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Barks & Bites

"Enjoy every sandwich"

9.13.03: From today's Quotes of note, my favorite Saturday section in the Globe (since Will's death): "Enjoy every sandwich." Warren Zevon, in an interview last year, gave that advice to people as he faced death. Zevon died this week of cancer at age 56. Johnny Cash, John Ritter, Sergeant Carter, 9/11 (thanks to all of you who wrote us on our tribute page, it remains posted via the flag link in lower left column) ... what a week it was. But as The Werewolf of London (who died while Springsteen howled at the moon at Fenway last Saturday) advises, we should all really enjoy these final 16 sandwiches like it's a football season. Eat it up. Pony up. And enjoy the ride into the playoffs.

Speaking of food, with the added stress, strain, nervous tension, constant worry, and sometimes impending trauma that can accompany the World Series charge coming up, we should all be mindful of the need to stay fit during this Autumn of Anxiety. From Larry Lucchino to Mayor Menino, those of us that run hot during the cool season (and every other one for that matter) need to watch our caloric intake, revisit our food choices for gametime snacking, get enough sleep, and plenty of cardiovascular exercise coupled with some regular weight training. And a healthier you will be in a position to fight off the ever-present fall pharyngitis in Boston. On doctor's orders, Aramark has already begun revamping the in-game spread for the owner's box in preparation for some healthy post-season eating.

Happy 54th to Red Sox owner extraordinaire John Henry. And congratulations to Bill Mueller for winning the UPN 38 10th player award (and a new Harley). We'll send you a hat when you win ours.

Johnny Damon still wants to "reverse the curse" as of last week (sigh). Speaking of such things, the long-awaited Curse of the Bambino debuts on HBO Tuesday night at 10:00pm EDT. Original F.O.D.D. (Friend of Dirt Dogs) Paul Sullivan, who lives in the belly of the beast, gets some nice on-screen time... and a few belly laughs (post edit: he stole the show). Our friend Cheri from the BoSox Club also does us proud as usual. We're attempting to get exclusive footage of the content that was deemed too graphically violent for TV, even HBO, prior to the showing. Stay tuned. (update: our visually disturbing pictures of inadvertently popping the champagne cork before Gary Carter's beginning of the end base hit on October 25, 1986 are missing... this may be a good thing... investigation continues.)

Trot Nixon took a few swings in the batting cage tonight. Making rapid progress.

The venerable Bill Lee, when asked during Vermont Day what the biggest difference was between the previous regime and the current Red Sox front office responded "We have live owners."

Whatever happened to Ugueth Urbina and his big mouth? Has he gone south just as fast as fellow frauds Carlos Baerga and Shea Hillenbrand?

And as far as losing your fastball, Dick Stockton and David Halberstam have both shown recently that they are only throwing in the 70's (and stuck in the decade too). Who knew?

I am in love with Jeannie Zalasko. No, not because Lisa Guerrero turned out to be the biggest wooden stiff this side of Dan Duquette (and has to go to her notes 17 times to get her three inaccurate sentences out, just awful). Jeannie actually can talk the talk, and walk the walk, and the new long hairdo ain't too shabby either.

Harbinger of things to come? NESN was running a commercial after Extra Innings for a "Chaser" a hangover pill. 'Nuff said. The spot had snappy next-day-after-office-party man-woman exchanges like "hey you drank way more than me last night, how come you feel so good?" Woman answers "Because I took XYZbismol." Rates very high on the unintentional comedy scale. NESN will also be "high-def" on Comcast digital Monday night (hello RCN, where are you?)

Like Johnny Damon and Jason Varitek for the All-Star game slots, help show the power of Red Sox Nation by voting in Tim Wakefield (he's in a dogfight with Carlos Delgado) for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award which is given to the player in either league whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher level of achievement. Why Wake was nominated: "Tim has been active in various charitable causes throughout his career, wherever he’s playing. In the Boston area, he works closely with the Jimmy Fund and the Franciscan Children’s Hospital, but his efforts extend much further than Bean Town. For example, Tim also works with the Phoenix-based Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and, in the off-season he visits at-risk children and raises funds for the Space Coast Early Intervention Center in Melbourne, Florida."

Billy Ballgame really turned it on to overtake Kevin Millar in our "best new guy" poll. Ortiz is making the well deserved late rally. Nomar looks like a lock for our MVP but you never know. One vote per person on those. Like Tim Wakefield last year (oversight), L'il Kim (late arrival) is not on the ballot.

Missed in mainstream media: John Flynn, former front man for Dan Duquette announced that he was considering suing The Duke for non-payment of services (yeah like masterminding those anti-Theo/Lucchino websites). His July advisory:


New Media Marketing and Events, Inc. has announced today that has been “left with no other choice” but to draft a lawsuit against former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette, present interim GM of the NY Mets Jim Duquette, Director of Player Personal for the Boston Celtics Leo Papile, the Dan Duquette Sports Academy and the Sports Academy Foundation.

New Media introduced and played a major role in negotiations between Duquette and Papile. Papile now serves as one of Duquette’s instructors at his Sports Academy. Papile also received $10,000 from the DDSA as a part of a sponsorship package. New Media also introduced Papile to Reebok and other possible corporate sponsors.

New Media was hired to work as a marketing consultant for the Dan Duquette Sports Academy and the Sports Academy Foundation in April of 2002. New Media brought in key players to serve as Board of Advisor members for the Foundation.

New Media also worked with Dan Duquette on personal PR issues since April of 2002 until January of 2003 (such as his appearance at WEEI’s Whineys Awards). New Media also worked on personal PR issues for Leo Papile such as contacting local sports radio programs.

Speaking of Dastardly Dan, the Smug One says hello from the Springsteen show. Other local "luminaries" spotted included Bill Walton, Gerry Callahan, Bob Neumeier chatting with The Lucchinos in the bowels of Fenway, The Ubiquitous Joseph Abboud, and the kid who got busted for selling "The Boss" (front) "Springsteen 03" (back) shirts outside the park. A Fantastic show from this perspective. A proud night for Fenway and Boston. Kudos to everyone involved in pulling it off. Are Simon and Garfunkel next?

Congratulations to Original Dirt Dog Eli Roth on the debut of his feature film Cabin Fever. Go see it in theatres (and see Thirteen if you get a chance. Powerful beyond belief.)

Yes, still looking for Nomar to settle with Sox. No, suddenly not looking for Grady to get s**tcanned at the end of the season. We're lobbying that he's going to get strong consideration for Manager of the Year before all is said and done.

Walk a day in Pete's shoes: Peter Gammons mentioned that he "I've walked those streets of Manobuaybo (sic) with him a couple of times and looked at all the churches and the schools and all that stuff that he's built with his own money, ...I know what it means to be from that country."

Even though John Henry Williams turned out to be one of the most vile human beings this side of former Baylor coach Dave Bliss, a lot of that is Ted's fault, and no one deserves to suffer with cancer. Hopefully he will get well, and stay well, and reconsider some of his earlier decisions regarding his father's life, and death. Until then, we all have to grimace at "The Ted Williams Tasteless Joke of the Day" on WBCN and countless other shameless mockeries of Ted's life heard and seen daily. That's on your record John Henry. Turn it around while you can. On a positive note the SABR symposium "Ted Williams: The Man" and "Ted Williams' Impact on Boston Baseball" took place earlier today at the Boston Public Library.

