It's a baseball town - Red Sox tickets

Johnny Be Good

"He spent a couple of days in Rhode Island last week and was part of a charity event at Foundry Sports Medicine on Wednesday. Proceeds from the event will benefit Friends Way, The Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Women's Oncology program at Rhode Island Hospital." -- Providence Journal

"It's incredible... What more can you ask for? Even being mentioned in the same sentence as Jesus or God... I mean, those guys are awesome. I'm just a knucklehead."-- Johnny being Johnny


Another Ticket Fiasco and Virtual Waiting Nightmare

Sox fix TicketsDotCom flaw they said never existed which locked thousands of fans out of an Opening Day opportunity during Christmas at Fenway. This time fans wasted a weekend locked in VWR hell hoping for more 'Magic Links' but if you had 700 windows open, or a 'Tinyurl,' are a scalper, or ticket 'broker,' you're fine as usual as the Red Sox Ticket Fiasco beat goes on.

It's Not in the Cards

Shocker: Red Sox Nation Cards are a Scam
And the 'Stocking Stuffers' Advertised on December 9, Won't Be Arriving Until Spring Training

"I waited 8 hours and never received the opportunity to pay $85 a seat for my tickets. My sister bought me the RSN for Christmas and when I was selected yesterday I thought I won the lottery. Instead, I didn’t work today and wasted 8 hours waiting to come out of the Virtual Waiting room. I have called and e-mailed the Sox before but when you have an endless supply of supporters you don’t need to worry about the little guy!" -- Stephen Thompson


Is it a Red Sox Nation or Patriots Country?

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Even on the brink of another Super Bowl appearance, a survey on the Patriots section of boston.com revealed that a whopping 82% say the Red Sox rule.
(Gerry Callahan just threw up in his mouth)

Yankee fan Brady and Yankee player Jeter Separated at Birth?

"Derek Jeter's. I like how Derek Jeter does a lot of things."-- Tom Brady when asked by WEEI's John Dennis "if you had a son and could by him one player jersey, whose would it be?"

Why Tom Brady Loves the Yankees

"Back in the late '90s, the University of Michigan football team had two very good quarterbacks. At the time, the "better" one was Drew Henson, who doubled as the U of M third baseman.

Henson was both a star quarterback with Heisman Trophy hopes and a top-rated major league prospect who was drafted by the Yankees yet, like many Yankee prospects, was traded away to the Reds for Denny Neagle. However, Steinbrenner is a graduate of Ohio State University (Williams actually, honorary from OSU) - Michigan's main rival in football. Looking for a way to screw over his rival team, George gave Henson a $17 million dollar contract to get him off the Michigan football team.

With the expected QB gone, Michigan had to turn to its backup - Tom Brady. Tom took his role and led Michigan to a Big Ten title and sending them to a BCS game, a victory over Alabama. In the spring, the Patriots took a small risk and picked him.

Without George blowing money to screw over a rival, Brady might never have gotten his chance to show what he was worth...and never be in the situation he is in now." -- Gordie Fall, Waterford, MI

"I just wanted to clarify the info you had about Brady and Steinbrenner. George did pilfer the Michigan QB in order to screw over the Wolverines but that was done after 2000, a year after Brady graduated. Henson in fact played a full year at Michigan after Brady left and was relatively successfull. During the 1999 season, Brady and Henson split time with Henson doing most of the slinging and throwing of interceptions (see the second quarter of that Orange Bowl) and Brady coming in and leading the team to victory late in the game. In the Orange Bowl, Henson sat on the bench the entire second half while Brady brought the team back from a 2-touchdown deficit." -- Christopher Murphy

"The email about Tom Brady/Drew Henson/NYY is just plain false. Henson was a true freshman in Brady's fifth year (red-shirt senior), and started two games. AFTER Brady graduated, Henson was the full-time quarterback at UM for a full season before he was drafted by the Yankees. George played no part in Brady's success. In fact Brady started over Henson and had an amazing season, leading Michigan to a 11-1 record and a Rose bowl victory. It is truly unbelievable that Brady was drafted in the sixth round, and this may be indicative of how good a player Henson might become." -- Rick James (superfreak?)

World Series Ball Joins Trophy on Tour

Breaking Ball News:
Joins Trophy on Tour

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The Boston Red Sox and Doug Mientkiewicz today announced that the baseball caught by the Gold Glove first baseman for the final out of the 2004 World Series will begin accompanying the Championship Trophy on its year-long tour throughout Massachusetts, New England, and Red Sox Nation. Representatives of the Red Sox and Mientkiewicz reached an agreement for the exhibition of the ball over the weekend. It will be encased in a special plaque created to commemorate the moment.

Millar is pumped and jacked

Now He's Jacked and Pumped

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Nick Merrill)

Stop the Presses: KFK is Actually Going to Get in Shape

"I've been in the weight room. I've worked as hard as I ever have this offseason, probably the hardest I ever have. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in just because of this whole thing. I'd do pushups just to keep the nights going by." -- Mr. Red Sox on MLB.com


"While shoveling the steps this morning (again), I finally understood. Of course. The Red Sox won the World Series, right? This is hell freezing over."
-- 1.28.05 Allen Rutberg, Holliston, Boston Globe, Letters to the Editor

Mariano Rivera as the Gimp

The Gotham Gimp

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(Nike.com photo)

Mariano Rivera Stars in New Nike Debacle

Denny Tomori signs with Red Sox

Breaking News: Sox Sign Tomori

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95 MPH Throwing Relief Pitcher Picks Sox over Reds, Blue Jays and Dodgers

37-year-old Japanese league (Yokohama Bay Stars) pitcher Denney Tomori agrees to a one-year deal with the Red Sox (amount undisclosed and changes if he makes the cut in spring training). He chose the Red Sox because Theo called him personally and told him that the Red Sox needed him. Tomori and his agent conducted an open house practice session Dec. 11 in Anaheim and 22 teams sent scouts. The Sox sent three scouts there to check him out at the time. Official announcement expected next week. Read more on Tomori here.

Sox Get Ball for One Year

New Ballgame Baby! Henry Lays the Hammer Down

BREAKING BALL NEWS: SERIES BALL COMING BACK TO BOSTON

Minky Gives Ball Back to Sox "For One Year"

"We have reached an arrangement with the Red Sox
but we will wait for them to disclose the details."
-- Jodi "Pants" Mientkiewicz to Gordon Edes

"There was never a fight, there was never words exchanged. It was very cordial, and we worked something out. I want the fans to see it, and that's what both the Red Sox and I agreed on. They waited a long time to see that ball and to live it. The fact that I had it was just so we could keep it and give it to the fans and let them see it. I didn't expect all of this with the ball. Sometimes in life you think you're doing the right thing and it doesn't turn out that way. That's kind of what happened here. I didn't think it was going to come out to this. Like I said, I gave Derek Lowe the Game 7 ball from the ALCS, and no one seems to want that one. There were never any hard feelings about it, though, with me and the front office. The whole thing, when the article came out, was blown way out of proportion. It made it sound like we were fighting for the ball. In order to be a fight, the other side has to not want to give something up and that's not my point. They never asked for it. When they asked for it, they got it. They're coming to get it and now it's over and done with." -- New York Met Doug Mientkiewicz

Jodi Expected to Make Official Announcement Soon
Doug Busy Signing "Last Out" Series Balls for eBay

Red Sox vs. Mets Game 6 1986

Sox Blow Two Run Lead in 10th, Lose Game 6 6-5
Stanley, Gedman Come Undone After Schiraldi Meltdown
"Worst Loss in Red Sox History"

The Night We Never Met

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(AP File Photo / Roger Clemens first pitch 10.25.86)

The Red Sox Try to Clinch Their First World Championship in 68 Years Tonight on NESN


In Case You Can't Bear to Watch Game 6...

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Mr. X)

Watch Paul Pierciaparra (he's the one in the black and grey stocking hat)
and the Celtics Take on the Pacers Tonight

Truth or Consequences? "Pierce Not Piece for C's"

Sox Make Trade for the Blade

Mientkiewicz Trade Official
Mets Introduce New BP Jerseys

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Evan J. Shenkman)

Theo Makes Trade for The Blade

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(NYFanSites.com Photo)

Millar's His Binky, So There Goes Minky

Historic World Series Ball Negotiations with Jodi Mientkiewicz Ongoing

Ian Bladergroen profile from USA Today Sportsweekly: Opening Day age: 22 HT: 6-4 WT: 210 B/T: L/L A torn wrist ligament suffered in July ended what could have been an amazing statistical season for Bladergroen, a 44th round draft and follow from 2002. When injured, he had been among the minor league RBI leaders and was having an overall Player of the Year calibre campaign. Bladergroen, who hit 32 homers in his last year of junior college, has plus power and is an excellant defensive first baseman. He hit .285 with 6 homers and 36 RBI at short season Brooklyn in his 2003 pro debut.

