Feelin' Super Again

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

... At Least Until Manning Comes to Town on Monday

Done Deal for Theo

Done Deal

Godfather Gets 3

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Epstein, Red Sox Agree on a Three-Year Contract

They Want to Be Left Alone

Birds of a Feather

Greta Garbo and Manny Ramirez

(Greta Garbo "I want to be left alone" - Elsnoscar Photo Illustration; Manny Ramirez - Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff Photo)

They Want to Be Left Alone

"Ramirez, during an August visit to play the Angels, confided in a veteran teammate how much he liked Anaheim. Ramirez remarked that no one bothered him during a visit to a local mall. The teammate explained the lack of fan pestering by telling Ramirez that if he played in Southern California he might be making $20 million a year, but his next-door neighbor would be making $25 million." -- 10.31.05, Boston Globe

...But Of Course Manny Likes Boston, Too

"Ramirez says he'd rather be in Boston than anywhere else.

"'Boston is the best city ever,' he says. 'The fans are great. They love me. Oh my God. You go out to eat, they don't let you pay for nothing. You win it there and people will go nuts. I'm going to party for a month.'" -- 8.24.04, Boston Globe

"To: Manny, Boomer and anyone else who wants out. You want to get out of the spotlight and not deal with fans? Two words: Kansas City. You want to have no one recognize you and no one care? Two words: Kansas City. You want to play where even the media doesn't pay attention to you? Two words: Kansas City." -- 10.31, emailer Saundra Ketner

The Back Stabbers

20/20 Commentary

The Back Stabbers

(They smile in your face)
All the time they want to take your place
The back stabbers (back stabbers)
(They smile in your face)
All the time they want to take your place

The back stabbers (back stabbers)
All you fellows who have someone
And you really care, yeah, yeah
Then it's all of you fellows
Who better beware, yeah yeah

Somebody's out to get your lady
A few of your buddies they sure look shady
Blades are long, clenched tight in their fist
Aimin' straight at your back
And I don't think they'll miss

----The Back Stabbers, by the O'Jays

In his tenure as Red Sox GM, Theo Epstein made mistakes. However, he helped bring the Red Sox to three postseason appearances and a World Series Championship. He worked well with fellow general managers and he was respected by players.

We read ridiculous statements that Theo Epstein didn't play college baseball and somehow that disqualifies him as being a true 'baseball man'. The fingerprints of the Black Hand of CEO Larry Lucchino are all over the departure of Theo Epstein.

Lucchino has made it his place to be the Front Man for the organization, promulgating a literal orgy of self-promotion. Why? Does Red Sox Nation worship at the altar of Lucchino, a High Priest of baseball achievement? Do we so easily confuse activity with achievement?

Yes, the Red Sox will go on. The Red Sox will hire a new GM with pomp and circumstance and dollars. Players will go, and free agents will come. Fastballs and curves will crackle across the plate at Fenway, and the evanescent complaints of overwrought fans will quickly fade when new blood arrives.

But the ugly side of self-indulgence interferes with the responsible operation of the regional franchise. Was Lucchino Dan Shaughnessy's source? We believe it is so. Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. The best management celebrates success and spreads the credit among those who work for them. The Red Sox have demonstrated that will not be their modus operandi, and ultimately, we fans will pay for it.

-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of Red Sox Reality Check

And Away They Go

And Away They Go

Driving them away

(BDD Photo Illustration)

A Nation Out of Bounds

Wells, Manny... Who Wants Out Next?
Are Overzealous Adult Fanboys, Annoying Autograph Hounds, Pocket-Camera Paparazzi and Restaurant Rubberneckers Driving Our Players Out of Boston?

Boston Attention Causes Tension

"You can have no life here... you can't go out with family and friends without being subject to the town wanting a part of you... that takes a toll on you." -- David Wells

Manny Likes Anaheim; No One Bothered Him at the Mall

"Manny has issues with Boston and privacy... I think the privacy issue is the ability to kind of leave your apartment and go to the park with your kid. Leave your apartment and go out to dinner with your wife without sort of being surrounded by well-wishers and autograph seekers, things like that." -- 7.28, Larry Lucchino on WEEI

"I think Manny is just looking for change more than anything, and I think that this coming up every… and that’s not to belittle his emotions and feelings, I talked to Manny about this a couple of times towards the end of the season and expressed my desire that I didn’t want him to go if he could find a way to make it here. I think one of the things that tends to really catch guys off-guard is the attention you get off the field." -- 10.29, Curt Schilling on WEEI

"There also is a quality of life issue to consider. Epstein, who grew up in Brookline, can rightfully complain of privacy issues as great, if not greater, than Ramirez, though he has never done so. His youth, and hometown ties, have led many fans to approach him with an often brazen disregard for his personal space. There are times when Epstein, even when just running out for a sandwich, has to pretend he's on his cellphone to escape people who want a piece of him. The fact he is rated one of Boston's most desired bachelors only intensifies the attention.

"A small price to pay for running the Sox? That's easy for someone on the outside to say.

"'This town is hard to play in,' David Wells said Friday night. 'You can have no life here. You leave the stadium, you can't go out with family and friends without being subject to the town wanting a part of you. We understand it, but I don't think [the fans] do. That takes a toll on you.'" -- 10.9, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

"People don't understand there's times when we want to be private. There's a lot of times people come up and they get in your business. ... It's one of the reasons that for next year I am relocating. I'm moving out of the city so I can be with myself a little more." -- 9.17, Keith Foulke, San Francisco Chronicle


More Adventures of Theo and Larry

"What is alarming -- for the future of the Sox franchise -- is Theo's sudden need to distance himself from those who helped him rise to his position of power. ...Theo 'bristles at the notion of Steinberg and Lucchino taking credit for his success.'

"...Granted, Epstein is a student of the game, but it's a mistake to say he knows more about baseball than Lucchino or anyone else in the Red Sox baseball operation...

"Lucchino-bashers, and they are a legion, maintain that he repeatedly has undermined Theo and on occasion killed deals made by Epstein and the minions. There was one, for sure. When Theo's assistant Josh Byrnes (hired by Arizona as GM Friday) made a deal with Colorado, Epstein thought he had a better deal with another club and requested that Lucchino fall on the sword and invoke the ownership approval clause to kill the Rockies deal. Accustomed to people hating him, Lucchino took the fall, killing the deal and saving Epstein.

"...Epstein's minions probably have done more talking about Theo's situation than anyone in Sox management. When postseason baseball visited Chicago, at least one nationally known Lucchino-hating Epstein source was trashing the Sox CEO to anyone who'd listen.

"It would be a mistake for Epstein to think he can separate Lucchino from John Henry. Henry is a quiet man, but he is not a dolt. He believes in and trusts Lucchino. He admires his young GM, but it would be a mistake for Epstein to force Henry to choose." -- 10.30, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

Gammons on the Rockies Deal

Manny Wants Out

HE HATE US
Manny Wants Out

Manaheim or Cleveland

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Red Sox $20 Million Hitting Savant
Threatens Not to Report in Spring

"Gene Mato, one of Manny Ramirez's representatives, communicated to Red Sox owner John W. Henry yesterday that Ramirez wants to be traded, and will not report to spring training if his wish to be dealt is not met, according to a team source." -- 10.29, Chris Snow, Boston Globe

Gammons: Manny Trade Would Mean a Step Back for Sox in '06

"... Meanwhile, Epstein's extension with the Red Sox could be announced Monday, after hashing out the relationship between baseball operations and the business/spin floors of the Red Sox offices. The biggest question is whether or not Epstein wants to remain in a situation where revenues and publicity rule, or whether he wants to do social work like his brother, Paul, and find a situation where he can do what he loves -- developing a team with talented young players.

"Larry Lucchino has been fingered as the heavy, which is unfair; with all they expend on expanding revenues and spinning the Red Sox Nation schtick, they are addicted to the immediacy of the talk-show callers, afraid of taking a necessary step back from selling Fenway tours and pieces of sod at $150 apiece to build a better team for a longer view than 2006 (of course, if Manny Ramirez sticks to his trade demands, the Red Sox will have no choice but to step back)." -- 10.29, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (subscription only)

Looking Back: Anaheim Tops Ramirez's Trade List

Olney: Mets Still May Be Only Option for Manny

"There is at least one team that has the financial power to make a deal for Ramirez and is motivated to get Ramirez, and that is the Mets. Peter wrote in his story that Ramirez doesn't want to go to the Mets, but in the end, Ramirez's choice might be this: Boston or New York.

"If no deal is made and the matter comes down to a spring training confrontation, as Ramirez's representatives suggest, you can bet that Red Sox president Larry Lucchino won't be afraid to dig in for a protracted fight.

"The silly thing is Ramirez doesn't realize how good he has it in Boston, with great teammates, a tolerant manager and GM, and a fan base that forgives his foibles, as long as he keeps generating those 140 RBI every year.

"If Ramirez does depart, you can bet this: David Ortiz's walk total will increase dramatically next year, with opposing managers and pitchers exercising the option of working around Ortiz repeatedly." -- 10.29, Buster Olney, ESPN.com Insider (subscription only)

Schilling Breaks Silence on Manny

10.29: Curt Schilling called in to WEEI’s Mustard and Johnson program today and offered his opinion on Manny Ramirez’s trade request.

"It’s November now right… or it’s October… once a month. It happens (Manny’s trade request). It’s gonna happen. It’ll be out there and we’ll move on. So we get to rehash the same questions and answers that you’ve rehashed every year, every four months for the last three years. And it’s going to be the same answers and the same questions you had before. It’s gonna depend on the situation and I’m sure Theo will address it and whatever happens will be in the best interest of the Boston Red Sox when all things are said and done.

