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4.30.02: Another Pappas smear?  Greg Montalbano, testicular cancer survivor and Red Sox AA pitcher of the year, may be facing another battle with our Mom-and-Pop Doc soon. The Trenton Times offers this diagnosis yesterday:

"Another turf battle over the medical treatment of Boston Red Sox players, one of the many hot-button topics during the Dan Duquette/John Harrington era, could be underway involving Thunder left-hander Greg Montalbano... the 24-year-old has a cranky shoulder and has not faced live hitting all spring. After sitting idle in Fort Myers (Fla.) for several weeks, Montalbano finally received the go-ahead from team physician Dr. William Morgan to get an MRI during the final week of spring training and the scan reportedly showed no visible damage.

Not convinced the pain he was experiencing was a simple case of tendinitis, Montalbano sought a second opinion from renowned arm surgeon Dr. William Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Andrews, according to sources, saw enough on the pitcher's film to warrant exploratory surgery. Only Montalbano would prefer that Andrews perform it. The Red Sox's medical team of Morgan and medical director Dr. Arthur Pappas would rather Montalbano have the procedure done in-house."

Here we go again. Is Marty Barrett's lawyer free?

"Yankees Suck" out of luck in Seattle. Our very distant cousins and their thoughtful shirts were banned from Safeco during the Yankees series last weekend. "We may lead the league in ejections from the ballpark, but not because fans are misbehaving more here but because we don't tolerate much," said team spokeswoman Rebecca Hale. "This is about appropriate behavior. We have a code of conduct, a policy for language on clothing and banners and signs. Our feeling was this was not promoting what we want." Hee, hee. Hale also offers this pearl of wisdom, "if you don't pay attention to the small things, you lose control of the neighborhood and it becomes run down and crime infested," she said. Now what ballpark neighborhood do I know that sells "YS" t-shirts is run down and crime infested? Give me a minute.

In the meantime, did you know that the last time the Red Sox won a World Series in nineteen something-or-other, a pitcher threw a no-hitter for the Red Sox with the initials "D.L.?" Yes, Dutch Leonard threw a no-no against the Tigers in Michigan, where Derek Lowe is from. Unfortunately Dutch left the team in June to enlist and never pitched in the Series that year.

Look for our No-no-Lowette to start Game 2 (don't know against who). 

4.28: Derek and the domino effect, part III.  I usually have straight Domino sugar in my morning post-no-hitter hangover coffee, but today it's all Sweet'N Lowe.

The Rays really went down like dominos yesterday. Bang, Bang, Bang in the sixth. Lowe Down Dirty Dog almost made it look easy, too easy. Outside of nice catches by Trot and Rickey (yes Rickey, 7-0 when you're in the lineup), there were no Lansingesque grabs necessary for yesterday's Lowe Show.

Forget Shea-mania (for today anyway), it's time become a Lowe Life. I ask again, who starts before Derek Lowe in the All-Star Game Joe Torre? Mike Mussina? No. Freddy Garcia? Nope.

Derek spoke on the field after the game yesterday in 'luckiest-man-on-the-face-of-the-earth' fashion and apologized for his performance last year and said that he deserved the treatment he received. No-no, I think you're the one who deserves an apology D-Lowe.

Derek took it like a man last year. Awful performance after horrendous outing, he was on with Dennis & Callahan every Wednesday morning to face the music in between the death threats he was receiving in the mail (speaking of the Morning Breath of Death, another D&C icon bit the dust on Thursday when Lisa Left-Eye Lopes died in a car crash in Honduras). So we'll pardon the interruption in Derek's hall-of-fame career last year and look forward to Lowe's home improvement.

Lilly wilts: New York's Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the 8th last night against Freddy Garcia but lost it and the game 1-0 to Seattle, the only team in Major League Baseball with a better record than the Olde Town Team. The Red Sox are playing at a .714 clip today. Babe Ruth hit 714 career home runs. Curse over, case closed.

Where's Heathcliff Slocumb this morning?

4.26: Good Friday.  Boston is back on top this morning. Sox are primed to rip off ten in a row before heading out to battle Scott Hatteberg's A's. And the B's and C's are getting straight A's again too.

Let's make Wonderland Grand Central Station if these are going to be the results. Yes I would have bitched if they had pulled a no-hit Pedro with a pitch count. Martinez looks 80% of the way back, and the other 20% may just be his head.

