No Guts, No Glory

No Guts, No Glory

Roger Clemens gestures during a news conference after re-signing with the Houston Astros baseball team Wednesday, May 31, 2006 in Houston. Roger Clemens is coming out of retirement for the third time, agreeing to a $22 million contract to pitch for the Houston Astros for the rest of 2006.

(AP Photo)

Clemens Can't Take the Heat of a Playoff Race in Boston
So He'll Take the Money and Fade Away Quietly in Houston

Clemens OKs $22M Deal to Return to Astros
Photo Gallery: Roger and the Red Sox
Sox Comment on Clemens-to-Astros

Extra Bases: Pena to Have Wrist Surgery, Mirabelli Gets Start
Meet David Pauley | Eric Wilbur: Rotating Reservations

Paid for the Privilege

20/20 Commentary

Paid for the Privilege

Red Sox fans boo and react at Fenway Park. Boston Globe Staff Photo

A Sox fan behind the dugout had an apparent verbal confrontation with Keith Foulke after the reliever's departure.

I haven't been to a Red Sox game for more than a year. I'm sure that I've been to hundreds over the years, and verbal abuse has traditionally been a part of the Fenway experience. Sort of like Durgin Park, except meaner and with poorer quality food. Except usually it's the fans who suffer. At least in the past, the Kevin Bacon six degrees of separation shrank to only three seats of separation from the nearest patron "in the bag."

Do you feel superior when you "trash" a professional who hasn't performed up to his best? (Why blog then?) What have you done for me lately? (Anybody else think Foulke should have been the World Series 2004 MVP?) Is it your right to heckle because you ponied up 75 bucks? (Nobody can hear you in the bleachers anyway.) Did you just forget your medicine? (Lordy, it's so expensive, I can understand that.) Are you the best in the city at your profession and never had a bad day? (Guess we can leave that one out.)
Yes, Keith Foulke may not be Mr. Lovable, with his "Johnny from Burger King" act, and he isn't at the peak of his career. He's had a rough go of it lately, and I'm perfectly willing to cut him beaucoup slack. And I don't want to hear about overpaid professional athletes. Do you offer to give back your salary if you have a bad day? Did you impress your significant other with your macho display? But to what end does vilifying mediocrity at the ballpark serve you or your peers? (Again I guess that wouldn't apply to blogging or Larry Lucchino, but I digress.)

Did you know that between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. one out of every 13 drivers is intoxicated? God forbid we hear the statistics for Red Sox fans. Of course, at 7 bucks a beer (or whatever they charge), the Sox are making public drunkenness pricier, if not more difficult.

Foulke gets into it with a fan. Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin

Now I don't know if the "plaintiff" (boorish heckler) was intoxicated, or even paid for his ticket. (Does free advice or criticism have a higher place in the hierarchy of free speech?) Maybe he's proud of himself for putting Foulke in his place. Somehow I think Foulke knows a good outing from something less. And we know that baseball isn't even Foulke's favorite sport.

We Bostonians pride ourselves on our sophistication and savoir faire. We have some of the finest educational institutions in the world, and along with global warming the compassion warming has occurred in the Hub, at least relative to the '70s. I'm for taking boorish behavior out of the ballpark and putting it back online where it belongs. Amnesty for Johnny Damon, humanity for Keith Foulke, and maybe even for the rest of the mercenaries in the bullpen if they can get a few outs...

Let's leave the heartless criticism of ballplayers where it belongs, to the sportswriters.

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

Can Pauley Get the Job Done?

Can Pauley Get the Job Done?

Pauley Gets the Call

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Theo's Choice Will Be Put to the Test in Toronto

Well, Well, Wells

Well, Well, Wells

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett walks back up the mound as Toronto Blue Jays' Vernon Wells rounds the bases on his two run homer during first inning AL action in Toronto on Tuesday May 30, 2006.

