official Manny Ramirez's website www.MannyRamirez.com we have started a charity drive to help those who have suffered loss, food, shelter etc. With your charitable donation of $29.00 or more, you will receive a "panoramic stadium photograph baseball of Fenway Park." Please click here for more details http://mannyramirez.com/help.htm.

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He likes us. And more importantly, he gets it. Manny's sister Rossy passes on the good word from Manny: "He says you're a "hard working good guy.""

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Batting around Manny. "The bat I use is a Louisville Slugger S318; it’s a black bat, which has a small Dominican flag on it. I also use the X bat sometimes, which is light brown and the handle is darker; it has a silver X on it… When I’m waiting to hit, I put weight on my arms with a heavy iron rod. I also like to rotate my shoulders and extend the muscles around my back and my waist… When I’m out there, I’m not really thinking about the pitcher, even though I will look at his delivery. The main thing for me is my swing, if I feel it’s flowing. Or if I have been working on my hitting mechanics for that game, I tell myself to do what I was working on… If my swing is fine and I see the ball, I’m going to make solid contact. And that’s my goal every time I’m up." - Questions for Manny

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Come again? "Kevin Millar is the best player in baseball," Ramirez says. "He's my favorite player in baseball." - Tomase on Manny and Millar (Kevin: more BP, less FSN Scoops)

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Lowe blow. Greg Dickerson, filling in for John Dennis on D&C on WEEI, threw out that he heard from a few people that "the Red Sox are concerned about D-Lowe's 'partying'" and are taking that into consideration during contract negotiations. Cheap shot Greg. This isn't 2001. D-Lowe's off-field behavior is a non-issue.

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What the Eck is going on here? niceguyeddy's sister chimes in "although forced to watch the a's broadcast thursday night and eck was in the booth with ray fosse, in cleveland they teamed up as a perfect game, or was it a no hitter when eck was 23... anyway, eck, my former favorite, was there for about 3 innings, ranking out the boston fans, "this is a tuff town to play in... they boo-ed me out of town" etc. etc. even went so far to say he was in a room full of sox fans secretly hoping and praying for the a's in the division series, and he totally lost it when the ump ruled against tejada and that whole interference thing... he went ballistic, and the sox fans were all  what' s your problem?I?!?"  thanks eck... we know your true colors." All this after he made Gisele hit the backstop on her first pitch.

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Gammons pitches for Sox again. "The Royals want a young third baseman, catcher, second baseman, outfielder and pitching, so Baird hopes to get three of the five if he deals Beltran. "We know he'd give us one more potential free agent," says one Boston official. "But it would be very hard to turn away from Beltran for this season." With Kevin Youkilis, catcher Kelly Shoppach and left-hander Abe Alvarez, the Red Sox might have a package that would at least pique Baird's attention. But to give up three players who next year will make $900,000, not to mention give them insurance if Jason Varitek leaves and the promise of a much-needed left-handed starter, might be too much. The Yankees have Double-A catcher Dioner Navarro, but little else in terms of 2005-ready position players. So this may be open." - Summer rental 

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There's no "I" in Schilling. 5.26.04: "Sox Injury" thread on SoSH:

If you saw tonight's game as well as the KC game, you'd understand that for Schilling to be forced to miss a start, Francona would probably have a broken jaw and the clubhouse would have about 20K worth of repairs.

Schilling response: "In other words, Curt does what he thinks is best for himself short term and doesn't worry about the future or the thoughts and opinions of his manager.

You know, this is pretty chicken @#%$ to say, even imply. You don't know the first thing about me, and you say something this derogatory?

So you are implying that I will stay out on the mound and pitch at the cost of my season? Or at the cost of this teams season? This is so far opposite the truth it makes me sick.

I get paid to pitch, ONCE, every 5 days. No pinch hit appearance, no 1 inning relief shot, one start, every 5 days.

I work my ass off to make that day the most important day of my life. I work my ass off to win, that game, that day, at all costs. I work my ass off to take care of my 9 innings.

You don't think I know myself better than anyone? I get paid to pitch, not manage, I don't tell the manager when I want to start, I don't tell the manager that after x amount of pitches I am done, the manager manages, I pitch.

It's a 7 month season, this being my 16th one, I know how it works, I know how I work.

If I thought missing a start would make things better for the rest of the year it'd be done. If I thought that staying in a game would cost me my next start, I'd be out. I work with about 8 different people to keep my arm, my legs and my head in shape to take the ball 40 some odd times and win, not just pitch, but win.

The work I do between starts, both physical and mental is so that when I take the ball, the 24 guys wearing the same uniform as I do, expect to win, and the 25 guys on the other side of the field know it's gonna be real hard to win. I feel that, barring and act of God, when I get the ball, we're winning. If that means 7IP and 125 pitches, or 9 innings and 102 pitches, so be it. It's what I do.

You're basically saying that I'm selfish, which contrary to some circles belief couldn't be farther from the truth. Oh there is some selfishness in that when I pitch I want us to win beyond belief, and even better if I am good enough to be the guy getting the W. But us winning on the day I start overtakes every other concern I have.

I am not out there hoping to get through 6, 7 innings so the bullpen can come in. I go out there fully intending to face the other lineup 3-4 times and finish the game. 6 innings leaves 1/3rd of the game left, I can't bitch about getting a ND or an L if I leave a third of the game to be played when I come out.

I was brought up and taught that starting pitching, good starting pitchers, are about innings. Because if the innings are there, and you have talent, the other numbers will fall in to place

I have never, ever in my life put my needs ahead of the teams, ever.

Oh sure, a quick internet search and you could find me saying some stupid things, I've certainly done that, I'm human.

I've had issues with teammates, more than one, happens. Never had an issue with someone that was about the team first though, or someone that worked their ass off to be better.

People actually wanted to use the KC CG as an excuse for the Toronto game, which was wrong. I pitched bad in Toronto, arm felt great, but I pitched bad. Don't make excuses for me, I don't need them, and they are like assholes, everyone has one.

As for tonight, well I was thinking after the 5th that I'd be in this one until my pitch count forced me out, but I didn't let that happen. Had I pitched better in the 6th and 7th I most likely would have still come out with a 12-0 lead and a normal 4 days off, after the 7th inning.

You want to rake me over the coals for something I say, or something I do on the field, feel free, that's how this business works.

But please don't ever assume to know how I think, or feel, based on nameless quotes or comments, or a gut feeling, too many people in the media do that already." - Schill fires back at selfish charge on SoSH

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Killing Schilling.  "Just gag him. From ESPN the Magazine comes this quote from an anonymous Red Sox teammate about camera-craving Curt Schilling. "If I had one big game to pitch, I'd take Schill over anyone I've ever played with," he said. "But every other day I want to kill him."  - Philly Inquirer

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Pennant Fever Grips Hub. Really. Standing on a corner, not in Winslow Arizona, but in Brighton Massachusetts this morning, the famed "57" bus comes by, and on the electronic bus number sign, in between flashes of "57," the old Garden-style flashing bulbs said "GO" then "RED" then "SOX"... It's May 27th. Buckle up.

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SoSHameless ballwashing. "Steve has been the best thing to happen to sports media in the last 10 years. Yes, 10% of what he writes is incorrect, but that is the cost of speed. He has scooped the Boston media on every major story of the last 3 years - this is the internet's power.

He has more contacts in the Red Sox organization and throughout the periphery of the organization (media, folks who work at the park, etc.) than you could ever imagine.

In financial markets there is a premium paid for speed of information. It is understood that there will be error in some of the information as a result, but people accept that as a cost of doing business. Steve is the sports equivalent of the top end market information providers. And more amazingly, the whole Dirt Dog site was funded by him and he didn't make dollar one!!! That site was blood, sweat and tears.

If you have a hard time with Dirt Dog, I don't think you get what this internet thing is all about. Give him his due, he knocked the ball out of the park here." -  Rick Burleson's Global Yambag, longtime member SoSH

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Player for Renteria?  "Nomar Garciaparra found out the realities of the new market. After turning down $15 million a year, Garciaparra discovered last year the offer was trimmed to $12 million per year. And now that he's missed two months of the season with an Achilles tendon injury, his value isn't getting any higher. Where does that leave Renteria?... Garciaparra, who turns 31 in July, is two years older than Renteria, has more of an injury history and is less of a defensive force than the Cardinals shortstop. Any team would have to be concerned what might happen to Garciaparra's numbers once he gets out of Fenway Park. Over the past three years he's hit .343 at home and .266 on the road (thought his career splits -- .338/.307 -- are not as one-sided). - Tom Verducci, SI.com

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Right here, right now.  "We had Lynn, Rice, Fisk, Yaz and Tiant in the '70s; the Clemens Era in the '80s; Nomar and Pedro in the '90s ... jeez, there was always something happening. We have Fenway. We have die-hards spread across the entire country, like Cyrus's armies in "The Warriors," enough manpower to overpower half the home crowds in the American League. We have owners willing to spend upward of $100 million a year to remain competitive, an exclusive group, like being one of the only guys at a poker table with chips. We have a complicated blood-feud with the Yanks that reached Cold War proportions last winter. And we always have next year. Because you never know."  - LA Sports Guy

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Ruben represents. 5.27.04: "Guys, did you catch Ruben Studdard on American Idol last night representing the Nation with his black Boston "B" baseball cap during his song, "What If?"

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Charity case. 5.26.04: Did Eddie Andelman really slander the Fred's Run charity motorcycle ride for the Massachusetts fallen police and fire fighters memorial funds in his rant yesterday on WWZN? He certainly implied that Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie were thieves when he said they were "lining their pockets" with the proceeds from the event (even though that couldn't be further from the truth). Did Eddie slander Smerlas because he took second billing in a Bill Griffith column on Friday? That’s the $64,000 question.

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World Narrow Web. Speaking of Bill Griffith, how many more monthly Remy Report ads do we have to read before he realizes that there are many more tour quality Sox websites out there? What about player sites like MannyRamirez.com and JohnnyDamon.net Bill? Fan sites, discussion boards, and blogs like Bambino's Curse, The Soxoholix, Joy of Sox, El Guapo's Ghost, and RedSoxNation.net offer rich, thought-provoking content daily. Yet they go virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media. How many Wally Adirondack chairs do you need Bill?

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Seeing red. Thanks to Jim Goertz of Dead Red Sports for the awesome hat, and Chris and Emily of The Red Seat for the great shirts. And D-Lowe requested the rotten tomato shirts tonight because he wore the red top the last time he came out on top.

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"Kicking ass and taking names."

5.25: "I was shipped over to Iraq last May as a part of the 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion. We support the U.S. military's Central Command in gathering and analyzing intelligence in the surrounding areas.

I'm in with a bunch of Red Sox fanatics and we appreciate your website. We might even claim responsibility for that Red Sox banner in Central Command that you linked one day.

We don't have much time and we use your site as a barometer on how things are in Red Sox Nation. I miss my wife and children and the Red Sox in that order. Thanks for making things a little easier for us.

I'm not sure what the folks over there are thinking but we are kicking ass and taking names. Just like the Red Sox are going to do this year.

Thanks again for your work."

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Something to chew on.  "Please do something about that chewing tobacco. It is disgusting, dirty and degrading! Just think what an example is being set for all the children watching the Red Sox games as the manager and many other players spit out that brown juice. Yuk!!"

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Should Schill skip a start? 5.20.04: Schilling on with sabermetricians Loren and Wally on WROR 103.7FM at 8:30am:

"I got a little problem with my ankle right now, it's been bothering me for a couple of weeks, and the hole in front of the mound, when I turn to throw to home plate my foot's half on the rubber and half off, so if he hole in front of the mound's real deep, I kinda roll my ankle real hard, and it got real deep real fast last night. When they don't have the hard clay on the mound it gets to be a little bit of a problem. ...It's just one of those things. The only thing right now that would probably fix it and make it feel better is two weeks of rest. I don't see two weeks open in the schedule anytime soon. ...I just aggravated a tendon, some ligaments in my ankle. It's better, it's just kind of a little somethin' nagging."

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Edesdropping. From Gordon Edes boston.com chat:

"FreeDirtDog!!
11:37AM What is your opinion of the internet "Fan Sites" in attempting to break Sox news?