Leave Trot in against the lefties. He can hit them. He works hard at it in the off season. He will hit southpaws hard eventually. And I agree with those who say he needs to move back up to number two in the order. I'm convinced that the inexplicable drop to number seven led to Nixon starting out playing like number two.

The Stop the Clark sit watch is on. It's not been a matter of "finding holes eventually" as Tony hopes this morning. There are no holes to find when a swing is that long, slow, and unbalanced. Calling Doctor Evans. Calling Doctor Easler. Calling Dr. Stanley. Calling Dr. Winfield. Dr. Bonds, Calling Dr. Spock. Somebody help Tony get back on track.

Maybe it's the hair? Tony's trying to get a hairdresser in Boston... switching between corn rows and the short fro, etc. It's all very similar to Manny's slump last year after his mid-season new doo and earrings. Lay off the accessorizing until November guys. Time to play a little Dirt Dog baseball.

4.25: Stiff competition.  Before we start adding up the wins against the "lesser opponents" why don't we wait until the Sox go out and win the games first. Four out of the six losses have come to Kansas City and Baltimore, two of the better known "have-nots."

So what gives?

Looks like the same old, age old problem. They somehow allow themselves to get beat by bad teams and mediocre pitching. It seems to happen every year, whether it's Texas or the old Minnesota, or KC or Baltimore, the Sox have a history of not getting up for the bottom feeders.

The Oakland A's remain their own worst enemy. They just let Giambi beat them in the bottom of the seventh.

Is it time for Tony to take a seat on the bench? The calls for Daubach/ Offerman at 1B/DH are reaching a fever pitch.

Trot will be fine. Trot will be fine. Trot will be fine. But sweep dreams in Baltimore are quickly turning to a nightmare.

NESN has just launched another award-winning commercial entitled "WE LOVE MANNY," complete with little girls chanting the line in unison as well as your average Boston Joe predicting "45 homeIS, 150AhhhBIs," Packaging the players through advertising. I love it. And let the new Manny Love-In begin!

4.24: Son of a gun.  We need to get some relief from the 99-degree heat (100 on the stadium gun but that was just kids having fun).

Seriously, that guy can twirl. Why can't we get players like that?!?

But seriously, Julio was like a young Uggie Urbina out there, we've got the 92mph banged up 'doesn't speak to the fans' version of Jorge Julio.

Oogie is going to kill us, I can see it. Late October, late innings, cold nights, Cameron up... BANG...

Gotta get a closer. Trade for Jorge Julio!! Why not? Baltimore isn't going anywhere, needs to rebuild. Obviously having a young closer is part of the rebuilding process but the O's are thinnest at starting pitching. Let them pick from:

- Juan Pena (gulp! but hell yes, for Jorge Julio) and/or...
- Sunny Kim (this hurts too) and/or...
- Juan Diaz (hurts, but not as much)
- Dernell Stenson (hardly a flesh wound)
- Calvin Pickering (big Cal heads home to become the next... Sam Horn)
- and/or Urbina (Sox eat the salary?), Daubach, Seung Song, Blanco, Evans, whatever it takes.

But seriously, there's a workable package worth it if you can lock up Jorge Julio for the next 10 years. File under: Impossible Dream, part II.

4.23: Numbers game.  When is the official "best start?" No timeframe seems to change more than the "best start" measurement. Is it after 10 games? 25? 17? It changes all the time. Pick one number of games for "start" status and stick to it. There should be a law. The number should be 25.

Best "man" won. Offerman stays, Coleman flames out. And it appears the Steve Lomasney catching savior promise we've been hearing about for what seems like 10 years is finally over. His vision may never be back to 20/20. In hindsight, was he another overrated local prospect?

Should Merloni just keep his mouth shut? Saying the organization has made a "mockery" and "joke" of his career is a stretch. Every time he has been sent down to date, it's been the right call. But hopefully Lou will get the last laugh.

4.22: Winnerville!  It feels like 1986 all over again. Will we be watching basketball and hockey around here well into the summer months? Will the Red Sox be going for the 4th Boston area Championship in a row? Why not? Let the good times roll.

Lost among the long balls yesterday: Daubach's defense, Sunny Kim's presence, Nixon's all-around play, and Grady's game plan.

More on Merloni: Sean McAdam indicated on WEEI that his in-house source (read: Mike Port) told him Merloni was "safe" earlier in the week. Did the situation change? Or did Henry get cold feet about lighting the cash on fire? Either way, keeping four-position Offerman around for now remains the right call.