(AP Photo)

Josh Joins the Floundering Red Sox Starters Club
V-Wells Has His Way with Sox Again and Again and Again

Powerhouse Jays Blast Sox 8-5, Now 7-3 vs. Boston
When Beckett's Bad, He's Horrendous
House of Glaus: Troy Takes Beckett Deep Twice Too
9.82 ERA: Riske Business is Pretty Much Bankrupt
Justin Speier Owns Manny Ramirez

Papi Pops Off on Sox Pitchers

"They've got good hitters. But we're not pitching the way we're supposed to. That's what I say. When we come to hit, they don't give us [anything] to hit. Why do we have to give them [something] to hit? That's it. I mean, the guy is hitting three homers on pretty much the same pitch, something up in the strike zone. [When] I hit one, I don't see another pitch again all night. We've got to make adjustments." -- 5.30.06, David Ortiz to the Globe's Chris Snow

'Wayback' Clement Puts Sox Too Far Behind

'Wayback' Clement Puts Sox Too Far Behind

Matt Clement had another bad day

(Reuters Photo)

"You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day..." -- Bad Day, Daniel Powter

Staff on Brink of Disaster After Another Clement Collapse
Safe? Sorry: Youk Had To Throw to Third to Save Game
Riske, No Reward, Blue Jays 7, Boston 6

Manny Plays, And Shows Up
Tito Should Have Used More Delcarmen and Van Buren
Coco Crisp and Ramirez Lead the Comeback Charge
Jason "Remember Me" Varitek Leads By Example
Was the Infield Too In on Hillenbrand Winner?

Eric Wilbur: The So-So Sox
Survey: Who Should Start on Wednesday?

Extra Bases: The Latest on Clemens

Can't Find a Better Matt

Can't Find a Better Matt

Eddie Vedder, Theo Epstein, and Bill Janovitz at Toad on Thursday night

(Eddie Vedder, Theo Epstein, and Bill Janovitz at Toad on Thursday night / Boston Globe Photo / Selene Angier)

Theo Covers Clement with New Song for Pearl Jam

Waitin', watchin' the clock
It's Renteria again
It's got to stop
Tell him, pitch no more
He practices his speech
Then he opens the door, MC rolls over
Pretends to watch as Tito hooks him, it’s over

He lies “his stuff’s good enough to win”
Can't find a better Matt
He dreams of Clemens wearing the red
Can't find a better Matt
Can't find a better Matt
Can't find a better Matt

Ohh no
Talkin' to himself
Everyone else already seems to know
He tells himself, oh

Memories back when he was bold and strong
And waiting for Boston to come along
Swears he knew him, now he swears he's gone

He lies “his stuff’s good enough to win”
Can't find a better Matt
He dreams of Clemens wearing the red
Can't find a better Matt
He lies “his stuff’s good enough to win”
Can't find a better Matt
He dreams of Clemens wearing the red
Can't find a better Matt
Can't find a better Matt
Can't find a better Matt

Yeah
Theo loved him
He don't want him to leave this way
He needs him, yeah
That's why he'll be back again
Can't find a better Matt
Can't find a better Matt
Can't find a better Matt
Can't find a better Matt

714, the Real Deal

714*

Babe Ruth, the Real Deal

(Reuters Photo)

*It's the Real Deal

Aaron and Ruth and Pray for the Truth

Well, Hello Coco

Well, Hello Coco

Coco Crisp is Back

(AP Photo)

Crisp Finally Makes Fenway Debut After Missing 42;
Sox Bullpen Falls Apart After Huge Wake

Loretta Leads the Charge on Offense Again, Sox Sweep 5-4
Mirabelli Almost Lets the Game Pass Him By But Hangs On at the End
Defense Never Rests: Gonzo, Lowell Keep Throwing the Leather
Harris Shows Some Stick and Sticks Gathright at the Plate
The Seanez and Tavarez Show Must Not Go On
More Bad News: Timlin on DL, Wells a No-Go

``I just feel like I'm hitting the ball consistently hard and the majority of the balls are falling in this month. I stick to the process and try to take as much emotion as I can out of it." -- 5.28.06, Mark Loretta, hitting .410 in May

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Curtain Call

Curtain Call

Schilling 200

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Win No. 200: Saturday Night's Special for Schill
Sox Win 6-4

Loretta's On Fire, Stays Hot
Manny Decides to Sit This One Out
Nixon Steps Up to Cleanup with Three RBIs
As a Left Fielder, Youk Makes a Great First Baseman
Foulke, Papelbon Nail Down Historic Win

"Just walking on that field after the game is an experience I'll never forget. Those are the things that, when you're done playing, they last forever, the memories the fans can create for you." -- 5.27.06, Curt Schilling on His Curtain Call

BDD / Graphic Design by Carl

(BDD Photo Illustration / Graphic Design by Carl)

It's Not-So-Friendly Fenway for Foulke

It's Not-So-Friendly Fenway for Foulke

Johnny from Burger King fries Foulke

(Boston Globe Photo / Barry Chin)

Johnny from Burger King Gets Keith's Attention
Was Foulke Asking 'Do You Want Fries with That?'