 Gordon Edes (Moderator)
11:40AM I think, FDD, you have to recognize them for what they are. I know the guy who runs the Dirt Dog site is extremely hard-working and obsessive in the attention he pays to the Red Sox. He has developed some good sources, but the DirtDog site might be more inclined to run some stuff without subjecting it to the kind of sourcing and double-checking that newspapers often require. That said, Boston Dirt Dog has had its share of breaking news that has been right on the money, while traditional media outlets, including the Globe, has been wrong on stuff. (more)

Gordon Edes (Moderator)
11:42AM What the Internet sites have done, I think, is ratchet up the urgency with which stories are reported. In this 24-hour news cycle, there's a lot of stuff that is reported that is totally unsubstantiated, yet takes on a life of its own because it's out there."

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nomar3079
11:45AM Gordon- Do you put any weight behind the report on bostondirtdogs.com that claimed Nomar had a tear in the sheath of his achilles?

Gordon Edes (Moderator)
11:48AM I think the DD report highlighted the greater issue, that an injury initially described as one that would sideline Nomar for a few days has grown into a 2-month-and-longer ordeal. Dr. Morgan insists the sheath itself is not torn, but it is clear that no one anticipated it would take this long for the fluid to disappear and the inflammation to subside. But I think it has been said repeatedly that Achilles injuries can take a maddeningly long time to recover from. Mark Grudzielanek and Mark Prior of the Cubs also are still MIA with Achilles problems.

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Big Dog
11:53AM Gordo, I think it's Day 75 since Nomar's mystery fielding foul ball off the back heel (kind of tough if you're facing the batter) that no one saw before either the B.C. or the Yankees game, who will be back first? Nomar, Nixon, or Mo Vaughn?

Gordon Edes (Moderator)
11:55AM Leave it to the Dog to check in himself. I'm not as skeptical as you are, Dog, that a traumatic event occurred, but I think Mr. Morgan would also tell you that in any instance of Achilles tendinits, overuse also becomes an issue.  - Gordon Edes chat on boston.com

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Regular Foulke, stars missing. Sean McAdam has new work on ESPN.com: Foulke music looks at the new bullpen. And more on waiting for Nomar and Nixon.

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Knee surgery for Ellis? A bus driver employed by the Vinoy hotel to take ballplayers and fans back and forth to Tropicana field drove Ellis Burks to the airport yesterday for a flight back to Boston "because he will possibly need (more) surgery on his knee."

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Fenway south.  A Fall River friend chimes in from Florida:

"On the Red Sox win on Wednesday, May 19th-----With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, I felt I was in that heavily place we know as Fenway Park. You know, that beautiful green palace where the faithful assemble 81 times a year hoping for a glorious outcome.

Well last night I was in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg witnessing an amazing sight for the hard core Red Sox fan----something that doesn't show up in the box score---a standing ovation of over 10K Red Sox fans cheering Foulke on for the last out. After the game, a contingent of hundreds of cheering fans invaded the third base line just in back of the Red Sox dugout to see JDamon interviewed live on NESN.

Upon leaving the field a Devil Rays fan walking out directly in front of me said, "Is this what it is like in Boston?" I said, "Yeah, very cool, isn't it?"

The glory of Red Sox Nation.

However, what did General George Patton say? "All glory is fleeting!"

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Squeaky wing gets the grease. 5.20.04: Larry Lucchino admitted today on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show that the Red Sox are working with Delta airlines to improve the quality of the team's travel and to make the airplanes more comfortable. The $40 million solution of a team plane is not palatable, nor is having only one plane to rely on versus an entire fleet as is the arrangement with Delta.  El Presidente, in a shocker, also went on to deny the report of any tear in Nomar's sheath "let's be concerned with real facts, that's not the case and #5 will be back with us in the next couple of weeks... not true (report), people would be lying to us, and that's not the case."

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Refreshing. 5.19.04: - "...I am staying at the Vinoy Hotel at the Pier in St. Pete. The Sox are staying in the same hotel. Last night a number of the Sox and Francona had refreshments in the lounge. It is very interesting to see how well the team interacts with one another."

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ESPortsguyN.com - Gerry Callahan with Bill Simmons on WEEI: Bigger than Stu Scott now? Are you going to be the big star at ESPN.com?

"Oh man I hope so, there's not a lot of competition. Yeah I'm gonna write like two, probably two or three times a week, and they're building a website for me which will be fun... I'll get my own website. (Are you going to be bigger than Drudge now? SportsDrudge?) I don't think so, but it'll be different and I think I can take the column in a couple of different directions which can be fun... we're going to stay out here a little while (in LA)... it's weird though, you come from Boston where people just live and breathe sports every day, and then you come out here and people literally don't care about everything... I still read the message boards and read the websites and all that stuff, but it's just not the same." - Bill Simmons, ESPN's Sports Guy on WEEI's D&C.

COÑOOOOO. (5.16.04 Manny from The Crib) "Most pitchers in the Big Leagues are very good, and don't make many mistakes. Also, the batter is always trying to guess what the pitcher is coming with, and let me tell you most of the times the batter is wrong, because pitchers have so many different pitches. This is why hitting is not easy. But when I guess right or when the pitcher makes a mistake, I feel there's no reason for not hitting the ball with all my power. So if I miss the ball in that situation, I get mad at myself. I try no to show that I'm upset, but at times I yell "COÑOOOOO", which means 'damn!' Smile"

More from online Manny while we wait for his first live chat: "I think good hitting happens when you see the ball clearly as it comes. Usually if you are righty, you can see the ball better coming from a left-handed pitcher, but there are some nasty left-handed pitchers too. Also, some right-handed pitchers don't hide the ball too well. So for me it doesn't matter if the pitcher is righty or lefty. If I see the ball, I will hit the ball, unless it has some real nasty movement, and my body can't adjust in time... Thanks for your support. You guys are the best fans."

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Urine good hands. (Outstanding headline from New York Post back on May 7th cannot go unnoticed here) - George King writes:

"Moises Alou has company when it comes to using his urine to toughen up his hands.
"I do it during the winter and spring training to keep my hands hard," All-Star catcher Jorge Posada said of the unorthodox skin conditioning program. "You don't want to shake my hand during spring training before practice."

Alou, a Cubs outfielder, Posada and Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero are the only three hitters in the majors who don't wear batting gloves (yes, Doug Mirabelli too, thanks readers). While it sounds unorthodox, older players apparently used urine to keep their hands tough and people who do field work in warmer climates use it to keep their hands from developing calluses."

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Who's full of sheath? 5.18.04 - Tony Massarotti writes today that "in the case of Garciaparra, who was hopeful about beginning a rehabilitation assignment early this week, that step has been further delayed." Gammons says Sox shopping for a shortstop:

"The Red Sox expect Nomar back in the first 10 days of June, but are considering the overtures of Ricky Gutierrez's agent to sign him as a short-term alternative to Cesar Crespo, and a long-term answer as a utility infielder."

ESPN's Jayson Stark, on WEEI said that there are "players on the Red Sox who are not happy with Nomar's behavior this season." Welcome to Day 74 of "day-to-day" (Nomar expected to see Doc in Boston Friday).

Three weeks ago, medical guru Will Carroll told us in "the clearest, smallest words he knows how" so that "everyone could understand" him:

"Reports from Boston have Nomar Garciaparra doing light jogging and getting ready to start baseball activities early this week. Given the long layoff, Nomar will surely need a rehab assignment and probably can't be back much before mid-May (about the same time Mark Prior will be back after a similar injury.) The Red Sox will also get Trot Nixon back in a similar timeframe, meaning the team that just swept the Yankees is going to add two key players to the mix. George can't be happy."

Unless Nomar is batting third at the Trop tonight, and Trot is in right field, we're past "mid-May." File under: always get a second opinion

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Silverman reports on some Lowe blows and Teknical knock outs.

"I can't believe how Derek Lowe has acquired the reputation of a No. 1 starter,'' said one major-league executive. "He's had one great year but he's not an ace. If he gets $10 million a year, that's a mistake contract."

"He's the guy I'd let walk,'' said a major-league executive. "People rate his intangibles so highly, he's bound to be overrated. I'm sure he's great in that department but he's got a lot of mileage on those legs, and catchers tend not to age well if they remain catchers. Offensively, he hasn't had that great a career. I think he's a guy who's destined to be overpaid, but not by the Red Sox.''

Silverman also reports on WEEI that Nomar doesn't want to come back here, and vice-versa.

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USA USA USA. Just want to give a shout out to all our loyal readers in the military who read this space from The Pentagon, on aircraft carriers, and military bases all over the world. God Bless America. And God Bless the United States Armed Forces. Stay the course.

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Catch him if you can.

"Just wanted to let you know that my store will be having Jason Varitek on May 22, 2004 in the morning for a public autograph signing. I would appreciate it if you would post it on your website for all the fans to see. They can visit the store at Nashua Sports Collectibles,135 Main Street, Nashua, NH. This is a great opportunity for the Red Sox fans to meet, greet, get and autograph and a photo with Varitek."

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More talking sheath. Nomar on March 20, 2004: "The good news is I took an MRI (Thursday) and there's nothing wrong with the tendon. The tendon's fine, everything's fine. We just wanted to rule that out. But it did show there's some swelling around the tendon, there's some fluid that gets in there, that gets caught around the sheath that surrounds the tendon and the bursa sac area that's right below the Achilles' tendon, the Achilles' heel right there. When you're dealing with an area like that where there's not a whole lot of skin and everything, it just takes awhile to get rid of that inflammation and that's really where I'm at. My status, I still plan on being there for Opening Day, but I'll deal when it comes. Right now, we're just focusing on a week, and we'll take it from there. Good thing it's happening now, not the middle of the season when I'd have to take a week.''

Cabbage Patch Player's Association pins are union labeled. The Globe tells us Dirt Dauber gets buried, Cowboy Up is out too:

Q6. Why are some of the players not included?
To be included in the collection, players had to be a member of the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) as of April 2004 and approved by MLBPA and MLB. (Kevin Millar and Brian Daubach are not members of the MLBPA thus they were not included in the album.)

Full list of participating Pin retailers by town

Talking dirty in Texas. Texas pitcher R.A. Dickey is working our side of the street when he says "We've got a bunch of guys now that are just dirtbags. They just love baseball; they love to come to the clubhouse; they love to stay late and talk baseball. They're not afraid to be themselves. That just frees you up to be an individual, and when you have a bunch of individuals playing for a common goal, special things can happen."

Damon dream comes true for local fan. From our friends at JohnnyDamon.net:

"Katie, a die-hard Red Sox fan diagnosed with severe scoliosis last May. With a curvature of over 70 degree’s in her upper spine and an inverted curve over 40 degree’s in her lower spine, Katie was in constant pain and quickly becoming more and more disfigured. Due to the rapid growth of her Scoliosis, without surgery, the outlook was grim. Within a year, her ability to perform simple tasks, let alone walk would have been difficult. In August, she underwent major surgery at Children’s Hospital in Boston with the understanding that she would have to give up all activities for a minimum of 9 to 12 months. Before her surgery, Katie helped her major league softball team win the town championship despite her constant pain with any movement. Katie played every game and gave 110 percent. At 12 years old, she humbled many adults by her bravery and strong constitution for beating the odds. Katie received the “Coaches Award”, by her coach at the end of the season. An award in which he stated he does not believe in giving but was so humbled by Katie’s dedication and courage that he felt compelled to acknowledge this in some way.

That trophy and Katie’s love for the Red Sox helped give her the strength to endure the long and painful recovery. Red Sox centerfielder Johnny Damon heard about Katie’s courageous ability throughout her 12 years of life to overcome many obstacles and invited her to meet with him before a recent game. He presented her with an autographed Johnny Damon Fan Club t-shirt and talked with her and her family for several minutes. His kindness and generosity went beyond any expectations. He autographed a few baseballs and t-shirts before a session of many photo’s taken by Katie’s family. The day was a huge success and in Katie’s words “The best day of my life”. Thank you Johnny Damon for your kindness and generosity. You are a true testament to what professional athletes should be."

Are there any signings in the Stars?

"I just thought I should clarify that my argument in the previous email isn't that the ownership should open the floodgates, and out of panic pay these four players more than their value, or more than what they're worth. As a matter of fact, I'm not even arguing that they should resign all four of them (five with Ortiz), which would be next to impossible fiscally. Do I want Pedro resigned for a couple decades at 50m a year? No.