Thanks to NECN's Chris Collins for making us the guest baseball dog on his Sports Late Night show again last month. And, as always, thank you to Mr. Bob Lobel for finally finding a way to get our graphics, images, and headlines on Channel 4's sportscasts in August as well as mentioning us on NESN's SportsPlus and raving about the site needlessly on WEEI with Mustard and Johnson a few weeks back.

Godalmighty. For the billions of you that email us with RemDog questions, go to the friggin' www.theremyreport.com. And ask Jerry where our commission is. We'll take a dozen XLs at this point. Have your guy send them over Rem. Sure we'll take some scorecards and hats too. I guess our invite to the $250-a-head Bourgeois Bruce Bash on the Monster got lost in the mail.

Changing seasons. It's that time of year again when the Red Sox change their t-shirt colors. The original camouflage Timlin design: "He who is wrapped up in himself is overdressed" has been replaced with the red shirts with the omnipresent theme "The time is now... So Cowboy Up!"

Remember when Manny signed for the $160 Large, he said "I'm tired of seeing the Yankees win all the time." I guess he now figures, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, since playing for the Yankees when his "big contract with Boston" is done is "one of my biggest dreams right now." That's what he said. And neither Joe Morgan or Morgan Fairchild can spin it any other way.

Separated at Birth: Yankee GM Brian Cashman and Red Sox scribe Tony Massarotti. No question about it.

Ben there, done with that. Word around Cambridge last spring was that Bennifer was on the rocks and that Ben himself wanted out. Way before Strippergate. We sent it in on the breakup when the odds were 35-1. We're now cleaning up like Neumy at Saratoga. So on the Affleck appearance with Sean and Jerry on UPN 38 last month, Ben said in the booth "I love the Dirt Dogs website. I'd love to be an honorary Dirt Dog"... much to Rem's chagrin. After the cutaway to a Manny bomb, Ben was back on camera hawking "TheRemyReport" and sporting the gray shirts and hat.

Jim Rice said that wildcard rival Seattle had really taken on Lou Pinella's persona when the M's were last in town. Too bad Bob Melvin is the Seattle manager.

The Dominican stowaways discovered locally last month were on a barge called "Star Chaser" and had to speak with the head of the Dominican consulate in Boston. His name? Pedro Martinez.

Over on The Sons of Sam Horn discussion board, poster Big Red Kahuna reports on a morning exchange with Grady Little in Boston.. In the thread, Grady reveals that "fans don't see me exude passion, but I am fired up inside. Just my style. I am not the type to show emotions, high or low, too much. I think this team responds better to that type of leadership." When asked, he also confirmed that some players have been to SoSH (Umm, take a wild guess as to how they found the site guys?). And for those who are still looking for the link to the SoSH discussion board, you can bookmark it here.

A few more selects from the inbox...

The Sound of Music:

"Dudes, I love the site and check it out everyday. As a transplanted Bostonian now living on the west coast, you guys provide one stop shopping for the info hungry sox fan. Keep up the good work.

One request though, please leave out the bad BCN generic rock backing! I can't stand another faux Eddie Vedder over emotional vocalist! If you are going to use music, use something classic Boston, like the Pixies or Buffalo Tom, or the Gigolo Aunts


So Cal Sox Fan"

SCSF, we're working on the music mix. Tough to please everyone. Our first artist featured was Josh Kelly, who is fast becoming the next Dave Matthews as he's now backing up Jewel and continues to get accolades all over Boston and beyond. Our second featured artist, Sloth, does the opening for the ESPN series "Players" if you thought you recognized the opening song. Jury is still out of Story of the Year, thanks for the feedback (you can also just click off the HTML window, turn down the volume, or get an easy pop-up-blocker on the Google or Alexa toolbar). We're working on getting Trauser on board once the debut album is complete.

This reply from our Edesdropping friend Kathryn:

"Gee guys, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. Who knew you were so sensitive? (you have no idea Kathryn)

As you correctly point out, I read your site--every day in fact--and despite your less than gracious invitation to vacate your page, I will continue to read it.


Sometimes I swear people with a sense of humor are a dying breed (or was she teasing us?).

"Dirt Dogs,

I love your site and check in daily, especially as a relocated Bostonian in Arizona.

But let's give Petey Punchado a break. He's the man.


We haven't bashed our brother Petey in days. Give us a break man. We're doing it to fire him up. He needs us to transform into the Angry Ace. He gets it.

Another big fan writes:

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You are just the disgusting type of yellow journalist that would have tried to ride Teddy Ballgame out of town back in the day."

Mom, I told you to stop emailing me!

And more from the shamelessly-patting-ourselves-on-the-back department, kind words as always from good friend Ed Cossette of Bambino's Curse and Fox Sports Net New England:

The DirtDogs site can be negative of course. Remember when I called them the jihad of Red Sox Nation? Sometimes (heck, many times!) those guys piss me off big time, but that's part of the fun. I often like to play yin (positive) to their yang (negative). And regularly they have me laughing with those headlines and pictures which I find to be one of the more creative expressions on the entire web. Moreover, in my mind it's not fair to lump them with the negativity that comes out of the brick and mortar, traditional media. The roles are just too disimilar (sic).

So keep on rockin'...

Other housecleaning: We have not sent out any 2003 Dirt Mails yet. Just don't have the bandwidth with while focusing on keeping the site fresh. Just check here. Will get it organized again and get something out if we can.

The online store is offline. Have a few hats left to ship, they are $23.00 shipping included. Sorry, sorry (will reply to the emails soon, you don't want to know). Shirts are essentially gone. Again, cannot do new shirts this season. May do our new BDD Cowboy Up logo on Cafe Press, stay tuned, and thanks for the requests and suggestions.

We're all on board the Positivity Train. Go Sox!!! As Ted Sarandis would say, "The RED SOX ARE FINDING A WAY TO WIN BALL GAMES!!" Each word pronounced with exaggerated emphasis and clenched teeth!

7.23.03: Another E-5.  Nomar Garciaparra called the press box Sunday to try to overturn an error (he hotdogged it a bit coming in on a groundball but was clearly out of control). Give some glove to get more love from the official scorer Nomie. Oh and happy 30th birthday buddy.

The Truth still hurts. Crazy Carl the other night on The Worst Damn Sports Show ever (on Boston fans) "...the last time I was there all 33,000 of them were idiots. The truth hurts to those who don't like the truth."

Gordon Edes says in his boston.com @bat Insider mailbag today "Historically, the club has tried to give Pedro extra rest whenever possible, but believe me, there were a few people, starting with the GM, who would have liked to have seen Pedro on the hill in the first game out of the break."

Toughest ticket in town. No not Springsteen (thanks BoSoxClub BoSoxLady for my ticket :-), Western Mass groundskeeper Dan Duquette is entering, stage left this summer as the manager of the Washington Senators in the Pittsfield, MA production of "Damn Yankees." The Duke has been taking singing and acting lessons to prepare for his role of Benny Van Buren, who inspires his team to win the pennant with a rendition of "You Gotta Have Heart." "Damn Yankees" will be staged from July 31 to Aug. 3. at Wahconah Park. Proceeds from the play's $10 tickets will go toward the restoration of Pittsfield's Colonial Theater.