Mientkiewicz on the move

It's a Whole New Ballgame

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(Getty Images Photo)

Now That Delgado Has Signed, Theo is Scrambling to Move Minky

"Now that Delgado has landed with the Marlins, I think the Red Sox will trade Mientkiewicz to the Mets for either Victor Zambrano or Jae Wong Seong. The Red Sox need a healthy starter. Just my albeit humble prediction. -- Chip

Minkball Not Playing Well in Bismark: "Just Give the Ball Back Doug"

John Henry Wants Ball Back, Doug Gone
"I think the whole thing is disgusting," said one Sox decision-maker.


ACE OUT: 'Fold' Schilling Goes Down to Brad Garrett
But Curt Raises $5,000 for SHADE in Celebrity Poker

California Dreamin' No More

California Screamin'

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Adam Roth)

Transplanted New Englanders, friends of ours, and Red Sox fanatics Jon Davis (Dukes of Hazard Movie), Daniel Kellison (Jimmy Kimmel Live), John Ennis (Mr. Show), Eli Roth (Cabin Fever), Dicky Barrett (Mighty, Mighty Bosstones), Bill Simmons (ESPN.com), Dave Rath (Hollywood talent manager), Adam Roth, Gabe Roth and the rest of the Left Coast Crew throw back a few at the first annual Kevin Hench's (FoxSports.com and BDD alum) Red Sox World Series Celebration at Sonny McLean's in Santa Monica, California on Monday night.

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Adam Roth)

Eli and Sports Guy Wanted More Appletinis

Red Shirts Going Away

Red's Dead Baby. Red's Dead.

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Reliable SoSHer Reports Sox Are Done with the Hideous Red Shirts
New Alternate "Setback" Jersey to be Introduced Midseason

Curt Schilling on Bravo's Celebrity Poker

Ace of Diamonds is Dealing

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(Bravo Network Photo / Paul Drinkwater)

On Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown Tuesday

Curt Schilling plays no-limit Texas hold 'em against Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Sarah Rue and Catherine O'Hara for charity in the first episode of the series' fifth tournament on Tuesday night. Schilling plays to raise money for The SHADE Foundation, the skin cancer awareness foundation he and his wife Shonda founded in 2002. Check your local listing for a time in your area. (Boston is 8:00 p.m.)

Horrible Hankie

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Jason Hatzopoulos)

The Newest Item for Sale Today at the Steelers.com Pro Shop
(The Steelers AFC Champion t-shirts are also 50% off)

Patriots Steelers AFC Championship

JACKSONVILLE EXPRESS

BRANCHING OUT

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(Reuters Photo)

Schilling Breaks Out a Brady Shirt

Dynasty 41 Pittsburgh 27

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Favored Over Eagles by 6


R.I.P. Johnny
"For three days after death hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off."
-- Johnny Carson 1925 - 2005

Oil Can Boyd Wants to Return

Well-Oiled Machine

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(Boston Globe File Photo)

Rock & Roll 45's

Yes He Can: Boyd Wants to Return to Big Leagues at 45

"I'm throwing the ball as well as I ever have. I probably throw 90, and I've never thrown 90. I'm throwing all of my pitches."-- Former Sox Star Dennis Boyd

Slappy Speaks Up

Slap Shot

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Mike Hansen)

Slap Yap Yaps

"We beat him up a couple of times during the season, and he sat crying on the bench," Rodriguez recalled of Schilling. "Then he lost Game 1 in the series, and he wasn't talking."
(Except for the fact that Curt was talking just fine after he lost Game 1)
Asked whether he thought the comments were made for self-motivation and to stir up the rivalry, Schilling responded: "If that's what he needs, cool."


Say Hello to My Little Friend

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(Reuters Photo)

See You in April Mr. McBluelips

Who's Crying Now?

"The biggest move, when all was said and done, was the non-move. I think if we get A-Rod [Alex Rodriguez], we don't get here [to the World Series]. I don't question that for a second," said Schilling.

"He's a Hall of Famer, sure. But after getting to know people who a) play with him and b) have played with him, I don't think it would have worked here. I think this clubhouse would have been a much different place, and I don't think it would have been better, given the personalities involved." -- 10.28.04 Curt Schilling on Slappy

Rocket Returning to Houston

Another Rocket Relaunch

Early Rocket

(Boston Globe Archive Photo)

The Greatest Red Sox Pitcher in History Breaks Prima Donna Paydro's Salary Record

Merloni to Angels, Offerman to Phillies, Williamson to Cubs

Belli Knew Minky Was After the Ball

Belli Knew Minky Was After The Ball All Along

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(AP Photo)

Minky's Mind Was Already Made Up

""I could read his mind," Mirabelli said of Mientkiewicz. "He was
in that dog pile and squeezing his glove as hard as possible."

Doug Digging Trade Show Circuit

Top dollar paid for signatures and memorabilia

"Typically, organizers have flown in Sox players -- who dubbed themselves the Dirt Dogs during the '04 season -- to sign memorabilia for three or four hours in a private setting, then fly them back out. "Someone like (cable channel) QVC will sell a jersey for three grand," Mirabelli said. "At public shows, there's a flat fee. But I'd rather do private stuff; you don't have to feel like you're taking money straight from the public." -- Las Vegas Sun

Lawyers, Deans, Professors: Mientkiewicz last in line for rights to ball

U. S. Supreme Court Delivers Opinions on Million Dollar Ball


Thanks Beautiful Looking Good

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Chris Rattey)

Year-to-Year Contract Cub Nomar Garciaparra says "the Achilles is feeling really good"
326 days after his day-to-day soccer sheath wrist groin Achilles nagging discomfort.

'Rest' Was Key to Recovery

"It's funny because, often times, the doctor tells you that what you need is rest and you don't want to hear it," he said. "But they're actually right sometimes. Actually having the rest and having an offseason, it feels really good. You can't control the future or what will happen, but as of right now, I feel great." -- Nomar Garciaparra going into another free agent year

Ballgate Update

Breaking Ballgate News

Online Book Offers To Pay Minky FSU Tuition,
Then Give Sox Series Ball to Boston Fans

"Sportsbook.com is determined to purchase the ball and toss it back to the Boston community which stood by its team for almost nine decades," said Alex Czajkowski, Marketing Director, Sportsbook.com. "We have a very loyal customer base in Boston who have been great to us over the years," Czajkowski said adding "This is an opportunity for us to give something back. If four years at FSU is all it takes to bring a piece of history home to millions of devoted Boston Red Sox fans, then Sportsbook.com is more than willing to foot the bill." Sportsbook.com has informed the Boston Red Sox and a representative of Doug Mientkiewicz of its offer.

MLB I live for this fan casting calls

Commercial Appeal for Boston's Finest

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(Boston.com Photo)

Nation Idol

Vote-for-Mike Schuster-for-(insert team here)-Fan-of-the-Year and other over-the-top types are already in line for MLB's new "I Love This Game" commercials* casting call taking place
at Fenway on Saturday. I would imagine you need to bring your Official Red Sox Nation membership I.D. card in order to participate in the screening to represent Red Sox Nation.

* Fan promotion commercials are for playoff team cities only. Milwaukee, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Colorado and other Triple-A Fans are not invited to participate in this promotion as it is hopeless for them to compete and MLB is admitting it's now a 10 team league.

Pedro Martinez still taking shots at Sox

Delusional Diva Still
Burning Boston Bridges

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo)

"For me, it was pretty much easy to work with Omar. He kept it under the radar, did what he had to do. He didn't have to lie, didn't say anything negative."

Schilling shocked that Pedro threw Tito under the bus

Curt Schilling is a Steelers fan

Steel Curt

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(Fox Sports Video Image)

"I'm a Steeler fan"

Schilling's Apparently Tired of Being Associated with Winners
Big Schill Must Think Big Ben is the New Bradshaw


And Kevin Millar Reminds Theo That He Has Better Legs Than Mientkiewicz

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(Fox Sports Video Image)

Tedy Bruschi in Sports Illustrated

Eats Roethlisbergers for Breakfast

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(Sports Illustrated Cover Photo)

Dr. Z Gives Pats All 'A's'

"How about New England being favored over a 16–1 Pittsburgh team that’s playing at home? That ought to get the Steelers mad enough to ... to what? Put up more points? Figure out a way to crack a defense that stopped the Indy machine dead in its tracks on Sunday?

"No, I don’t think that’ll happen. I don’t like a rookie quarterback, even one as formidable as Ben Roethlisberger, against a Bill Belichick defense. Of course I said the same thing in October, when I picked the Pats to win. But Pittsburgh beat a crippled team that played without Corey Dillon (144 rushing yards against the Colts) and was without both tackles by game’s end. If your tackles can’t stand firm against the Steelers’ outside rushers, you’re dead meat, and that’s what happened to New England. Pittsburgh’s wingmen, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, were turned loose and gave Tom Brady a rough afternoon.