Hey remember Jeffery Flanagan, the dimwitted columnist who wrote that misguided missive about our new centerfielder (Top of the Mornin') and the most excellent follow-up by Ryan Crowley? Hey Flanzie, how are you feeling about Johnny Damon right about now? Any more 'Boo Johnny Damon Night' cleverness coming up? And don't forget to send Jeffrey a little wake up email from Winnerville!

The Urbina adventures continue. This will surely be our Achilles heel unless it is addressed. But the Sox may be 24-5 by the time they leave for Oakland in May. Why worry? What could go wrong?

We're in Winnerville now!

4.20: The Merloni move.   Losing Lou for now was a no-brainer. With Clark still a question mark, they may be looking for a guy like Offerman in a few weeks anyway. Until we know that Tony is no phony, Jose gets to stay. As Peter Gammons stated "the first six weeks are a shell game," the real roster shakeout happens after that. And as Gordon Edes always likes to say "these things have a way of taking care of themselves," i.e., injuries, options, and prolonged slumps.

Larry Pinocchino? Sandbagged? Did Lucky lead us awry? He clearly gave the indication that this new regime was ready, willing, and able to kiss Jose's $8.5M goodbye. And he cautioned not to look too closely at Offerman's recent contributions with the glove and the bat the previous two games saying on D&C: "there's a tendency (in baseball) to over generalize from recent data" and that "we'll try to avoid that problem here."

So what went down?

Larry wanted Jose gone, Henry OK'd cutting the money loose... BUT, Larry let his baseball guys make the decision. Theo Epstein and Mike Port realized that Jose was simply more valuable to the team right now than Lou Merloni. We need a backup at 1B, we have good backups for 2B. Lou had an easy option for now, clearing the major league waivers. And Jose is an experienced big league bat off the bench.

But the Lou shuttle has made its last run. He can't come up and go back anymore. So the ultimate decision will be made later. Offerman survives... for now. And Larry set us up to show that even if he has a strong opinion on a player decision, he will let his "baseball people" make the call, as advertised.

Pedro had the whole old package last night but just as many were quick to sink him after the opener, I would caution against assuming he's back forever. Getting through June has always been the key for the latter-day Pedro. Time will tell if he's really back.

4.18 Off day?  Is this the day the Offerman decision gets made? It's down to Lou or Jose, and D-day is Saturday.

Deja vu all over again? Sox started out strong last April. Took batting practice in SkyDome then too, but quickly fell apart. Not this time around. The difference? Nomar, Damon, and Sanchez.

Some say there are two sides to every story. In the Michael Coleman late-arrival flap, it seems there are five sides to every story. But Prime Time hit a 420-foot ninth inning game tying bomb yesterday, that's the only important story.

If all we have to worry about is Tony and Oogie, everything's gonna be all right.

Wells spoken: Sox select to keep  quiet on the Boomer's blabbering. Wells shuts up as soon as he heads to the DL. Note to the David: you are chasing "that" team, get used to it.

The Pedro watch is back on. His Friday night start may be his most revealing yet. Same for Juan Pena on Saturday.

4.17: The Hillenbrandwagon.  Is there room enough for everyone? Suddenly Shea is the talk of the Olde Town, the natural like Tom Brady, he's Shea of Grady. Leading the league in RBI as I type, he's the Sheahound, he's better than the hype.

Manny answers: Ramirez suddenly looks more comfortable at the plate and the RBI and results are coming. You've got to cut him some slack for being pitched around, he's the Walkin' Manny but is quickly becoming the Hit Manny again.

I hope Goliath David Wells never wins another game in the major leagues. "The dog that is most scared barks the loudest" Mr. Wells.

www.TheSheaHeyKid.com will soon point to a page here. I can't get enough of the guy. Oh and I grabbed www.aWholeLottaLittle.com for fun as well.

Little housecleaning: No we haven't sent out a Dirt Mail, may be once a month (just finished taxes tonight!). Hats will be coming back, keep your shirt on :-). New shirts hopefully ready by the Oakland series on May 14th. NewRedSox.com is just the tail wagging the Dirt Dogs on the web.

Will Nixon be the one today (Trot may have turned the corner, went the other way with the outside pitch instead of trying to turn on it)?

4.16: Lucky day.   Lucky dog. Lucky to live in Boston on Patriots Day. Lucky to have already run two Boston Marathons so not to feel guilty about passing on this one. Lucky the weather was in mid-summer form. Lucky to get a free parking space for the fifth game in a row. Lucky to run into Larry Lucchino outside the park. Lucky to have the new Derek Lowe. Lucky to get out of the game with the win.