No more "Not Your Typical Kids?" Sounds like TC got the Big V last night on NESN. Speaking of TC, he and Tony Mazz made a fine pair filling in for Andelman on the zzzone.

I didn't know Jesse Orosco had a son named Jesse who played major league baseball.

John Henry is expected to spend a bundle on the screwed fans of Opening Day coming on Friday afternoon, August 8th. The original offer of free plasma TVs for the first 33,363 has been upgraded to Mini Coopers for everyone. The Stones may do The Anthem if Elvis isn't available.

Hey Eck, it's "dirt dogs" not "dirt balls."

Kevin Paul Dupont's "cleaning out the drawer" column yesterday was the worst I've ever read of its kind. Any sport. Any paper. Any writer. Any time. Unfunny. Unclever. Irrelevant. Where's Shaughnessy? Dupont is no Bob Ryan. He spent the space trying to convince us he had the pedigree to write about the Red Sox. I don't care when he was an usher or that he was chasing Leslie Visser around the Pesky Pole in '76, he just doesn't get it. Don't quit your day job Kevin where your puck prowess is unmatched. But you're offside between the Fenway lines.

Best wishes to Tony Cloninger who has beaten bladder cancer. Hope he can be back with the team for the playoffs.

Shameless self promotion bin: Hey, our two year anniversary was this week. Billions and billions served. Actually we're the largest unofficial fan site of any pro sports team running near 4,000 visitors a day (bumped by the Varitek web vote article in the Globe). Thanks.

Are there any Yankee fans out there who want to get into a free-for-all on Ed Berliner's Sports Pulse (Comcast, CN-8) on Thursday night? Send in an email if you're up for it. Also flying solo on Sports Late Night with Chris Collins on NECN this coming Sunday night (yikes).

Curses. The new NESN Red Sox Rewind show is playing off The Curse in their ads. So is Amtrak in their radio spots. Ed Cossette of Bambino's Curse will get more airplay as well with the HBO fiasco coming out in September :-) But glad to hear Ed knows that nothing is mean if its funny enough concerning Manny Dearest:

"Meanwhile, Silva over at DirtDogs has done it again. The picture of the grandma with the parasail saying "Look Manny, No Hands!" is the funniest thing I've seen all season. As you know, I don't support the "let's pile on Manny (or Pedro or[ fill in the blank])" side of Red Sox fandom, but if you are going to adopt that stance, at least make it humorous rather than mean. And this is big time funny. Right up there with the Fat Joe as Colon pic on DirtDogs back in January. Bravo."

Meanwhile, WB Mason continues to pour the Babe on, showing the 1945 and 1965 Red Sox World Series banners that never were. And now they paid about a hundred bucks to anyone who would take it to say "Who knew?" Awful.

Weirdest Email of the Week:

I just read your article about Ted Williams being frozen.  You might be interested in discussing my current Ebay auction in which I offer the exact same cryonic suspension option to the general public.  (Ebay Auction # 2941711838) LES / Les Fox (NY Times bestselling author.) P.S.  Cryonic suspension does not promise immortality or even a return to life from death.  It simply offers the possibility.

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, from John Bennett, Shelburne VT:

"That Rich Wolf book, "For Red Sox Fans Only!", is a bigger scam  than
"Curse of the Bambino." They slapped together a bunch of emails from people
they chased around the internet (some great tales from our SoSH brethren)
and sold it for $25.00 (just in time for father's day). It's not a book.
He's a crook."

I just read this with interest in your Barks and Bites column. My name is
John Bennett, and I have a "chapter" in the book (pg 79) and some other
blurbs. I agree 100% with your observations on Rich Wolfe, and I thought I
would share my experiences as to how I got in the book.

First of all, I have never met, emailed, or spoken to Rich Wolfe. I have no
idea who he is.

Second of all, they have screwed up a few minor (but to me at least
important) details in my piece. I am not a math teacher, I am a history
teacher, I am not 34 years old, I don't live in Burlington VT,  and Keith
Moon most assuredly did not play drums for the Rolling Stones.  Attributing
such facts to me makes me look stupid.

Third, and most important- here is how I got into this book -

I was interviewed by a woman named Rhonda Sonnenberg at her home in St
Petersburg FL, while I was making my annual visit to Red Sox spring training
in February, 2002.  Rhonda is the wife of Peter Golenbock, who wrote the
book Fenway among other books. I knew Peter a little bit and had a mutual
acquaintance with Rhonda, which is how they came to contact me.

All of my interviews were conducted on tape. That's why I can't figure out
how she screwed up the details I related above.Rhonda means well,
but she obviously made a few errors that she should have
checked with me. Still, she is a real victim in this- because she did all
the work for Wolfe, and he ended up putting his name on the book and did not
mention her a bit, a real shame. I heard he bought her off but I don't know
the details.

I had to buy the damned book myself. The very LEAST they could have done was to give me a comp copy, but to this date I've not heard anything from Rhonda or Wolfe.  I never was given a release form or allowed to see the final
version of my interview before it hit print. I feel like Kramer - he's making
money telling MY stories.

So, I am grateful to see that you blasted him, and I'm not through with him
yet.  Feel free to share my above comments with others, I suspect the other
people who were interviewed for the book (including my friend Bruce Bosley
of UVM Athletics) are telling similar tales. Luckily, I don't feel that many
people are going to end up buying the book, although seeing it in
Waldenbooks made me wonder.

I am also glad to see the work of Art Martone linked on your site. Art and I both
contributed to several Big Bad Baseball annuals, in fact I stepped in and
wrote the Red Sox article for him in 1999 when he was unable to do so. He
has many great insights.

Thanks and keep up the good work,

John Bennett
Shelburne VT

And way back in Pittsburgh, Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino was kind enough to chime in (from his BlackBerry no less) "Thanks for the cleverness." How lucky is that?

Late addition: Yes Ben Affleck, you can be an honorary Dirt Dog, and we're glad you love the site (just don't say it in front of Remy on TV next time).

6.26.03 Bring 4th some competition. The Tigers are terrible. Imagine how steamed Pete would be if he didn't get a win today? Cannot wait for the Yankee games in New York.

So when is Casey Fossum actually coming back to pitch? It's been 19 days and he hasn't thrown off a mound yet.

"I honestly wouldn't send a bag of balls for Senor Armando" -- Gordon Edes' two cents on Benitez in his boston.com chat today.

Hench got married while the Sox lost three times in the Philly Fiasco. Can't wait for the next Hardball.

When is David Murphy coming up to play centerfield? He's been winning enough games for Lowell already.

"Bullpen saves it: Pedro wins again" -- the headline for Ian Browne's game story on redsox.com tonight. How funny is that. Pedro has five wins, last one on May 15th.

How to be a hit at your 4th of July barbecue: When Timlin comes in to pitch the seventh in Yankee Stadium say "this is a high-leverage situation for him."

Did you know Freddy Sanchez' wife was in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? And that Freddy has played hoop with Will Smith and Brian McKnight?