"Belichick and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel had two weeks to prepare for the Colts, and the result was devastating for Indianapolis. I’ve got to believe that during that time, they were doing a workup on the Steelers as well. The Patriots win it and meet the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX."

— Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated

Sox sign Bellhorn, Arroyo

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(AP File Photo)

A couple of one year deals

Numb3rs starring Peyton Manning on CBS

The Artful Dodger

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(No Hitter 4.27.02 -- AP Photo)

"I didn't do anything wrong!"

D-Lowe wishes Boston and the Red Sox "nothing but the best" but said that the Sox spent the same money signing "4-5 guys to replace us (Pedro and him)" and that Pedro's lashing out at the Red Sox took him by surprise. Derek also denies the rumors that he went out before the September 18 Yankees debacle and called it a "low blow." He was frustrated by the way it snowballed again after they clinched in Tampa saying "somebody kept resurfacing it (stories of his going out too late) either in the media or the front office because it would have died, case in point Tony Massarotti wrote about it last weekend." However he reiterated that a big market city like Boston "with intensity and media coverage" is appealing to him. "There's nothing like it" according to Derek who unlike Pedro left this town saying that the Red Sox were "a great organization."

WEEI D&C: Derek Doesn't Pull a Pedro on Way Out of Town
And Had 1,000 More Reasons to Over the Pampered Prima Donna


Sneak Preview of Numb3rs

To help capture an over-hyped quarterback-turned-playoff-lightweight, FBI Special Agent Don Eppes recruits his genius brother Charlie, who uses a mathematical equation to identify the Peyton Manning media mania point of origin by working back from the playoff game locations.

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Robert Fallon)

With Special Guest Star Peyton Manning

Somebody Gotta Peyton

Ready Tedy

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(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

From Peyton to Pittsburgh's Place

Patriots vs. Colts in AFC Divisional Championship

Jets Steal Page from Yankees Playbook
Double-Choke Debacle in Pittsburgh

R A Z O R    S H A R P    C H A N T

"Hoo-sier Dad-dy!"
"Hoo-sier Dad-dy!"

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(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Peyton Gets Spanked by Big Daddy Again Tonight

Doug Mientkiewicz World Series Ball Movie

Dinner and a Movie

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Meir Weinberg)

Just a Couple of Things You Can Do Before 4:45 on Sunday.

Don't Put Miracle on Ice Just Yet: Curt May Try to Come Back Month Early

Marvin Miller at Boston Baseball Writers Dinner

Marvin the Martian

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(AP Photo)

Union Jerk is on Another Planet When Talking About
the Scourge of Steroids in Baseball

MLB New Harsher Steroid Abuse Policy in Baseball

NEW POLICY WONK

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(Getty Images Photo / Chad Steiner Transformed to Hulk)

The Incredible Bulk

Bonds* Knows He's Still in "The Clear" with New Policy
Artificial Heir to HR Crown's Growth Treatments Will Beat System
No Forced Retirement for Bonds* in "Harsher" Steroid Plan
Cheater Won't Be Banned in in New Drug Deal
Aaron, Ruth Legitimate Records Remain at Risk

1975 World Series Game 6 Red Sox Reds

' 7 5   W O R L D    S E R I E S    W I N T E R    ON    N E S N

CARBO LOADS SOX ON HIS BACK
BOSTON BATTLES BACK TO BEAT CINCY, SEEING REDS TONIGHT

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Bernie Shot Heard 'Round the World

Carbo Stays Alive and Hammers Another Pinch Hit Homer. Bernie Three Run Bomb at 11:11 p.m. Brings Sox Back from Brink in Eighth to Tie Game 6 at 6.

Lynn Slams Wall and Ball. Dewey Goes Way Back for Greatest Grab.
Pen Writes Winning Script. Fisk Pole Shot Seals Deal in 12th.

Spaceman on Launchpad for Game 7 Tonight


New York Times OP-ED on Ballgate: "Doug Mientkiewicz should return the ball to its owner: the St. Louis Cardinals. Or he should just mail it to Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball.
Let him decide what to do with it."

Terry Francona's Gotta Go!
Stool Pigeon: Tito's the Metamucil Informer!

Derek Lowe joins the Los Angeles Dodgers

D-Dough is Gone But
Will Never Be Forgotten

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(AP Photo)

Derek Wants Intensity in Laid Back LA

"In the middle of the year, I struggled, and I'll be the first to admit it," Lowe said. "There wasn't a more disappointed guy in all of baseball than myself when it came to those four or five weeks when I struggled. I just kept telling myself that it was a long year and things could turn around."-- D-Lowe Doesn't Pull a Pedro

Say it Ain't So! Derek is a Dodger, and he won't go shoeless with that contract.

To distract you from the D-Lowe travesty, Sox set up Matt Clement on Dale & Neumy today

Vanderjagt makes Colts workout t-shirts

R A Z O R    S H A R P    C H A N T    ON    S U N D A Y

"Hoo-sier Dad-dy!"
"Hoo-sier Dad-dy!"

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(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Peyton Gets Spanked by Big Daddy Again on Sunday


Update: "AFC Champions 2004" Gear removed from Colts Website

Vanderjerk Made T-shirts

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(Indianapolis Colts NFL Pro Shop Photo)

The Colts Are Just Waiting for the NFC Champion to be Announced

Shea Hillenbrand joins the Toronto Blue Jays

Shea Hey is a Blue Jay

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo)

The Hillenbrands Come Back East

"I'm not going out quietly, I'll tell you that much," Hillenbrand said yesterday. "They think we're stupid."

"But if you tell me that Bill Mueller is going to be the first one off the bench and he's going to give you a day off, would you sign him to two years for $4.5 million? And they're talking about cutting costs and saving money. I'm not stupid."

"Why not sign me to a multiyear [contract]? Sign me now so I don't have to go to arbitration." What happens if I go out and have an All-Star year this year and go to arbitration? You have to pay me more."

Hillenbrand said on-base percentage is overrated unless you're the leadoff batter. To me, if I get a 7-8-9 hitter on base, it don't mean [expletive] to me." ...

They don't know what they have with me. If they get rid of me, they'll know what they have. You've heard of Jeff Bagwell?"

-- 5.29.03 Shea Hillenbrand on the Red Sox trading him to the Arizona Diamondbacks

The Flaxseed Oil Kid Will Ride
the Quarter Horses to Toronto This Time

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo)

Shea-hole is excited to see Theo "that little twerp"
(among other things he called the GM) 19 times a year.

The Horse and the Horse's Behind

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo)

"The horse's name is 'Lewinsky'" -- Steve Ciaccio, WEEI

The Hillenbrands Get Ready for Move Back East

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo)

Where's Noah's Ark When You Need It?

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo)

Welcome back Shea!
And yes, we've heard of Jeff Bagwell.

Wade Boggs Grabs Shotgun, Jumps in Truck
After Seeing Hillenbrand Animal Clan

Randy Johnson New York Media

Dr. Jekyll is All Smiles Now

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(AP Photo)

Angry Yankee comes out of hiding

United They Stand

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(ABC News Photo)

The New York Media gathers outside Randy Johnson's hotel hoping for an impromptu interview with the apologetic Bad Apple himself.

"You'll See What I'm Like!"
-- Big Jerk threat to cameraman Vince Everett

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Delgado not coming to Boston

Theo Won't Sign Delgado

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Kyle Potter)

But Carlos Would Look Great in a Boston Uniform

Randy Johnson New York Meltdown

Big Baby Blowup

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(CBS2 Photo)

Hothead Melts Down in Midtown

Big Apple Snapple

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Image / Nick Merrill)

The Manhattan Project's Tirade
Watch the Video Here

Angry Unit Shoves Cameraman on Day One

"Don't talk back to me!"


The Bronx Hillbilly

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Xpurgation)

Come 'n listen to my story 'bout a man named Randy
The sad Diamondback, was his modus operandi
And then on the day he turned his head to cough
He saw a cameraman, and told 'em to #&@! off.

"Frightened", he is, country boy... city streets...

Well, the first thing to know, is he's a millionaire
A tall, ugly southpaw, with curly 80s hair
He said, the "New York Yankees is the only place for me"
So he loaded up the truck and he moved to NYC

"Toilet", that is, press pools... nudie bars...

Well, now it's time to say goodbye to "The Randy Honeymoon"
He might be better suited playin' basketball with Boone
We're all invited back again to this reality:
He's just a cranky cracker with a gimpy, swollen knee

Hillbilly, that is, set a spell, take your shoes off

Y'all come back now, hear?