Frustrated Foulke Trying to Find Consistency

Down Goes Boomer

Down Goes Boomer

Wells takes a line drive off knee

(BDD Photo / NESN)

David Didn't Kneed This

Wells Drilled on Right Knee By Travis Lee Line Drive
Has Deep Contusion, No Sign of Serious Injury So Far

And All That Kaz: Sox Finally Get to Top Lefty, Tavarez Gets Win, 8-4
Ortiz Turns the Game Around with Bases Clearing Double
Have You Voted for Mike Lowell Today?

"I thought he looked great. The ball came out of his hand well. He threw fastballs from both sides of the plate. His velocity was good. He fielded his position well, got off the mound off the bunt real well. We weren't just encouraged, we were thrilled." -- 5.26.06, Tito on Wells before he got drilled

Extra Bases: Dustan Demoted | Wilbur: Special K
Edes Mailbag: No Quick Fix Needed

Electric Company

Electric Company

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park -- Sox starter Josh Beckett, at left, and closer Jonathan Papelbon hug after Papelbon closed out the game seasling the win for Beckett.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Beckett, Papelbon Power Sox Past D-Rays

Short and Sweet Night for Young Guns Josh, John
Ace Was Razor Sharp for Six; Closer Gets 16th Save in 4-1 Win
Sweet Loretta: Mr. Right Place, Right Time is Hitting at a .303 Mark
'Tek Gets His Average Up to .235, Papi Snaps Out of Big Slump
Tough Night for Timlin, Love the Four-Out Save

"He had no-hit stuff tonight. He really did. It was electric. They had some real strong, long at-bats ... and just kind of made Josh run out of gas." -- Terry Francona on Beckett's Outing

Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park -- Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, at center, got the save and the win for starter Josh Beckett, at right.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Is Tito Hanging His Starters Out to Dry?

Is Tito Hanging His Starters Out to Dry?

Is Tito Hanging His Starters Out to Dry?

(BDD Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

Because 3 of the Starting 5 Are Getting Taken to the Cleaners

Extra Bases: Coco Gets Into the Swing of Things
Gordon Edes Chat Wrap: About Last Night, Clement, Manny, and Mohr
Bradford: Flaherty Still Picking Apart Big Unit's Problems
Eric Wilbur: No Position to Make

A Uniform Decision

If Clement Keeps Getting Used As Target Practice

Red Sox starting pitcher Matt Clement, who last season was hit by a line drive, had another scary moment in the second inning when a shot off the bat of the Yankees Bernie Williams struck him. He is shown in a three picture sequence as the ball bounces off of him. He hit the ground, but got up and remained in the game.

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis)

Maybe It's Time for a Change...

BDD / Graphic Design by Carl

(BDD Photo Illustration / Graphic Design by Carl)

Clembarrassment!

Clembarrassment!

Matt Clement of the Red Sox hands the ball to Manager Terry Francona and leaves the game in the fifth inning against the New York Yankees on May 24, 2006 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

(Getty Images Photo / Al Bello)

Clement Got Nailed... And Hammered
Matt Torments Sox With Underwhelming, Uninspired Outing
Wildcard Wannabees Can't Kick Yanks While They're Down

JV Bombers Put Sox in the Hurt Box, 8-6
Manny on Fire: Numbers Starting to Add Up After ManRam Moon Shots
Hustle and Go: You Can't Stop the M-Train DeMarlo, Nor Can You Contain It
(Especially with the New Manny Being Speedy During His Home Runs)
Wily Mo No-Go: Pena Doesn't Go for the Plate on Wild Ball to the Backstop
Pennant McPheever Grips Hub? No Soul Patrol Sox Stuck in American League East Idle
Youk the Man: Mr. OBP Continues to Contribute Night In and Night Out
Bottom Feeders: Back of the Order Full of Ordinary People
Big Floppi: Ortiz Has a Bad Night Wrestling New York Arms
Mohr or Less? ...Less
Photo Galleries: Game Pics | The Scene at Fenway

Extra Bases: Notes and Observations About Last's Night's Sox Loss
WEEI Audio: John Henry Talks About Clemens and Other Sox Business
Tito Plans to Give Manny a Day Off Now That He's Heating Up

Hell Week in the Fens

The Nation Speaks

Hell Week in the Fens

Randy Johnson, Scott Kazmir, Ted Lilly

(Reuters and AP Photos)

The calendar might say May, but don't take the summer whites out of mothballs just yet. In this land of eternal September, there will be a distinctive autumn nip in the air this week as the Red Sox dig in against their chief antagonists in three key matchups that should offer the first prognostications for October on Yawkey Way.