Congratulations to Ed Cossette and Bambino's Curse (dot com) for getting picked up by Fox Sports Net New England's website. Always a great read. Loved "The Jihad Front of Red Sox Nation" tag he gave us, but had to tweak it slightly for political reasons. And thanks to Ed for Los Perros de Suciedad.

Whatever happened to Lefty and Righty the new Sox mascots that we read about in The Wall Street Journal last January? And who's got my Springsteen tickets?

Missed the Real Sports' John-Henry-Williams-is-a-Scumbag show for the second night in a row. But it seems no one cares anymore anyway.

We'll never find out who shot Kennedy. And we'll definitely never find out if Grady knew the Embree/Timlin/Thome splits on Saturday.

When is Bob Ryan coming back? And how about my UMass man Steve Cooper to replace Mean Gene Levanchy on 7?

Aren't you glad Theo never signed infielder Edgar Alfonzo for billions of dollars? He's horrible and hurting.

The W.B. Mason Babe Ruth ad is adding insult to injury. They now show close-ups of the 1945 and 1965 World Series banners that never were. And they signed on Doug Mirabelli and Jeremy Giambi to be their "Who?" spokespersons. Speaking of bad commercials, who do you hate more in the Sam Adam's spot, "Me four!" or the smug fraud who says "I'll have a Sam Adams please" then purses his lips? Trot Nixon is doing some Clio-bound Clay Chevrolet radio spots. And Ira Motors? I hate it like that.

No it's not a typo. The Picnic in the Park tickets are $250.00 each. But they're tax deductible!

That Rich Wolf book, "For Red Sox Fans Only!", is a bigger scam  than "Curse of the Bambino." They slapped together a bunch of emails from people they chased around the internet (some great tales from our SoSH brethren) and sold it for $25.00 (just in time for father's day). It's not a book. He's a crook.

A couple of outings on the Boston Sports Media Watch tagboard (like a discussion board) shut it down fast. But the resourceful Bruce Allen is back up and running bigger and better with his own media message board. $10 gets you in. No, don't know what Bill Griffith was talking about in the Globe when he said, "Accountability in Web chat? What a concept."

Hey we got a plug from Kevin Gray in the Union Leader in his notes column:

"Bostondirtdogs.com — Quality presentation with an editorial touch. From last week: “Pedro Won’t Speak to Fans After Tonight’s Talk (unless a fellow Dominican gets caught cheating, then he’ll soapbox about his personal persecution in America again).”

That's the most random piece of content he grabbed, but hey that's OK.

Fox features an All-Star photo montage promo with Pedro and Bonds in front for each league. At this point, Pedro has almost no shot to make the team. And he'll be lucky to end the season with 13 wins. File under: Curse of the Early Optionino.

Lastly, what the hell happened to the chicken fajita stand under the right field seats? It was removed during the last homestand. The sausage guys aren't talking. It was the only decent meal in the ballpark. I demand an answer.

6.17.03 'Sports Dreams' turns to Nomar nightmare. The peel-and-win promotion was featured from January 3 through February 14 on more than 31 million medium, large and extra-large hot beverage cups at close to 1,500 Dunkin' Donuts franchises in the Boston, Providence, Springfield and Hartford markets. "We at Dunkin' Donuts are excited to once again provide our loyal customers with unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to interact with their favorite professional athletes and major-league teams," said Dunkin' Donuts Regional Marketing Manager Tom Manchester. "We are proud to be able to provide our consumers with the chance to realize their greatest sports fantasies."

These "dream" prizes will provide winners with unique opportunities to interact on a personal level with some of New England's premier athletes" including having Dunkin' Donuts spokesperson Nomar Garciaparra as "Honorary Team Captain" at a Little League game in the winner's home town in MA, CT, RI or NH. (In 2003....Odds 1:31,000,000...Actual Retail Value $1,000...1 Winner.) Or one loser.

"I'm looking forward to working with Dunkin' Donuts again on the 'Sports Dreams' promotion," said Nomar. "I had a lot of fun participating in the promotion last year and it was great feeling to know that you had made somebody's sports fantasy come true." It all sounded great on the cue cards. And Dunkin' Donuts sold a lot of coffee I'm sure, which helped pay Nomar more than a baker's dozen.

Did I mention we had a winner? Oh yes, the Cal Ripken Little League team in Hudson, MA was lucky enough to have won the prize of having Nomar come out and coach them for the final game of the season. The word got out fast. Hundreds of 11-year-old kids were abuzz about Nomar Garciaparra coming into their own backyard to wrap up the spring season with them. The championship game was held off so it would happen on Nomar Night, invites went out for a big splash for the All-Star's appearance on Monday June 9th, the off day before the Sox started their homestand...

The call came in Thursday before the big day. Nomar can't make it, he has "family obligations."

Congratulations on your wedding last Monday Nomar. Obviously that would be the only possible reason for you to disappoint an entire community and a hundred little kids right? And the season's over. Kids are gone. No make-up game for Garciaparra. File under: Do's and Donuts.

5.31.03 The Gloves Come Off. Because here they can. And because we miss Will McDonough badly.

Don't shed a tear for the recently departed Shea-hole. Despite what Steve Buckley tells you, this muscled-up meatheat mouth-breather was never a true dirt dog. And he's never been liked by his teammates outside of Crazy Carl and Manny-the-banjo-hitter. Shea has been a prick to the press (and some coaches) from his days in Trenton to his final act of busting up a Johnny Damon interview with an expletive-laced tirade. If you ever watched his blank stare, huffin' and puffin' interviews on the NESN post-game "uncuts" over the years, you knew something was wrong with this cat. Dumb as a box of rocks, Hillenbrand could not resist taking both public and private shots at Theo on his way out the door as reported here. A classless act by a true horse's ass. He claimed to love his team but could never bring himself to say he loved Boston. Be glad he's gone. Most of his teammates are.

Lord John Harrington is a pig and should move into a cozy jail cell a million miles from Boston with his pal Cardinal Lawless. First this scumbag literally stole Mrs. Yawkey's jewelry collection while she lay on her death bed to grab some extra cash for his coffers. Then during the team's sales process he ran up the price to a mind-boggling $700 million, handicapping the franchise and new owners just so he could fill his need for greed and take care of his horrible henchmen. But in his last sin, he helped cover up the ongoing sexual assaults of Winter Haven clubhouse boys by Donald Fitzpatrick for years and required anyone bidding for the club to be liable for the pending lawsuits that were recently settled, thus washing his dirty hands of the whole ugly mess. Sorry John, this one goes on your resume too. Boston College must be "awfully proud of you" as Grady would say.

Speaking of Harrington's henchmen, Disingenuous Dan Duquette went on WEEI's Big Show yesterday to pitch his baseball academy. Problem was he was asked a few questions prior. In true Duke style, he dusted off the same cue cards he used for eight years here. No matter the question, he had a prepared answer unrelated to it. From backing Carl Everett over his manager, to his mishandling of the Clemens negotiations, his mistreatment of Red Sox legends, to the Ivory Tower of lies, smugness, and intimidation he presided over, the Duke danced his usual cliché dance in true Bill Clinton fashion. And since he's basically a groundskeeper at a kid's camp, it's good to see that water does indeed seek its own level. You'd have to be on heroin to hire this fraud in a MLB management position. But some fool will bite and take on the Duke next year, thankfully his tenure here is over.