-- Peter Stasiowski, Boston Dirt Dogs


Meanwhile Schilling Runs a Marathon

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(SHADE Photo)

...Shonda Schilling, not the Big Guy

Boston Red Sox Ace Curt Schilling, in the spiffy Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts throwback jersey, hugs his better half Shonda, as she finishes the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon Sunday in Phoenix. Shonda finished the marathon in 4 hours and 50 minutes raising $40,000 for the SHADE Foundation. It was Shonda's first marathon (congratulations!). She will now be running the Boston Marathon in April to raise money again for SHADE. Stay tuned for details on how you can sponsor Shonda's first Boston run.


And Gammons Has a Beer

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(Boston Globe Staff Photo / George Rizer)

... Named After Him.

Get some limited edition Harpoon 'Commissioner's Pale Ale' produced to honor Peter Gammons and his role in the Hot Stove Cool Music benefit supporting the Jimmy Fund.

Hot Stove, Cool Music

Party Like a Rock Star

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(AP Photo)

Charity Begins with the Home Team

Send in Your Hot Stove Photos


D-Load

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(Ft. Myers News-Press Photo)

Derek Packs in on for LA

"They always say the next best rivalry is L.A. against San Francisco. Obviously on the West Coast, it's just as big. To be a part of that, a new beginning. That's the most exciting part... It wasn't money, it wasn't location. If you're going to go to a place for four years you want to make sure they have a chance to win and so I found it... So you're going to go out there and work your tail off these next six weeks and go in there and they're the defending champions in the (National League) West. So you want to go out there and make sure they win it again."
-- D-Lowe on pitching for the Dodgers

Yankee-Beater Ball Staying On Derek's Mantel,
No Authenticity Stamps Necessary.

Parting Shots: D-Lowe's Thoughts About Mud Slinging and the Media in Boston

Doug Mientkiewicz and the World Series Red Sox ball

Ballgate Swings Wide Open

Everybody Has An Opinion on the Story They Want
Everyone to Stop Talking About

"Doug sounds like he is trying to sound like a guy thinking this out as he goes along. I have heard everything said recently by Doug and canny wife, Jodi who clearly has a big future in public relations work and I hear a whole lot of spin going on. As both Doug and Jodi admit when she first saw him in the clubhouse, she quickly got around to asking; “do you still have the ball”? Interesting preoccupation, don’t you think? ...

"Some achievements in baseball despite occurring in a team context speak so much of individual accomplishment; a three thousandth hit, a no-hitter, a 20 strikeout pitching performance, hitting for the cycle, really any record individual performance, that we readily accept that the player deserves to keep memorabilia associated with the performance. But where was the individual performance here?

"What heroic individual feat trumping team play did Doug Mientkiewicz accomplish in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series that merited singling him out over the effort of the Boston Red Sox team and the hopes and histories of their legions of fans over 176 baseball games?

"The first time such a playoff series winning baseball came Doug Mientkiewicz’s way in a Red Sox uniform was in game 7 of the ACLS. He rightly saw that if one individual deserved the baseball, it was Derek Lowe and he gave the ball to Derek Lowe; nice gesture, Doug. ...

"I am confident that despite the initial response by Larry Lucchino who probably regrets his public airing, the matter will now be negotiated quietly behind the scenes. But make no mistake, Red Sox ownership will not tolerate a situation with an employee where they feel they are being taken advantage of and have options.

"If Doug and Jodi Mientkiewicz don’t come to their senses, Doug won’t be wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform in April 2005. This would be truly unfortunate as it is generally understood by people in the know that the Boston Red Sox intended if possible to trade Kevin Millar, in part because of off-field behaviors, and make Doug Mientkiewicz their first baseman, a move vigorously debated-largely supported by the fans." -- Brasstacks on RedSoxNation.net


Hot Stove, Cool Music Tonight
Cesar Salad Days Over, Crespo to Pirates
Five Out of Five Sources Agree: "Mets Get Beltran"
Ray-from-Lynn Reveals His Secrets

Hellowe Goodbye

Hellowe, Goodbye

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(Globe Photo / John Bohn)

D-Lowe Has Signed Deal with the Dodgers
Press Conference in LA on Tuesday

Saturday Wake Service:
Donovan's Tavern in Dorchester at 6:00 p.m.
Joe's American Bar & Grill on Newbury Street, 9:00 p.m.
Division 16, 11:00 p.m.
The Rack, 2:30 a.m.

Sunday Funeral Procession to Los Angeles:
Leaving from Dunkin' Donuts in Quincy, 11:55 a.m. sharp.

"If you don't have a drink and shed a tear for our own Derek Lowe tonight, I don't know what we're doing in this life."-- Ted Sarandis at sold-out Conte Forum

Godspeed and Thank You for Everything D
You Will Be Missed by Many in Boston

Mientkiewicz Ballgate with World Series Ball and Red Sox

The Verdict is In

MinkStole.jpg

Especially the Mrs.
But Sox Were Dumb Not to Claim The Ball Before Series Sweeper.


Making the Most of Ballgate

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(Boston Globe Archive Photo)

“Foulke underhands the ball to first. ... He’s out!. ... and Mientkiewicz steals it! Over to Jodi. Mientkiewicz stole the ball! It's all over! It's alllll over! Doug Mientkiewicz is being mobbed by the fans. It's alllll over! Doug Mientkiewicz stole the ball.”

-- Dearly departed Boston Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most, on Doug Mientkiewicz legendary play to end Game 4 of the 2004 World Series against St. Louis.

Twins Killing: Minky Thrown Under Bus for Taking Ball

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Hrbek, Larkin, Kelly Kick Doug to Curb
And Jodi emails the Star Trib too

Gene Larkin: "I think if I had it and the team had wanted it, I'd give it to the team," Larkin said. "If Doug wants to keep it for himself, honestly, I don't think the Red Sox would want him on their team."

Twins Legend Kent Hrbek offered this advice: "If Doug was playing in the U.S. Open tennis tournament and he won it on the final serve, then that tennis ball belongs to him. But baseball is a team game, so that's a team ball. That's what I would have done.

Hrbek recalled Mientkiewicz's tenure with the Twins when he often angered his employers with bold comments. "There goes Dougie," Hrbek said. "Right in the middle of another controversy."

Manager Tom Kelly: "He needs to give the ball back. Can you imagine him stepping on the field there if he doesn't?" He didn't need much time to determine what Mientkiewicz should do. "That ball is certainly not his," Kelly said. "... When Mr. Lucchino asks for the ball, I'm sure he'll hand it over. Right?"

Lucchino Airs Dirty Laundry, Drags the Nation into Mess

WEEI's Glenn Ordway: "He (Lucchino) wants to return it to ‘Red Sox Nation,” and now the Red Sox are charging people $10.00 to be a part of ‘Red Sox Nation.’ …I agree with that (there’s hypocrisy on Lucchino’s part)… Larry Lucchino could have dealt with it in a private manner behind closed doors as opposed to putting it out in the public. He chastises the media all the time for creating stories, creating controversies, I hear him all the time on Dennis and Callahan ‘here we go again’ well ‘here we go again’ Larry Lucchino is out there and creating controversy himself and kind of throwing some dirt out there."

It's Doug's Lucky Day

Sox President Larry Lucchino: "We're going to make a request of him to return it to us. We want it to be part of Red Sox archives or museums so it can be shared with the fans. We would hope he would understand the historical nature of it… This is a gray area as to what players think they can take with them. We're going to ask Doug for the ball. I think it would be a nice gesture on his part to return it to Red Sox Nation."