"The bottom line is there is no indispensable player on any team, in any sport and Manny is certainly, he’s probably the best right-handed hitter that I’ve ever put a uniform on with but no one player is going to get us that World Series that we’re going after next year and we have a good chance to win again if we’re healthy. He certainly makes you a better club, you’re gonna score more runs, but the fact of the matter is, there is no one guy and I trust in the fact that if Manny leaves Boston, which I hope doesn’t happen, but if he does leave Boston, that whatever players they bring in to either fill his role or use his salary for, we will be a better team come opening day next year. I feel confident enough in Theo that that’s exactly what will happen. ...

Q: Does anybody ever talk to Manny and say "Manny it just doesn’t look good when you’re half trotting and going down to first base?" Does anybody ever pull him aside and ask him that?

"You know what, those conversations are few and far between because I don’t think anybody… Manny knows, Manny knows what people think and feel about the things he says and does and he’s not as simple as people like to make him out to be. He’s a lot smarter than that. And I think sometimes he might do things to get actions and reactions like every other player at certain points but you know what, the bottom line was at the end of the season it's 48 and 130, 140 RBIs and that’s what you have to live with. I’d love every teammate that I ever played with to run to first base as fast as he possibly can, it just doesn’t work out that way unfortunately, and I’m not sure why."

Your Turn: Should Sox Grant Ramirez's Trade Request?

In January '04, Mato Said Manny Was Happy Here

Ball and Chain

Ball and Chain

Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf holds the ball used in the final out of the World Series and presented to him by first baseman Paul Konerko during a celebration honoring the team Friday in downtown Chicago. Also pictured in Doug Mientkiewicz

(AP and Globe File Photos)

Konerko Gives Reinsdorf Last-Out Ball

"Getting this ball from Paul Konerko is the most emotional moment of my life." -- 10.28, White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf

Mientkiewicz Getting Sox Series Ball Back in January

"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.” -- 1.7.05, Former Red Sox reserve Doug Mientkiewicz

"I'd have definitely liked to have it (World Series ball) back. When we got back to Boston, I asked him about it and I didn't get it. So that's the end of that. I didn't really think about it at the time. After he caught it, it was like there are other things going through my mind... I didn't get the ball and that's it." -- 2.16.05, Red Sox relief pitcher Keith Foulke

A Look Back on Ballgate


Josh Byrnes

Extra Bases Blog
Report: Timlin Returning to Sox
Free Agent Primer

Josh Byrnes is New D-Backs GM

Big Dealing

GM ANNOUNCEMENT EXPECTED ON MONDAY

Big Dealing

The general manager

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Epstein, Sox are Closing in on New Deal
Schilling Breaks Silence on Theo Situation

Theo File Year 3

The Theo File: Year 3

We'll Always Have St. Louis

We'll Always Have St. Louis

Champagne Kings
High Tek

(Getty Images Photos)

One More Time...

Done D-Lowe

DONE D-LOWE

Derek Lowe was pumped up after getting out of a jam late in Game 4
Sox win 2004 World Series

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Barry Chin -- Lowe Stan Grossfeld -- Celebration)

The Right Sox Won It All, One Year Ago Tonight
Happy Mannyversary

"I don't believe in curses, I think you make your own destination."
-- 10.27.04, 2004 World Series MVP Manny Ramirez

Extra Bases Blog 2004 World Series: It's Been a While
Sox, Cries, and Audiotape

"This is for anyone who ever played for the Red Sox, anyone who ever rooted for the Red Sox, anyone who has ever been to Fenway Park. This is bigger than the 25 players in this clubhouse. This is for all of Red Sox Nation past and present. I hope they're enjoying it as much as we are." -- 10.27.04, Theo Epstein, current (and future) GM of the Boston Red Sox

20-20-commentary.jpg

Three Kinds of People

"Would I rather have the truth or a lie that gives hope? I’d rather have the truth." -- Louis Theroux

Submitted October 28, 2004: Once upon a time (all fairy tales begin this way) a baseball team and its fans, intimate to despair and shattered seasons, could only dream of becoming champions. Today, they and we awake to that dream fulfilled.

We feel like Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, our emotional investment multiplied beyond our wildest imagination, the archvillain Yankees only spectators to the World Series. As for the Cardinals, you can stick a fork in them, because they’re done. Sox fans hesitate to count our chickens before they’re hatched, because so often we’ve ended up only with the stock trader’s breakfast, egg on the face.

No more will we endure pictures of the Babe or ‘1918’. Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, or Bill Buckner? Gibson fanning Joe Foy? Fuggedaboutit. If Derek Jeter’s going to Disney World, he’s going to have to buy a ticket, but the Schilling’s, Ramirez’s, and Ortiz’s have their turn to parade. Surely Sox fans won’t retaliate with signs for the New Yorkers ‘2004’ and NESN won’t endlessly replay David Ortiz’s walkoff homerun, A-Rod’s Karate Kid moment, or Kevin Brown’s meltdown.

Just as we enjoyed the Bruins championships of the 1970s and the Celtics’ historic reign during the Russell and Bird administrations, our children received the blessings of two Super Bowls and the World Series victory. Maybe they haven’t suffered as much during the wait; that’s what everyone wants, a better life for their children.

Somehow, this time, at least during the World Series, Red Sox Nation felt not only had its time come, but that we deserved it. Twenty-five guys, twenty-five cabs were replaced by ‘the idiots’. Maybe they are ‘the idiots’ but they’re our idiots. At least for a short time, we’ll remember the 2004 Boys of Summer for their exploits on the team, not for labor disputes, contract squabbles, or playing time pouts.

What lasting memories can we hope to cherish into old age? Redemption becomes the most obvious. The devastating ALCS 19-8 Game 3 loss at Fenway nearly eviscerated Sox loyalists. Teddy Bear David Ortiz became the stuff of legends, with three game winning hits and a key homer in ALCS Game 7. He could only be described as ‘menacing’ at the plate. Dave Roberts’ steal of second in Game 4 of the ALCS and scamper home on a single to center showed that the Sox could play small ball on the big stage. A subtle late season acquisition by Theo Epstein became the cornerstone of the Sox comeback. Derek Lowe, lambasted and nearly forgotten, achieved resurrection with clutch pitching performances during both the ALCS (Game 7) and the Series, and won the deciding contest in each. Mark Bellhorn’s futility during the early portions of the ALCS could only be matched by his production during the latter ALCS and Game 1 of the Series, clanging homers off the fair pole in New York and Boston. Manny Ramirez going from goat to hero with two errors in Game 1 to become the Series MVP. Terry Francona leaves Pedro in as an object lesson on September 24th against the Yankees and doesn’t try to stretch him out against the Cardinals, as ‘Francoma’ outmanages ‘the genius’ Tony LaRussa.

One of the richest men on the planet, John Henry, reminds us that our statistical fortunes in close games should turn around, and Theo Epstein makes the second most controversial deal in club history. Epstein rejected the lie that gives hope. He exiles Nomar Garciaparra, the team’s most recognized face, for Orlando Cabrera, almost unknown in Montreal and an alphabet soup slick-fielding first basemen. Doug Mientkiewiecz (the I before e rule embodied). Both Henry and Epstein are prescient. The eleventh plague, unearned runs, ends abruptly.

How many times have we said to our friends and family, “I’d like to see the Sox win once before I die?” Admit it, you’ve said it.

Tommy Lasorda said, ‘there are three kinds of people, those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what’s happening.” Savor the victory and enjoy the taste because our team has made it happen.

-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of Red Sox Reality Check

Theocracy

'Progress Made' Today

The Powers that Be

(Wire Photos)

THEOGATE UPDATE: Epstein, Lucchino Had Lunch

Edes: Lack of Respect from Lucchino?

"Sources familiar with Epstein's thinking said he does not question the propriety of reporting to the CEO but chafes at times at the degree to which Lucchino involves himself in baseball decisions, and at a perceived lack of respect toward the baseball side." -- 10.27, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Bob Ryan: Good Fit, Bad Marriage

"We have complicated personal dynamics here. Epstein owes his professional rise to Lucchino and the San Diego Padres. They brought the young Yalie west, sent him to law school, and welcomed him into the family. They provided him with the necessary training, giving him a chance to scout and touch all the other bases that enable someone to be a modern general manager.

"They must feel exceptionally proprietary toward him. They may even feel absolutely paternal. And they may feel he simply ''owes" them, and owes them big time. He was their creation. Has he now become, in their eyes, more than merely ungrateful? Has he become, in their eyes, their very own Frankenstein's monster?" -- 10.27, Bob Ryan, Boston Globe

Herald: 'Smear Campaign Stinks'

"It was bound to happen sooner or later. Epstein is young and smart and likable, and it was only a matter of time before he recognized he could be a lot more in life than just another sheep in the great Lucchino's flock.

"Lucchino seems to fancy himself as a maker of men, a Bill Walsh of baseball who has blessed the game with select disciples. He likes to take credit for most everything his followers do – from San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers to Epstein – and all is well and good until the boys become men, until they want to actually have an identity.

"When that happens – and it is happening here now – Lucchino pounds his fist and puts those disrespectful little twits in their place, just to remind them that Big Daddy brought them into this world and he can certainly take them out." -- 10.27, Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Do the Players Hate Lucchino?