Booooo. Pedro Martinez arrives in camp and immediately creates a media circus, manipulating the press and the fans to get paid for the 2004 season early. He wins. He then immediately trashes the new owners for not paying him in advance for 2005, 2006, and beyond so he can continue to build castles in the Dominican. He immediately gets called on it and thus decides he no longer needs to be accountable to the fans that made him a hero in this town. Then the Fragile Flamethrower goes on his regular DL trip a month early. Can't pitch in two critical series against the Yankees, the team he threatened to go to if he wasn't extended in the spring. And while his current team was tossing bats in the clubhouse after the disastrous loss in New York, he was laughing and yukking it up with his personal entourage while his teammates' guts were turned inside out. Paydro may be back to pitch after a month off, five innings here, an extra day off there, but don't expect him to be back here after the last $17.5 million gets deposited. As one prominent member of the media described the Delicate Dominican, he's "the anti-Clemens."

If Grady Little comes back to mismanage this team next year I'll eat my hat.

John Burkett proceeded to go out and get shitfaced with two (innocent and therefore unnamed) teammates until at least 1:00am the night (well actually same day) before his 11:00am Patriot's Day shellacking thus giving up a win before the game even started. The Globe decided to send Brian McGrory (Barnicle replacement in the City section) into the popular Boston watering hole to say "we think we have a story here" a week later to which the bartenders who challenged Burkett to drink up replied "there's no story here, get lost." So I guess there's no story there, move along. If John Henry can't cut this strike-lovin', Toronto bag packin', fake trip home makin', 85mph fastball throwin', mixed-drink swillin' phony, then what's the point of having a billionaire owner? It's a bad Duke contract John, not one of yours, so it's OK to release him yesterday. Plus he's got a career as a Pro Bowler waiting for him.

Is it too much to ask for "I want A-Rod money" Manny to carry the team for a game or two? Can he hit a HR that doesn't make a 7-2 game 9-2? Can he control his ADD to the point where he can make an outfield play in Yankee Stadium without thinking about his last at-bat? Is that too much to ask for 20% of the payroll at $20 million per year? Guess so. But we're awfully proud of this kid right Grady?

Bob Ryan will be back any day now. Can't believe he made that outrageous statement can you? But yes, he said it: "Max Kellerman is a genius, and I don't throw that term around lightly." Sorry Bob, for that you should be suspended for a year. If Kellerman who runs that painful ESPN calamity is a genius, I'm Albert frickin' Einstein.

Et tu, Jerry? I know you're following company orders by wiping the "dirt dog" name off all the statues in the city but did you have to call yourself "Remdawg" with a d-a-w-g? I thought you grew up across the (Fall) river from me? I didn't realize you were from Somerset, Georgia. Why not go with the signed-off-on pedestrian term "gamers" to get away from it all? "Dawg" is flat out dumb. And if you want some help with that website of yours, give me a ring.

Patches goes for career loss number 155 tomorrow. Go Roger Go.

For those complaining about the Johnny Damon free ride, it's over. Rock star bats ninth today. But don't worry, Girls Still Gone Wild over those sideburns.

Hey Johnny Valentin, the Backstreet Boys called, they want their blond highlights back. Seriously, if you want to be a media star you actually have to do some research, have an opinion, and bring something to the table.

As if Wednesday's gut-wrenching loss to the Yankees wasn't painful enough, NESN watchers were immediately subjected to that horrendous W.B. Mason commercial featuring the Babe Ruth sale-to-the-Yankees (The Truth About Ruth). Sean McGrail should be ashamed of himself for ever allowing that ad on the air. And W.B. Mason should fire their ad agency, Baldwin and Stone, immediately for even comping up the idea. On the plus side, NESN had the good sense to finally stop running "The Red Sox have done it again tonight!" in-house plug featuring one of the only comeback wins last season (Damon walk off homer vs. Angels). Talk about false advertising. Lastly, "Get Real. Go Sox?" Umm, yeah, OK, whatever that means.

If there's a God, the godawful Red Shirts that take away our home field advantage and make a mockery out of Red Sox tradition are gone for good. "Paint the Town White" Doctor Charles, leave the Cranberries in the closet.

4.25.03 Sox get killed, then kill on Kimmel. The ABC late-night variety show opens with Jimmy Kimmel walking down the sidewalk with daughter Katie as it's bring your daughter to work day. A polished professional announcer bellows out "From Hollywood, It's Jimmy Kimmel Live... Jimmy's guests tonight Dale Earnhart Junior, from Playboy magazine Joe Millionaire's Sarah Kozer, child prodigy Robert Tsi, and this week's co-host Jamie Kennedy... we're the 2003 World Champion Boston Red Sox, now here's Jimmy Kimmel!!"

The main studio camera soon reveals that the born-to-be-carnival barker was none other than Red Sox second baseman Todd Walker. He's a pro. Also gathered round were Kevin Millar, Johnny Damon, Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz. Manny is in a kick-ass get-up with a cowboy hat. He steps out to take a bow, slides back in looking like he wanted to start dancing.

Jimmy welcomes "the 2003 Boston Red Sox" by asking "Manny, what is with that hat? (Ortiz says something to Manny, they laugh). You guys just got back from Texas tonight to play a game, how'd it go?"


Millar tries to get by with "Great game!"


Walker then chimes in with "didn't work out too well."

"What was the final?" asks Kimmel.

Millar admits "It was 16-5" (crowd ooooh... some Sox sheepishly grin) then...

Johnny Damon (remember those initials) steps up and says perfectly "Nothing our friend Jack Daniels can't take care of"

(big laughs all around)

"See Katie if they had won tonight they get to go on Leno, since they lost, they come here" Jimmy said to his daughter. "This is the greatest night of our producer Daniel Kellison's life. (Daniel is there with Red Sox home jersey, his daughter Cloe on shoulders). My daughter Katie's not as cute as Cloie, but she used to be."

Jimmy went on to do a bit on SARS and the Yankees. (Millar: "Ain't that a bitch). Sox aren't afraid of getting it and said that they just went to Toronto last week. Dale Earnhart, Jr. came out (Nixon, Varitek, Millar thrilled) but he revealed that he is a Braves/Yankees/Clemens three-times loser fan.

After prodigy Robert Tsi played the piano, Jimmy says "look at that, the Red Sox are here and some of them have tears in their eyes, not because of your performance... mostly because they can't wait to get out of here to go pick up girls in Los Angeles."

4.20.03  A game of inches.  With the bases loaded and one out for Toronto, Chris Woodward stroked a Lowe ball down the right field line that landed foul in an area three inches too small to put in one more row of John Henry seats. What could have been 3-0 Jays remained 0-0 as Derek struck out Woodward and got Hudson to ground out to end the second inning threat. "Amazing" said Derek Lowe last night in Boston, "it's really a game of inches."