Shaughnessy Sets the Record Straight

CHB on Mustard and Johnson: "I was actually curious about the ball, and I had been asking myself, ‘he must have it,’ he actually walked by me in the corridor in St. Louis after they had won and I said ‘is that the ball?” and he was clutching it like he was Tiki Barber going into the line holding the thing. So I assumed he had it, and why wouldn’t he have it? So I did call and we chatted briefly about the Millar situation, first-base trade and there’s not really anything groundbreaking or new there and I wasn’t particularly interested in that anyway unless he was going to say ‘I demand a trade’ or something. I said ‘what about the ball?’ He was very forthcoming, he was very lighthearted. When he says ‘I can be bought’ I know that’s tongue in cheek. I think in the paper… I read somewhere where he said he expected a lighthearted article, I kinda thought it was, I mean I said it was like the Faberge Egg, The Hope Diamond, and it wasn’t until Lucchino called me back which was late Thursday night and said that they’re going to ask for it back that it took on a little bit of kind of a contesting of the ball. And at that point I called Peter Chase, Charles Steinberg, and Glen Geffner and said ‘here’s what I got, it would be good to get Doug again on this’ and they were unable to reach him for the rest of the night, I said ‘you can call me until 1:00 in the morning. John Henry called me at midnight and said he was going to try to talk to Doug. He said he couldn’t believe no one had asked about it. He was kind of surprised. I think that they’ve kind of been wondering. I was in Lucchino’s office Tuesday and said ‘what’s up with the ball?’ he says ‘geez I don’t know’ and he called somebody in their administration and that kind of got the ball rolling so to speak. I was just curious, but when Doug called me back he was very forthcoming about it and I certainly didn’t misquote him and I don’t think he’s pretended to say that, he wanted to present it as he said it with his tongue in his cheek but I thought that was apparent… I didn’t present it like he’s throwing down the gauntlet or anything and I did try to reach him after Lucchino at 9:30 on Thursday night, and that was with calls all day and emails. I emailed John Henry at noontime Thursday (to ask him about it), he said ‘I’ll get back to you on this today and 12 hours later he called me… I don’t think Doug’s a bad guy at all. I don’t blame him for doing what he’s doing. I think that he’s got it. When a guy puts it in a safety deposit box and has it authenticated I think it’s pretty clear he thinks it’s his and I’m not saying that makes him a bad guy at all. He seems like a great guy. It’s just an interesting question… technically I think the St. Louis Cardinals own the ball, one guy at the Red Sox said ‘the Cardinals buy the balls for the games there, we buy the balls for the games at Fenway’… MLB is saying it belongs to the ballplayer unless the Red Sox choose to contest it, I don’t know how strongly they’re going to contest it. If you notice, Doug’s not happy with me, maybe feels ambushed whatever, but at the same time he has the ball and he doesn’t want to give it back, which is OK, but don’t get mad at me because of that, I mean he’s the guy that’s got the ball and won’t give it back… We know it’s a stupid thing, it does happen to have monetary value to a lot of people, certainly to a high bidder it probably would, that’s why Doug has it in a safety deposit box and got it authenticated… It’s just something that everyone has an opinion about it. It’s harmless, fun, nobody gets hurt here, no one’s a bad guy. It’s just a harmless, fun story."

Doug Mientkiewicz on ballgate

Who's Your Mommy?

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(Jodi and Doug Mientkiewicz)

Jodi Says Lucchino Has to
Go Through Her

Jodi, and Doug's Mother, Are Calling the Shots

Not Your Average Jodi: Mrs. Mink Calls into The Big Show, Says They "Have No Intention of Selling the Ball"

"It’s amazing that we’ve had it for three months, we’ve told lots of other media sources that have asked ‘where’s the ball?’ we told them we had it authenticated, we told them it’s with us in Miami, no one’s ever said anything, no one from the Red Sox has ever said ‘we’re glad you kept that ball’ nothing… I had to just drive home with it, I drove home from Boston and I was scared to death because I had it in the car. As we got back I put it in the same safety deposit box that we have the Olympic medal in and the irony is Doug can’t even get into that box because it’s registered under my name and his mother’s name, so you can’t even really blame Doug, blame me. He (Lucchino) has to go through me.

"He had it in the clubhouse (after the game) and I asked him, I said ‘do you still have the ball?’ and he said ‘yeah’ and I said ‘let me put it in my purse so it doesn’t get lost in here because I don’t know if any of you guys were in there, there was a lot of media in there, and it was chaotic when they won. I just kept it in my purse. And the next day MLB actually approached Doug and said ‘if you want to authenticate it, we’ve got people here and we’ll register it to you, and it will be registered under your name and everything, so he went ahead and did it.

"We do not have any intention of selling this ball. We’ve actually had people who have asked to buy it and we’ve said no to them. They went through our agent. There was one offer that was very, very low and I think the highest offer was $25,000 maybe I believe. No one has ever asked us to put it anywhere... I don’t understand the timing of it at all, we’ve had it for three months, I would have thought somebody would have contacted us right afterwards, he had it authenticated at Fenway, it’s not like they didn’t know he had the ball, but nobody had said anything and then Shaughnessy called actually to talk about the whole Kevin Millar trade thing, and Doug didn’t want to comment on that so they just started talking about the ball.

"It’s sad that everybody’s dealing with this, and this is this national issue today when the Red Sox could have just come and said we have this museum, or we’d like to do this with it, and do we have your permission, you could still retain ownership. I mean it would have been ‘yes, yes’ here it is. The ball would have already been there probably by now… but that’s not the way things unfolded.

"It’s not any question of the ownership. If MLB says that we own it, and it was registered under Doug’s name, I was standing right there, then yeah, we do own it, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want everybody else to experience it.

"If this is the way that the writer portrayed it to the media, I can only imagine when he called them to get their quotes, the way he said that Doug said it, you know what I mean, I don’t know how that transpired, I don’t know what their conversation was, I can only imagine he called up and said ‘hey, you’ve go this player who says it’s his ball and he’s gonna sell it and send his child, who he doesn’t even have, to Florida State… I don’t think it will affect how he plays, it might affect how some people perceive him and that’s just gonna be whether you believe some of the stuff that you read in the paper today, or you believe the truth.

"I told Doug I said ‘now that this has become funny with the ball, maybe the ball will be my little Nelson and I’ll just take it to the park and take pictures, $10 to take Polaroid pictures…”

(After listening to Jodi, when she's not posting online or emailing about this, has anyone ever seen her and WEEI quasi-celeb-caller Allison-in-Cambridge in the same room together? She's making Brenda Warner look like a wallflower.)

"I just didn't realize how one writer could infuse a load of bull onto a nation. We have all kinds of media from around the country calling to say -- "Will you give the ball back?" Is there nothing else newsworthy right now?"
-- Jodi Mientkiewicz on RedSox.com message boards

Eyechart Sees Ball Differently

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Nick Merrill)

Hear what Minky had to say with Dale and Neumy

Mr. and Mrs. Minky Fire Back on Ballgate

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(Boston Globe Staff Photo / John Tlumacki)

Minky Says He Was Sandbagged by Shaughnessy, Says Lucchino Has His Number, Maintains Claim Ball is His

"I should never have called him back, and I did and I didn’t want to... First of all he (Foulke) wasn’t going to throw it to me, I’m yelling at him, ‘throw me the ball!’ I want to be on Sports Illustrated too. He threw me the ball and I held on to it. I held onto the one when we won against the Yankees too. Derek had pitched such a good game, he’s gotta have that ball. I gave it to him after all that he had been through, and I was going to give him this one, and I thought, “this is crazy, I’m a baseball buff, it’s something I want to hang on to.”

“The funny thing about all this, all this came up now. I’ve been telling everybody since the minute we won that I had it. No one has contacted me, no one has said two words to me about this ball.

“The whole thing about me wanting to sell it, I was saying it laughing. The other guy (Shaughnessy), he was laughing. I thought it was going to be a light-hearted article, I was just joking around with him and kidding about it and the whole thing about I can be bought, it was all in jest, it was one of those things. I’ve tried to keep my mouth shut all winter, but when someone backs me into a corner that way, I’m going to come out fighting. If someone portrays me as as someone I’m not, I’m going to have a problem with that. Red Sox fans have not had a chance to know me, to know my personality. The last thing I am is money crazy but I’m also not going to give the thing away either. Not in the near future (does he have plans to sell the baseball)… I would like to keep it. I’ll be more than happy to loan it out, that’s part of baseball history. That’s why I had it authenticated…” -- Doug Mientkiewicz with WEEI's Dale and Neumy

Doug says: "If they want to show it to fans, I’d be happy to. In fact, I’d show it off myself. I was furious when I came home after lifting weights, and got all these messages, people calling my mom, my sister. It’s out of control." -- mabrowndog transcript of Mientkiewicz's interview on SoSH

Jodi Doth Protest Too Much

"well i might find that i regret posting this but i used to post frequently on the twins board and found most of them to be respectful and intelligent baseball fans. from what i have read here over the last 6 months, i find the same to be true here so i will at least impart the truth of this story. yes doug does have the ball and yes we did authenticate it after the series. thank god we did or any person off the street could claim they had the ball. we have told numerous sources since the series ended that we have the ball and not until this article have we been approached by anyone with the red sox to return it to them for a museum. furthermore, the first we heard of that was through the media and not through a personal conversation with anyone with the red sox. doug and i have no intention of selling the ball for profit. doug did say he could be bought, joking and laughing the whole time. he also said how much he knows the value of this ball and what it means to red sox nation. so before everyone goes crazy, know this, we have always had the ball, we have told other media sources we have it and they have never pitted us against the ownership. there must be some agenda here that i am unaware of but i am sure doug and the team can resolve everything and all will be happy in the end.

"honestly - until this morning- we had not even talked about it. so to be completely forthcoming, i don't know where it will go first. i am sure it will end up there. like i have said- we have not even talked to the management to find out what they would like to do. one thing we know - it should not sit in a safety deposit box. we need to discuss with the red sox where it should go, whether it be to a museum, or the Hall or on a tour. this should have been a conversation we had privately but i guess it gives people something to get fired up about when exposed to the public. based on the way the media operates up there- you guys will probably know before i do as to what happens.

"you're welcome. the irony is he called doug to talk about the kevin/doug situation going on and doug did not want to comment about anything until theo made a decision so they started talking casually about the ball and the world series.