The curtain lifts tonight as 5-4 Randy Johnson takes the mound for the Yankees at Fenway Park. Next comes Scott Kazmir (7-2) on Friday when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays come to town. The anchor will be Ted Lilly (4-4), who awaits in Toronto where the Sox will close a three-game series one week from tonight.

The three lefties have combined for a 14-3 record in their 27 starts against the Red Sox dating back to 2004. That's when Lilly rejoined the American League East and Kazmir came over in a trade with the Mets. Johnson arrived in the Bronx a season later.

Most of this damage was inflicted last season. The triumvirate of Johnson, Kazmir, and Lilly combined for a 9-1 record with a 3.27 ERA, .222 batting average against, and 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings over their 16 Boston starts. They arguably played a bigger role in the Red Sox abdicating the AL East crown than did Keith Foulke's knees, Edgar Renteria's glove, or Kevin Millar's bat. During last September's homestretch, the Sox lost four of the five games started by a member of the lefty trio and watched their 3˝ game Labor Day lead evaporate.

It was Johnson who turned in the marquee performance of that run. On September 11, he held Boston to one hit over seven innings in a 1-0 win at Yankee Stadium. Granted, the version of the Big Unit we saw two weeks ago was more like the Big Eunuch. The Sox pounded him for five hits and seven runs — three earned — in an appearance characterized by the New York media as gutless. Moreover, he is pitching poorly this year, certainly more so than in the start of his first season in the Bronx. But when the weather warmed last year, so did RJ. He finished 17-8, including 5-0 in six starts against Boston.

Whereas Johnson was an addition of gluttony, Lilly and Kazmir were additions of necessity. For Toronto and Tampa Bay to see October any time soon, they have to forge inroads against either Boston or New York. After the 2003 season, the Red Sox certainly appeared the more attainable. Perhaps empowered by Boston's 26-27 record in games started by lefties, the Jays and Rays both set out to bolster their rotations by juggling southpaws.

Toronto moved Mark Hendrickson — who never mastered his surroundings at the SkyDome — to Tampa Bay and acquired Lilly. The Jays also called up Gustavo Chacin late in the 2004 season. Meanwhile the Devil Rays, in addition to picking up Hendrickson, signed John Halama and traded for Kazmir before the 2004 deadline. With so much mud slung on the walls that partitioned them from the AL East's elite, some was bound to stick. In the case of Lilly and Kazmir, some did.

The forced intimacy brought on by an unbalanced schedule has produced one silver lining for intra-divisional have-nots. Scheduling 19 games against divisional foes is MLB's equivalent to housing five siblings under the same roof. With that much time together, you learn everything about your brother and that knowledge helps you in cutting an existence of your own. It's hard to hide dirty laundry.

Just ask Mariano Rivera who has blown only 11 save opportunities since 2003, but six to the Red Sox, who are well acquainted with his cutter. Ask David Ortiz, whose .327 start was interrupted by a Devil Rays shift that employed four outfielders and a semi-vacant infield. He's hit .250 since as other teams have employed shifts of their own.

That's what makes this week so important. Tampa Bay and Toronto have been watching and taking notes. The former makes a dangerous spoiler who finds vindication in watching Kazmir shut down their feuding partners to the north. The latter have now graduated to contender status and savor the potential two-game swing in the standings whenever Lilly is up against their rivals. As for the Yankees, they will always be that immovable big brother that hogs the bathroom.

Each now owns a policy that insures it for some degree of success against Boston. All have collected on it in the past and will make claims at every opportunity to come. No such policy is currently in force against the Yankees, nor has one been since Tawny Kitaen knocked hubby Chuck Finley out of baseball with a right cross.

So, the Sox lineup can figure on a steady dose of Johnson, Kazmir, and Lilly for the remainder of the season. That's 11 potential starts in all, kicking off tonight. Pretty substantial for a division that was determined by a tiebreaker last year.

-- Bob Ekstrom, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and writer at Sports Central

The Virtual Villain

The Virtual Villain

<img alt=

(PRNewsFoto / Sony Online Entertainment LLC)

From Sony Online Entertainment: Curt Schilling is not only a baseball hero but also a virtual villain battling in a video game -- for a good cause. His computer-generated likeness will live in the online world of EverQuest II during the Yankees vs. Red Sox series June 5 - 7. Log into www.battleals.com, challenge Schilling and for every victory Sony Online Entertainment will donate $5 dollars (up to $10,000) to the ALS Association, benefiting patients with Lou Gehrig's Disease.