Hartford Courant: "Lucchino is despised by Red Sox players and Epstein, 31, has a good relationship with them. On his weekly interview on Boston radio station WEEI last summer, Lucchino might have breached the confidentiality the team had with players by acknowledging that struggling closer Keith Foulke went to Alabama for a consultation in May. Lucchino also confirmed a report in Sports Illustrated that Manny Ramirez requested a trade in July." -- 10.27, Dave Heuschkel, Hartford Courant

Sabean's There, He's Done That

The Star Ledger: "Overheard: If the Red Sox can't come to an agreement with Theo Epstein on a contract for Epstein to return as GM, one of the leading candidates could be San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean. Sabean has been a bright and successful executive in San Francisco for years, but might be tiring of constantly dealing with Barry Bonds controversy. Certainly, the Red Sox could do considerably worse for a fallback plan." -- 10.27, Dan Graziano, Star-Ledger

Sudden Impact

Boston Sports Blog: "If Theo Epstein does walk out that door, let's hope he channels Mo Vaughn on the way out with a peeved, 'It's not about the money' speech. Maybe even a Joe Morgan, 'These guys aren't as good as everyone thinks,' just to get the blood boiling a bit." -- 10.27, Eric Wilbur, Boston.com

D-Backs Interview Byrnes Again

Theocracy

Theo File Year 2

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Did Theo Score More in 2004?
A Look Back at the GM's Moves in 2003

Epstein's Mother: "She said off camera that it never should have gotten to this point." -- 10.26, CBS4

To Dye For

Clean Sweep

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

To Dye For

Jermaine Dye delivers the Series winner

(Getty Images Photo / Stephen Dunn)

'Win Or Die Trying': Second City Comes in First
White Sox Sweep Series with 1-0 Win
Red Sox are Former Champs

New Era Indeed

NEW ERA INDEED

Pedro Martinez appears to be mocking the sullen Cardinals fan above him, Manny throws out Larry Walker at home, Pedro points to the sky after the seventh inning

(Boston Globe File Photos)

One Year Ago Tonight
Pedro, Sox Got World Serious About Game 3

"It's been a great ride. I hope everybody enjoyed it as much as I did. ...I hope I get another chance to come back with this team, but I understand the business part of it. I hope everybody understands that I'm not the one who wanted to leave. If they don't get me, it's probably because they didn't try hard enough. My heart is with Boston." -- 10.26.04, Former Sox Great Pedro Martinez

Extra Bases Blog 2004 World Series: Magic Number: 1

Bag Job?

Bag Job?

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Post Your Thoughts on Theo and Enter Frank Galasso's Give-Away Contest

Edes Chat Wrap: The Latest on Theo
Wilbur Blog: A General Mistake

Brian Cashman's Not Walking Through That Door
Cashman Returns to Yankees

Thego Says No

THEGO SAYS NO

Epstein Rejects Upgraded Offer from Sox

Epstein rejects latest offer

(BDD Illustration / Nicholas Brown)

"With just five days left before Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein's three-year contract expires, negotiations between team CEO Larry Lucchino and his protege remain strained, as Epstein yesterday met with Lucchino and rejected an offer of $1.2 million a year for at least three years, according to a major league executive with knowledge of the negotiations." -- 10.26, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Is Epstein in Cahoots with Cashman?

"If you believe the scuttlebutt from the GMs at the World Series, Brian Cashman's prolonged negotiation with Yankees general partner Steve Swindal is directly related to Theo Epstein's holdout in Boston. "They're pals," said one GM, "and I'm sure they're both holding out as long as they can, if nothing else, to give Theo additional leverage so he gets what he wants from the Red Sox. In any case, Brian's going to get his money." -- 10.26, Bill Madden, NY Daily News

McAdam: Epstein, Sox Getting Closer to Middle Ground
Moderate Progress Made Yesterday


The Theo File

Let's Take a Look Back at Theo's First Year as Sox GM

Blum's the Word

Extra, Extra:
Blum's the Word!

Chicago White Sox's Geoff Blum hits a solo home run in the 14th inning against Houston Astros reliever Ezequiel Astacio during Game 3 of the World Series early Wednesday in Houston. Looking on are home plate umpire Jerry Layne and catcher Brad Ausmus.

(AP Photo)

Blum HR in 14th Gives White Sox the Win
in Record-Long Series Game

House of Pain for House of Cards

House of Pain for
House of Cards

2004 World Series Game 2

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis)

Same Time Last Year
Schill's Pain Was Sox Gain in Game 2, 6-2

"I woke up at 7 o'clock in the morning. That was a tipoff right there. I've never woken up at 7 in the morning for anything in my life. I wasn't going to pitch. I couldn't walk. I couldn't move. I didn't know what happened, but I knew as soon as I woke up there was a problem.

"I told (my wife) it wasn't going to happen. There was no way. But that's when everything started. I left my house, and I'm driving to the park, and anyone who knows where Medfield is, they know it's a pretty long haul.

"There were signs every mile from my house to this ballpark on fire stations, on telephone poles, wishing me luck. I can't explain what it was like.

"So I get here [to Fenway], and got out of the car, got into the trainer's room, and Doc [Bill Morgan] was there.

"And then it starts happening. You start looking around at your teammates and understanding what you've been through over the past eight months, what it means to me.

"And then I did what I did the last time: I went to the Lord for help, because I knew, again, I wasn't going to be able to do this myself." -- 10.24.05, Curt "2005 Mulligan" Schilling

Extra Bases Blog 2004 World Series: Schill the One


Epstein, Red Sox No Closer to a Deal

"General manager Theo Epstein's contract expires Monday, but little progress has been made toward working out an extension. Negotiations have been "strained," according to industry sources familiar with the talks.

"Last week, the Red Sox crossed a significant threshold, offering Epstein a three-year deal worth just over $1 million annually, but the offer was rejected." -- 10.25, Sean McAdam, ProJo

The Beasts of Burden

The Beasts of Burden

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Will Chicago Continue to Mess with Houston?
Are the Astros All Hat and No Cattle?

A Baseball Showcase in Football Land

Fall Guy

20-20-commentary.jpg

Fall Guy

Ego or money? To quote Mo Vaughn, "It's not about the money." The Boston Globe reports that talks between the Red Sox and local hero, World Series winning general manager Theo Epstein are at an impasse. What gives? Is it ego or money?

Does Larry Lucchino need to go to cocktail parties with movers and shakers and say, "Theo Epstein works for me" when he could say, "Theo Epstein works with me?" Is the understated Epstein a closet megalomaniac, or solely suffering from seasonal affective disorder and longing for San Diego or Arizona sunshine?

"Hey Theo, can you fetch me a coffee?" This isn't 'The Apprentice'. This isn't a mentor-mentee relationship. The Red Sox management to GM relationship isn't Tarzan and Cheetah. Or is that what management wants? Do they feel that they haven't gotten enough credit for laying out the big bucks? Do they want a pound of flesh for Jeremy Giambi, for Edgar Renteria, or Matt Mantei? Is the ego problem that uncontained?

If no deal is reached, Lucchino will be the Fall Guy, no matter how much he doth protest to the contrary. Baseball lifer Lucchino will be the quisling of Red Sox Nation, the Roy Munson of 'Kingpin' and Doctor Mudd of 'Your Name is" fame.

Maybe Mr. Henry needs to slap somebody upside the head with his wallet. We can't know, because the talks have been quieter than the Bush Senior and Clinton camp negotiations back in 1992 with the 'Jennifers.'

Come on, gentlemen. Grow up. Go pick up a copy of "Everything I Needed To Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum and then scan "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl. Stop being petty and start being professional. Bury the hatchets. The clock is ticking. Get it done. If not, we'll be talking about the Curse of Lucchino.

-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of Red Sox Reality Check

Saved by the Bellhorn

Saved by the Bellhorn

Bellhorn, Foulke get the job done in Game 1

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis)

And the Cantankerous Closer Too
Same Time Last Year: Sox Deck Cards in Game 1, 11-9

Five Errors in the Game (Of Course Renteria Made One)

"Every little boy always dreams of playing in the World Series and winning a game. I know I did, but I'm not here to try to be a hero. We're just here to try to win four games." -- 10.24.04, the Quiet Man, Mark Bellhorn

Extra Bases Blog 2004 World Series: Making Their Mark

iPodsednik

Chicago Turns Up the Volume

iPodsednik

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Podsednik Homer in 9th Lifts Chicago
(And Umps Blow Another Big Call)

Show Them the Money!

Show Them the Money!

Charity case

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Records Reveal Many Local Athletes Aren't Putting Up Charity Numbers

Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez, the Two Highest-Paid Athletes in
New England History, Have Failed to Deliver on Charitable Promises

"Manny Ramirez announced at his introductory news conference with the Red Sox in 2001 that he would donate $1 million to area programs for Latino youth. But five years into his eight-year, $160 million relationship with the Sox, Ramirez has failed to deliver. He also has yet to fulfull the pledge he made 19 months ago to launch a charitable foundation to carry out his mission.

"In addition, the head of a program for severely abused and neglected children in Florida indicated that Ramirez has embellished his charitable relationship with the organization...

"In Ramirez's case, he pledged in March 2004 to form the MR24 Foundation. He continues to claim on his website (mannyramirez.com) that the foundation 'is amid the process of being established.' Yet no such foundation has been formed, even though philanthropy specialists say formally creating such an organization generally takes no longer than nine months.

"Asked recently about the foundation's status, Ramirez shrugged his shoulders, threw up his hands, and walked away. His agent, Greg Genske, did not return numerous messages to discuss Ramirez's charitable work." -- 10.23, Bob Hohler, Boston Sunday Globe

And Write a Check for the Kids at George Washington High Too

"For less than one-tenth of one percent of his income, between $10,000 and $20,000, Ramirez could enable his former team to have new uniforms, new baseballs, new bats. But the George Washington players should not sit around waiting for the contribution.

"'Unfortunately, we keep waiting and hoping, but it doesn't happen,' said Steve Mandl, the George Washington baseball coach now and when Ramirez played on the team from 1989 through 1991...