My concern is that they aren't going to sign any of them, or make any real attempt to do so, and they're already starting to do the public relations blitz. Not overpaying guys? That's great. "Overpaying guys" ruins organizations for years. Look at Albert Bell or Mo Vaughn. I'm not advocating "overpaying" anyone. I'm not looking to see the Red Sox become baseball's answer to the New York Rangers... a bunch of names you recognize, with high salaries, that are too past their prime to do anything. But putting "we won't be overpaying guys" propaganda out there as P.R. dressing for the fact you aren't even going to offer your stars what they're worth? It seems to me that that's what they're doing, and I'm not buying into it.

I hope more than anyone that I'm wrong. But I guess they have to prove it to me first.

- andrew"

Expert opinion.

"Most "experts" say the Red Sox have been something of a disappointment thus far. I emphasis "experts" because I'm not sure what the definition of an expert is. Just because someone covers the team in some capacity or is on a media outlet that talks about the team, I'm not automatically going to label them an "expert". That's where the "fan website" term eats me up. It's used as a note of dismissal by traditional media members. Yet I would say that some of the people on these sites qualify as "experts" on the Red Sox moreso than some of the "traditional" media members do. Especially radio & TV commentators and personalities. The line between these folks and the average fan is pretty vague. Most of these guys aren't in the locker room or around the players and management any more than the average fan. So why should their opinion count any more? Just because they have the "credentials" or have attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting?

I have respect for people like the beat writers. They are around the team everyday. They do the grunt work. Their role is much less glamorous than the talking heads of radio and TV, and they get less recognition. In general, they're the ones whose information I'm more likely going to trust." - Bruce Allen, BSMW, 5.18.04

He is a con man. Yet another example of double-talk-radio, Glenn Ordway had no problemo referencing our report on the media catfight in Cleveland. It was the only report ever published.

Odd couple. RIP Tony Randall, the 84-year-old actor has died. In other news, his 34-year-old wife Heather Harlan has accepted a lunch date with 82-year-old Jack Klugman.

Worst rumor of the week. Much to the chagrin of the talk radio crowd, we don't run with every internet rumor, like this one: "A friend of mine, Phil A. was a partner in the Pawtucket Red Sox. He told me that he still has contacts within the Red Sox organization. He learned that although Manny is tearing it up, his contract is more than the current ownership is willing to absorb. And things have not changed since the winter. The Red Sox are still trying to move him and may have made a deal with a National League team that will be announced in the next three weeks."

Eddie Andelman poses with Boston Red Sox Lenny DiNardo and Kevin Youkilis at The Hot Dog Safari

Still, It Gets Panned.  Al Alexander writes a nasty, personal attack filled review of the fans in the Red Sox movie. As someone at the Boston Sports Media Watch website posted "something tells me Al gets blown off by women like Erin and Jessamy on a regular basis." It does sound like Al hasn't had a date since his junior prom with all the vitriol he spews towards the famous fans. Erin Nanstad's dad, upset at the gratuitous attacks on his daughter and her friend Jessamy, has written a letter to the editor of the Patriot Ledger. Jessamy's sexy sidekick Erin tells us "To sum it up he says we are blue-collar (nothing wrong with blue-collar workers mind you) blonde bimbos, the type you'd pickup in a local bowling ally (sic). That was uncalled for. Oh well, I guess it goes with the territory."

Passive aggressive. From Tom Werner's mailbag (good to see we are not alone on this one) on boston.com/nesn:

As a die-hard fan of 25 years who comes to at least a dozen games a year, I've got to say that the many improvements inside Fenway Park have been terrific. It's almost as if the Monster Seats and the Big Concourse have always been a part of the park.

"There are some other recent developments, however, that have been anything but terrific. The first is the almost police-state atmosphere caused by the aggressive and rude Fenway "security" personnel. It seems that the Sox, like many of the local teams here, have been sold a bill of goods that somehow all of this shakedown and hassle is necessary. Visiting other cities' major league baseball, football, and basketball venues shown me that, sadly, there isn't any place as paranoid as Boston. Second, the new policy barring people from returning to their seats during an at bat is terrible. During last Sunday's game against the Royals, about two dozen of us were told that we couldn't return to our seats during Bill Mueller's tough at- bat with the bases loaded. The reason? Because it would block the view of the people in the box seats. Hmmm... some get a temporarily obstructed view versus some getting no view at all. Besides, I don't see the need for this change -- after all, the view from those seats has been the same since 1912!

No name given

Tom Werner: We certainly don't want our security personnel to come off as rude and aggressive, and if you feel that, we would certainly like the name of the particular person who is "hassling" you. In our defense though, we have stepped up security measures at the Park because we want everyone to feel safe.

As for our recent experiment regarding barring people from returning to their seats in the middle of an at-bat, this is something I think needs your patience. We spend a lot of time talking about how to make the experience of going to the ballpark better, and customers sitting in the first few rows above the cross-aisle deserve to see a game without the nonstop movement that occurs from the first pitch. We are striving to curtail some of the traffic by asking fans to be courteous and wait till an at-bat ends. However, to help fans waiting to return to their seats, we are going to be installing more televisions as well. If, at the end of the year, we feel more people are inconvenienced than helped, we will reverse the policy, I promise you."

(Tom: We can't give you the names of the the overzealous security personnel, after we wrote one quip about Rodrigo S. in September 2002, all the security personnel's name tags were removed.)

Get your motor running. Bikers, get down to Foxboro this Sunday, May 23rd for Fred's Run to benefit the Fallen Firefighters and the Law Enforcement Memorial Funds. Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie host the second year of this great event.

The Savior of Fenway. "Over the course of the final two games of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and their bitter rival, the New York Yankees, a Quincy bar bursts at its seams with the anxiety experienced by three friends who live every moment in hopes of a Red Sox victory and who would stop at nothing to defend Fenway Park from its still rumored demolition. They can overlook their personal failures if only their beloved Red Sox can finally win game seven." - Go see it throughout May.

All Aces for Pedro. Pedro told the Greek Yard prior to his first hit on Sunday "you know they're gonna give you the silent treatment if you hit a home run here." Pedro also purchased the Youkilis home run ball for Kevin from the fan who caught it. - 5.18 Kevin on with Dale & Neumy, WEEI

Wendy nixed. From Ozzy at Boston Sports Media Watch:

"I didn't see it mentioned on the board, but I wanted to send him an "attaboy" for the torpedo he used to sink the S.S. Wendi Nix on yesterday's Big Show. In case you didn't hear it, they were just gassing about the Sox, when all of a sudden Felgie piped up, "You're a part of the Red Sox organization, Wendi." Well, that fish apparently hit her square amidships because she proceeded to go nuts, launching into an obscenity laced tirade against Mrs. Baseball that Brett had to cut out of the show. Evidently, this comment hit a little too close to home for her. Felger of course, being the wuss that he is, immediately backtracked and apologized. The truth is that he was 100%, spot on, dead right. She has ZERO credibility when it comes to the Sox, and she apparently knows it, or is worried about it. Her husband not only owes his job to Theo, but is an old friend of his too. Do you think Mr. and Mrs. Cherington have been out socially with Theo and his significant other du jour? Will we ever see a story on Channel 7 about how the current front office is making a pig's breakfast out of things on Yawkey Way? Even further, her husband works for the current Red Sox ownership group. I await the first Channel 7 story critical of Lucky Larry and Powder or the first Channel 7 expose on what a dump Fenway Park is.

We're always pointing out media people with "personal agendas" real or perceived. A 'reporter" who has half of her household income directly dependent on a team she is covering, not only screams personal agenda, but outright conflict of interest. Felger may not have had the "strong lower body strength" to stick to his guns, but he was right to point it out." - Ozzy, BSMW forum

A-Punk'd. Just in case you missed it: The Ultimate Diva, A-Rod was Punk'd on MTV, Ashton Kutcher's old show. Kutcher had a waiter pretending to be a crazed Sox fan hound Alex at a restaurant, but Alex wasn't such a good sport about the bit. He refused to sign the waiver so the segment will not be on your MTV anytime soon.

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Sam Horn's new sons. 5.11.04 - Now it can be told. Finally. NESN analyst Sam Horn is the new president of the Sons of Sam Horn website (funny, he wanted nothing to do with them last year "don't go there"... must be all the success of The Remy Report that drove him to the web). Sam mentioned on the NESN pre-game last weekend that the SoSH party on Saturday was "his fan site's first get together." Hardly.  Note to Sam: SoSH is a site that always has, and always will, belong to its members. SoSH was around long before Sam came into the digital picture, and they've had numerous gatherings in the past. Mr. Nicest Guy Eric Christensen remains as the founder (and most importantly head dope) of the popular private discussion board and promises that nothing will change (except Sam seems to think membership is open among other things). Congratulations to SoSH for diving head first into mainstream media (sorry Eric, the underground days are over :-). Hopefully Sam will figure out that the board is about more than selling t-shirts one of these days too. Stay tuned for some big SoSH events coming up. ...A member of the media is running SoSH. The apocalypse is definitely upon us.---

Radio Free Schilling. How did WEEI drop the ball on this one? (Ya' gotta pony up Entercom) Every Wednesday at 8:30am, Curt Schilling will join Sabermetricians Loren and Wally on 105.7-FM WROR (slightly more listeners than SoSH members) live on the air to talk about the week in baseball and whatever else is on his mind. He’ll also talk about something very near to his heart: “Curt’s Pitch for ALS,” fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease. “I am thrilled to be working with a local Boston station in getting the word out about ALS. After seeing the passion of the Red Sox Fans, I am confident that the people of Boston will step up to the plate and help strike out this disease,” said Schilling when asked about his partnership with WROR.

To be one of the lucky folks to hear these interviews, you must know someone who has tuned into WROR before and have a dog who can hear the special radio signal password which will be broadcast in pig Latin at 3:00am. Otherwise, you'll just hear static. In other Schilling news: Frank Viola thinks Schilling is The Man on the Boston Staff

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Funway Park 4.30.04 - We remembered him from the big Herald expose on scalpers a couple of summers ago. One of the main guys, dress in a "Boston Fire Department" t-shirt with his hand-made "need ticket" sign. He needs to buy your extra ticket at face, then turn it around in Kenmore Square at a 300% markup. Been going on for years. Larry Lucchino is apparently powerless after three years of trying to solve the ticket problem. We're still waiting for the Camden Yards-style legal fan ticket sale area Larry. So what's so different now with the scalping scene? Fenway is so banged out these days, record crowd yesterday, that these guys are working the action about 500 yards out on Storrow Drive as you approach the Fenway/Kenmore exit. They're buying any extra tickets from fans who are stuck in traffic on Storrow, and running them over to Kenmore to sell. Unreal.

Free tickets from friends. Catch a meter on Brookline street. The Bud man knows Ty (holding "Manny's Best Friend" sign above), and flips us a beer on the House, two great seats behind home plate, Sox are down 2-1 in the first when we sit. Bang. Tek hits a bomb. Two minutes later its 7-2 and we're thinking "will Tito be apologizing to Lou tomorrow?" Good times.

Met the remarkable Shonda Schilling as she walked into the park. Curt said to her "hey, did you say something on NESN last night" as we had posted her Questec comments copied here :-). We were foolish in saying that she is a 10-1/2 point favorite over Curt. After meeting her, the line has moved to 14-1/2.

Saw Blond F-Bombshell Jessimy (early morning typo Jessamy) Finet, star of the Red Sox Movie, with a beer in her hand naturally. Surprisingly she did not have her security people or posse with her. She too, was disappointed that the movie is coming out PG-13. She claimed to be sitting in the bleachers with the little people.

email update: "It's F-Bomb girl from the movie...I'm sure I'll bump into you in the future but I just thought I would give you the correct spelling of my name Jessamy... guess where I got to sit yesterday afternoon...the Budweiser seats they were pretty damn awesome!"

Zim was sitting in Henrytown seats wearing a Members Only (no not you SoSH) style leisure suit per usual. Getting catcalls per usual. FacePlant should come back to Boston, he fits right in. He could be hired as Pedro's personal coach and valet.

Not saying anything about the rotten tomato shirts the Sox were forced to wear last night. And not interested in the Nomar's Not Here non-controversy.