"trust me - we are no strangers to slanted journalism but i think he is going to wait til after he speaks with ownership privately before he comments publically. the one thing this shouldn't become is doug gets traded cause he didn't give the ball back or kevin gets traded cause doug did give the ball back. it should have nothing to do with management's decision. they are both great players and we should probably let this simmer down for a bit."

"this is definitely learning the hard way not to say anything in jest. When a writer calls wanting to get info on the kevin/doug debate - gets nothing from doug - then goes on to ask him what he did with the ball -when we have already told everyone. And then prints doug's lighthearted comments about being able to be bought as some statement of "ill take the highest bidder". bottom line if doug wanted to sell the ball - it would have been sold. if the red sox wanted the ball from doug - they should have asked him for it. i just had some reporter show up at my door 15 minutes ago to talk to doug. this is so exaggerated, it's ridiculous. yes ulimately doug did answer the writer's questions in a playfull manner. but if the red sox wanted this ball so badly to put in a museum, why did they wait 3 months til the week when a deicision is going to be made about trading doug or kevin to discuss it - and not with doug- but with the media? i don't know why all of this is being brought up now but i'm sure we will all find out.

"trust me we have heard far worse than this before- but i just didn't realize how one writer could infuse a load of bull onto a nation. we have all kinds of media from around the country calling to say - will you give the ball back? is there nothing else newsworthy right now? it will probably start a whole series on "where are they now" - all the last outs of the all the world series balls. and if the red sox don't go to the WS it will be the curse of doug mientkiewicz and then if he gives the ball back and we don't go to the WS it will be the curse of the ownership taking the ball back, etc. now we have reporters taking pictures of our house so i am sure you will all see our house by tomorrow." -- Jodi Mientkiewicz, RedSox.com message board

Whose Ball is it Anyway?

Boggs Will Wear Red Sox Cap into Hall of Fame
World Champs to Open MLB Season Sunday on ESPN in Bronx
Out Law: Ty's Gotta Eat Someplace Else, Pats Career Over

Theo on WEEI

Theoretically Speaking

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(Globe Photo Archive)

Theo on WEEI with Dennis & Callahan. Listen here.

On Schilling: "I wouldn't count him out guys (to face Randy Johnson on Opening Day in New York). The main reason that Schill said he won't be ready for Opening Day is not because his ankle won't be healthy enough to pitch, it's because the process of being in the cast and doing the rehab pushed his preparation schedule back, he has one of the longest off-season programs of any starting pitcher...I still think there's a pretty decent chance he's ready on Opening Day... it's not as big a deal as people are making it out to be, anything can happen -- we're dealing with ankle surgery -- but if the rehab continues to go well, he'll be fine."

On the Idiots: "The reason it worked last year 98% of the time is that they respected each other, they respected the game, they still behaved in a professional manner, again, for the most part. We just want to make sure we don't go too far over the line, and lose professionalism, we don't want to lose respect for the game. We do want to maintain the relaxed, fun elements of our clubhouse. We just want to make sure we have the Jason Variteks of the world, the Edgar Renterias of the world, Trot Nixons, Tim Wakefields, I could go on and on and on and on but the guys who really do things the right way. And I think we do, I think we have a good combination of personalities in the clubhouse now. Yeah (the line was probably crossed a few times), just like you probably crossed the sometimes, and I do too, sometimes when you're having fun, and good things are happening, you get too much of a good thing, and you probably do things that you look back on and wish you hadn't done or said, but that's just life. That's the way it happens, and it was nothing we couldn't overcome and it will probably happen again next year."

On Beltran: “I hope it’s one of those two (Mets or Astros) and not the Yankees. I think it’s probably best for baseball if he goes back to the Astros, we were trying to trade for him, a lot of teams were, they (Houston last year) I guess made the best offer, they made a great trade, he helped turn their season around, they did really great things in the second half, he was unbelievable in the post season for them, it probably be best for baseball if they’re rewarded and he gets to stay there and maybe not even at top dollar, but what makes sense for him, so I hope that’s what happens. Early in the off season (we considered Beltran some) you kind of look at what money is available to you, what money maybe you can free up, what are your needs, what’s it going to cost to acquire him, but in the end it wasn’t worth it for us, not only because of the price tag, but because of the process. In other words, we couldn’t put so many of our eggs in that basket, when by definition because of the salary involved that’s a lot of eggs, and then wait and on January 8th be finding out whether you’re going to have a successful off-season or an unsuccessful one because that’s the way this process was going to work with this player and this agent. In this particular case, we couldn’t put that many eggs in that basket.”

On Johnson and the Yankees: "It's a good acquisition for them... our approach to the Yankees, especially during the off-season, is we assume they are going to win 100-105 games every year, they have basically limitless resources and they're extremely smart, and they usually spend their money the right way, they have a great gameplan, and their track record. They're going to win 100-105 games, why worry about it? Nothing we can do to prevent that, just sets the standard for us. If we want to compete in the division we've got to try to win about 100 games and that's our long-term baseball plan, and our business plan, win 95 to 100 games every year, get in the post-season hopefully every year, and that gives us a chance to 'one of these days we're going to do something special in the post-season and win the World Series in the post-season and it happened. It doesn't change our long-term plan. You don't have to try and build an uber team. You don't have to try to react the Yankees and build the perfect team. You can't do it and stick to your baseball plan. I'd love to get in there 9 out of 10 years if we can and try to win more than one World Series."

On Hanley Ramirez: "Hanley's probably going to Double A to start the year, he only played several weeks there at the end of last year, he's just 21 years old, he's got a lot of development left to do, his ceiling is really limitless, so he's going to stay at shortstop for now but sure, down the road, if we're put in a position where we have to consider a position change for him, he's got tremendous athletic ability, tremendous instincts, size, speed, power, range, and arm, so he could play center field, he could play third base, he could play second base, but we're going to keep him at shortstop."

On Wade Miller: Cautiously optimistic, this is a guy who’s not available at all if he’s completely healthy, but we had a leg up on the competition, in acquiring him because we were trying to trade for him. We had gotten all the medical from Houston, we did a physical with our doctor and we knew the state of his shoulder when I think a lot of other teams didn’t. So when he was non-tendered, and we got an idea towards the end that he might be, other teams probably had to go out and do due diligence on his shoulder, and we already knew, so we were able to sign him right away. Last exam he had he had full range of motion in his shoulder, excellent rotator cuff strength, excellent strength throughout the shoulder. And he’s going to start throwing this week. So he could start 30 games for us, he might not start one game for us, but at $1.5 million, and then controllable for next year, makes all the sense in the world to us, and we think he could be a big addition.”

On Matt Clement: “Kind of overlooked here has been Clement, we’re bullish on him, he’s awfully talented, but it hasn’t come together for him in the course of one season yet, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t pitched well, what really hasn’t happened is he hasn’t had run support, he hasn’t had certain circumstances to boost up his win total, but you stack up his performance, let alone his stuff and his potential, up against other pitchers, he’s on the cusp of being a 15-18 game winner, getting 6 runs of support a game as we hope to provide for him should really help as well.”

On the starting pitching market and managing risk: “Something unanticipated I think, throughout baseball, happened to the starting pitching market, every team had to adjust, I’ll be the first to admit, we had to adjust, you can’t always script things out perfectly, but you have to be able to call audibles and adjust. What happened was a couple of signings occurred with other teams and next thing you know there’s a long list of pitchers who are in line to get $8 million a year over three or four years, that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten that. To be completely honest with you, in my mind, were not worth that. Clement was, but there were a long list of pitchers who got that who in my mind probably weren’t worth it, so we considered that an unmanageable risk, and unnecessary risk, just going out and signing three guys to those contracts because that was the going rate was not wise, it was unmanageable risk, so what we did is… we knew we had to take a risk of some sort in the starting pitching market, so instead of taking an unmanageable risk, we decided to take a manageable risk, one that we could deal with and by that I mean in most years we probably don’t go get a 41 year old David Wells, but getting a quality guy like that, on a heavily incentive-laden deal, makes sense given the alternative of unmanageable risk. Signing Wade Miller coming off a frayed rotator cuff, in most years I hope we have the luxury to do that, but most years we don’t especially if we dive headlong into the starting pitching market and spend big bucks there. So now we risks that we can manage, we have six starting pitchers, now we can manage risk a little bit, come out with five healthy guys who have to pitch to earn their money and we’re really happy with the way it turned out even though it wasn’t anticipated.”

Millar and Doug the Ball Stealer: “Both guys deserve to be every day first baseman, both guys help teams win and bring a lot to the table. Obviously they have different skill sets. It’s a shame we can’t keep both of them but they’re both at points in their career that they want to play every day and it makes sense for our budget to make a trade. Go get a prospect and continue to build our farm system, and let both guys play every day. I wish we could make a trade now so I could let both guys know, but I think with Delgado out there, a lot of teams are waiting for him to sign before they go ahead and address first base... we have trades we could make right now, but I think once Delgado goes off the market we'll have more engagement and make something happen.”