"His former agent, Jeff Moorad, now the chief executive of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has said that Ramirez is committed to giving $1 million over the life of his eight-year contract to Latino groups in the Boston area, particularly those that support children.

"Although Moorad has indicated that Ramirez would eventually do something for the players at George Washington, it hasn't happened." -- 11.2.04, New York Times, On Baseball: Silence, Not Assistance, From Ramirez (subscription required)

Manny's Boys

Sara Rimer, an education reporter for The New York Times, is writing a book about the George Washington High School baseball team and its most famous alumnus, Manny Ramirez.
-- 10.23.05, New York Times (subscription required)


Rocket Grounded

Hamstring Injury Knocks Out Roger Again
White Sox Take Game 1, 5-3

Back in the Saddle Again

Back in the Saddle Again

Steven Tyler and Roger Clemens

(Aerosmith Photo)

A Couple of Boston Originals Take Center Stage
Clemens Tonight; Tyler Next Sunday.

Rocket Science

Roger Clemens, Roger Clemens

(AP File Photos)

He's Still the Same Old Roger

(And If Clemens Wins Tonight, the White Sox' Aaron Rowand
Can't Walk into the Daisy Buchanan's of Houston with a Broom to Taunt Astros' Fans)

And Thanks Again Dan

Duke comes to tears in farewell to baseball

(AP Photo)

"The Red Sox and our fans were fortunate to see Roger Clemens play in his prime and we had hoped to keep him in Boston during the twilight of his career." -- 12.13.96, Former Red Sox GM and Current Kids' Camp Director Dan Duquette


New Red Sox Third Base Coach DeMarlo Hale

Extra Bases Blog Sox Full 2006 Schedule is Out
No Surprise: Ticket Prices to Rise 5% in 2006

Hale Storms into Boston as Third Base Coach

Scaff-gaffe!

SCAFF GAFFE!

Scaffolding Falls at Fenway

(Boston Globe Photo / Carl Shambaugh)

Another Postseason Collapse at Fenway
Scaffolding Comes Tumbling Down on Friday

Well, Well, Wells...

Well, Well, Wells...

What's one more team for David?

(AP and Boston Globe File Photos)

(And Tigers Too)

The Boston-Hating Mercenary Man Wants to Go West in a Trade
Ain't No Big Surprise

"With a guaranteed $2.5 million in his contract for 2006, Red Sox lefthander David Wells intends to return for his 20th season in the major leagues, according to an industry source. But Wells, who turns 43 May 20 and plans to have knee surgery this winter, has conveyed to the Red Sox a desire to finish his career on the West Coast -- he has a home near San Diego -- and the Sox have indicated they will try to honor his request." -- 10.21, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

"'This town is really hard to live in,' Wells said. 'I couldn't go out this year. Everyone wants your autograph, wants to take your picture. It's not fun and me and my family got annoyed by that. Now, I understand why fans do that and that's never going to change. I do understand that and don't blame them. The fans here, they're supportive as anything, but they have to understand us. We go through this (expletive) and wind up having to live like hermits.'" -- 10.8, Boston Herald

Your Turn: What Are Your Thoughts on Trading Wells?

More Good News: Sox Want Clement to Have Surgery

"After performing an MRI on right-hander Matt Clement's left knee, the Red Sox want him to have an arthroscopic procedure performed, but the pitcher wants at least one more medical opinion before deciding on what to do." -- 10.21, Boston Herald

Theogate Update

"The Sox have offered Epstein a three-year deal in the neighborhood of $850,000 to $900,000, which more than doubles his original contract, which was believed to be a three-year deal that topped out at around $350,000. The offer is also comparable to the salaries paid to the last two GMs to win a World Series, Larry Beinfest of the Marlins and Bill Stoneman of the Angels." -- 10.21, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Leaveland. Or Manaheim.

Leaveland. Or Manaheim.

Manaheim or Cleveland

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration)

Is Manny Gettin' Out of Dodge?

Gammons Gets the Scoop

"If Ramirez does request to be traded, Genske says "his preference would be Anaheim. He also still loves Cleveland, and would go back there." -- Peter Gammons, ESPN.com

Kings of the Hill, Top of the Heap

Kings of the Hill
Top of the Heap

Can't Get Enough

(Boston Globe File Photos)

It Was the Best of Times

Same Time Last Year

Yankee Elimination Party

Yankee Elimination Party

The seventh and final game of the American League Championship Series between the Sox and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

(Boston Globe File Photos)

One Year Ago Tonight, The Sox Brought Down the House that Ruth Built

Extra Bases Blog 2004: Seventh Heaven

Is Tedy Ready?

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Post Your Thoughts on Tedy and Enter Frank Galasso's Give-Away Contest

No Problem for Houston

No Problem for Houston

Houston Astros Luke Scott (30) leaps on top of his teammates as they celebrate their 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 to win the National League Championship pennant in St. Louis, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005.

(AP Photo)

Roy Wonder: Oswalt Launches Astros into First World Series


USA Today's Bob Nightengale: Red Sox are offering outfielder Manny Ramirez to the Mets for center fielder Carlos Beltran

"Yankees scouts have told Steinbrenner that free agent Johnny Damon simply is no longer a good defensive center fielder. Let the Red Sox spend $50 million to keep him." -- 10.19 Bob Nightengale, USA Today

Sveum Old Story

Sveum Old Story

Red Sox third base coach Dale Sveum waves home a runner during a game vs. the Yankees at Fenway Park April 14, 2005.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Extra Bases Blog Dale Sveum Joins Milwaukee Brewers
Hench's Hardball: Sveum Old Song and Dance
Globe Magazine: He's Safe... for Now
BDD Archives: Speed Kills
MLB.com: Sveum Speaks

Sveum

Evelyn Champagne King sings Shame

Sveum
Waving, keep my whole body shaking
You got me so confused it's a Sveum
Sometimes I think I'm going insane
Still I want you to stay
(Wavin' your arms that's what I want to see)
What I want to see (Want to see)
(Wavin' your arms that's my high)
High

Sveum
Ooh my mamma says you ain't got a brain
And what you do at third is a Sveum
Ooh wouldn't wanna live without pain
Mamma just don't understand

(Wavin' your arms that's what I want to see)
What I want to see
(Want to see)
(Wavin' your arms that's my high)
High

I can't get enough
(Ooh) Ooh baby enough of that magic touch
Thrown out from the start, tearing the rules apart
So why should Dale be...

ashamed?
Only runs can beat the pain
And if we lose this game it's a Sveum
Ooh I wouldn't want to live without pain
Send 'em in forever

(If we lose this game it's a Sveum)
Oh no
(If we lose this game it's a Sveum)
(Never gonna find home again no) no (no) no (no) no

I can't get enough
Ooh baby enough of that magic touch
Thrown out from the start, tearing the rules apart

Ooh it's a ooh
(Sveum)
Send 'em in forever
(Sveum)
Only wins can beat the pain
No no no
(Sveum)
Mamma says you ain't got a brain
Mamma just don't understand
(Sveum)
What you do to me is a Sveum!

Sveum sends him and Mueller's out at home

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Karma Suture

Karma Suture

Pitcher Curt Schilling of the Red Sox grabs at his ankle as it appears to be bleeding in the fourth inning during game six of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees on October 19, 2004 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.

(Getty Images Photo / Al Bello)

One Year Ago Tonight, Schilling and
the Sox Took Game 6 in New York

Extra Bases Blog 2004: Red Tide

"Twenty years from now they'll be saying Willis Reed pulled a Curt Schilling." -- 10.19.04, Theo Epstein

"His (Schilling) heart is so big... he competed and he pitched his ass off." -- 10.19.04, Terry Francona

"We wouldn't have won the game if they didn't get those calls right, especially the play by that punk-ass A-Rod. What he did was extremely unprofessional... no class move. It was the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen done on a baseball field... Derek Jeter would have never done that, he's too much of a professional. Jeter, Posada, Bernie Williams, Matsui, those are the real Yankees. A-Rod's not a real Yankee anyway, he's an idiot like Barry Bonds. Hall of Fame numbers, but that's about it." -- 10.20.04, Curt Schilling

Are the Red Sox Turning Japanese in the Bullpen?

Turning Japanese in the Bullpen?

Hirotoshi Ishii

(Sponichi Annex Photo)

Lefty Closer Hirotoshi Ishii
Could Be on the Sox Radar for 2006

10.19 Update -- ESPN's Peter Gammons tells BDD: "Three weeks ago his catcher agreed to become manager only if he withdrew his name from being posted, and he did. Ishii has asked the club not to renege on their promise to post him... Craig Shipley (Red Sox Special Assistant to the General Manager/Player Development and International Scouting) likes him, but they won't pay closer money, and they think he'll get that. Their presence in Japan is unrivaled, and they have made two big signings in Taiwan."

The following report is from Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of JapaneseBallPlayers.com, Daigo Fujiwara.

Sports Nippon Newspaper (Tokyo's daily sports and entertainment newspaper, its parent company is Mainichi Newspaper) is reporting that the Red Sox are one of several clubs interested in Hirotoshi Ishii, the 28-year-old lefthanded closer of the Yakult Swallows. The report states that the Red Sox may have the edge over other teams, are showing "especially strong interest," and that Boston is in desperate need of bullpen help.

Ishii, not to be confused with New York Mets lefthander Kazuhisa Ishii, who is no relation, is a dominating relief pitcher in Japan's Central League. He finished second in saves (37) in the league despite pitching for a fourth place, sub-.500 team. He was named Best Setup Pitcher in 2002, then he missed parts of the 2003 and 2004 seasons with an injury (pain in right ribs), but pitched a solid (and healthy) 2005 season as the closer for the team. His ERA for the past four years is: 1.51, 1.99, 2.05, 1.95.