It was two years ago to the night that we last caught up with Derek Lowe at another popular Boston watering hole the night before Easter. All was going great with the 2001 Dirt Dogs as Manny had just got the winning hit off Mariano Rivera the night before. Rod Beck, smoking Camels two-at-a-time had just lost all that weight (and speed off his 78 mph fastball :-). And Derek was the team's new closer. The next day after his night out, D-Lowe comes on in the 8th inning against the Yanks and promptly gives up four hits, hard. Luckily Arrojo was able to come on and record the early season save. But D-Lowe's season began spiraling downward after Easter Sunday. Fast forward two years and D-Lowe admits that he doesn't go out as much anymore. With baseball players rivaling Hollywood celebrities in Boston, Derek is still a tad resentful that he was "scrutinized too much" during his nightmare 2001 season.

He's in a good place now. Conceding that he's "not pitching that well yet" Lowe is pleased with his 3-1 record and the current roll the team is on even though "it feels like we've lost every game" (must be the negative fanbase and media around here :-).

In talking about the Yankees quick start and Matsui's early success, Derek's thinking is "second time around the league, he'll be nothing." Agreed, considering Matsui's never seen a sinker like Derek's in Japan. When asked if the Sox dropped the ball by not signing new Yankee stopper Juan Acevedo in the off-season, D-Lowe replied "he's no good, Fox is just as good." Let's hope so.


So Pedro will no longer speak to the fans through the press. He is now officially on the Manny Media Diet, punishing us for what could be the rest of the season for the smattering of boos he heard last Saturday. He is also angry that some writers printed his selfish comments about his long-term deal being "off the table" after he was granted his extension seven months early. And Dan Shaughnessy "dirt poor" Dominican Republic comments may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

But you can't have it both ways Pedro.

You cannot manipulate the team through the media with the "I'll leave if they don't sign me by the start of the season" and "imagine Pedro in pinstripes" comments to get your option picked up, then get all bent out of shape when they write that you wanted even more the day after the team caved.

Suck it up Pete. Stop pouting. And talk to the fans that pay your fat salary and make you the most popular athlete in Boston. Kevin Millar is about to knock you off that pedestal if you're not careful.

Mike Greenwell has been consulting with Pedro Martinez on his lifetime not-talking announcement that stunned The Nation on Friday night. As a result, Pedro will be speaking in Texas on Tuesday. In the meantime, the Sox are interviewing Baghdad Bob to be the new spokesperson for the Pampered Pouter. Stay tuned.

On Sunday, Pedro was all smiles at the Park, taking pictures with the fans during picture day, laughing, mixing it up, saying hello to everyone... even the media.


Now comes Millar Time. Also on Friday, Kevin Millar relinquished his name for MLB merchandise across the board. As you may recall Millar is not a union jack.

4.14.03 Boo Who?  From 10 rows behind the plate on Saturday night, Pedro Martinez seemed a world away. The man we watched on the mound had average velocity, everything was hittable, and the end location was out of his control. The national league scouts watching him couldn't agree on what the problem was. Was it his arm slot? Was it the layoff and the rain? Is his arm heavy? Is he hurt? Is he having an off night? Is all the contract talk still weighing on his mind? One thing is for sure, that wasn't Pedro being Pedro. Hopefully he's back to form on Friday.

When Grady started his approach out of the dugout to yank the imposter, the undercurrent of boos began, the kind you used to hear when Jimy Williams would come out of the dugout to take Pedro out of the game too soon. But this time, the boos were directed at Pete. As Martinez walked towards the dugout, a large contingent of fans stood up and cheered in an attempt to drown out the boos. But as Petey hit the top step of the dugout, he isolated on one rockhead (no it wasn't our contingent, thanks for asking) who had yelled out something to the effect of "Are you kidding me? We paid $18 million for that? What a joke!." Pedro momentarily froze and stared back at the Yankees Suck t-shirt wearing meathead. That famous Pedro stare. Cold as ice. The rest of the 7,477 booing fans were spared the direct connect.

While the catcall comments were unnecessary, the boos were certainly warranted. If not for the hideous performance out there, unbecoming of the highest paid pitcher in the game, the boos were justified because of Paydro's bitching and moaning about his contract for weeks leading up to his home debut. After he said he wasn't talking about it anymore for the tenth time in February. The boo is a boo. It's no big deal. The boo says "hey Pete, shut your selfish whiny ass up and pitch." That's all. The little Dominican flag I take to Pedro's starts just stayed in my jacket for one night. I booed too. But I'll be right back cheering if he gets back to his old self next time out.

Standing near the Red Sox dugout during the Friday ceremonies, Kevin Millar came out to do a one-on-one with Bob Lobel. He was thrilled to finally be at Fenway as we yelled "MVP," "Millar Time," and for SoSH "Cabin Mirror" as he spoke. When he wrapped up, he came over to sign autographs for the kids. Loving every minute, he stood out there with us in the rain signing as many balls as he could until he was whisked away in preparation of the ceremonies. He laughed when we told him how the Nation nearly revolted when he wasn't in the lineup in Baltimore last week. He said he was the DH today which was fine with us as long as he's in there.

Theo and his posse sat three rows behind the plate for Pedro's performance, but the GM was gone in a flash after Mike Cubbage's collapse to make sure his coach was OK. The Nixon clan was close by, and while Trot was still nursing the flu, they were thrilled with his solid start. Larry Lucchino got some autograph requests which he was more than happy to fulfill (no we didn't ask him if he was disappointed in Pedro's post-option comments). The real highlight of Friday and Saturday was Ray Charles singing "God Bless America" in the rain while we waived our giant American flag next standing to Boston's own Uncle Sam. But the game was washed out, unfortunately Saturday night's debacle wasn't rained out too.

The sun shined on Sunday as things finally went right... seven American POWs were suddenly free.

4.06.03 Media minutia and more. Dan Shaughnessy wrote a 'column by committee' today where he asks the readers to figure out which other Globe columnists submitted paragraphs for the piece. Well I found a paragraph Dan didn't come up with on his own, but neither did anyone else on his list. Shaughnessy writes today that "Boston's closer roulette is proving to be the most dangerous committee since Senator Joe McCarthy's Committee on Un-American Activities." Days earlier on this site Kevin Hench wrote "I haven't seen a committee this ugly since they were throwing screenwriters in jail in the 1950s." Funny, Dano was such an opponent of Hench's Corner in the Globe, yet he has no problem likening the Bullpen By Committee to the House Committee on Un-American Activities days after Hench led with that comparison in Hench's Hardball. We were clearly Barnicled. The question now, will Shaughnessy resign like Patricia Smith and Mike Barnicle before him?

Shagnasty goes on to take his monthly whack at Sports Guy Bill Simmons by dumping on the Jimmy Kimmel show for the second time this year. But the funniest line in today's Globe relates to the Sox possible exposure to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the mystery illness from China that has appeared in Toronto. All-Star non-grata John Burkett says ''I'm not going to do any autograph sessions when I'm there." Umm, OK John. So what will the thousands of Burkett fans camping outside the Red Sox hotel do now?

If you get RCN in Boston, you got a little pre-pre-game banter and visuals on NESN Saturday. Apparently the cameras were plugged in early on the alternate feed, so we got to see Bob Tewksbury practicing his studio pose and Bob Rodgers discussing their hair-do's and don'ts. They were just about to go after Eck's mullet and moustache when someone figured out the cameras were running.