Umm, there were some overzealous ushers working behind the plate area last night who were shaking down some squatters in our section. Hey old-timers, squatting seats until the bourgeoisie show up has been going on at Fenway since 1912. Don't be grabbing peoples' tickets and escorting them into the aisle demanding to see tickets on the spot. Is this part of a new police state policy for the Nation? Did the Red Sox hire that crazy Australian soccer security nut from the Patriots? Ushers (Yeah!), your time would be better served refilling the men's room paper towel dispensers that are ALWAYS empty by the 6th inning. Someone get on that please and thanks.

Too much congestion folks. This between inning two-to-three traffic light stop up the onramp to get back in the park from the inner concourse has to be rethought. They're not giving enough "Go" time. The Security staff is in the way, overdoing it and causing more problems than they're solving. Policy began on Wednesday night with Schill's start. Let's get another focus group on this Dr. Charles.

Saw a sizzling line drive shatter a cup and hit a fan in the head in the late innings. Paramedics were right on the scene. John Henry did not show up. Oh, and the fan was OK.

The Wave made almost 7 full rounds and continued between innings. I've never seen anything like it. I'm starting to enjoy it at Fenway. Horrible, I know but there's something about it at Fenway on an April night that feels like July that makes it all work. Go team!

email update: "You know what's even better than 7 full rounds of the Wave? When the left fielder does it too!

From our vantage point in the right field bleacher during yesterday's matinee, it was clear that at least twice as the Wave made its way around to left field Manny waved right along with it. I believe it was during the 8th inning (Timlin was pitching).

Oh that Manny.

~Brenda B.
Lowell"

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4.28.04 We really, really like him. "The thing is not that Red Sox Nation hated him. We did not. The thing is not that individual fans hated his batting numbers. We did not. The thing is that we didn't know who the heck he was, as a person. In that vacuum, we see his actions. And they were ... worrisome.

We've seen him lollygag down the base paths. And we wondered. We've seen him jog in the outfield chasing fly balls. And we wondered. We've seen him decide not to pinch hit in a key series in New York. And we wondered. Who is this man who is earning so much money and who plays for our Sox? We want to like him. But we wondered if we could.

What we didn't see is that the man works hard. Every day. In the batting cages. And in the outfield. Ten days after the end of the season and the man was working out to get into shape. We didn't see that, so we were left with just a one dimensional picture. Who is Manny Ramirez, we wondered and why should we care?

This year, Mr. Ramirez obliged and he has opened up. And it turns out that there's a person there. A person who was uncomfortable trying to speak in his second language to a media that's transmitting to every person on the planet. And which is why he was so close-mouthed for so long. There's a person there and he seems affable. He likes the game and more to the point, he appears fairly humble and, in fact, down-to-earth.

All the things that we knew about him are still true. He's still a great hitter. He's still the man with the $20 million dollar salary. He's still the outfielder who makes you cringe sometimes. But now, he's Manny Ramirez, a real person. Someone you can connect a personality with; someone, I dare say, you can understand and even like. He's a real person. He's not just a remote ballplayer, a hitting savant, a man who shuns the cameras. He's a man with quirks and foibles, who avoids the cameras for fear of sounding awkward, and who tries *real* hard to do his job. What else do you need to know?

That's what's different about Mr. Ramirez this year. That's why I've stopped wondering about him. And that's why I suspect we, as fans, are embracing him.

Because we no longer wonder about him. He's Manny Ramirez.

And we like him." - Orrie on RedSoxNation.net.
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Invisible Man on Fire. 4.26.04 - "Hello, My name is David Cavell and I'm a staff writer for the Tufts Daily newspaper. I was sent to the premiere last night for my paper, and happy more than happy to go. As my photographer and I were waiting in the lobby for this thing to start, I noticed someone come in through a side door with their girlfriend (umm, that would be Manny's wife... or it better have been :-). He talked to the security guards, who let him walk across the Red Carpet right past an unknowing Shaungessy (sic), who had his back turned. As Manny walked past me, I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed him, then watched as he walked up to the regular ticket line. As he was buying his tickets, I approached the slugger and said "Manny, don't you want to see your movie?" He turned to me, smiled, and replied "Naw man. I'm seeing 'Man on Fire'." His girlfriend smiled, and they made their way through the throngs of reporters and TV crews, none of whom noticed him, and up the escalator to the theaters.

I informed some of my colleagues, and the rumor spread like wildfire.

Just thought you'd like to know the full story."

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"That's why they make sequels." 4.26.04 - Went to the "star-studded" premiere of the Red Sox Movie tonight. It was a virtual who's who of who cares. I had seen the movie already, and although I had hoped it would end differently this time, I am sad to report it does not. Sox lose to the Yankees in Game 7. But as Kevin Millar said on the way in "that's why they make sequels." Cowboy showed up with his rock star wife. Like Shonda Schilling, she is a 10-1/2 point favorite over her husband.

Paul Doyle, one of the filmmakers, brought the house down during the intro when he noted that "the fans are the Red Sox." What was really disappointing about the movie itself was that the perfectly peppered F-bombs dropped by East Boston's Jessamy Finet did not make the final cut. The film makers said the Red Sox made "one tiny change" to the final outcome. That may have been it. Expect this movie to be rated PG-13.

Brighton's own Angry Bill (who confirmed he enjoys reading this space) carried the documentary on his back, Cedric Maxwell style. I see an Oscar nomination in his future. Jessamy and Erin will battle for best supporting actress. The rest of the cast, well, let's just say they were your typical fan, and they shouldn't quit their day jobs.

Johnny Damon was scheduled to attend along with Millar, but was a last minute no-show. From the truth is stranger than fiction department, Manny Ramirez was in the same theatre (Loews is right next door to his Crib)... except he was taking in "Man on Fire" with Denzel Washington instead. This is true. As co-MC Bob Neumeier said "you can't make this stuff up."

Other luminaries at the event included Wally the Green Monster, who finally got a raise so we can no longer yell "they don't pay you enough Wally" when he is dancing on the dugout in that fur suit when its 90 degrees in August. Big Sam Horn was there, and as a special favor, that's all we'll say about Sam and any new endeavors.

Special thank you to Dan Shaughnessy, who confirmed that Katie Couric and Tom Werner did NOT get married over the weekend as I thought I overheard. We thought we had a national scoop but it was an error in eavesdropping. And since everyone and their grandmother is writing a book these days, Tom Werner is writing one about the Red Sox as well, focusing on this season. Otherwise Dan S. mentioned that he has yet another puff piece coming out tomorrow. This one on the new Manny. But I suspect we'll have the old Shaughnessy back before the month is out.

Another guy in over his head in the wife department, Larry Lucchino, made the affair, as did John Henry, who I met for the first time. John says the only reason he hasn't been posting online lately is that he hasn't had much to say. He is also amazed at the stunning turnaround of Manny Ramirez this season. Dr. Charles Steinberg was there, and I apologized for an ornery email I sent him a couple of weeks ago. NESN host Tom Caron was working as always but informed me that he loved "Tonight we got a Petey like it's 1999." You never know what people are going to respond to.

Michael Silverman, who is a new member of SoSH, but doesn't like to post, had kind words to say about this space as well. As did NECN's Mark Ockerbloom. Alice Cook reported that Lobel couldn't make it because he was at Ted Johnson's fundraiser in Cambridge dropping lines like "why can't we get mothers-in-law like that?" Yes, you had to be there. Lobel claims that Pokey Reese's double play in the 7th on Saturday was the most important defensive play the Sox have made in the last 10 years.

Paul Williams, the grounds crew grinder, and Brian from 'Not-Your-Average-Joe' rounded out the "celebrity" list. Brian chuckled at my "Gil in the eighth, Fabio in the ninth" joke. Oh, and of course Luis Tiant was in rare form. And Rob Bradford who penned Chasing Steinbrenner made it as well.

Former Red Sox employee Dan Duquette did not make the event, but he was having dinner up the road at The Stockyard with Dave Jauss.

That's all folks. (Oh, we previously reviewed the film here. Pics at bottom of this page.)

Update: Lacking Belief: Eric Wilbur's review is right on.

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Hench's softball. "From Gammons ESPN.com column, Martinez says (this is an old quote actually) "there are three players for whom I would put my arm in the fire for the way they work and the way they are there for the rest of us -- Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon and Manny Ramirez."

What does that say about Pedro's feelings about Nomar?

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See you at Saint on Friday night Pete? The New York Post reports that Pedro Martinez hung out at the 40/40 Club Saturday night until 2 a.m. and still managed to wake up a few hours later to shut out the Yankees.

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Fort Fenway The Bronx. 4.25.04: Keep up the good work Sox fans in NYC this weekend:

"It made me sick how many redsox fans there were at the game. they were everywhere, walking around like they own the place, meanwhile when yankee fans go to fenway, they get harrassed all game. i couldn't believe it when boston scored that 3rd run. it sounded like half the stadium was cheering. Something needs to be done about this." - posted by kenetics81 on nyyfans.com

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4.25.04: Schill on Tillman. Schilling speaks to old friend Lisa Olson from the New York Daily News:

"He was a devastating hitter, almost an over-achiever, in the sense he didn't light up a clock, he just played incredibly hard," Schilling said. "When he went into the service, I was in awe more than shock. Just the way he did it, he didn't do it as a publicity stunt, he did it as a challenge. He was a guy who seemed like he was always finding a challenge and beating it.

"He was never content with his life the way other people thought he should be. He lived his life by his own standards and there aren't many people who do that."

Could Schilling leave all he had earned for a life of service? Could many of us?

"If called to do, absolutely. Voluntarily, I don't know. My father was in the Army for 20 years so it was something I grew up around and have a tremendous amount of respect and reverence for. But I have a wife and four kids," he said. And he paused, looked out onto the pristine Stadium grass where soon a peaceful game would be played, and admitted what we all feel.

"I guess," said Schilling, "you always assume there are always other people to do that."

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The Mad Chatter.

Schill still going strong online:

"In an extraordinary postmortem by the standards of most players, but par for the course for him, Curt Schilling paid a middle-of-the-night visit to the Sons of Sam Horn website after losing in Toronto and gave a virtual blow-by-blow description of what took place. He said that if Terry Francona was going to take him out, it would have to have been after the seventh inning, and he reiterated his contention that he is here to win games in the late innings, not to turn them over to the pen." - 4.25.04 Boston Sunday Globe.

Manny Ramirez is the latest Sox player to go online as he's launching his own website. I wonder if Manny will move his at-bat summaries and other interesting insight behind private password access forums, thus eliminating the unwashed masses from getting a little wisdom? Let's hope not.

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Do you want fries with that Nomar? 4.24.04: Celtics fanatic Nomar Garciaparra has been rehabbing his Achilles' heel with the folks at Train Boston in Wellesley for a few weeks. The other undisclosed location where Nomar has been lifting weights and working on his lateral movement is the Boston Sports Clubs at HealthPoint in Waltham, Celtics section. (Gordon Edes references Boston University as a workout destination as well in the Sunday Globe).

But more importantly, our "sandwich insider" reports that Nomar has gone into Mark's Sandwich Shop in Wellesley after some of his rehab sessions:

First trip lunch order: small steak and cheese and a lemonade
Second time: small chicken parmesan with an order of fries and a lemonade

Does this sound like the lunch order of a man who is ready to come back soon? Stay tuned as we investigate his dessert choices this weekend when Nomar is expected to be in Manhattan to watch the NFL Draft today and take in "Movin' Out" at the Richard Rodgers theatre tonight.

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Give it up for Dauber. The Original Dirt Dog is hitting .353/OBP .420 and over .700 SLG in eight games at Pawtucket. We anxiously await his triumphant return to Boston. Theo said he's been a big influence on hot hitting Andy Dominique as well.

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But was he a Yankees or a Red Sox fan? 4.23.04: "I was in the head at Yankee Stadium earlier tonight, takin' care of business at the urinal, when all of a sudden this guy bursts out of one of the stalls. He's waving a 6" brown cardboard tube, yelling "Goddamn Yankee Stadium - it's only the fifth inning and they're already out of A-Rod." - W. Finberg.

Yeah, sounds like the Capital Grill crowd made its way south for the weekend.

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One last splitter. 4.20.04: Schilling had some parting words for Yankees fans online after the weekend series:

"No need to jump off (insert NYC bridge name here) yet. The lineup you all are running out there is going to produce, it can't NOT produce given who's in it.

Given all that happened this winter I thought the one spot the Yanks had a HUGE edge over most teams in this league was the bullpen, if those arms stay healthy your bullpen will be a good one.