Manny questions: Ramirez is comfortable in the new clubhouse but he's looking more and more uncomfortable at the plate. Is it the outfield, left-field, right-field, field of dreams? Is he ever going to break out? Would they ever talk trade?

Who would start over Lowe and Hillenbrand in the All-Star game?

Turn back the Clark! Ever since Gerry Callahan jumped on the Tony Train it has been derailed. Like the 'Lowe Down' report last year, and the Chad Eaton deal the year before, an endorsement by the WEEI morning team is the kiss of death. There's no such thing as a curse, but there is the D&C Jinx.

Will Nixon be the one today (hoping Trot is one for the road)?

4.15: Is Grady making the grade?  Grady Williams... Jimy Little... Gradywocky... Littleisms... they're out there. And some think Grady is out of his mind. First the Yankees Sit Down and now he's got us crying all the way to the Banks. Would the score have been 2-2 if Wake was still on the hill? Does a spot starter knuckleballer need to be on the dreaded pitch count? Should Jason have been behind the plate for the floaters and in the left-handed batter's box? Fair questions.

In the spirit of Patriots Day and the Battle of Lexington, Rivera's Revenge takes place today. "He's too good" to do something like that? He too good to have HeadHeat get that close by mistake. Make no mistake about it.

One more time Grady. Today's game is a Must Win. Play it like the Super Bowl. Play the Big Lineup. Play to win, not to lose. Let the starter go.

Will Nixon be the one today (I'm leaving this up here until Trot gets hot)?

4.13: Sheame on me.  Not that I wasn't a big Hillenbrand fan before, but I was one of the first one on the "Baerga Bandwagon" to replace Shea at third. My bad. Hill has carried the team on his shoulders so far.

Speaking of shoulders, jury still out on Pedro's. He pitched just OK, but still maintains he feels better. I'm still waiting for his Best.

But has anyone noticed that Carlos has been king of the clubhouse as well as the dugout darling? Captain Carlos? Not exactly, but Baerga has been better than advertised.

The "AR-i-ZON-a...AR-i-ZON-a" chant didn't exactly replace "Yankees you-now-what," but it did spook the New Yorkers when they saw it on the sign. It gets to them. And it's perfect for when Mariano Rivera comes in.

There were 50% more Yankee fans in the park yesterday than there were on Friday night (many make the drive up on Saturday mornings). Overall, The fans have been pretty tame (not exactly the old days when certain people I know were tossing golf balls at Mickey Rivers after he sucker-punched Bill Lee... but I digress). The intensity gets turned up a notch today.

Is NESN's Tom Caron the next Jim Gray? His work in and outside of the parks has been fresh and entertaining. Tom's recent fan-in-the-stands segments with George Will and David Cone, in the bleachers no-less, have been particularly noteworthy.

Will Nixon be the one today?

4.12: New York, new chants.  "Serenity now!... Serenity now!.."  I'm walking around like Frank Costanza after losing two out of three to the friggin' Royals... serenity now!

And I can hear Jim Mora again "PLAYOFFS?!... PLAYOFFS?!..." can they even win another game with Heathcliff Slo... um Ugueth Urbina locking up the games?  And I won't say anything more about Manny's disinterest in playing defense.

The gloves come off tonight.  The World Series Loser Yankees are in town.  Yes (YES, what a mess), it's too early, but I'll never forget the noise at Fenway when Ramirez drove that grounder past Rivera last April. The season began that night.  Let's hope for some repeat fireworks this time around.

I think it's Doug Mirabelli's turn to bat second tonight, followed by Dwight Evans tomorrow.  Hey Grady Little, no time like the present to institute the Big Lineup, while you're still "test driving."  (see Second Page)

If you simply have to take notice of the Yankees with every waking breath, how about yelling something new, original, and meaningful?  I respectfully submit:  "AR-i-ZON-a... AR-i-ZON-a..."

4.11: Meet the New Red Sox.  Same as the old Red Sox?

So much for all the whining about the creampuff schedule. It was a royal smack of reality last night. Was it 2001 night at Fenway and I didn't get the email?

Royals running around the bases at will (I'm still counting the thefts). Lineup shut down by another no-name pitcher. Garciaparra and the rest of the big guns firing blanks. Erratic outfield play from you-know-who. Gaping holes in the middle relief ranks. It was deja-vu all over again.

The good news: Lowe worked his way out of his jams. Wish we could say the same for give-it-up Guapo.