A-Bomb Finishes Sox B Team

A-Bomb Finishes
Boston's B Team

Yankees Gary Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez celebrated after the Yankees 7-5 victory over the Red Sox.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Too Little, Too Late: Tito Pulls a Grady and
Leaves Wake in to Serve Up Homemade Meatball
Yanks Outmatch, Outwit, Outplay Stranded Sox, 7-5

Holy Runners Left on Base Batman!
This Too Will Pass: Miserabelli Has a Bard Day's Night
(Can We Gas Up the Plane and Get .364 Josh Back from San Diego?)
In Tito We Trust? One Big At-Bat is Too Much 'Wear and Tear' for 'Tek?
In Style Mannyzine: HR Manny Likes to Watch... a Sox Rally Fall Short
(Wait Until Josh Beckett Gets a Hold of Him for Disrespecting Proctor)
No More Wrist Stops: Like Damon, Wily Mo Can Play Hurt, Tito
What If Cora Keeps Hitting Like Hanley Ramirez?
Harris Poll: Survey Said He Just Can't Hit
Youk Too? Kevin Chokes in the Clutch
J.T. No! Don't Let It Snow Tito
Photo Galleries: Game Pics | The Scene at Fenway

"I'm a fly-ball pitcher, I'm pitching in one of the smallest parks in the American League... It's one of those things where if it ain't working, it's going to leave the ballpark quick." -- 5.23.06, Tim Wakefield, Always One Bad Pitch Away from Disaster

Money Can't Buy Him Love

Damon jogged back to the dugout past a sign.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo Jim Davis)

Johnny Long Ball Gets Yanks Off on the Right Foot

"My loyalty is to the team that has me. I'm going to play very hard for the Yankees and getting these big hits against the Red Sox, yeah, I love it. I know the fans hate it because they knew I was helping them out in a big way because of the past four years. It's their loss. I know that and they know it." -- 5.23.06, Johnny Damon on the big hit and the big loss

Eric Wilbur: Bottom's Looking Up
Let It Snow in San Fran: Giants Interested in J.T.

Command Performance

Command Performance

Curt Schilling Gets Career Win No. 199

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

The Comeback Curt Was Great for Eight
Sox Knock Around Banged-Up Bombers, 9-5

Down on the Corner: Efficient Ace Was in Control All Night Long
From Top to Bottom: Widespread Offensive Added Insult to Injuries
It's Swingtime in Boston: Ortiz Gets Sox Rolling on 3-and-0 RBI
The Invisible Manny Makes an Appearance with Homer No. 8
The Long and Short of It: Should Cora Platoon with Gonzo?
Foulke Implosion: Imagine if Keith Was Still the Closer
Photo Galleries: Game Pics | The Scene at Fenway

"That team right now is decimated. They've lost some very significant people. That's not going to be the same team the next time we see them. We have to take advantage of it now." -- 5.22.06, Curt Schilling on Getting Career Win No. 199 Against a Depleted Yankees Squad

Red Sox outfielders (left to right) Willie Harris, Manny Ramirez, and Trot Nixon high five after the final out of Boston's 9-5 victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park. Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

WEEI Audio: Schilling Talks About His Big Bounce Back
Eric Wilbur: Tempting to Bury the Yankees
Survey: Time to Count the Yankees Out?

Will the Second Coming Be Any Better for Johnny?

Will the Second Coming Be
Any Better for Johnny?

Current New York Yankees outfielder and former Boston Red Sox player, Johnny Damon, left, laughs while talking to Boston Red Sox coach Bill Haselman, second left, manager Terry Francona, and infielder Kevin Youkilis, right, prior to their baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, May 22, 2006

(AP Photo)

He's Just Throwing It Out There ...

"To whom it may concern: Red Sox fans disgraced themselves on Johnny Damon's return. As much as I hate Damon now that he's a Yankee like everyone else, we had one game to show Damon our appreciation for four years he spent in Boston. We play New York 19 times, and we couldn't cheer him once and then boo him the 18 times after that. However, you guys at Dirt Dogs know this already. The real reason why I'm writing to you is that, as a site that has daily and mass contact with Red Sox Nation, I think you should begin a campaign to help Red Sox fans get it right the second time around. The next time the Yankees come to town, Red Sox fans should smarten up and give him the standing ovation he deserved. After that, we may boo him as we wish, but he deserves one standing ovation from the fans. I thank you for taking the time to read my e-mail and considering my idea."   -- Boston Dirt Dogs e-mailer Mike Fulton

Bradford: Schilling Willing, But Is He Able? | Wilbur: Hype Is at a Loss
Boston.com: Red Sox Report Card | Ask the Magic 8-Ball a Question
Bob Ryan: The Sox I Know | Extra Bases: Coco Crisp Takes BP

Fifth Starter Fiasco

Fifth Starter Fiasco

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Lenny DiNardo gives up the ball to manager Terry Francona, left, in the third inning after giving up four runs on five hits to the Philadelphia Phillies in their baseball game Sunday, May 21, 2006, in Philadelphia. The Phillies beat the Red Sox 10-5.