It's a 4 game series in April for whatever that's worth, glad it was us that won the 3 though. With the new unbalanced divisional schedule, winning inside the division is as important, if not moreso, than it was in past years. Main problem IMO is there are no patsies in this division this year, every team can hit.

I think the team that pitches and catches best, and most consistent, has a HUGE edge." - nyyfans.com

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101 inning game raises $100,000 for ALS.

"Thanks to 183 players and more than 1,600 sponsors, the 100 Innings of Baseball Spectacular (actually 101 innings played over 31 straight hours ) raised more than $100,000 for Curt's Pitch for ALS. Final score: Gehrig's Stamina 100, Schilling's Endurance 51 -- yes, this was the real score. See the Official Linescore.

Shonda Schilling, wife of Curt Schilling, scored the 95th run in the bottom of the 93rd inning after reaching by ripping a single up the middle off of Mike Lembo -- with his bat. Box score, and tons of pictures will come later this week."

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4.20.04 Umm no Bob Hohler, I don't have any more questions about Pedro... until Sunday anyway.

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And no, we don't know anything about anything that went on at the Fleet Center the other night. Nothing. Nada. Nope.

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Hate-Hat-Gate.  Regarding Schilling's hat, many emails. First of all, it is not a New York Yankees hat as many feared. It is not a Yankees minor league team hat. But it is not part of another Yankee hating company running around town with six names for their gear now. Did Kevin Millar deliver these custom hats to the team before the Yankees series? Research in progress....

Update:  Doh!, we forgot all about this promotion. Ours came in the mail today. See right (it's a pitchfork and horns off the YH), and note below (Got the hat, thanks Michael :-):

"You may not remember, but on 4/4/04 I sent you an email asking for your mailing address. I wanted to send you a press kit for our Yankeeshater baseball cap line. The press kit was mailed yesterday; you should receive it tomorrow. It includes, among other things, an official Yankeeshater cap.

You will recognize the cap as soon as you get it. It's the same cap Schilling was wearing at the Bruins game. Last week--prior to the Yankees series--we sent 36 of the caps to Kevin Millar in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse, on the theory that he was the clubhouse prankster and that if anyone would pass them out to the Red Sox, he would.

Fortunately for us, he did.

The Schilling picture also made today's NY Times. Unlike the Herald, they understood the significance of what appeared to be on Schilling's cap, and did a brief story on it. You can find it on page D-7.

The cap design that Schilling was wearing was created for promotional purposes only. We are actually selling a different design on our website (Yankeeshater.com). We gave away several hundred of the Schilling-design caps at Fenway Park on Friday and Saturday. We have been contacted by several buyers in the Boston area already, but we plan to be selective with our sales

To add to the hysteria, I have been told that one of the street vendors at Fenway Park managed to get his hands on one of our free hats, and was selling it for $75

We have been asked to do a pre-game (e.g., 5 p.m.) live spot from Yankee Stadium on Friday by CBS TV (the network that will telecast Friday's Sox/Yankees game in the NYC area). We plan to go in there with full guns blazing! We may end with a few bruises, but the fans of Boston deserve nothing less!

Hope you enjoy the cap; should be there soon.

Best regards,

Michael Moorby
CEO, Rebel Forces, LLC
Owner of Yankeeshater.com"

It's all good, but at some point we've got to start rooting for our team and stop obsessing about the GD Yankees. Does it look too much like their real logo? Worried more about Toronto (tonight) and Baltimore (leading division) right now thank you.

And we keep getting "Curse" and "First" related requests for promotion. FYI, the Red Sox are neither cursed, nor have they finished first yet. Why mention either? Don't want to see a play, or wear a shirt related to it. Speaking of the ick department:

Dog - I just received this message from George Roy, the director of the film, and I promised him that I would pass it on to you:

Huge week for The Curse of the Bambino, winner of 2 Emmy's, including the prestigious, Best Documentary.... Other for Best Original Score. I'd really appreciate it if you could also post a letter of some sort on my behalf and get it out to a few of the real big Red Sox fan sites...Thanking the fans who were in the film as well as Red Sox Fans everywhere for their passion, their heart and soul, and most importantly their sense of humor. I know I'll get heckled by some, but without you Sox fans, there would be NO film.... George Roy

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Manny, The Media "Go-To" Guy. "How you doin', let me look in your eyes... you're ready, you're ready." - Manny to Joe Castig before tonight's game against Toronto.

Also, the Manny is starting to chime in via The Crib (name for his discussion board). Regarding the misplaced flyball against the Yankees last weekend, he offers this explanation through his site administrator:

"Spoke with Manny after the game. "The ball kept curving away from me, hard to my left and I looked down too soon. My bad! Thanks God nothing serious came of it," Manny explained. He gave Embree a big hug and apologized to Williamson. He was very happy about Boston's win and about the fact that he was able to contribute. On the homerun, Manny said "The ball was down and away, but I was looking away, so I was able to put the fat part of the bat on it".

He sends a shout-out welcoming and thanking all his fans in the Crib, to "Stay Strong!"

You forgot to add "Stay Strong... Naturally" my man. He'll be answering questions from the Cribsters next week. At this rate, the new Media Manny will be replacing Howard Stern as the King of all Media before the end of the summer. Can a Manny FOX reality sitcom be far behind Tom Werner?

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We will have new Boston Dirt Dogs T-shirts and hats for sale, hopefully before the end of May.

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Bizarre rant against Mike O'Malley.  4.20.04: Hey Mike O'Malley, thanks for hijacking ESPN's Outside the Lines with your inane banter and plugging of Sonny McLean's, satellite TV, and for whining about getting into SoSH. Newsflash: Ben Affleck, an avid reader here, is the official celebrity spokesperson for the Red Sox. He dragged J-Lo's ass to the game. He stays to the end, in the rain. He knows what's going on with the team. And he doesn't dress like a 6-year old when he goes on national TV to talk baseball. Oh, Mr. Hollywood, do you think you can get a real tackle-twill road jersey the next time you have to suit up for us? The cheesy press-on letters faux jersey you were wearing was indeed embarrassing. Crowbar open that west coast wallet and get yourself a real jersey just in case you are invited to derail another program anytime soon. We'll review the OTL show at a later date.

Is NESN analyst and former player Sam Horn finally getting in synch with the Sons of Sam Horn? We'd rather see NESN's Krisily Kennedy or Sam Marchiano get involved. Stay tuned.

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Friends and rivals. 4.15.04: So my buddy and I are in Harvey Frommer's new book as I mentioned, Red Sox vs. Yankees, The Great Rivalry, On the eve of the first clash, here's what was published in the new coffee table hardcover.

From my friend Matt Zelek, so called number one Yankee fan:

I am a MA based Yankee fan who attended the Yanks/Sox playoff game in '78.

I was lucky enough to have a friend who was at Fenway that Sunday and left the game to stand in line at the box office in about the 4th inning when he realized that Rick Waits was going to beat the Yankees (for about the 6th time that year) and that the Sox were going to hold on and win their game. I quickly accepted his invitation (despite the punishment of being benched for the Tuesday Harwich/Nauset game for missing Monday practice).

There was so much tension in the stands as fans were anxious but also nervous for the game to start. I remember seeing Ron Guidry warm up in the bullpen before the game. He was pitching on 2 days rest (can you ever imagine Pedro volunteering to do that) and could not have weighed more than 145 lbs at gametime. Yet in the bullpen, I remember the warm up catcher (I think it was Elrod Hendricks) having to wear a mask since Guidry was firing bullets. In fact, between him and Goose Gossage I don't think a pitch was thrown at less than 90 mph all day, since neither pitcher was gonna get beat in this game on a changeup or hanging curve. Other great baseball memories that day were:

Yaz clutch rip on a Guidry fastball early in the game (he did not choke as some say on his final at bat. He was lucky to make contact on that Gossage fastball the way the shadows were at that time).

Sweet Lou's blind stab in right field (I was 50 feet from him and it was a blind stab as I am sure he only grabbed it from the sound of it about to go by his ear).

The eerie silence after Bucky's HR and my feeling of euphoria at seeing all the annoying Red Sox fans hopes crushed.

Nettles catching the final out below his left shoulder as if wanting to prolong the Sox fans agony as that pop-up hung in the air for what seemed an eternity.

To this day, despite all the World Series Championships and other great Yankee moments - for me, that Nettles catch off the shoulder - ranks as the best.

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My entry:

October 14, 1999

AL Championship game two at Yankee Stadium
Yankees 3, Red Sox 2

Even though I'm a third generation Red Sox fan, this was my first trip to Yankee Stadium. My best friend, a Red Sox fan from Boston who relocated to the City, got us a pair of tickets. I threw on my hat and jacket and just bee-lined down '95 right to the Bronx and into the Stadium's parking lot. I met my friend Jim across the street from Stadium, in a very small bar next to Stans. It was more like a pizza shop that sold beer, but it was wall to wall people before the game. They put your beers in paper bags so you take them out on the street. I had my "1967 American League Champion" jacket on with a traditional Red Sox "B" cap.... we were leaning on the counter, having a beer in the bar when suddenly the chant "a**HOLE... a**HOLE" kept getting louder and louder behind us... I asked Jim "who the hell are they yelling at?" He answered "you."

I was then hassled a bit and warned "not to wear that shit into the Stadium"... but I did anyway. A third-generation Red Sox fan isn't going to wear his team colors during his first trip to Yankee Stadium for a playoff game? Give me a break. Turned out their bark was worse than their bite. They tossed a few items my way, but no real trouble on that 45 degree night until Paul O'Neill drove in the winning run with a seventh-inning single as New York's playoff win streak reached 12 games. Boston reliever Rheal Cormier said "unfortunately, the ball went behind the shortstop where nobody was." Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox went on to crush the Yankees and Roger Clemens in Boston for game three, 13-1. But the old towne team lost the next two, and the series. Same old song and dance...

In other non-news: Shaughnessy approached Schilling (who had spanked him on national radio programs recently) in the clubhouse recently to clear the air. But apparently Dan still needs to answer the Clemens article question and/or to the charge of an anti-Pedro bias.

NESN said they would fix the score bar at the top of the screen and they did. The three red bases representing Oriole runners in the 11th inning looks great.

Why yes Bob Hohler, I do have a few more questions about Pedro...

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Radio Free Duquette. 4.13.04: Disingenuous Dan Duquette, who refused hundreds of requests to speak to fans on various radio programs while he was employed by the Red Sox is now a weekly contributor on 1510 The Zone's The Diehard's program. He'll be appearing every Monday, in studio once a month. While he talked about Jim Duquette and the Mets, who he saw over the weekend, he went to to wax, like only he can, about working in baseball, projecting talent, John Patterson, high-schoolers, but mostly he was there to stoke his league, the New England College Baseball League... and the Keene Swampbats and other hot topics. “Bill Thurston is a really good judge of talent… and loves this kid Donahue that we got… he pitched a shutout against Wesleyan a couple of weeks ago… we’re trying to sign some freshman pitchers so we can bring them along…This is a darn good league… in some respects it’s better than the Cape Cod league because you’re playing in front of paying customers.” More later on Duke still taking credit for today's Red Sox and telling us how wonderful the farm system was under his stewardship.

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"It's a Pleasure." More from The Movie - Grady speaking with Giuliani right after Game 7 in the manager's office:

"I know a lot of folks are wondering if uh, why I probably didn't take him out, but he's the man we wanted out there to win it...

Rudy: the way Joe kept Mariano in, he could have tired but (GL: He did pretty good)... you did a great job.

Grady: Thank you very much, it's a pleasure. Thank you very much for coming in here.

Rudy: I think you should get Manager of the Year.

Grady: I don't know about that.

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We Give it Two Cowboys Up. 4.12.04: Reader's digest version of Red Sox Movie on the 2003 season by Bombo Sports & Entertainment:

The two-and-three split screen documentary, shot last year opens with the first day of ticket sales, February 7th, goes through spring training to the Game 7 at Yankee Stadium. How much you like this film will depend on your interest level in the team, familiarity with Boston fans, Fenway, how much you like thick Boston accents, documentaries in general. We liked it for the most part, especially when compared to HBO's "Curse of the Bambino," and Stop-and-Shop's "Cowboy Up" DVD.