Nomar will sit during one of the Yankee games. Hey Grady, last night would have been as good a night as any to rest the golden boy. Yankee games are bigger as you well know (having flashbacks to Jimy pulling Pedro after six last May abruptly ending season).

Meet the New Red Sox, part two. The Boston Dirt Dogs baseball website will also be known as NewRedSox.com. Same old stuff with a brand new name. And we've got new 2002 t-shirts and other goodies on the way. Stay tuned.

4.10: Sheaky at third?  It's a reach to find something for Red Sox Nation to whine about these days, so here's a stretch:

People are still not over the Hillenbrand when it comes to Shea's coverage at third (but like his bat, he'll just keep getting better).

Hey Johnny, it's a pitching wedge from left field to third base at Fenway. What are you thinking?

I still can't catch up to that hour lost over the weekend. And the Red Sox still can't catch the Yankees.

I'm not crazy about the Wakefield/Mussina match-up on Sunday.

Grady's little lineup shuffling: Trot needs to get more at-bats. Eighth spot is not cutting it for Dirt Dog Nation.

What's wrong with Tony? Clark didn't get on base last night. Is the battle back on with Daubach?

Why does Grady keep batting Sanchez second? Good bat handler baloney or is he onto something?

Should Oliver be taking on Clemens Friday night?

Where's Juan Pena?

If I see another "Year to be Here" commercial and hear that canned voiceover talk about "the oldest team in town is suddenly new" the foot is going through the television.

There, I feel better already.

4.9: Reichert a Royal pain.  Dan Reichert starts for Kansas City tonight. Dan who? Just the Dan that has won four out of his last five outings against the Red Sox. And KC has given Boston a royal beating the past couple of years. The Sox have to kick some Kansas City you-know-what to stick around this time.

What happens if Wakefield has a big outing tonight? Back to the bullpen (after his match-up with Mussina on Sunday).

Coleman is coming back. Scenarios: Merloni gets sent down. Offerman gets released, or packaged with Urbina and/or Daubach.

Anyone else nervous about Darren Oliver making his first start against 6-1 New York on Friday? It should give a cup of coffee the shakes. Add Darren to the trade mix above if there are any takers. Speaking of nervous, would you want UUU on the mound with three outs to go for the World Series win? Yikes.

First things first: Northeastern's Carlos Pena has four home runs so far for Oakland (why can't we draft players like that?). Giambi has been horrible. Mo Vaughn has a fractured finger. And Tony Clark takes a back seat to no one so far.

Look for Pedro to come up big again against the Yankees Saturday. And look for a Kenyan to win the marathon (I'm not running this year).

4.7: Manny's not right in left.  He can now officially join the club.  Yaz was overrated outside of Fenway, Greenwell was god-awful, O'Lousy wasn't exactly a finalist for a gold glove. And Manny every-play-is-an-adventure Ramirez can proudly accept the torch as Boston's latest "adequate" outfielder in left.

Will a full-time-DH Ramirez hit better? If his slugging percentage with the Sox as outfielder vs. Hitter is any indication, it looks like Manny is our new Bob Watson.

But is $160 million too much to swallow for the second coming of Orlando Cepada? Only John Henry's wallet can tell.

Suddenly Coleman is back on the front burner, but has he earned the right to play everyday? Prime time is the team's only true left fielder and could step in as early as next Tuesday. Rickey can't play every day. Daubach and Offerman are converted first baseman. Lou? Could Lou play left? Merloni could... in Pawtucket.

And who's the new odd man out in the Baerga, Merloni, Offerman, Daubach mix? Again, somebody's gotta go.

Pena pitched 6-strong innings of one-run ball last night at McCoy. Pedro brings his A-game today.

4.6: Derek and the domino effect, part II.  No more Lowe blows from the peanut gallery, we have found our number two starter (my personal pick for number two back in early March). Derek knocked 'em down one after the other tonight. There is life after Pedro. And I'm calling for Pedro to come up BIG on Sunday. Looking for the shutout from him as well.

Derek Lowe will make the All-Star team for the Boston Red Sox. Write it down, and I'll eat crow if it doesn't happen.

Minimum 16 wins out of Derek. He actually pitched a better game than Nomo did in his no hitter. Effective and efficient with the nasty sinker.

And talk about tough. He went back out there with the same type of blister that Clemens walked off the mound with in Game 6.

The Shea Hey Kid. Goat, hero, goat. Blew the perfect game. Saved it with the double play. Blew the no hitter with the wrong decision. Maybe. Such is baseball. No need to knock Shea today.