(AP Photo)

Lenny DiNardo is No Poor Man's Bronson Arroyo
Lefty Can't Get Out of the Third Inning This Time

Sox Avoid Sweeping, Get Slammed 10-5
Youk, Lowell Go Deep in Losing Cause
The Z Team, Alvarez, Tavarez, Seanez, Gets an F
Wily Mo Muffs One

Shocker: Philly Not Impressed with Red Sox Nation
Inquirer: He Hate Tito


Wells Talks, Done Talking

The Sun Will Come Up, The Sun Will Go Down, Lou Gorman Will Have Lunch, and
David Wells Will Put His Foot in His Mouth, Come Undone, and Have to Clear the Air

'' 'I wasn't accusing him [David Dellucci], or anything of the sort. So the [expletive] who did it, or the [expletives] who did it, I think they need to [expletive]. And you can quote me on that. [Expletives].

''...I tried calling him [yesterday], to clear the air with him, because that's just bad penmanship on their part. That's just [expletive], trying to spark up something, trying to get me in trouble again. I like talking to reporters, but not anymore. I'm done with them. Today's the last day. You guys get the last hurrah." -- 5.21.06, David Wells, Red Sox Pitcher

Philadelphia Flyer

Philadelphia Flyer

Big win for Beckett

(AP Photo)

Beckett, Sox Soar Past Phillies Again, 8-4

King of the Hill: Josh Turns in Another Dominating Performance
Heavy Hitter: Should Beckett Be Pinch Hitting for Manny?
Like Riding a Bicycle: Youk Feels Right at Home at Third
Shortstop Goes Long to Break Hitless Streak

Celebrate Good Times

Beckett home run reaction

(BDD Photo / NESN)

Sox Give Beckett Homer the Pseudo Silent Treatment

Too Little, Too Late for Petey and the Mets

Too Little, Too Late
for Petey and the Mets

Petey and the Mets

(BDD Photo Illustration / Graphic Design by Carl)

Enter Sandman, Exit Win for Pedro

Ruthless!

Ruthless!

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

The Unnatural Hits 714*

Bonds Finally Gets a Hold of One in Oakland
(Can Nick Cafardo Come Home Now?)
NY Times: 'Remaining in the Shadow of the Babe'

'Hell, No, I Hate That Guy.'
-- Tyler Snyder, when asked if he'd give the 714 home run ball back to Bonds

Phenomenal

Phenomenal

Boston Red Sox' David Ortiz, right, points to fans after his two-run home run knocked in Red Sox starting pitcher Matt Clement, left, against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth inning of their baseball game Friday, May 19, 2006, in Philadelphia.

(AP Photo)

Big Night Outing in Philly

Clement Steps Up to the Plate and Keeps Phillies Grounded
Lowell, Ortiz, 'Tek Shots Help Power Sox to 5-3 Win

First Baseman Drives Cheesesteak Through the Heart of Fanatics
Keith Didn't Go to the Matt: Stick a Foulke in Clement's Numbers
Mike 'It Ain't Over for Me' Timlin with Another Scoreless 8th
Another Papelbon Scare, And Another Papelbon Save

"I was happy with how I threw the ball. The ball stayed on the ground. I felt good and the team played great. Papi had the big home run--it was a perfect team win.” -- 5.19.06, Matt Clement on a great start

Extra Bases: Wells Aims for Friday Return

Keep Entering Lowell

Vote Mike Lowell, American League Third Base All-Star

(BDD Photo Illustration / Reuters Photo)

Vote A.L. 3B: You Gotta Like Mike Over Blalock
Lowell: .331, 26 Extra-Base Hits, Spectacular Fielding

Honest, Abe's Back

Honest, Abe's Back

Pawtucket Red Sox starter Abe Alvarez delivers a pitch to the Indianapolis Indians during the first inning of a minor league baseball game Thursday, April 6, 2006, in Pawtucket, R.I.