On Saturday Night Live, the first skit was Brockton Rox owner Jimmy Fallon, and our friend Elke Dratch's cousin Rachael, playing "Sully and Denise" the overdone, overdumb Red Sox fanatics. While sitting in the mocked-up Fenway Bleachers, Sully proclaims "this is the year" as "Jetah's in the Crappah," while Denise chimes in "and Nomah's back." Bernie Mac did a great job playing a Fenway beer vendor bitching about all the newfangled food at Fenway. When they get on the Diamond-Vision, Sully asks Denise McDonough to have sex with him right now. The sad truth is they do represent the behemoth that is the Yankees Sucks crowd that dominates Kenmore in the summer.

Back to NESN, Sam Horn and Bob Rodgers just looked at each other today when a caller asked why can't Jim Corsi come back? Yikes! Jim was a homer's homer and not exactly cut out for TV. His last rant at the end of last season included the line "Pedro was just kidding around about his contract... he just says these things." Yeah right Jim. On another note, Big Sam Horn seems very comfortable in front of the camera and is a nice addition along with Tewks. Why he is bitter about Sons of Sam Horn, which does nothing to belittle him, is beyond me. And Eric Frede is doing an OK job filling in for Tom Caron, but TC was made for those "Not Your Typical Fan" segments. With the Bruins expected to get bounced early, TC will be back in the stands before the snow melts.

File under 'No Wonder Nomar Wants to Leave:'  Last season, Nomar was signing an autograph for a fan as he left the park in his car. When he reached through his sun roof to hand the autograph back to the fan, his car rolled over the fan's foot. Then the A-hole sued Nomar for some cash. Does that happen in California? While the Sox brass couldn't afford many of the player roundtable requests last season, they did splurge for additional post-game police protection to prevent such incidents in the future.

4.02.03 Neyer and naysayers. "All that makes sense," you might be saying, especially if you don't live in California, "but why in the hell would you pick the Red Sox to win the World Series?"

Because I can, and because I want to.

Look, it's not really a huge stretch. ESPN.com polled 27 "experts" -- writers and editors, mostly -- and 15 of the 27 predicted that the Red Sox would either win their division (five votes) or the wild card (10). And I wasn't the only "expert" who sees the Red Sox going all the way; ESPN.com Fantasy Games guru Brandon Funston and Diamond Mind Baseball's Tom Tippett also picked the Sox. - Rob Neyer, ESPN.com

- - -

Someone called the Red Sox bullpen the "Boston division of the Republican Guard" on The Big Show intro today. While that's a bit harsh, the sketchy relief corps is second on the minds of The Nation these days after the U.S. Marine Corps. The ubiquitous term "Closer by Committee" was uttered in Boston a record 367,875 times today.

While everyone and their grandmother in the national media is suddenly picking the Sox to win the Series this year, the tide is turning locally after Tampa's tenacious efforts the past couple of days. Even though the Sox won the Tuesday night marathon, the pen blew another save and The Nation is more than happy to accentuate the negative. Even boston.com's Insider email listed the Sox at 0-2 this morning. Pitching is a problem. Maybe Person can eventually help. Fossum and Burkett will be the big tests coming up on the starting end.

But what about the rest of the team so far? Millar is a star. The infield defense may be a little worse than advertised. Is Julio Zuleta still in Pawtucket? They could use the glove, and the right-handed bat. The outfield D may be a little better than people think as Damon chases down absolutely everything within a mile radius. But there's no speed beyond Johnny. The rest of the line-up is station-to-station at best (as I watch the Rays steal bases at will and drag-bunt infield hits... we won't see this at Fenway). The bats have been soft in general. Not everyone firing on all cylinders at the same time. Waiting for more OPS less LOBs.

It could be worse. Just ask Derek Jeter.

03.20.03 The skinny on Trot.  Last October, Trot looked terrible, he went home to Wilmington, NC weighing about 194 lbs. Trot's a little emotional (derh?!) so nothing was said to him, but some were thinking "JESUS H. CHRIST! Is he sick?". 

Trot said, "F*** stealing bases, they pay some skinny-ass f***** to do that s***. I want to get big, strong and scary and hit home runs -- feel good again."

His diet was tweaked, increased protein and caloric intake in general. He did cardio, but none of that Delta Force-Sprint-'till-you-puke crap he did last year. Last year he came back to camp around 220 and 8% body fat (that's 202.4 lbs Lean Body Mass (LBM) and 17.6 lbs of other.)

This year he came back at 230lbs. 11% body fat. That's 204.7lbs of lean body mass and 25.3 of other. That's eight more pounds of fat but much more importantly, 3 lbs more muscle mass. More muscle to burn the fat, more fat to preserve the muscle for a much more powerful season.

Trot ain't fat, and he's NO slower. No worries, just wait and see. He's doubling up on his cardio and maintaining his diet, he'll be fine. Big season coming, he'll shut people up.

1.16.03 The kids are alright.  The kid burst on stage with his '59 French sunburst Les Paul, singing the lead for the rockabilly riff "Keep On Rockin'". And the whole joint got rockin’ quick. He was the bomb on lead guitar, and lead vocals. Who knew the boy could sing? He turned it up a notch before it even started. And by his second song he was knee-deep in a rousing guitar solo. Boy Wonder was on fire… it was The House of Gammons, Peter can play. And PG was funny, humble, and a great host all night long.

“There are three addresses I know off the top of my head… 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, 24 Lansdowne Street, now Yawkey Way, and 2120 South Michigan Ave., the home of Bo Diddley” winded the gasbag. For their second and last song, Gammo’s band busted into a Chuck Berry rendition of “Route 66” with Peter taking the lead again, mesmerizing the packed Paradise... the Fenway Park of rock clubs, complete with three giant poles in the middle of the floor for that obstructed view feel.

Spoke briefly with Theo and his brother Paul, who may be the nicest guy on the planet, before the GM's weekend band Trauser went on next. As you may have seen on the news, he was decked out in a gray/black stocking cap for a while and was sporting a checkered gray-flannel shirt. You’d never know he was the GM for the Red Sox. He was having a good time, relaxed and kicking back with his homies, the antithesis of just-down-the-road at ‘The Whineys’ Dan Duquette. Other local luminaries in the crowd included Debbie Wrobleski taking tickets at the door (no she doesn’t remember my two-hour, three-drink courtship at Joe’s six years ago apparently), Joe Amorosino, Jeff Horrigan, Don “young Sinatra” Orsillo… and those were just the heavy hitters.

ESPN’s Rich Eisen, who is a rock solid poor man’s Chris Rock as the lead comedian… funny guy, Karl Ravech of Needham fame, and Gammons took the stage, razzing each other. Eisen was a riot joking about people sending Gammons $20 bills (as he’s a dead ringer for Andrew Jackson). They read a few written questions from the crowd “should Gammons replace Selig as Commissioner?” Ravech yelled out “screw Colon.” Theo came up on stage, Eisner read message from 'Death Star' “how’s the air up there?” Theo said “Ask Lucchino.” Lots of jokes thrown PG's way "is there a Peter Gammons fantasy camp? PG: Yeah, you log on and off all day", but also many items up for bid including "sit with John Henry for a Yankee game" prizes up for raffle.