Japanese relievers have done well in the US, starting with Kaz Sasaki for the Mariners, Shige Hasegawa (Mariners), Shingo Takatsu (White Sox) and recently Akinori Otsuka of the Padres. He should be as good as those pitchers, only he's younger. He is still under contract with the Swallows, so the team has to approve his move to a major league team, but he is serious about coming to the majors and he was recently in Los Angeles watching the ALCS. He also has hired the same Japanese agent who represented Kaz Ishii (Dodgers - Mets) and Takatsu (White Sox - Mets). Both of those players played for the Swallows as did Roberto Petagine. He made about $800,000 this year. He will provide solid bullpen help from the left side and has ability and potential to close out games.

Furuta, the Swallows catcher recently named the 2006 manager (the first player/manager in some 30 years in Japanese pro ball), is not happy that Ishii wants to go to the majors, but he said he will respect the pitcher’s decision. The team owner does not want Ishii to go and he did say on Oct. 6 that he will NOT allow him to go to the majors. I do not know what his stance is now.

The Greatest Game in Baseball History

The Greatest Game in Baseball History

David Ortiz is mobbed by teammates Gabe Kapler and Trot Nixon following his game winning hit in the bottom of the 14th inning that gave Boston a 5-4 victory.

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis)

One Year Ago Tonight, The Sox Take 5 and Stay Alive

Extra Bases Blog 2004: Five Alive

"I'll take nominations and I might be in sort of a haze, but I think that was one of the greatest games ever played, if not the greatest." -- 10.18.04, Red Sox VP and GM Theo Epstein


NY Video: Torre Spelling S-T-A-Y-I-N-G

Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball

St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols and Houston Astros closer Brad Lidge watch Pujol's three-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Cardinals a 5-4 win in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 17, 2005, in Houston.

(AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Steve Ueckert)

Busch Stadium Lives to See Another Game

'Have you ever heard of Albert Pujols?'
-- 5.12.05, ESPN's Peter Gammons

Cards Won't Fold in 5-4 Comeback Win in 9th

Hanging Brad: 'Keith Lidge' Can't Close Out History
Anti-Rent: Eckstein Grounder Gets Through to Keep Cards Alive

"We were looking over to their bench, and guys were high-fiving. A couple of guys were even dancing. But until that fat lady sings, you can't do that." -- 10.17, Larry Walker


Nixon Had Knee Surgery

The Night of the Living Dead

The Night of the Living Dead

David Ortiz' homer wins Game 4 in the 12th inning of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld)

A Year Ago Tonight: A Game 4 the Ages

Extra Bases Blog 2004: Still Kicking

Theo's Choice

20-20-commentary.jpg

Theo's Choice

More Than A Numbers Game

"There's nothing easier than spending someone else's money." -- anonymous

After wallowing in the shadows of defeat for nearly a century, the Red Sox, under new ownership, won a World Series. Is once enough? It's easy enough to assign blame, but difficult to compensate credit. I believe, from a business standpoint, that better management can produce superior results for lower costs. All this makes finding, supporting, and retaining the best management vital.

We have to ask ourselves three questions, which will determine the outcome of the Red Sox General Manager's contract negotiations.

First, what does Theo Epstein want? Does he want to remain in his hometown, to get the Damoclean sword of recognition and loss of privacy. What dollar figure is a deal-breaker? Can he work with the man whose ego dominates the Red Sox media presence, Larry Lucchino? Every manager has bosses to whom he must report, but Theo must chafe under the 'supervision' of Lucchino, whose self-promoting style seems at odds with Epstein's approach and intellect.

Second, what do the Red Sox want? Do they believe that on balance Epstein's performance merits both an extension but the going rate? Do they think that someone else in the Kiddie Korps Baseball Operations group can replace Theo? Is one of the higher ups in the Front Office (Lucchino?) playing Cassius to Epstein's Caesar?

Finally, and most important, what is the public relations impact of failed negotiations. Baseball celebrates the 'Old Boy' network, with the apotheosis not of the young but recycling of the 'secure' choices. In money management circles, people discuss making safe choices to protect one's career. Nobody gets fired for buying IBM, because everyone else buys it, too. The Sox have shown a willingness to take chances, hiring Epstein based on ability and competence, not favoritism, nepotism, or experience. Losing Epstein, especially to the Team That Must Never Be Named would be a PR faux pas with repercussions, with Lucchino the likely fall guy.

Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Fenway Park offices, not to hear John Henry's thoughts on copper or coffee futures, but the willingness of the powers that be to share not dollars, but power with Broookline's Baseball Boy Wonder. It's more than a numbers game.

-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of Red Sox Reality Check

Chicago Goes!

Chicago Goes!

The Chicago White Sox gather on the field for a group photo after they win the American League Pennant by a score of 6-3 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during Game Five of the American League Championship Series on October 16, 2005 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The White Sox win their first American League Pennant since 1959.

(Getty Images Photo / Jed Jacobsohn)

Tonight They're Gonna Party Like It's 1959
After 46 Years, The White Sox are Back in the World Series


The Sox They Are A-Changin'

"No one knows if Theo Epstein will be the Red Sox general manager on Nov. 1 and, if he is not re-signed, whether the reconstruction of the talent line and the organizational mission statement will be diverted onto the Lowell Connector.

"OK, there almost certainly will be a Jose Contreras bidding war between these two teams (Yankees and Red Sox) for reliever B.J. Ryan. The Yankees will offer more cash; the Red Sox plan to offer him the opportunity to close, which for the second time in three years might give Boston the advantage of having Keith Foulke instead of Mariano Rivera.

"Boston will have Dustin Pedroia in the second base mix with Alex Cora; Jonathan Papelbon in the rotation or bullpen; Kevin Youkilis at third; and, by the end of the season, Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen, Jon Lester and perhaps Edgar Martinez pitching. But will they trade Manny Ramirez to the Mets -- for Carlos Beltran or a package involving Lastings Milledge, Mike Cameron and pitching -- and try to get a Troy Glaus or Paul Konerko for first base? Will they remake some form of the the trade deadline deal ownership killed that involved Kelly Shoppach, Abe Alvarez and Adam Stern to Colorado for Ryan Shealy and Larry Bigbie, as the Rockies have suggested?" -- 10.15, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com Insider (subscription only)

Rocky Mountain Low

Rocky Mountain Low

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

They're Just an Average Team Now
Starks Made Pats D Look Naked

Left for Dead

A Year Ago Today, the Sox Were Left for Dead

Left for Dead

(BDD Photo Illustration / Peter Stasiowski)

The Yankees Buried the Sox 19-8 in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS

Extra Bases Blog 2004: Revisiting Rock Bottom

Pain in the Glass

Pain in the Glass Gone
.406 Club is a Smash Hit

A pane of glass is shattered by a concrete baseball thrown by Dave Hixson from Hudson,on the tempered glass enclosure that  encloses the elevated Fenway Park .406 Club, as Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino looks on. Hixson, an EMC employee was chosen for the honor, as he fired a pitch into the windshield-like glass, as it shattered. The glass will be coming down as the .406 Club will be converted into anew, open-air seating area called the EMC Club. The .406 Club is named after Red Sox legend, Ted Williams, and his batting average. The new EMC Club will be at the suite level, and will have exactly 406 seats.
Construction workers Costa Georgoudis and Jason Van Czak survey the two panes of glass shattered by a concrete baseball thrown by Dave Hixson from Hudson,on the tempered glass enclosure that  encloses the elevated Fenway Park .406 Club.

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / John Tlumacki)

Fans Who Watched in Glass Houses
Throw Concrete Baseballs

Extra Bases Blog Broken Glass

Update: Sox Brass Will Not Be Selling the
'Championship Glass' to Souvenir Starved Nation

"What a missed opportunity -- they sold the "Championship Sod," you would think they could get a pretty penny from Red Sox Nation for those panes of glass! Someone's asleep at the wheel. -- 10.14, Dawn Orvis, RSN Connecticut


WEEI: Mike Port on the White Sox* Ump Debacle
WSJ: Did the Umps Determine the Red Sox-White Sox* Winner?

Make Him an Offer

Make Theo an Offer

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Major Money Gap Between GM and Sox

Are the Sox Lowballing Theo?

Hendu Done Did It

Hendu Done Did It...

Dave Henderson, Oct. 13, 1986

(Boston Globe File Photo)

19 Years Ago Against the Angels
Catching Up With Dave Henderson

And One Year Ago, Sonny Boy Got Beat in Game 2 of the ALCS

Pete Gets Beat

Who Will the Sox Hang Out to Dry?

Who Will the Sox Hang Out to Dry?

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Say It Ain't So, Ump!

Say It Ain't So, Ump!

Strike Three, You're Out?

(Fox Sports screenshots courtesy of Sawxblog.com)

It's Another Black Sox Scandal
Angels Robbed in South Side Hustle
Chump Umps in Chicago Throw Away the
2005 American League Championship Series

South Side Hustle

(AP Photo)

Umps Don't Call an Out an Out in 2-1 Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham
A Bad Ending for Doug Eddings

The Nation Speaks

The Write Call

Mr. Solomon and Mr. Port,

As an avid baseball fan and consumer I am disgusted and dismayed by the display of ineptitude, cowardice, and out right lack of understanding that Doug Eddings and his cohorts showed the nation of baseball fans watching Game 2 of the ALCS last night.

It was a disgrace that taints the series and the one to follow with questions of what if...

I would suggest some action from the MLB executive offices; those who oversee the umpires will fall into culpability with the incompetent umpires if there is no action taken.