(AP Photo)

Extra Bases: Alvarez Called Up, Holtz on DL
Manny Arrives Late from the Off-Day
Eric Wilbur: Culture Clash

Retirement Plan for Flutie

The Swing Generation

Doug Flutie in action for Natick Knights

(BDD Photo / Boston Men's Baseball League)

Retirement Plan for Flutie

A Knight to Remember, Doug Digs Baseball Now
(Could the Sox Use a Guy Like Flutie?)

Days after his retirement from the NFL, Doug Flutie scored the first run of the game for the Natick Knights in the Boston Men's Baseball League as they defeated the Somerville Senators 4-1 at Trum Field last night.

In that at bat, Doug walked and later scored. Flutie played second base all game and even made a nice diving catch in the middle innings.


Fielders of Dreams

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

The Defense is No Longer a Rent-a-Wreck

The Red Sox have the fewest errors in the major leagues and lead the league with a .991 fielding percentage. This marks the fewest errors that the Sox have ever made in their first 38 games since research was first available in 1960. The team has gone a season-high seven games without an error and has just one miscue in the last 13 games. Sox outfielders have handled 264 chances without an error in 2006, the only team in baseball with no outfield errors.

The Gambler Goes for Broke

The Gambler Goes for Broke

Pinch runner Willie Harris of the Red Sox reacted after he was caught stealing second base for the final out of the game in the top of the 9th inning on May 17, 2006 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.

(Getty Images Photo / Jamie Squire)

Hold On a Minute Willie ...

''You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run."
-- 1978, Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

Harris (He's No Dave Roberts) Excuse Doesn't Hold Water

''You all want to talk to me when I get thrown out. You didn't want to talk to me when I steal a base. I got nothing to say... [later] I was told I was on the hold sign. I saw the hold sign the first pitch. I kind of thought maybe it was just for the first pitch... I saw it the first pitch. But it's on until he takes it off. In my mind, it's like, `OK, I'm in there to run.' That's what I'm thinking. I just kind of overlooked it, didn't think about it, made a mistake, screwed it up. What can you do?" -- 5.17.06, Willie Mays Harris


WEEI Audio: Schilling on His Bad Outings, Two-Strike Hits,
NY Hospital Visit, and a 'He's Still Learning' Josh Beckett

[Do you think Beckett understands how important his middle finger is to Red Sox Nation?] There’s a lot of things he’s getting to understand but you can’t expect him to understand it until he goes through it. And he’s living and learning right now. He’s still getting his feel for the group of people that are the beat writers and the media. He’s a Texas kid. He’s got a little bit of an edge to him. He’s obviously not as forthcoming as me or other people, but that’s his right. He understands it. It doesn’t mean he’s OK with it and that it doesn’t irritate him, but he gets it.” -- 5.17.06, Curt Schilling on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show

Steal, Curtains!

Steal, Curtains!

DeMarlo Hale, Bill Hassleman have a word with Willie Harris

(BDD Photo / NESN)

Harris Steals Trot's Thunder

Bad Sign: Silly Willie Caught Stealing to End Game
Too Little, Too Late, Birds Win 4-3
Bedard to Hard for Sox to Handle
When Is 19-RBI-Manny Going to Earn His Money?
Wake Mistake to Millar Costly
Cowboy Up and Out of Here

Boston Dirt Dogs
Boston Dirt Dogs
Boston Dirt Dogs

Streak Over

Boston Dirt Dogs

Sox Stopped at 13 Straight Over O's

Parking Vouchers Urged for Sox Fans
Edes Mailbag: Arroyo, Wily Mo, Schilling, and More

Just Can't Lose

Just Can't Lose

The Red Sox congratulate each other after defeating the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on May 16, 2006 at Camden Yards

(Getty Images Photo / Jamie Squire)

Sox Have Orioles' Number: 13 Straight Over Baltimore
Papelbon Saves No. 14; Comeback Kids Win Again, 6-5

Schill Gets Knocked 3 Times Again in 6th Win
Thank You Loretta Pulls Sox Even
Papi Gets in the Swing; Puts the Game Away
Homer Time: Manny and Trot (Off Lefty) Go Yard
Holtz Shuts Door in the 6th
Timlin in the 7th, Timlin in the 8th
Gonzo Goes Deep in 9th Inning Web Gem
Bye Bye Birdies: Papelbon Slams Door

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth inning of their game in Baltimore, Maryland May 16, 2006. Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his major league leading 14th save of the season as the Red Sox won the game 6-5.