And with the range plays from Garciaparra and Sanchez, and the 6' 7" stretches from Tony, the infield D was as solid as it's been since early '99.

Forgotten Frank goes today.

4.5: Shut the Buck up.  Don't believe the hype about Buck's blowup at Pedro "Stray Dog" Martinez. This is nothing more than his trying to jazz it up for J.P. Ricchardi, his new boss. Martinez, the barking one, is constantly rumored to be the first manager fired. So with all the off-days and rain, Pedro's passing gave him an excuse to make some noise. Yawn.

Worst to first? Sox are in dead last in the AL East. Whodda thunk it. Okay, it's only one game for them but I'm trying to get into mid-season miserable form early. Maybe they can still salvage the season...

Too-Much-Pitching: my annual dilemma daydream was cut short before game one. It lasted about two days, shortest on record.

Juan Pena twirls in Pawtucket tomorrow night. It's more than just another stAAArt as he should be heading to Boston within 39 days.

4.4: April showers may bring great seats.  72 degrees and sunny at 4:30 yesterday afternoon. Wasn't planning on going to Fenway but it was just too nice out not to. What seemed like 10 minutes later, I was back home cold, wet, and miserable. But in the middle...


- Free street parking around BU with half-hour left in the meter: $0

- Free ticket from fan who can't stand the rain: $0

- Cross from the bleachers into the main area: $0

- Avoid the urge to eat a Cool Dog, five-dollar-sausages and drink lightweight beers: $0

- Watch Jason go deep from John Henry's new $200 seat on the third base side: Priceless

4.3: And now, the rest of the season.   It's always this way with the Opener. It gets sliced and diced to death. That's partially why it means so much more than the other 161 games. Plus it's nice to start off on the right foot. Good karma.

The ballyard was a Who's Who of Who Cares yesterday. Outside of the high rollers, can't say the crowd was filled with Boston's finest either. Opening Day is the crazy cousin of New Year's Eve in Boston. It's amateur hour.

Said hello to Charles the Dentist (starring in Public Affairs to Remember), and the nouveau Senator Richell.

Jury still out on "Little Ball" (apologies to Jon at Your Turn) but I never like playing for one run. And pulling Guapo for Urbina reminded me of the days when Jimy would needlessly pull Lowe for Gordon. Headwind problems? Eleven-minute-delay excuses? Is this Gradywocky?

It's almost a must-win for Hermanson tonight. Will the Bulldog have a long leash?

Lost in the loss: Tony Clark's protection. Varitek's comeback. El Guapo's performance. Offerman's home run.

4.1: Head and shoulders.  He says he feels fine but I'm not feeling that great about Pedro starting today. He talks about taking his time, saving his career (for what? This is it Pedro. This is your career, right here, right now, time's a wastin' on this end) and how everything is in God's hands. I miss the swagger, the intimidation, the strut, the stare.

What happened to the days when the game was in Pedro's hands? If he's hurt then shut it down and get the operation. If not, then let's crank it up and see what he can do. He says baseball is still fun for him but he forces the smile then keeps talking about baseball being his job.

Does the problem lie more in his head or his shoulder? More and more people are saying that it's not a matter of if Pedro will shut it down, but when. Do they have enough pitching to go on without him? Juan Pena your bus to Boston is leaving May 15th.

The Red Sox had a team dinner in Houston and everyone showed up, much like Carl Everett's breakup dinners in Tampa. Then the Red Sox plane was struck by lightning.

3.31: Easter leftovers.  Bad sign - looks like rain right up until game time tomorrow. Not good news for the two guys who walk around with those signs.

The new NESN - First of all can we lose "It's the Year to be Here?" It's queer. Tuned in to watch the new "Extra Innings" post game show yesterday featuring Jim Corsi. Hey Jim, wake up! It's Red Sox baseball, show a little passion. It's great that you pitched in the major leagues and all but step it up or step aside. When asked earlier in the week on WEEI what he thought of Mo Vaughn's comments on Troy Percival, Corsi replied "I didn't hear anything about it." Jim, why don't you bookmark this page and get up to speed buddy?

NESN also planned to kick off the call-in portion of the show except they couldn't hear any of the callers. Hello?

What in the world is Rickey looking for if it's not the money? Playing time? A fresh deck of cards before each game? More mirrors? Who knows.

Happy Easter. Baseball tonight.

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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


Box Score and Schedules

Yesterday's News

Barks & Bites

Second Page