Your sport is one which enthralls us for 162 games each year, and on the merits of those games we carry on into the postseason... one in which far fewer games determine a champion. Each pitch carrying the weight of an entire summer. The drama should not include the question of whether an Umpire has control of his "Strike three mechanics" it is not only a disgrace but brings those behind the plate from a place of trust to one of ridiculousness...

-Spiro Pappadopoulos
A faithful baseball fan
A Red Sox ticket holder
A MLB gameday audio subscriber
A Direct TV Baseball Package purchaser
A single voice asking for action

Please Bud, Fix This New Black Sox Scandal

The following excerpts are from the Official Baseball rules section 9.05: The umpire, shall watch out for dropped balls after you have called a man out. Do not come running with your arm up or down, denoting “out” or “safe.” Wait until the play is completed before making any arm motion. Do not call the plays too quickly. But remember! The first requisite is to get decisions correctly. If in doubt don’t hesitate to consult your associate. Umpire dignity is important but never as important as “being right.”

“When he rings him up with a fist, he’s out,” Scioscia said.

‘’That’s my mechanism for calling ’strike,’ when it’s a swinging strike,” said the umpire Doug Eddings.

Dear Bud,

I am counting on you to do something for the good of the game today. For the good of the game you need to step up to the plate and rule that Doug Eddings made a mistake, and the game will be called a tie, and before the start of game 6, game 2 will be completed, starting in the tenth inning. It is not because of the mistake of whether the ball hit the ground first, it was because of the emphatic out call made by Eddings.

I realize the rule book states that you can’t protest a game, because of an umpire’s decision, but that call was not a decision. When he rung him up, everyone on the Angels saw the out signal, and left the field. Now is the time to do the right thing, admit the umps got it wrong and correct it. Not only will this be for the good of the game, but it also will show everyone, that you can change something if you were wrong.

Fox will benefit from this, as when the series shifts back to Chicago, (provided the Angels don’t sweep the next 3 games) it will be the most anticipated game 6 in playoff history. It all comes down to doing the right thing. Bud Selig Commissioner of baseball needs to step to the plate today and tell the baseball world, we made a mistake and we are going to do the right thing. You need to say, “We are going to play game 2 starting from the 10th inning in a 1-1 game.”

The way to avoid only one inning being played next Tuesday would be to play the entire game 6 first and then to play the one inning after if one team has a 3-1 lead in the series. If it is tied 2-2 then start the tenth inning first. Either way it will be done for the good of the game.

-- 10.13: I am The Fan’s Commish, Rick Swanson


King Keith is No Foulke Hero

King Keith

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration)

Cranky Closer Checked Out on Teammates

"The real story of the season was how Foulke completely checked out on his teammates... Foulke lost many of his teammates, who watched him disappear and not seem to be particularly broken up about it. He told the Red Sox at the end of September that he wouldn't pitch again this season. That was news to them... Foulke is looking more like a hired gun. There is a real distance between him and the clubhouse... If nothing else, publicly attending a hockey game when your team is fighting for its life was ill-advised, especially for a player who could have been the deciding factor this season... Foulke should not escape this. Just imagine the furor had the Red Sox been playing a postseason game and Manny Ramirez had been sighted at a football game, or worse, caught having a drink with Enrique Wilson." -- 10.12, Howard Bryant, Boston Herald (subscription only)


One Year Ago, the Sox Got Schellacked in Game 1 of the ALCS

A Curt Schelling

Here's Johnny...

Here's Johnny...

Here's Johnny

... At the End of a Five-Year Deal

Manny Wants a Meeting

Manny Wants a Meeting

Manny Wants a Meeting

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration)

Is It About Re-signing Millar to a 10-Year Deal?
Does He Want Weekends Off Next Summer?
A Bigger Stall in The Wall?
A Raise?

$20 Million a Year Should Tell Him All He Needs to Know

"'I get the feeling that he wants to stay in Boston, but I also get the feeling that he wants to know what the direction of the team is going to be,' said the source, who's been in daily contact with Ramirez since the season ended Friday. 'They still have to address the (general manager) Theo (Epstein) situation (his contract expires Oct. 31), they have all the free agents to decide on. There are issues. He wants to sit down and get a feel for where the team is headed. Manny wants the team to get better, and he is concerned.'" -- 10.12, Boston Herald

Could Pedro Be the Source?

Pedro and his little friend

(CBS4 Photo)

Of Course.

"Dial M for Manny: Pedro Martinez made a show on the last weekend of the regular season to thank the Mets beat writers, handing out business cards that read, 'Pedro Martinez, Pitcher,' with his cellphone number. Call only if it's an emergency, he said. What constitutes an emergency, he was asked. 'Call me when we get Manny,' was the reply." -- 10.9, Boston Globe, Gordon Edes Notes

Yankee Doodle Manny?

New Deal for Nomar

New Deal for Nomar

Nomar Signs on with Baywatch

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration)

Nosedive in Charlestown

"'One of the girls had fallen into the water off Pier 6,' said Victor, 'and Nomar took off to try to help her.'

As soon as No. 5 ran out the door, the other gal, who was trying to save her friend, also fell in, hitting her head on the pier with a loud, sickening smack.

'Nomar had taken off and all I could think was that the girl was knocked out and would be unconscious under the water,' Victor said.

So the former trauma tech jumped 20 feet off Nomar's balcony and into the water below!

'I swam towards them and by the time I reached them Nomar was already there holding the girls up,' Victor said. 'But he couldn't get them out without help.'" -- 10.12, Boston Herald Inside Track

Edgar Would Have Made Critical Errors No. 31 and 32
There is No Truth to the Report that Nomar Will Miss
the Start of the 2006 Season with 'Swimmer's Shoulder'

Quotable Quotes

Barks and Bites

Quotable Quotes

What might have been overheard in and around the Red Sox clubhouse following the White Sox three-game sweep of Boston last Friday...

Kevin Millar: "What's the problem? We came back from 0-3 last year didn't we? We're loose. The guys will just take a shower, go home, rest and come back and give it our best shot tomorrow."

Manny Ramirez: (Sorry. Couldn't get a quote from Manny ... he was still completing his trip around the bases after admiring his home run that brought the Red Sox to within one run of the White Sox.)

WEEI Big Show Co-Host, Pete Shephard: "I just hope that Schilling doesn't have to warm-up, sit down, warm-up, sit down and warm-up again on Saturday if it rains."

Johnny Damon: "This team revolves around me. I should be paid $10 million a year. You saw what I did in the clutch in the sixth inning, didn't you? If I got a hit there, we surely would have won. So, I'm sure you would all agree that if we're going to win, it's because of me. Manny is great. David is great. But without me hitting, neither one is going to get a chance to get a big hit. I think I proved that in the 6th inning when I popped up to the catcher with the bases loaded."

Terry Francona: "If we could have scored one more run than the White Sox in each game, I think we would have won the series."

Jason Varitek: "I'm the best catcher in the league when it comes to managing a pitching staff ... as long as that pitching staff has Pedro Martinez, a healthy Curt Schilling, a focused Derek Lowe and some semblance of a bullpen."

John Henry: "We're co-champions of the AL East. And, I've asked our grounds crew to keep our name up on top on the left field scoreboard all winter long."

Charles Steinberg: "Oh, Tessie ..."

NESN's Tom Caron: "Well, at least the Yankees aren't going to win. They got the worst of it when they won they AL East and had to travel to Anaheim to play the Angels. The Red Sox got the easier opponent, and only had to fly to Chicago. Right, Eck? Huh, Eck? Please say yes, Eck. Oh, please, Eck."

Keith Foulke: "How'd the Bruins do last night?"

Red Sox Idiot Nation: "This year doesn't count. Only 2004 really matters. Yankees suck. Yankees suck. Yankees suck ..."

-- Bill Bingham, Westerly, RI

All bark, no bite

All Bark, No Bite

A-Dog

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration / Peter Stasiowski)

Mr. MVP Put on a Dog and Phony Show in the ALDS

New York Daily NewsNew York Post


Roger That...

"I’m going to change some things. There’s going to be some adjustments I’m going to make this winter and when I make those, I’m going to make those with an eye towards finishing my career and trying to pull a Clemens..." -- 10.11, Curt Schilling on Curt Schilling 2006

Hench's Hardball

Abandon Ship

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration / Casey Baker, Worcester)

Hench Furious

The Red Sox pitching staff just allowed 48 baserunners in 18 innings against the New York Yankees.

A $125M payroll and this is the detritus that the team sends out to the mound day after day. There's plenty of embarrassment to go around, but poor Terry Francona deserves a pass. He's been sent into a gun fight with a bunch of spoons.

I don't know what the offers were, but let's clarify something about the Red Sox' 'untouchables.'

Jon Lester is not Francisco Liriano and he never will be.

Craig Hansen is not Joel Zumaya and he never will be.

Manny Delcarmen is not Mark Lowe and he never will be.

Sadly, Hanley Ramirez is Miguel Tejada, only way ahead of schedule.

Crash and Burn

Crash and Burn

New York Yankees outfielders Gary Sheffield (11) and Bubba Crosby collide against the centerfield wall chasing a two-run triple hit by the Los Angeles Angels' Adam Kennedy in the second inning of Game 5 of their American League Division Series in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Oct. 10, 2005.

(Getty Images Photo / Stephen Dunn)

A Little Bit of Heaven Here in Boston as Angels Advance
Yankees Go Home Again with 5-3 Loss

Ervin Turns in a Magical Performance in Colon Relief
Non-Stop to Orlando: Cabrera Takes the Big Extra Base in the Third
Bad Giarm-bi: Jason Can't Make the Throw Home Again
Bellhorn Gets Stuck at Second in the Ninth
No ALDS RBIs for A-Rod

"We're not going to hang our heads. It's disappointing, because we knew what we were capable of, I know what I was capable of doing to help the team, like I did all year. I didn't get it done, and I'm going to have to look in the mirror." -- 10.10, Alex Rodriguez fails again


Big Bird Goes Home

Big Bird's Trip Home

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration / Scott C. Chase)

Immediately after refusing to ride on the same bus as Jorge Posada,
The Big Bird could be seen searching for alternate transportation
back to Sesame Street.