On Delgado: “That’s (the LA radio report of Delgado signing), you know, people get creative this time of year but we’re not on Delgado, we’re going to do exactly as we said, trade one of the first basemen, hopefully get a good prospect, and that’s our team.”

On the fear of having Tony "The Phoney" Clark beat you: "The one at bat that I think about, that I get cold sweats about, and this has gone on under the radar screen is, remember that at bat at the end of Game 6 in New York, we kind of had that game in control, the A-Rod play happened and all that, then all of a sudden Foulke’s getting squeezed by the home plate umpire, he doesn’t have a good change-up that day, he’s thrown about 1,000 pitches in the last 72 hours then all of a sudden Tony Clark comes up, as the winning run, with two outs, yeah he punched him out, but not after a tough at bat and I'm thinking 'the guy basically ruined our 2002 season' (editor's note: THANK YOU THEO), now he's going to ruin our 2004 season. After Aaron Boone the year before, I think that would have made me jump. But yeah you figure you gotta throw him a fastball, he doesn't have a good change-up, the strike zone's really small, Clark, if he runs into one, is going to hit one out to end the season, and that would have been the worst possible way, and he struck him out, but that was probably the at-bat that I was the most nervous for during the year, and I still kinda cringe when I think about it because I could just see him running into one and ending our season."

Carlos Delgardo to the Red Sox?

No Deal for Delgado

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(AP Photo)

Update: Sources close to the situation have confirmed that there is no validity to the Los Angeles-based radio report that Carlos Delgado has signed with the Red Sox. Earlier today, Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton, a host of LA based radio station XTRA Sports 690/1150 (The superstation) reported on air that the Boston Red Sox had signed free agent first baseman Carlos Delgado to a four-year deal for $46 million ($11.5 per year).

"Having spoken to an irrefutable source," CN8's Ed Berliner also confirms "there is absolutely no validity to the story whatsoever" and the source was "laughing at the LA radio report." The source did confirm that Delgado's representatives have been in contact with the Red Sox, but nothing is imminent or worthwhile to report at this time."

Randy Johnson goes to New York

Empire Strikes Back

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Meir Weinberg)

Yankees, Johnson reach $32M, 2-year deal

He's a Wade Man - Boggs Bites Back

Car Dealer’s Choice

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(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo / Jason Dalrymple)

Headline: Commissioner Bud Selig Approves Johnson Trade.

Ever since Commissioner-for-life (CFL) Bud Selig approved the New York Yankees trade of Javier Vazquez and megabucks for Randy Johnson, I’ve been troubled. Troubled by what future imbalance of power or misrepresentation could cause el jefe to reject a trade. Recall, of course, that in 1976, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided the Red Sox purchase of Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers from the A’s, delaying the Red Sox inevitable ascension to World Champions.

How appropriate that baseball’s CFL began his career as a humble multimillionaire car dealer, allowing him to join baseball’s ownership club as purchaser of the Seattle Pilots for $10.8 million. In baseball, he didn’t have to worry about Lemons (Bob or Chet) just about winning baseball. Of course, when he became Commissioner, his ownership was placed in trust. Forbes estimated the Bud Selig Trust ownership franchise Milwaukee Brewers franchise value at $238 million dollars, just above the Yankee annual payroll.

To quote from the Selig biography at www.baseball-almanac.com. “As the owner of a small-market team, Selig obviously understands the difficulties that the “Milwaukees” of the world have going up against financially superior teams like the New York Yankees. This issue will continue to plague Major League Baseball and along with the debate over mandatory drug testing, has turned the spotlight on Bud to fix the problem at all costs. Over the last few years, many fans and media have doubted Selig's abilities refusing to recognize that any of his policies have had a noticeable impact on fixing today's “broken game”.

What constitutes grounds for approbation of a baseball trade? Follow the money. Selig obviously sees a redistribution of MLB wealth as the principal benefit. As baseball’s Robin Hood, he takes from the rich, George Steinbrenner, and gives to the ‘poor’, Arizona. Does Troy Glaus have incriminating pictures? The Yankees will fork over additional dollars in luxury tax for the privilege of owning the forty-something Big Unit. Another win for baseball’s ‘small market’. We are talking a virtual rise of the proletariat.

What could keep Selig from approving a trade? At Boston Dirt Dogs, we have solicited opinions from around the globe in search of the truth.

Unnamed source from the Dalai Lama’s staff: “We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection. An unkind word from New York could turn our cheek.”

From the Wachowski brothers, writers of The Matrix: “you know the scene where the agents make Neo’s mouth disappear. Something like that, you know, where the Commish couldn’t speak. Freaky, man.”

From the Federal government: “duct tape and plastic. Enough duct tape and plastic and you can stop anything.”

From Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs: “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

From Reverend Jerry Falwell, “The ACLU’s got to take a lot of blame for this.”

From Bill Clinton: “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured for what is right with America.”

Of course, more likely causes for Bud’s rejection of a Yankee trade would be the Solar System disappearing in a black hole, the earth being hit by a giant asteroid, or Selig attending a marathon session of the NHL’s new videos, “highlights from the 2004-2005 hockey season.”

Some say the Yankees are unbeatable with Johnson and their quarter million dollar infield. I think Albert Einstein’s view of next season is good enough. “I never think of the future, it comes soon enough.” Whatever happens, be sure that Selig will be wearing his pinstripe suit.

-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs


Boggs Style Wasn't in Fashion

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(AFP Photo)

Wade Rips 'Selfish' Tag

1.5.05: Hall of Famer Wade Boggs on WEEI’s The Big Show:

Steve Buckley: When you played for the Red Sox, your critics, and I believe you know who they are and were (WB: Haa, you mean “the geniuses?”), exactly the geniuses would say about Wade Boggs, all he cares about is getting on base, now in 2004 (WB: It’s fashionable) It’s fashionable, exactly. The GMs are going out and beating the bushes looking for Wade Boggs…

WB: And guys that can do that are making $8-9-10 million a year too… (SB: Are you amused by that?) I think it’s funny, it was something that I was good at. I was sort of a pioneer along those terms. And back then it wasn’t fashionable to get on base 300 times. It wasn’t fashionable to get 200 hits and 100 walks. And nowadays when guys do it, it’s unbelievable. And getting on base and having an on-base percentage of .450, .460, .470, umm I’m still trying to figure out what’s selfish about that… somebody’s gotta get on in front of Big Jim Rice to hit that three-run homer.

Steve Burton: Do you believe Jim Rice should be a Hall of Famer?

WB: Absolutely. Absolutely I’ve been talking about Jim for two days now and I’m one of his biggest backers. He’s got proven numbers, .298 with 1,400 RBIs over 350 home runs, over 2,400 hits. When you look at his stats and the amount of time that he did it in, I believe it’s 16 years, without a doubt he’s a Hall of Famer.

Glenn Ordway: I wonder what you’re feeling was watching the Red Sox win something that you tried to help with and that you know how important it was for this community. What was your reaction?

WB: “I loved it. We were just pulling for the Red Sox, and we were just going nuts. And I still have a lot of close friends that are elderly in the New England area and they were begging the Red Sox to win a World Series before they went up to that big Fenway Park in the sky so I was so happy for the New England area and the Boston Red Sox organization that I felt a part of it. And to listen to Curt Schilling say that this one was for the guys that came before us, the Wade Boggs and this and this. That was so special, he didn’t have to say that. And to sit there and to finally see something that took so long to occur, and two months ago I was in Boston for the (Red Sox) Hall of Fame dinner… just walking down the street looking at individuals with their head held high and their chest poked out, there’s a different swagger about Bostonians right now that they’re on top and I’m telling you it just brought back that old-timey rival of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and it’s so great for baseball and I was so proud for New England.

GO: When you first came up you were not a great fielder, but you worked at it to the point where you won a couple of gold gloves and I wonder how difficult that was…

WB: Johnny Pesky. That’s plain and simple. Johnny Pesky is the reason that I won those gold gloves. He got all those blisters all those years at 3:07 asking Johnny ‘hey, let’s go’ and that was another one of the superstitions, had to take ground balls at 3:07. And Johnny would hit the ground balls. That was the one label that I wanted to knock, to get off my back, was “all hit and no glove.” And eventually did that. And every player who plays this game wants to be known as a complete plalyer. And in ’94, when I won the gold glove, it solidified that so that was a very proud moment.

Steve Burton: Let me ask you this, 3,010 hits, 75% of your hits were singles, are you aware of that? People would get upset at you because they were thinking “oh man, he’s just hittin’ for himself, he’s a selfish player, he’s just hitting, and I remember when you hit the home run in the All-Star game, why doesn’t he hit like that all the time?’