Our favorite stars of the 'film' were 'actresses' Jessamy Finet and Erin Nanstad of East Boston (although we're not sure if you're gonna get Jessamy's most perfectly placed F-bombs -- has this film been rated (no)? We ran into Eastie's dynamic duo on Opening Day at Copperfields, and they said the version they previewed had no curses... well almost no curses). You may know Jessamy and Erin from around the Park, or the Cask. They never seem to miss a game, rain or shine as you'll see. They even road tripped up in Milwaukee and Chicago.

Best supporting actor goes to Mr. Negative, Paul "Angry Bill" Constine. Other notables included Jim Connors of the venerable Sox and sometimes Tom Werner hangout Sonny McLean's of Santa Monica, California, and old school Harry Mann of Dracut.

Theo talks about being a Red Sox fan in the opening minutes. Then in Fort Myers we get a live shot of Dennis & Callahan segment with Larry Lucchino at the infamous picnic table at the minor league complex. There's some fun banter from Henry, Werner, Lucchino at a booth in some greasy spoon.

We go to March 31, opening day Carl Crawford walk-off 3-run jack, when Angry Bill reveals that "you might as well go into the season thinking they're going to be a failure... it's more fun to be pessimistic."

Someone puts Manny's $50k necklace on Papa Jack. Jim Rooney of the Baseball Tavern gets his 30 seconds. Steve Kraven, a Rosi firefighter is one of the chosen. Great shot of Theo watching a game fall apart from his office. Take a ride with Grady up Newbury Street to tell us how he loved the Yankees growing up. Nomar tells us he's really a simple guy. Pitcher's meeting and observations from Pedro and Dave Wallace would have been good to watch a little longer. The baseball operations folks and the owners get a kick out of a "Revenge of the Nerds" headline from a New York tab back page. Great footage of the actual Suppan trade (Theo worked on Vasquez the whole time "couldn't get him") on July 31st including the call to Freddy Sanchez telling him he was traded.

Gammons and Theo chatting behind batting cages in September: Theo: "Who do you think will step up for us in October?" Gammons: "Nomar." Theo: "I agree." Whoops.

The film will have a celebrity-packed premiere on April 26 at Loews Boston Common and will open in theaters in the Boston area on May 7.

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Jesus Freaks. 4.11.04: The bearded Disciples of Damon were out in force for Johnny, who is expected to rise on the third day, last night. Even Millar has a new Damon shirt out now: "The Curse Is Over: We've Got Jesus.'' Yuk. Brings up the "C" word, is blasphemous, and doesn't even roll off the tongue. This should be interesting as some players are already offended by the religious references.

Good news for the future: Hanley Ramirez is 4-for-8 in his first two games. Bad news on the past: Tony Womack was on the same pace for Cards.

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Gammo in the Know. - 4.8.04: WEEI's The Big Show with Mr. Glenn Ordway:

Larry Johnson: "I saw 'Pardon the Interruption' the other day, the Boston Media, is it that we're (The Boston Media) is making too much out of these things or is this something that really should be dealt with, players leaving early?

Peter Gammons: Um, I thinks sometimes these things take on lives of their own in Boston that they might not take otherwise. There's an agent and a very good friend of mine and a guy who's really fair.  Said to me today, you know it's so much easier playing for the Angels, the Dodgers, people like that, and people say 'yeah, it's west coast' well, you know those teams draw 3- 3-1/2 million too. (LJ: Why is that pace though)  Because they don't care, I mean like, the case that we were using was like, sometimes with Nomar, 'oh you know, he's not that outgoing.' In Anaheim, Troy Glaus is, actually it's because he's so painfully shy, however he barely ever talks, and you know kinda goes his own way, very much like Nomar he's very sort of 'media shy.' And nobody questions it there. The fact that Glaus and Garret Anderson are both unsigned, it hardly ever gets mentioned out there. You know what, I mean but that's not to criticize anybody. People out there love those teams, but they don't love them the way we do on the east coast. There aren't any Sons of Sam boards in Anaheim because there aren't people that live and die with their teams and can sit there with their computers and come up with fascinating... almost you know sometimes brilliant um uh essays. They don't read Baseball Prospectus the way we do. And it's very different and people care about it.

Glenn Ordway: I think sometimes it's misconstrued as being negative when really it's deep rooted emotion, and it rides either way. When the team is doing great, they are all over this team with accolades. And when the team is doing poorly, they take it personally.

Peter Gammons: There isn't any better place... I separate it from the Yankees because they've won so much and it's so much the biggest franchise in the game, yeah it's great playing for the Yankees, there's no getting around it, but it's still, in Boston, people care so much, and there's that electricity, and I still say even more than New York it's the most intelligent audience. I sit there sometimes and I've had guys that are ex-players and even players on opposing players say to me, it's amazing. Fans at Fenway Park anticipate the way player's do. I mean a pitch, a situation. I mean... (GO: You hear it with crowd reaction... right) there's a lot of times in games, you don't hear that wall of noise, you know Go Team Go because people are thinking about all the things that can happen, and the situation is... people standing up in the Metrodome just making noise, that's not rooting, that's not understanding the game. (Talk about how they knew Rickey Henderson would pinch run... why do they still do the wave).

It's not only Boston, this whole thing about Jason Giambi's, the guy who throws batting practice to him, and I mean this thing has taken on a life of its own when its hardly a story either I mean, he's paying the guy I think $150,000 a year and certain promises were made when he signed and the Yankees feel they have to get away from it and Brian Cashman said Jason Giambi and... it's true in any passionate place. But you know, I'm glad, you know it may freeze tomorrow... I'm glad I live in Boston because I like that passion, I like these... I love going through... I mean I scroll through the Sons of Sam and the Dirt Dogs every day just to see what's out there on people's minds and it's, you know that's one of the great things and it's hard for players because they don't understand it a lot but... (GO: Or what's on Curt's Schilling's mind, one or the other)...

Steve Buckley, Boston Herald: "He (Pedro) doesn't do sessions, these days, which btw I happen to think he misses, and uh but there are certain guys that have been around for a long time that he likes, he trusts. I'm one of them (sfx: Honk). Sean McAdam is one of them. Michael Silverman's one of them and uh (Andy: Shaughnessy one of them? Glenn: I don't think Shaughnessy's one of them.)

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An Evening with Edes. Behind Enemy Lines: A Baseball Chat with Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe

Red Sox Nation Gathers to Fight Two Evils, Cancer and the Yankees

On April 24, Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe will gather with Red Sox fans to chat baseball at the West Side Tavern in New York City. The West Side Tavern is located at 360 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th in the Chelsea District of Manhattan. The event starts at 7:30 pm and should last until about 10 pm. The cost of entry is a $10 donation.

For Red Sox fans domiciled “Behind Enemy Lines”, this is an excellent chance to chat with the Globe’s top baseball writer. Gordon has graciously donated his time for this event to help raise moneys for two cancer-related causes – the Jimmy Fund (a Red Sox- supported charity) and the North Shore Cancer Center (Massachusetts based).

As we embark upon what we hope will be a historic season, this is a great chance to gain inside knowledge into the Red Sox in an intimate and casual setting. Gordon will chat with fans, will host a Q&A session, and will play host to Red Sox Jeopardy, as 2 lucky fans will get to compete for a special “prize.”

At the event, there will be several items up for auction. These include:

· Tickets to the Red Sox in Boston, coupled with a Gordon Edes guided tour of historic
Fenway Park (tour on same day as game);
· A Kevin Millar autographed game jersey;
· A Curt Schilling A-2000 model glove;
· 4 Field Box Seats to the June 30th Red Sox/Yankees game in New York;
· Autographed copies of David Halberstam’s “The Teammates” and “Summer of 49”; and
· Autographed copies of MoneyBall by Michael Lewis.

(Note: The items for auction are still rolling in so we expect there to be one or two more special items. If you have something you’d like to donate to the cause, please feel free to contact us.

Please let members of the Red Sox Nation know of this event. We hope to see you all there. It should be a terrific time.

The proceeds of the event will be split 50/50 between the Jimmy Fund and the North Shore Cancer Center. All costs of the event are being born by the sponsors, so 100% of the proceeds will go to the charities.

Email paulciampa@hotmail.com with any questions.

4.8 A Dog's Life: So Pedro wants to come back as a dog in his next life, and Manny wants to be Allen Iverson. More to follow on Manny's website (having some delays)...

4.12 Update: Inside Out.  ESPN Outside the Lines: Red Sox Internet Wars (Thursday April 15, 11:58pm EST)

"With an owner who surfs the internet, a star pitcher who likes chat rooms, and a fan base that never tires of taking Red Sox, the web sites Sons of Sam Horn and Dirt Dogs have become mandatory for hardcore Sox followers, and for the local media, which often finds stories on these sites before they appear anywhere else (Jeremy Schaap).

4.8: ESPN's Outside the Lines, will focus on the new media and it's relationship with Red Sox fans, the team, and the traditional media. The founders of SoSH, Boston Dirt Dogs, and Glenn Ordway of WEEI will be featured. The new media got booted out of the old media's house during the taping of this program. But that's another story.

The Passion of The Christ 4.8.04: A tale of two emails:

#1: The "Johnny Jesus" and "Christ has Risen" headlines referring to Johnny Damon are pretty offensive, especially during the Christian Holy season...You ought to be more respectful. This is a pretty good blog, don't screw it up!

Thanks,

Happy Easter

#2: Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I am still laughing about today’s headline.

As soon as our Christ Child made that spectacular jump in center to deny Segui a HR, I told my wife that there was going to be a pretty creative headline on tomorrow’s Boston Dirt Dogs webpage. SO we started to think of what we might see. Nothing came close to Christ has Risen but here are a few for your enjoyment:

Holy Christ! What a catch!

Jumping Jesus Cancels a HR!

Christ! That Guy can Hit!

He’s much better when he is off the Jesus Juice

Thanks for keep us entertained!

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Et Tu, Curte? (Updated 4.5) 4.2.04: We've all enjoyed reading and hearing every one of Curt Schilling's soundbites and diatribes since last Thanksgiving. His pre-signing net chats were classic. His spontaneous radio call killed. But now he's really put his foot in his mouth. No, not about steroids, media, Ruth, or D-Lowe or J-Tek's hometown discounts.

Curt is now starring in another commercial, for the New England Ford Dealers, where he dares to utter the C-word. The commercial is set in Arizona where our Ace (who really should be starting on Sunday obviously) was trying to hitch hike a ride when a red Ford F-150 comes by, Curt gets in and the driver asks where he is headed and Schilling says "Boston, trying to break an 86 year old curse." Oh my. Was there a problem with a line like "Boston, trying to bring Red Sox fans a World Series Championship." Wait until SoSH gets a hold of this (the Black Canyon Films "Curse of the Bambino" guy barely got out alive). Yes another hack copywriter wrote the line, but Curt should have rewritten it as he is well aware that even mentioning the C-word gives it life. And now I have to go get TIVO to avoid seeing the thing 700 times over the next few months. Let's pahk the Curse talk. In fact bury it once and for all.

On second thought, after having watched it for the 10th time already, the C-word voiceover comes when you're out of the shot Curt. All you have to do is re-record the punch line. Go with "Boston, trying to help the Red Sox win it all this year." Anything like that is fine. Not the first time JWT has had to change Ford Dealer copy. Remember the Ford Focus ads where the girlfriend gets a Focus tattoo and her 18 yr. old boyfriend said "Daddy Likee," which most found odd, one month later the voiceover was changed to "Soweeeeet." So it can be changed. Put the hammer down on this one. This is W.B. Mason "The Truth About Ruth" all over again. But I digress...Did you catch the Yankee opener in Japan the other morning? During the latter part of the game, as the Rays extended their lead, the Japanese crowd started chanting: "Let's Go Red Sox, Let's Go Red Sox, Let's Go Red Sox." Nicely done.

Will Mark Bellhorn, David McCarty, and Cesar Crespo be the new 2004 Dirt Dogs?

Peter Gammorza primed the players' pump on 'EEI yesterday by doing his best Donald Fehr impersonation, basically saying that steroids had little to do with the power surge in the last few seasons and that amphetamines in the '50's and '60's had a much greater impact on the game. Maybe Peter and Frank Deford should consider sharing an apartment at an assisted living home.