Reign Out; Decisions, decisions

Decisions, Decisions...

Decisions, Decisions...

Who Should Stay? Who Should Go?

Source: Manny Wants to Play for Ozzie


Reign Out

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Idiot

Idiot

File Under: Making Scott Boras Proud
Johnny Starts Negotiating Publicly for His Next Big Contract
Before the Fenway Faithful Have Even Filed Out of the Park

"...You need someone who can put people in the seats and I'm the kind of guy who can do that. I'm looking for five plus (years). I'm looking for a lot. For what I bring to the table night in and night in. We know how good Manny and David are, but I also help them look real good. They make me look real good."
-- Johnny Damon immediately after a season-ending devastating loss

2005 Blame Pie

2005 Blame Pie

Have a Piece

"You need to bake a bigger pie, because you forgot the following: Curt Schilling, Jay Payton, Alan Embree, Mark Bellhorn, Mike Remlinger." -- 10.8, emailer Tim Ankiel

"Missing Blame Pie Row: Timlin men-on-base = no relief, Jason No-Clutch-Captain’s Missing Bat (unless the bases are empty... and if he were a leader he’d rip the "C" off his shirt), Trot’s No-Show Bat – Nixon has lost his Yankee Killer certification." -- 10.9, emailer Jean Petrocchi

It Takes Two to Tango

Soxtreme Makeover Time

DEF CHAMPS GO DOWN
...BLOW IT UP

The Red Sox dugout is a glum place after the last out of the game ended Boston's season. In the foreground is Tony Graffanino, in the backround, left to right are Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, and David Wells.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

What Comes Around, Goes Around
El Duque Puts Damon in the Dugout

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox tags out Johnny Damon of the Red Sox after striking out to the end the inning with the bases loaded during Game Three of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 7, 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts.

(Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel)

Johnny Can't Hold Up; Sox Come Up Empty in 6th with No Outs, Bases Jacked. It's Wait Till Last Year as
Sox Bounced from Playoffs with 5-3 Loss

Shaky Wake Start Turns to Funeral at End
Tapper to Second, Game Over: That's Just Edgar Being Rent-a-Wreck
Manny and David Carry the Offensive Load Again and Again
Mr. Free Pass: Was it the Curse of the Awful 'C' on His Uniform?
$10-Million-'Tek Had a Horrible At-Bat, and a Horrendous Second Half
And Billy Ballgame Mueller Went 0-for-ALDS
The Graff is Half Empty: Tony Gets a Nice Hand,
but Can't Lend One in the Fateful 6th by Swinging at Balls
Must See TV: Everybody Loves Jonathan
BoSox Bats Shut Down After 6th for Entire Series

"They were better than us. Any way you slice it they were better than us. They pitched better than us. They hit better than us. They fielded better than us. Obviously they were the better team. They won three, we won none." -- 10.7, Curt Schilling on the bottom line


Every (Bart)Man for Himself

Bartman

Toss 'Em: Mr.-Front-Row's Not Watching for Trot


It Takes Two to Tango

10-7-DO_MR-bdd.jpg

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis and John Tlumacki)

But Chicago Knocks Sox Out of the Dance

Is This the End?

End Game?

Goodbye Guys?

Is this the end?
Idiot friends
Is this the end?
With just one prize, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No comeback or surprise, the end
We'll never see some of our guys...again

Can you picture what will be
If South Side does the sweep
Desperately in need...of some...knuckled hand
In a...desperate land

Lost in a Boston...wilderness of pain
And all the children wait in vain
All the children wait in vain
Waiting for the autumn pain, yeah

"There is doubt in the 2005 Red Sox. You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. The Sox said all of the right things, at least publicly, following their Game 2 loss Wednesday night in Chicago to the White Sox. They said them again yesterday at Fenway Park. But when the lights are off and the notebooks are closed, they have the same feelings and observations about this team that you do.

"They wonder if they are good enough.

"'Maybe,' one Sox player said in the aftermath of Wednesday's defeat, 'it's just not meant to be.'" -- 10.7, Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

"Our problem has always been our pitching. The three years I've been here, we've always hit well. The question is how our pitching is going to be. It's not news that letting Pedro and D-Lowe go, everyone was questioning how our pitching was going to be. When you don't know what to expect from the starting pitching, it's a little crazy." -- 10.7, David Ortiz, ProJo

Goodbye Columbus?

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Nine-Teen-Seven-Teen...

"NINE-TEEN-SEVEN-TEEN...
NINE-TEEN-SEVEN-TEEN..."

2005 AL Central Dividson Champs

They May Be the AL Central 'Dividson Champs' But
Let's Remind Them of the Last Time They Won the 'World Serids'

(Must be the same folks who made the 'I'TS OUR TURN' sign
that was hanging from The Cell on Wednesday)

(And Give a Nice Pick-Me-Up to Graffanino Too)

Manny on the Move?

Is Manny Hustling Out of Town?

Manny Ramirez races home to score on a double by Trot Nixon in the fifth inning Friday, Sept. 23, 2005, in Baltimore.

(AP Photo)

Report: Manny Eyes New Agent for Possible Trade

"The front-runners to represent Ramirez are expected to be Scott Boras, who helped arrange outfielder Gary Sheffield's trade from the Dodgers to the Braves after the 2001 season, and SFX, the firm that represents Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz." -- 10.6, Ken Rosenthal, FOXSports.com

...it's called Last Season.

Big Fun. Clutch Hits. Energy.
Winning.

The Los Angeles Angels' Orlando Cabrera points to dugout after his team beat the New York Yankees 5-3 in Game 2 of the American League Division Series in Anaheim, California  October 5, 2005. Cabrera's two-run single broke the game open for the Angels' 5-3 victory and the teams are tied at one game apiece in the five game series.

(Reuters Photo)

...it's called Last Season.
Now Why Didn't We Keep OC Again?

"Had the Sox retained Orlando Cabrera (who's hitting .257 to Renteria's .276 but fielding far better for the Angels) for less money and given Martinez the balance, they would have won the AL East by a wide margin and a far more imposing pitching staff to throw at the White Sox and then, very likely, the hated Yankees in the AL Championship series." -- 10.6, Ron Borges, NBCSports.com


Habs Win. One Goal. Bad Fans.
Losing.

Workers clear mini replicas of the Stanley Cup, a fan appreciation gift, which were thrown on the ice by fans following a Montreal Canadiens goal in the final minute of a game against the Boston Bruins in Boston, Wednesday Oct. 5, 2005.  The Canadiens beat the Bruins 2-1.

(AP Photo)

...it's called Bruins.
Now Who Are The Stars Again?
(Our veerrry distant cousins)

Apathy ... It's Called Foulke?

Sniffing Around

Apathy ...It's Called Foulke?

10-5-05: Was Keith Foulke talking on the phone before heading into the Bruins opener while the Red Sox battled in Chicago?

Look a Little Closer:
Was That Really Keith Foulke at the Bruins Opener Last Night
While the Baseball Team That Pays Him Was Fighting
for Its Life in Chicago?

(He Finally Had His Right Knee Scoped at Mass General Today)

Gaffe-anino!

GAFFE-ANINO!

Gaffe-anino!
As the bleacher fans cheer in the backround, Red Sox 2B Tony Graffanino retrieves the ball he has just missed for a fifth inning error. CF Johnny Damon comes in at right.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Season On the Brink After
Tony's Impersonation of Renteria
Dead Sox Lose Game 2, 5-4

Graff Bounces Back with Clutch Double in 9th Inning Rally
But Damon's Ugly Swings and Rent's Weak First-Pitch Chopper Ends Game
Manny Admires First Inning Double, And Turns it into a Single
Then Lets Everett Run Around the Bases While He Lollygags in Left
The Gaffe Hurt, But Wells Threw Us a Curve with the Three-Run Jack
Mueller 0-for-8 in Series, 4 LOB Last Night
Still Trying to Find a Way to Blame Millar...

"'I told him, 'My bad,'' Graffanino said. 'I asked him to pick me up.'

"Wells, Boston's money pitcher, was unable to do so. Yet in the wake of a disappointing loss, he wasn't about to blame his infielder for his troubles. "'I was upset, yeah, but you can't show any emotions out there,' Wells said. 'I'm not going to show him up. He's played great for us since he's been here... if you point at anyone, point at me. I'm the one who hung the curveball.'" -- 10.6, Jackie MacMullan, Boston Globe

How Big Was the Error?


Hanging One to Tad

Chicago's Tadahito Iguchi (right) is greeted by delerious fans, as well as teammates Juan Uribe and Joe Crede (24) following his fith inning three run home run off of David Wells that put the White Sox ahead 5-4. Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek watches at far left.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Why Can't We Get Second Basemen Like Iguchi?

Oh, and Pedroia Would've Had It
And Was That Francona or Jimy Williams Answering
the Japanese Reporter's Question About Iguchi After the Game?


Wait Till Next Year

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)


Professional Defense

Red Sox first baseman John Olerud makes a great diving stop of a ball on the foul line off the bat of Chicago's Scott Podsednik. He held on, got up and tossed to David Wells covering for the first out of the bottom of the fourth inning.