Wade Boggs: That was a fluke. The home run in the All Star game was a fluke, just like my 3,000th hit was a home run and it was a fluke. See there’s one thing that I knew that I could do good and that’s hit a line drive. I worked from left and to right center and through the biggest part of the field. I knew if I hit long fly balls I was out. I didn’t have these big giant muscles that these guys have nowadays to hit the ball out of the ballpark (SB: You mean steroids?)… I could hit a line drive and I hit by recognition. I hit by looking for the little dot on the baseball, looking for the little tumble on the fork ball. So it was a situation that, when you hit that style, you’re not out in front of balls and grounding out to second base and you’re not popping up balls to the shortstop (a.k.a. “Garciapopup™”) and flying out weakly to the outfield with a man on third and ending rallies with a wild strike out with a fork ball in the dirt or something like that. No, I got 200 hits and 100 walks each and every year, and on base .450 and scored over 100 runs, that was my contribution, that was how I felt like I was contributing to the team and not going up there and hitting .220 with 20 home runs and striking out 190 times and saying “boy I had a great year.”

Was Boggs One of Boston's Best?


Sports Illustrated: Every Team Needs a Bruschi

Make that Tedy Bruschi, and New England has the only one. The big-play linebacker and unsung leader of the defense gives the Pats a shot at their third title in four years.

By Josh Elliott, Sports Illustrated

He is outnumbered again, staring down a menacing double team. If it’s fair to say a man’s work is never done, then right here—at the backdoor to his house, after several hours of trading blows and barbs with his New England Patriots teammates—Tedy Bru­schi’s long day ­isn’t over yet. When the two young boys lunge at him, chirping with delight, Bru­schi sees himself in their tiny faces and hears his own father’s words: Get the ball, Tedy. Go get the ball. Those words, which were sometimes said in derision, have motivated Bru­schi since he was a child.

The Bru­schi boys set upon their dad again and jog him from his reverie, throwing themselves at him over and over. Later, as he is recounting this scene, Bruschi ­couldn’t be happier. “My boys are just like me: really physical,” Bru­schi says of Tedy Jr., 4, and Rex, 2. “Every day it’s a big tackle-athon. I love it. They never quit. They play just like their dad—and just like their dad’s team.”

While the Pittsburgh Steelers (15–1) are the AFC’s nouveau power and the Philadelphia Eagles (13–3) are the class of the NFC, the NFL playoffs remain the domain of the defending champion New England Patriots (14–2). Winners of 29 of their last 31 games (including the post­season), the Pats have a first-round bye before beginning their quest for a third Super Bowl win in four seasons with a ­divisional-round game on the weekend of Jan. 15–16. New England is the league’s model franchise because each player, no matter his position or cap figure, embraces coach Bill Belichick’s team-first philosophy. “I know one thing,” says Bru­schi, 31, a New England linebacker for nine years. “I was meant to play with these 52 guys, for this coach, in this system.”

Indeed, Bruschi seems the ­picture-perfect Patriot. Hard-nosed and a vocal leader, Bruschi (pronounced BREW-ski, to the joy of ­beer-swilling, ­pigskin-loving New Englanders) is admired for his toughness and loyalty to an organization that risked a third-round draft choice on him in 1996, when he was an undersized defensive end out of Arizona. And long before Pats defensive tackles lined up as fullbacks and wideout Troy Brown inter­cepted three passes as a part-time cornerback, Bru­schi’s versatility was celebrated. Too small, at 6'1" and 245 pounds, to play end in the NFL, he learned three linebacker positions in two schemes under three coaches. Though unheralded in a conference that features the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis and the Miami Dolphins’ Zach Thomas, he has become an ­All-Pro–caliber inside linebacker and routinely makes ­game-breaking plays.

But to understand a player so humble that he wonders aloud who would ever read an article about him, ask Bru­schi what he considers to be his most important contribution each week. “Punt team,” he says, not missing a beat. “The punt’s the most important play in a game. So many things can happen: a turnover, a score, a big change in field position. My college coach, Dick Tomey, told me he ­didn’t care who I was—he needed me on punt team. So I covered punts, and still do. I love covering punts.”

Says New England linebacker Mike Vrabel, “Everybody needs a Tedy Bru­schi, but good luck finding one. It’s impossible to put value on everything the guy does. When he walks into a meeting or a huddle, he brings instant credibility. He’s been productive for so long, even though he’s had to switch positions. He’s everything for this team.”

This year Bruschi finished with 122 tackles, second best on the team, and 31¼2 sacks for the NFL’s ninth-ranked defense. But for all his fundamental strengths, it’s his knack for making the big play that sets him apart. “Their defense isn’t the same without him,” says New York Jets center Kevin Mawae. “He plays 100 miles an hour. He makes plays that are unbelievable.” ...read the rest in this week's Sports Illustrated

Pokey Reese Goes to the Mariners

Hair Yesterday, Gone Today

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(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Pokeymon Gone to Seattle.

"We are rolling the dice a little bit. We still have to make sure we have others capable of playing shortstop behind him, but he's never begged off playing. -- Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi


'New York Fan Sites' Reports Mets Get Beltran but Mets discredit their story, setting fan sites back 100 years

Breaking News: The Dominican Diva Will Show Up for Work

Ortiz Recovering from Shoulder Injury

Wade Boggs in the Hall of Fame

The Hall's Getting Wade

Boggs in '86

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld -- Boggs, Bruce Hurst, Al Nipper 10/27/86)

The Original OBP Machine Takes the Fast Track into the Hall of Fame

"I think that was the turning point in my career that even allowed me to be considered for the Hall of Fame, to become a complete player. It took a while. But taking all those ground balls and going out there early with Johnny Pesky paid off." -- The 17th Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Wade Boggs

Rice Not Done, but Comes in 4th with 307 Votes. Sandberg In.

1975 World Series - Game One - Luis Tiant

It's El Tiante Time

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(Sports Illustrated Photo / Dick Raphael--Luis Tiant, Walter Iooss, Jr.--Johnny Bench)

Red Sox Rage Against the Big Red Machine

Looie Leads Sox into Series vs. Cin City
Tiant and Gullett Go in Game One Tonight on NESN

"I look at all of these guys throwing 100 pitches," says a steaming Tiant. "What's the difference between 110 and 100? Nothing. If you go to the park thinking you're going to win the game, you don't worry about the amount of pitches. You do whatever it takes. If the bullpen comes in, they come in."

Adding fuel to his fire and cigar smoke, Tiant added this caveat.

"And I pitched 21 years of winter ball," says Tiant. "I didn't go to Mexico to rest and vacation. I went to pitch. The only way you get stronger is by throwing a lot. They have it all wrong."

Tiant says it starts in college and the minor leagues. "All I say is pitchers are pitching less but getting hurt more," says Tiant. "Do the math. You don't have to be a scientist to realize something is wrong." ...

"Pitching inside," says Tiant. "That drives me crazy, too. Pitchers today don't know how to pitch inside. It was my favorite thing to do. And I'm not talking about throwing at a guy's head. That's stupid. I mean near the chest." -- Bill Burt, Eagle Tribune

Pedro and Nomar Nearly Sunk Sox

Phoney Baloney

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High Maintenance Malcontents Exposed as
Self-Absorbed Frauds

I-Me-My-Martinez Skipped Team Playoff Workout Entirely

Nomar Selfishly Sulked About Errors and Quit on His Teammates While Sox Battled Yankees for Division

Tito Blasted Pedro Privately for Skipping Out After 2004 Opener

"I can think of at least five separate periods with five separate players (Pedro, Nomar, Manny, Millar, D-Lowe) in which Tito employed a great deal of intestinal fortitude, sensitivity, patience, smarts, and affection so that potentially major things -- things that happen on baseball teams over 162 games plus spring training and postseason -- worked out extremely well both for the player involved and most importantly for the team." -- Sox owner John Henry in Hohler piece


Do Not Miss the Red Sox 2004 Video on Red Sox This Week.
Tonight at 10:30pm on UPN 38.

"This is a brand new tape.... and I'd hate to say better, because I love the one Brian (Fox) and I did, but we threw ours together in a couple nights. This new piece had A LOT of time and effort into it and it really shows -- it includes stuff from the whole season (and years past). It's produced by Peter Masucci and edited by Kevin Connelly."-- 1.2.05: Joe Giza Red Sox Producer UPN38/CBS4

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox end losing streak > Shaughnessy: Debunking myths about the 2014 Red Sox > Cherington: Everyone needs to get better

Boston Herald:

Ortiz, Red Sox bats break out to end losing streak > Buchholz still bewildered > Memory loss haunting Red Sox

ProJo:

Lester was once a good hitter, now heading toward dubious record > Travis Shaw brings hot bat to Pawtucket > Ranaudo shines > Betts not a candidate for Boston, yet

NY Post:

St. Louis lets Ozzie Smith bid Jeter goodbye > Yanks prevail in extras again > Nonsense leads off in MLB broadcasts > Beltran elbow on mend

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

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