Speaking of Schill, while he's mostly gone underground behind the SoSH iron curtain to reach Red Sox fans, he recently surprised the diehards at NYYfans.com by signing on and throwing his two cents in there. He chimed in on the game's greatest players, and his Ruth-would-be-average running joke with Johnny Pesky, Schilling tells Yankee fans:

The team I play for has zero bearing on my opinion of the games greatest players. I grew up a Pirate fan, my dad was born and raised outside of Pittsburgh. So my team was Stargell, Parker, Blass, Bibby, Sanguillen etc. Clemente was a hero, not really because I saw him , but because anyone my dad held in such high regard had to be an incredible person.

IMO Larry Doby and Jackie Robinson were the games most important players, followed closely by Curt Flood. All three were groundbreakers in their own way.
The Babe was important in a very different way. Without him baseball probably wouldn't have become as big and as important as it did, when it did. Considering the era and the situation in the US he was the early 1900's version of Sosa/McGwire, or actually they were a later, smaller version of him.

Speaking of Pesky, he's not a Yankees Shucks kind of guy either. From YESNetwork.com:

Bad blood between the Red Sox and Yankees? There wasn't any in Pesky's day.

"How are you going to hate Bill Dickey?" he asked. "What a guy he was. Rizzuto, Yogi, Bobby Brown, Henrich? How are you going to hate them? In those years, when we played the Yankees, we played them hard and they played us hard, but there was no hatred. We were equal. They just won all the time.

It took Wakefield only a few days to put Boone's home run behind him until he was able to step back and objectively say, "Wow, we were part of the greatest series ever played. They beat us, but it was a great series and that's what baseball is about. That's how baseball should be played, and why it's played."

NESN has wrapped its arms around Red Sox Nation (great original idea fellas) with the new commercial "I pledge allegiance to the fans." This effort is much better than "The Year to Be Here" or "Reality TV" crap they slapped together the last two seasons.

Warning: Spoilers!: I think you know how it ends. We were a little to the party for The Red Sox Movie naming ceremony. Some of our suggestions would have been:

- Timlin in the Eighth, Williamson in the Ninth
- Not in Our Lifetime (a.k.a. Lobie's license plate)
- Pharyngitis Fever Grips Hub
- In Grady We Trusted
- Cowboy Yuk
- Chicken Little: The Sky is Falling
- This Isn't The Year
- To Little: Too Late
- Belly Up! in the Bronx
- Guys Gone Wild!
- Why Can't We Get Players Like That? (Last minute submission by you-know-who)

Allegedly the majority of the voters chose "Still, We Believe: The Red Sox Movie" which premieres in Boston April 26th. Not a chance in hell that boring name was chosen over "A Little Too Late: The Red Sox Movie" another lame option. They lyin’ their asses off (sorry "New York based" Bombo but Eddie Andleman sent the "Believe" safe play in 10 years ago fer chrissakes).

Amazingly "This is the Year" made one of the short lists. Huh? The year for what? Coming up short? Geezus. Hello. The documentary is fantastical. But I am not happy knowing what longtime 'EEI caller Angry Bill looks like. The mental picture was Sean Penn and the movie gives you Danny Aiello.

From the Sports Illustrated 2004 Baseball Issue, an opposing team's scout sizes up the Red Sox, "They're calling Trot Nixon's back injury a herniated disk, but I hear it is a lot worse."

If Trump owned the Red Sox, Grady would have been fired last May. RedSox.com wants Connecticut fans to "Proclaim your independence and help push the Empire back to its borders." One last change to the masthead on the Official Site as well. No Manny and Nomar did not get kicked off again, but the folks at Advanced Media in NYC were instructed to swap in the new "emotional" Manny (left) on the new full color versions.

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown may soon have their own reality TV series. This could top Blind Date as the world's greatest television show.

Myers Rumblings: Caught up with SoSH scribe supreme Mike F. (right) doing his infamous workmanlike reporting from his next high above courtside at CoPP. Somebody get that man a nice scorebook for Christmas. Missed the last game in Dunedin because I thought it was at 7:00pm because of the original game was supposed to be against the Devil Rays at night. So I spent the day on Clearwater beach instead of seeing Petey get shelled. Another good decision.

Velocity and the City: Petey also keeps getting shelled on his slowball in the press, New York Daily News columnist John Harper chimes in with:

The scout who has seen him said he'd be willing to give him "more of a benefit of the doubt" if it weren't for the fact that Pedro's velocity was an issue in October. In two starts each against the A's and Yankees, his fastball varied from 87 to 94 mph, and only occasionally resembled his high-octane heater of old.

"That's why this might be significant," the scout said. "At the time it looked like he had a tired arm from pitching a full season. In a couple of those games, especially the one against the Yankees (Game 3 of the ALCS), he had to rely heavily on his breaking stuff and his changeup because his fastball was so flat. He couldn't pop it like he used to.

"I thought after a winter of rest he'd be popping that thing again, but the ball just doesn't seem to be coming out of his hand with much life. He's only about 165 pounds, so you have to wonder if all the innings have taken a toll on him. He's had some shoulder problems, too. I don't doubt that he'll still be a winning pitcher, but he may have lost some of his dominance."

Former Texas Ranger Captain Alex Rodriguez makes an ass of himself in ESPN The Magazine with bogus quips like:

"It's hard to put a number on how much I want to win, but here's one: $52 million. That's what I agreed to take out of my contract when I had a handshake agreement with the Theo Epstein (a.k.a. done deal). I should have gone through the union first, but I was so eager to get closer to winning that I tried to get the approval of the union after the fact. That was my mistake. But if being willing to give up $52 million doesn't show you how badly I want to win, I don't know what does... When the Boston deal fell apart, I went from euphoric to heartbroken.... nothing compares to my first 60 days as a Yankee. This is the happiest I've ever been. Every time I put on pinstripes, I feel like I'm dreaming. Don't wake me until the end of October."

Translation: "Please like me. I'm really, really insecure."

Harvey Frommer's new book is called "The Greatest Rivalry" (Frank Defraud did not write the foreword). It features exclusive interviews with Rudy Giuliani, Mario Cuomo, Michael Dukakis, Don Zimmer, Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Lowe, Jason and Jeremy Giambi, Lou Merloni, Dwight Evans, Theo Epstein…and me (when Yankee fans attack in the Bronx story) and Matt Zelek (my Yankee fan friend with some drivel about Munson or Mattingly, who cares). Don't know if we'll make Schilling's book, but that one is sure to be a page turner. Everyone is writing something about Red Sox. Remy's got a new book out. Castiglione. Halberstam back on the rivalry bandwagon. Paul Williams the groundskeeper will probably be next. Wally may tell all about life in the costume. The Aramark popcorn guy has something to say. Bob Rodgers could pen something scathing about NESN. Who doesn't have a book deal?

4.5.04: Add one more to the list. Old friend Jeff Pearlman writes:

Howdy. My name is Jeff Pearlman. I write for Newsday, and before that spent six years covering baseball for Sports Illustrated. I have a new book coming out entitled, "The Bad Guys Won." It's a biography of the '86 Mets, but it's STUFFED with Red Sox stuff. I was wondering, if you have the chance, if you could perhaps mention that the book is coming out on your blog (or just attach a link to my site, www.thebadguyswon.com). I very much enjoy your site.

Thanks.
Jeff Pearlman

PS: Among the things the book covers:
• Why John McNamara is infinitely more at fault than Bill Buckner
• The idiotic antics of "Oil Can" Boyd during Game 6 of the Series.
• Calvin Schiraldi's wavering confidence during Game 6.

Bob Klapisch, from New Jersey via ESPN.com, tells us what Aaron Boone is called in Boston:

Because the Yankees just might sign Boone later this summer if his knee heals quickly -- just in time for the three-game series at Fenway on Sept. 24, the final weekend of the regular season.

Because Torre might pencil in his new second baseman as "A.F. Boone."

Because that's his name in Boston, now and forever.

Simply amazing that these morons are able to get paying jobs writing this crap. I haven't heard Aaron Boone's name mentioned once "in Boston" since last October. No one cares about Aaron Boone enough to give him a middle initial "F." That game was lost before he stepped to the plate, and for reasons that had nothing to do with him, or Tim Wakefield for that matter. Between Frank Defraud's mail it in nonsense blaming Red Sox fans for the media embellishment of the "rivalry," and that NPR idiot that wrote the BS that "because though Boston fans say they want the Sox to reign as world champions and may even believe it, that outcome would likely bewilder rather than delight them" garbage in the Boston Globe Magazine last Sunday, this has not been a banner week for some so-called baseball writers.

Cynthia Rodriguez is much more comfortable with herself than her famous husband. She loved the image to the right of Jeter's face on her body in the SI swimsuit shot. She wanted it. So we sent it to her through a mutual friend.

Our friends at Boston.com redesigned their Red Sox page. Nice work. There's a new Red Sox discussion forum at www.talksox.com and BostonSportsNation.com. Check out BoSoxBabes.com as well. Sorry I can't get to all the link requests or feature everything on the front.

Manny's website is taking shape with a new Flash intro "Not just fame, love the game, and you shall triumph." According to our contact at the site, MannyRamirez.com will be a tribute to his fans. They asked us what we think the site should incorporate to be a fun place, where his fans can get to know Manny better, while supporting the endeavors of his foundation. Stay tuned. They also sent along the news that "We saw how intensely Manny worked out during the off-season, and we’re confident that Manny will have an AWESOME YEAR!" Good. We're gonna need a monster year from Manny with the walking wounded we've got hobbling around town.

Hey Kevin Millar, please stop fooling yourself, the Cowboy died in the Bronx on October 16th, went Belly Up! my friend. Sorry the guys forgot to tell you. Look, you were lucky to pull it off here the first time. Just let the name come to you. And if you celebrate another Wild Card birth like its the end of WWII, you'll be run out of town faster than you can say Chunichi. Barks & Bites


Chasing Millar (updated 2.29) 2.26.04: We're pleased to announce that we'll be publishing exclusive excerpts from author Rob Bradford's new book, Chasing Steinbrenner. Our first installment this weekend will be a portion of the infamous Kevin Millar saga from last season (an excuse to use old favorite quip, JapanEdes).

You got served. Agassi at short for the Sox. The new Nike "What if?" commercials show bald tennis ace Andre Agassi playing shortstop (hmmm) for the Olde Towne Team, Lance Armstrong boxing and tennis champ Serena Williams playing beach volleyball. Andre (head on Bill Mueller's body) manages to slap an RBI single (off lefty oops) in his only at bat. Look for the Agassi (not Clemens) 21 shirts this summer.


Andre the Giant at Bat

Off 'Roids Too

Needs Boggs' Product


Mike Lupica says Nomar could be the new Yankee second baseman next summer. Whatever.

NESN anchor Bob Rodgers was disciplined for skipping out of Fort Myers Tuesday without permission (it wouldn't have mattered if he had asked) to coach Whitman-Hanson to a 90-60 loss to CM in the boys MIAA high school basketball tournament. Bob was going to fly back and forth to coach his team as long as they were in the tournament. Upon his return Wednesday, Bob was called into a meeting with the NESN brass where he was subsequently spanked, and nearly fired. NESN showed no respect for Bob or his basketball team who fought like hell to get into the Massachusetts high school tournament. Shame on Sean McGrail and the rest of the NESN brass for their smug behavior in this affair. 2.27 update: Hey, we scooped the Inside Track again on this one thanks to Deep Throat IV.

Speaking of NESN, where morale is at an all-time low, the Red Sox offered Jeremy Jacobs $112 million for his 20% share of the station. The Bruins boss declined.

Yep, Timlin did take less to return to the Sox rather than go to the Yankees. And will the 2004 Yanks be nicknamed either "The Rod Squad" or "The 'Roid Squad?"

Impossible Dream Job? Braintree comedian Nick Stevens of the "ramma-lamma-hand-jam-man" dunk call is in the driver's seat for Sports Center Dream Job anchor position. Tune in for the next round Sunday night at 10:00pm on ESPN. Nick was part of our original Sox email group (before the boards). Go Nick, but no over the top Boston accents please.

Thanks to Mike Barnicle for giving us props on air with Mike Francesca on WNBC in New York last weekend. Just don't "borrow" our content like everyone else is doing lately Mike :-). I'm just sayin'...

Yuk. Look for Jimmy Buffett and the Parrotheads to invade Fenway on September 10 and 12. And we were hoping Janet Jackson would bust a move after Bruce.