File Under: Why OlderDude Needs to Start Every Game


Def Champs are Off and Running

David Ortiz is called safe ahead of the tag of Chicago White Sox second baseman Tadahito Iguchi (15) by umpire Dale Scott in the third inning of Game 2 of the American League Division Series in Chicago. Ortiz hit a double to left field.

(AP Photo)

But Manny Won't Follow in David's Fast Steps

Fastball Like a Speeding Bullet?

Fastball Like a Speeding Bullet?
More Powerful Than His Loco Motives?
Able to Beat the ChiSox in Game 2 Tonight?

Superwells

...Wells Soon Find Out


WalKing Papers for Clement?

Batting Like The King

He Sure Gave Up Some Whoppers on Tuesday

Chicago Whitewash

Chicago Whitewash

White Sox fans go wild and Manny Ramirez can only watch the celebration after Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski swatted a 2 out 3 run HR in a 5 run 1st inning for the White Sox.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Chicagoing... Going... Gone

Clement Slammed as His Slump Continues into Playoffs
Former No. 1 Starter Fails Biggest Test on Giant Stage
BoSox Rocked, Socked in Game 1, 14-2

Matt Showed the White Feather:
Clement Comes Completely Undone in the Spotlight
BoSox Waive White Flag as 'Small Ball Team' Plays Some Big Ball Early
Safety Dance: Back Bay Bombers Can Only Score Two
While Precarious Pitching Gives Up Two Touchdowns
It Was a Short Walk After a Long Pierzynski
Podsednik of Time: Even Scott Homers
Nothing You Can Do: Con Man Strikes Through for ChiSox

"I'm not even sure who our No. 1 [starter] is. I thought he [Matt Clement] was capable of going out there and just making guys look silly. But he just didn't have it. He hasn't had it for the last month." –- 10.4, Johnny Damon on the widest margin of defeat in the Red Sox’ 122-game postseason history

"It's not news that our pitching needs to hold the opposing team down. We don't get that, we're going to be in trouble. Playoffs, when you give up 14 runs, what's happening?" -- 10.4, David Ortiz on the loss

“It’s 1918 vs. 1917, take your pick.” -– 10.4, ESPN’s Chris Berman at the start of yesterday’s White Sox-Red Sox game, apparently forgetting that the Red Sox are the 2004 World Series champions

Matt's Lament

Matt Clement is shown in the dugout after being pulled from the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, hving been knocked around by the White Sox.

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis)

The Great Clement Collapse:
Spotlight May Be Exposing Matt

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

And Somewhere Off the Coast of Manoguayabo,
Mr. Pedro Martinez is Laughing His Rear End Off...

Boston Dirt Dogs

Cheap Shot?

Cheap Shot?

Red Sox infielder Kevin Millar takes a sip of a

Millar May Be Off the 'Backstabber' Hook
as Schilling Speaks Frankly on Foulke

10.4, Curt Schilling on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan

Gerry Callahan: “Do you know why Keith Foulke wouldn’t want to be there (on Sunday), with all the celebration in the middle of that fun, even though he struggled this year, hell you struggled this year, and you had as much fun as anyone. Can you understand why a teammate wouldn’t want to be part of that?

Curt Schilling: “No………………………… (heh) no.”

GC: Was it as much fun as it looked?

CS: Champagne? Yeah. You know what made it fun for me? Having Kap there.

GC: We were talking about that on Monday. There’s Kapler, limping in, he’s gotta sit down at a table, talk about a guy who’s had a rough time, and he wouldn’t miss it. I don’t understand why Foulke wouldn’t just hang out for a few days (rumored to have flown to Bermuda), I realize he’s gotta go and rehab and all that but just to play it out…

CS: Yeah, no, I don’t know. He’s got reasons. And those are his own, but…. You know, I don’t know. I can’t answer that for you.”

Sox are off, Pats too

The Sox Were Off Today...
But the Pats Are Just Plain Off

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

You Stay Classy, Ozzie

You Stay Classy, Ozzie

Choker or Joker?

Embarrassing: The Chicago Choker is a Joker

"Last week, everybody was talking about how Cleveland was going to kick our butts, and they did. I'm not going to say it's a great feeling (sending the Indians home) because I respect the manager and I respect the players there." -- 10.2, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, Sun Times

"While I'm at it, let me tell Ozzie Guillen that he did his Wacky Uncle image no favors when he became the first major-league manager in known history to flash a double-fisted choke sign at a mascot -- Slider, employed by the Indians -- and the Jacobs Field fans during a pitching change Sunday. When the Blizzard of Oz wonders why he's not treated like Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, he should examine the photo and ask if those gentlemen ever would stoop to taunting some poor mope in a suit whose team has just finished fading like, well, Craig Ehlo trying to guard You Know Who." -- 10.3, Jay Mariotti, Sun Times

Chicago Dope: Everything You Didn't Want to Know About Carl Everett

Mannyfest Destiny

Back in the Hunt

MANNYFEST DESTINY

Manny Ramirez points skyward as the fans go wild as he begins his home run trot following his fourth inning three run home run.

Sox Take Matters into Their Own Bats
The Def Champs are Back in the Playoffs
Wild Sox Send Yanks to the West Coast with 10-1 Romp

"It doesn't matter how you get in as long as you get there. We got a great bunch of guys man, we go out there and have fun all the time. We're gonna do it again." -- 10.2, Manny October on making it to the playoffs for the third year in a row

Manny Set the Tone with His Arm and Broke it Open with His Bat
The Old Stuff: Schilling Steps Up and Shuts Down Bombers
Mueller Stays Hot, Goes Deep; Belli Hits a Bomb in a Pinch
RBI Kings: Ortiz Gets No. 148; Manny Finishes with 145

Jon Gone Wild

Jonathan Papelbon sprays champagne over the head of a teammate in the Boston clubhouse after they clinched the American League Wild Card playoff berth with a 10-1 victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Papelbonafide: Jonathan's on the Roster

“They didn’t want me to get too much work in. He told me, ‘We’re going to need you down the road.’” -- 10.2, Rookie reliever Jonathan Papelbon on his conversation with manager Terry Francona on the mound

The In Crowd

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Sox Get Invited to In Party, But Act Like They've Been There,
Done That, And Worn the 'Wild Card' T-Shirts Before

"We respect each other a lot (Red Sox-Yankees) and it's not out of control in here like it has been in the past. It's like Barry Sanders said about being in the end zone after a touchdown -- act like you're been there before." -- 10.2, Johnny Damon has the right attitude

Lost Cause

LOST CAUSE

Nation shocked and chagrined

(Globe Staff Photo / John Tlumacki)

A Nation is Shocked and Chagrined as It's Eight Straight Titles
for the Beasts of the East. Fans Furious About The New Math.
Now Sox Must Take the Path of East Resistance into Playoffs

"This is a major disgrace not winning this division."
-- 10.1, Red Sox fan calling into WEEI after game


Champagne Stings

Champagne Champs

(Reuters Photo)

Sox Can’t Protect This House

When East Expected, Sox Have to Settle for Second Best Again
Division by Subtraction: One Game Playoff Taken out of the Mix
Sox Hoping for Wild, Wild East as Cleveland Chokes
(Now You Can Buy Those AL East Shirts We Found Online Last Week)


Say It Ain't So, Joe

Randy was Dandy

(AP Photo)

United They Stand: Yankees are Feeling Randy About Title
East Yanked Away from Sox in 8-4 Slaughter

Eight. Enough.
It's Offensive: Sox Bats Go Quiet During Pennant Drive
Blasts But Not East: Can't Blame Manny October for This One
Tiny Tim: Wake’s Ball Was High, Yanks Let it Fly
Isn’t That Special: Schilling, Sox Take on Columbus for Wild Card
No More Cowboy Up! New Battlecry is Settle Up!

"I can't take my glasses off. I'm crying like a baby." -- 10.1, Yankees manager Joe Torre after the final out

Back in the Saddle Again

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

A Fenway Park employee starts the process of changing the standings on the wall in leftfield following the Boston victory, which put them in a first place tie with New York, whose name had been above Boston before the game.

(Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis)

The Signs They Are a-Changin'. Sox Win the Big One 5-3.


Big Gamer

David Delivers the Big One

(Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

It's Boom and Doom
for the So-Called Bombers

After Getting Out of First Inning Jam
Wells Goes Seven Strong to Get the Win

Four Hits is All It Takes as Sox Are Off and Running in Final Showdown
Damon's Got His Wheels Back (But Gets Stuck in the Middle Too)
'Tek Snaps Out it with First Homer at Fenway Since Aug. 12
MVP Picture: Papi Get An RBI (And Doesn't Make an Error in the Field)
Walking Papi Works Out for Manny
Jason Giambi-Knoblauch Chucks One Away from Home
Rare Props for Tito: Manager Makes All the Right Moves When it Counts
Hanging on with Chad: Bradford is Good for One
Yeaahh Baby!: Myers Gets His Man
Iron Mike Timlin Throws Strikes, Gets Outs, Sox Win

"I like the ball in a big game. I'm not afraid to take it. At age 23 or 42, I still have the same intensity. I just want to go out and pitch, and win." -- 9.30, David Wells (was worth every penny)

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. The site is not produced by the Boston Globe sports dept.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox agree to deal with Pierzynski > Sox non-tender Bailey, Kalish > Sox face arbitration decisions

Boston Herald:

Sox set Bailey, Kalish free > Doug Fister dealt to Nats > White Sox agree to 1-year contract with C Flowers

ProJo:

Pierzynski reaches deal with Red Sox > Kalish, Bailey non-tendered > Mike Napoli still ideal at first base > Middlebrooks, Red Sox both looking for improvement

NY Post:

Cashman pessimistic on Yankees re-signing Cano > Report: A-Rod called PEDs 'Food'

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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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