“How did you come up with the name Trouser (or is it Trauser)?... is next album going to be “inside the beltway?”  Theo “unzipped.” Actually, the name came from "an inside joke" between Theo and his sister.

Gammons: “On ESPN, we hate closers blowing games because we have to stay on and wait. Rob Nenn is responsible for more 3:30am games than any man in history.” More Gammons: “you have to get to October, then anything can happen… and waxing nostalgic "you can only be young once but you can always be immature.”

Trouser came on at 9:20pm “on the same stage where U2 began 20 years ago” as PG introduced them. Theo played lead with a Hendrix/Clapton like blond Strat with a rosewood fingerboard, no Papa Roach Schecter for this young man, he’s a purist. His mesa boogie amp was on top of a Marshall cabinet, but he could have been playing from the Fender amp right next to it. Lead singer Tara Love (no relation to Courtney) started it off with “I am mine,” a new song from Pearl Jam. She hit all her high notes. Trouser followed it up with Neil Young’s  “Keep On Rockin’ in the free world.” Gammons called Theo “Iglasias General Manager” as his hat get-up made him look like Enrique Iglesias.

“The Gentlemen” came up next, sort of a Del Fuego’s sound, good stuff ending with the ballad “Pussywhipped” by the Dogmatics. I think we missed American Hi-Fi.

Wake, Fossum, Johnny Damon, in-shape, looking good with some wild-ass hair, all came onstage. Todd Walker spoke “heard you haven’t won the World Series in a few years?.... &%#! That, we’ll win the World Series this year.” Fossum was funny when asked about possibility of being traded all winter: “Every time I saw that 615 area code, I got nervous.” Naturally everyone yelled out “it’s 617!” Someone behind me said “he looks like the white Can.” Fossum weighing 163 says “I eat all I can but can’t gain weight… my wife is jealous.” Gammons said “We’re all happy he’s still here.”

(And most importantly, a lot of money was raised for the Jimmy Fund as Boston continues to lead the way in curing cancer in children. Go to www.jimmyfund.org to join the fight.)

Addendum: Kieran fills in the blanks as the 6:00am wake-up call cause a 11:00pm exit:

I spoke with Theo, very cool guy, comfortable in his skin, and he was certainly rockin' out on stage.

The signed Petey jersey went for $325!!

I thought you would've mentioned Johnny D's onstage antics. Let's just say he's in shape.....And I wonder if Wakes is feeling good this morning? He had some good pipes, though, on the closing tune of the night, Cheap Trick's "Surrender".

Top night all round, it sold out a few hours before the show. Next year will be bigger I expect and it might start to lose its intimate feel.

1.09.03 Going gets tough.  D-Day: "War's over, man. Omar dropped the big one.

Theo: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when Gammons bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: Gammons?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
Theo: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the going gets tough . . . the tough get going. Who's with me? Let's Go! Come on! AAAAEEEEEGGGHHHH!!

Theo is a smart guy...we KNOW you are, Theo. You don't have to schedule press conference calls, or go on nitwit radio, or internet chats, etc to tell us. Just do the job you're getting paid to do. And keep your mouth shut.

Part of the problem with exceptionally bright and talented, yet still immature, people is that they've got to tell everyone exactly how smart they are. Let everyone in on their new strategy, and how Bill James is on board, etc...

How about a couple of quotes?:

1. "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts" - Earl Weaver

2. "Never tell anyone outside the family what you're thinking" - Vito Corleone

An example just today: I read this morning Red Sox Dirt Dog's transcript of Theo's interview, and I just about pooped my pants. In response to a question about "the most overrated hitting statistic", he promptly responded " batting average."

Let me see now...you're up to your ass trying to get somebody to take the AL's #1 3B in batting average in 2002(!!!) off of your hands, (not to mention he's also the leader in ABs, Hits, 2Bs, and 2nd in TBs), and you just can't seem to get it done? Maybe because anybody who's ever listened to you and your cohort Bill James knows that the Shea you're trading is the guy who only walked 25 times, has a crappy OBP, and so you don't think very much of him, and are gonna dump him anyway.

Meanwhile, isn't it funny that Mueller's agent makes a beeline to your door, and bends you over the table to the tune of $4.5M for 2 years, because he knows how much you value the only offensive commodity his client maintains?

But Theo, you're smart, you're our guy, and you're gonna learn. Now, get out there, and earn some respect. Make someone afraid of you. You need to really make some people pay big time for this. Start by playing hardball. Make waiver claims on quality people. Jump into Omar's pending trades now and start showing some interest with those other clubs. Cut him off at the kneecaps, just because you can. God knows, that piece of &#%! has it coming to him, and good. Then, feast heartily on his entrails.

Who knows, maybe then you'll get Willie Mac to cower in fear about you someday. - Caroll Hardy  

1.06.03 Will's way. Met Will once. My friend's brother-in-law sang the national anthem at the Pats-Colts game during the Super Bowl drive in '96. Part of the deal was having the opportunity to come to the private brunch in Bob Kraft's office before the game... guys like old man Shaughnessy, not Dan, but the guy with the construction company, and other corporate guys milling about. So in walks Will McDonough, and he strolls over to the buffet, where I'm naturally hanging out, next thing you know my friend, McDonough, Kraft, and I are talking about Parcells, the game strategy, Chuck Fairbanks for 10 minutes that seemed like 10 seconds. He did make you feel like you were as important as Pete Rozelle in a football discussion. Unlike some other top dog writers in Boston who won't even look you in the eye on the street. Will was the real deal. And Ryan said he would have come around on Lucchino eventually.

1.04.03: Lucchino shows him who's boss.  Special from Caroll Hardy "Your Turn" - Three cheers for LL! Since when did Will Mac become the Cowardly Lion? He wants the Red Sox to bring in someone "..hopefully, that someone would be smart enough not to challenge Steinbrenner." Memo to WM: Drop dead, old man. go watch your stinking nfl.

LL is not afraid of Steinbrenner. And he shouldn't be. No, I think that "Evil Empire" PR shot skillfully fired across the Boss' bow will serve to demonize the MFYs throughout MLB should they meddle in l'affaire Colon/Vazquez. Giving Theo a free hand to stretch this thing as long as required to work the best deal possible. And with the acquisition of Colon/Vazquez to cap off the rest of the 2002-2003 off-season, the MFYs will be facing the 1984 Tigers in 2003. And let's give credit where credit is due: to the great work done by Theo and the new regime finishing up the similar great work started by the DD regime in locking up our nucleus through 2004.

And let the Boss get furious. What's he gonna do? Jump in and sign everybody? Fire Archibald Cox? And the rest of MLB is going to sit by idly? I don't think so.

LL knows exactly what he's doing and is serving notice to the Boss and MLB that unlike Harrington, et.al, they aren't going to take this lying down. Never underestimate those old school EBW/ Williams and Connolly guys. They are masters of public relations and hardball Washington politics, and they practically (if not actually) invented "spin control" and the art of demonizing your enemy. LL served with HRC and Bernie Nussbaum on the old House Impeachment Committee staff, so I bet their mutual animosity goes way beyond baseball. LL's survived cancer, and he's survived Nixon. I really don't think he worries about King George III.

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