Shilling's "Dead Red" hat is from www.deadredwear.com, a baseball equipment and apparel company. "Dead Red" is NOT the new Red Sox theme this year for obvious reasons. Sadly, these guys want to sell some (gulp) "put the curse to bed" shirts next. Umm there's no curse on the Red Sox (beyond bad management over the years), so why would someone want a shirt with the c-word on it?

Pedro Martinez went off on the media again yesterday refusing to be interviewed on 'EEI. He will "never, ever appear on WEEI again." While he was in Boston last Friday, Pedro decided to turn on WEEI's Big Show. Ooops. Pete Sheppard was hosting after the transition from Dale & Neumy, but he threw the callers under the bus this time for whining about his lateness to camp. Remember, Sheppard was the one who overreacted last summer when Petey came down with Pharyngitis. Imagine? But the Big O now throws Neumy under the bus for not being sensitive to Pedro's situation. Is Neumy the bad guy? "Give me a break" says Bob. The other flash boy, John Meterparel, is also busy running Nomar out of town. Meanwhile Larry Lucchino prefers that his three silent stars "talk on the flagship station." Stay tuned.

Speaking of media members, Fox Sports New England's Gary Tanguay and Greg Dickerson were shameless this week trying to stir up controversy on their show originating from the Red Roof Resort. Calling the campers in the clubhouse "on edge compared to last season" then saying "the buzz is Schilling is too big for his britches" and then trying to "hear" that Varitek says (without saying of course) he's (Schill) got to prove himself as a leader and they've already got them. Fox 25's Butch Stearns "when will our stars arrive?" and calling Schilling "pot bellied" and Michael Felger "Francona is Pete Carroll" came in second in the shite stirring contest. Meanwhile we wait for the Shaughnessy BMW correction (holding breath).

Remember Bloggate? That lasted about six hours? Will Carroll wrote "Appreciate the posting and the "megalomaniac" tag." And you know he loves, loves the fact that he's the only one in the 'blogosphere' that's getting a plug after his little Norma Rae impersonation (OK, we linked Pinto's blog, but we're not plugging that Jaffe guy). Will, I was going to suggest "The Megalomaniac is In" for your blog tagline. Or "Funny Bone to Pick" if you have one. Here's where Will kicks ass.

Earnest Borgnine is still alive. I had no idea. He just did Letterman's Top 10 list.

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post, aka "the world's greatest newspaper" per Bob Neumeier, is writing a book about the Red Sox-Yankees "rivalry" that's coming out in 2005. Mike "gets it" a lot more that some folks around here do. And yes, we are trying to make sure he gets it right. Seriously, this should be a great read unlike those Richard Wolfe scam books.

Sounds like a new park is right around the corner (wink). But couldn't this Fenway-stay decision have been made a year ago? Check out the dates on this little exchange:

-----Original Message-----
From: Roper, Nick [mailto:nroper@redsox.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2004 5:10 PM
To: 'Big Dog'
Subject: RE: For what it's worth on Fenway

Dear sir,
Thank you for your e-mail. I am sorry for the delay of this thank you but I want you to
know that your comments and ideas as well as those of others are being
heard.

Sincerely,
Nick
Fenway Ambassador

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Big Dog
> Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 8:08 PM
> To: fenwayideas@redsox.com
> Subject: For what it's worth on Fenway

Hmm, two years to respond to emails (maybe Dr. Steinberg will actually get back to me on the kick ass ideas submitted two years ago as well). But they continue to renovate the little bandbox as I type. The Sox are starting to dismantle the bowling alley for Theo and the baseball operations crew and they have gutted the old store next to NESN for expanding the footprint as well.

On Average Joe II, Monday night, Boston Joe Brian takes Larissa to Fenway. Can you stand it?

I had one of those Schilling maple syrup donut sandwiches at Dunkin' Donuts yesterday, still tasting it today. Yum, and good for you too. Curt makes his TV pitch debut for the donut maker next week. Hopefully these last longer than those Tom Brady steak sandwiches, pulled after two weeks for reasons never really explained. 

Ballpark blueprints. Some pretty cool drawings of Fenway.

Steinbagger called Theo "Esposito" this time. And I cannot get over Schilling's choice of the Phil Esposito #7 shirt for his first day. I have the same shirt from 1974. Good karma. Espo was the greatest Bruin ever. I will not debate this.

Final sports thanks to Lobel and WBZ for having some dirt dogs and dogette on the fan panel two Sundays ago. This Sunday we'll be on with Chris Collins on NECN's Sports Late Night at 11:00pm.

Another good decision. Don't mess with ballplayers.

Via Email:

Hey Dirt Dog -

I'm working on this project...it's a drawing project, based on the Sox.
I've just recently put up a site that explains what I'm doing with some images to show you what it looks like. Take a look at it. http://www.visualdamage.com/baseball

Hey Ty Law, like your other egomaniac pal "Lawyer Milloy is forever," don't let the door hit you in the back on the way out of town. - Barks & Bites


After Dinner Minutes 2.6.04: A little Gammons gossip to start off the 2004 B&B (take it for what it's worth and, as always, don't shoot the friggin' messenger). This is what ESPN's Peter Gammons allegedly said over dinner with some Lehman Brothers investment bankers earlier this week. Nomar, you'll have to ask Gammo about it. We don't buy the crap about you but this email, from someone who had dinner with PG this week, did hit the circuit yesterday:

"We had a great dinner with Peter Gammons last night. I thought I would share some of his thoughts: Nomar is borderline crazy! He is paranoid to the point where he believes they intentionally doctor the field so he will make errors. Nomar didn't celebrate after the awesome Game 5 victory over the A's, in fact, he broke chairs in the clubhouse because he thought they unfairly scored an error on him. Nomar hates A-Rod now for trying to come here. Nomar has the worst double play mechanics of any shortstop.

Selig jammed Lucchino on the Red Sox owners with a $6m price tag. Joe O'Donnell was told by Selig that if he wanted to own the Sox he would have to take Lucchino at $6m/year and Lucchino would not have to answer to anyone. O'Donnell was outraged and hated Lucchino. Lucchino is a bad guy and he personally ruined the A-Rod deal. Varitek will likely bolt Sox for bigger offer. Lowe is very insecure and will settle for more years at lesser money to stay with the Sox. Nixon will be signed. Pedro's tear in the rotator cuff is over 90% and he truly thinks every outing will be his last. Sox are trying to get Pedro to take an NFL-type contract that is big money, but not guaranteed. If he is healthy, he gets paid, if he blows it out, no money.

The Yanks are in turmoil. Steinbrenner listens to no one and defied Torre, Cashman, and the baseball brain trust on all deals. They wanted: Pettitte (re-signed); Soriano to center; Guerrero in right; Kaz Matsui for 2nd base. Steinbrenner got Lofton and still hasn't spoken to Bernie -- he's pissed. Yanks have rift between Puerto Rican players and Dominicans. This is a rift throughout baseball, but Yanks had it bad last year, with Mondesi leading the Dominicans and he brought Soriano into his camp. Jeter doesn't like this team, he misses the O'Neill/Tino Yanks. Jeter can't believe Pedro and Manny get away with not talking to the media; he thinks it is awful and bad for baseball. Javier Vasquez is bright, competitive and should thrive with Puerto Rican batterymate Posada. Giambi is off the roids and lost 25 lbs -- he's embarrassed.

Francona will be up for the task in the Red Sox clubhouse -- very bright and personable. Manny is deathly afraid of being hit by pitch. Kevin Brown is on the roids and may be the most competitive personality in all the game. He will hate NY, but pitch well. Mussina is an intellectual loner. He graduated Suma from Stanford in 3 years and cannot care what anyone thinks of him. Still coaches in hometown in PA in off season.

Jeter has the best baseball IQ he's ever seen. Mariano Rivera is the best human being in the game. Clemens said Steinbrenner hated Pettitte. Gammons confirmed that Roger's trainer while on the Sox screwed him with workout regimen that caused recurring groin pulls. New trainer in Toronto changed his career. BoSox fans fell for the Duquette myth that Roger dogged it. Gammons said Clemens has always had the greatest work ethic and training in the game. Likes the Cubs in the NL. Astros will be an interesting team to watch. Red Sox will win the East.

Gammons thinks McCourt is over his head financially in LA. Contreras is suffering from Cuban depression. Castro abuses the family members back in Cuba and it gets to the players, knowing they are paying a price. Look for El Duque to come back to keep Contreras happy with a fellow Cuban who can share his pain.

Needless to say, I loved the evening."

Yeah, yeah we know the Patriots-Carolina fourth quarter scoring Sunday was 19-18. Yeah, we know Yankee lover Adam Sandler will be showing the Boone HR over and over again in his next unfunny movie. Whatever.

The Big O is still the show: Last night Dominican Republic's David Ortiz hit another double off Venezuela's Ricardo Palma in the Caribbean Baseball Series at the Quisqueya Stadium in Santo Domingo. Unfortunately Venezuela won, 5-3.

Illegal procedure? Encroachment? First mlb.com sends an pre-Super Bowl email offering to reward people for wearing baseball shirts into the big game in Houston. Two days later, they're selling NFL merchandise to us.

The venerable Tom Boswell of the Washington Post sees an Astros-Red Sox World Series coming up "the Red Sox are now the overdogs. They're so loaded and rich that they might as well wear pinstripes this season."

Look for the Dirt Dogs in Florida from March 24-30th. We'll be around the plate for six games and we'll have a big crew in Ft. Myers for the 27th-28th weekend. Details to follow. Stop by and say hi if you're in the neighborhood.

Megalomaniac Will Carroll has a bee in his bonnet over Curt Schilling's request to keep his SoSH (and BDD) content off the record and off other sites. Eric/LJ at SoSH asked Dave Pinto of Baseball Musings to take down Curt's quotes from his SoSH thread. So now self-appointed something-or-other Will Carroll is trying to rally baseball bloggers all over the planet with this email he sent around yesterday:

Subject: Open Letter

I think we all, as a group, need to address the Schilling situation.
David getting called out was crap, though I understand Eric's defense
of a great draw. It's a situation where we have the chance to set
precedent. My suggestion is drafting an open letter - first sent to
Eric, hopefully passed off to Schilling - and then simul-posting it to
our sites.

Thoughts?

Will Carroll
Author, Baseball Prospectus
Host, Baseball Prospectus Radio
"Live ... from Will's wireless iBook"

Oops, sorry to let the cat out of the bag Will. Now hurry up with that letter, we can't wait to hear what you have to say. "Simul-posting" may soon replace "wardrobe malfunction" as the phrase of the day.

Speaking of the halftime mishap, we just received late word that Janet Jackson will indeed be charged with fraud by the Feds. Based on her "performance" Sunday, it's now proven that she hasn't come up with anything new or original since she first forced her wooden dancing and pedestrian "Rhythm Nation" on us 15 years ago. The breast is history.

These frauds that claim the Hartford Courant offers better Red Sox coverage than the Boston Globe really need to have their head examined.

Our thoughts and prayers are with snowboard champion Tara Dakides who is recovering from a terrible fall after performing a jump on the David Letterman show last night. We recently saw Tara perform at X-games in Aspen a couple of weeks ago. She's a great athlete, a wonderful person, and we know she'll make it back.


Barks and Bites - July - December 2003

Barks and Bites - January - June 2003

Barks and Bites - June - December 2002

Barks and Bites - May 2002

Barks and Bites - March/April 2002

2001 Barks and Bites


Wild Card Wannabees

AL Wild

W

L

GB

Oakland

46

36

---

Boston

45

37

1.0

Anaheim

44

39

2.5

Chicago

42

38

3.0

Tampa Bay

42

41

4.5

AL East

W

L

GB

New York

51

31

---

Boston

45

37

6.0

Tampa Bay

42

41

9.5

Toronto

38

46

14.0

Baltimore

36

45

15.0


Get Everything Red Sox at The Souvenir Store

Right across from Fenway 19 Yawkey Way, Boston


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 and Shonda will be contributing $25,000 to The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter, and they are asking fans to contribute as well. All proceeds will benefit research and patient services for those in Massachusetts affected by the disease. Program participants will receive different incentive prizes based on the dollar amount per strikeout that they pledge. Please click here to learn more about the program.

Schilling is Top Good Guy


The SHADE Foundation

The Curt and Shonda Schilling Melanoma Foundation of America welcomes Red Sox Nation to join in their fight to save future generations from melanoma, a potentially preventable skin cancer.


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


Chasing Steinbrenner

Exclusive excerpts on the Kevin Millar signing


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