(Reuters Photo)

Extra Bases: No Blister for Beckett

Who Bonds Sees on the Mound

Who Bonds Sees on the Mound

Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth warms up prior to a 1915 World Series game start in Philadelphia's Shibe Park. The photo, printed from a 4x5 glass plate is part of a baseball exhibit at the Panopticon Gallery inside the Commonwealth Hotel in Kenmore Square.

(Baseball Antiquities Limited Photo)

Is the Babe Weighing Heavy on Barry?

"This thing, it's like chasing ghosts, you know? Babe Ruth, I think he just kind of hovers over people a lot." -- 5.15.06, Barry Bonds

'I Know Nothing! NOTHING!'

'I Know Nothing! NOTHING!'

Sergeant Schultz

Sergeant Schultz, Red Sox Media Liaison, Will Answer All Questions
About Josh Beckett and Any Potential Blister Problems

A muddy response. "After the seventh inning, NESN cameras showed Josh Beckett in the dugout with pitching coach Al Nipper checking the tip of the middle finger on Beckett's pitching hand, the finger that has blistered and landed Beckett on the disabled several times.

"Beckett, to that point, had thrown only 80 pitches and allowed only one run on two hits. It wasn't until Beckett went to the dugout after the bottom of the seventh than Julian Tavarez got up to warm up in the bullpen. Tavarez came in to pitch the eighth.

"Asked if Beckett had a finger issue, Francona said, 'You know what he did, the one inning [the sixth] he got his spike stuck and he had a bunch of mud. That's when we went out and checked. It was just me being careful. We hadn't used much of the bullpen. We had a lead. I think he would have preferred to stay in. I just didn't see a reason to do that.'

"In the sixth, Francona, Nipper, and trainer Jim Rowe visited the mound to check on Beckett's body -- presumably his side, back and legs, not his finger. He pitched that inning and the seventh.

"A reporter then asked a followup to be clear, asking if Beckett had a hand issue.

'' 'He had a bunch of mud on his spikes when he was warming up [for the sixth],' Francona said, returning again to that issue instead of answering the question." -- 5.16.06, Chris Snow, Boston Globe

Tito Being Tito?

Tito Being Tito

(BDD Photo Illustration )

RemDawg Calls 'Em as He Sees 'Em

“We had shot of him at least looking at his finger. He might have come out regardless. You get him out of there after 7, that's great. …They were definitely looking at his finger, maybe the start of one [blister]. They’ve taken a lot of precautions to make sure this doesn’t happen. He warms up with a band-aid on it. We report on what we see, and we saw him looking at his finger, that wasn’t cleaning dirt out of his cleats, he was looking at his finger. I hope it’s nothing.” -- 5.16.06, NESN's Jerry Remy on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan

More Concern for the Nation's Rotation?

More Concern for the
Nation's Rotation?

Beckett blisters?

(5.15.06: BDD Photo / NESN)

Blister Trouble for Beckett?
Ace Leaves After 7 Strong Innings of Two-Hit Ball

“Now why did he come out? He said after the game it was his back, but, [showing video of Beckett in dugout] they’re checking his finger. Must be some eastern-type medicine. Take a look at the back through the finger… he’s got a blister problem history, but get out the Stan’s Rodeo Cream and let’s saddle up and ride again.” -- 5.15.06, Bob Lobel, CBS4 Sports

False Alarm on Beckett's Fingers?

“He had some dirt and mud caked in his spikes and we saw him slip. If something was wrong we’d be kicking ourselves, and he was fine.” -- 5.15.06, Terry Francona, postgame interview

Beckett Thinks Tito Pulled Him Because of His Back

“It would have been nice to go out there and try and finish it. We hadn't played in two days and the bullpen's gotta get some work. After my foot slipped on that warm-up pitch Tito just felt like it was probably better to get somebody else some work and let everything else just deal with itself.

"Just the late call, I wasn't upset with the umpire, I wasn't upset with Tejada either, it's just one of those deals, I'm just trying to protect myself. That late [to call off a pitch], anything can happen. Blow out an elbow. Blow out a shoulder. Blow out a back, whatever you know. Just trying to protect myself and not the kind of guy that goes about it quietly protecting myself. It was no problem, it was just how late it was, I just made it known that I really didn't like how late it was. I was in the middle of my delivery, my leg was already up and I see that there's time out, I gotta go through a whole process of slowing my body down. I'm just trying to go out there and pitch every five days, so.

"The mound, they put that tarp over it, and it happens a lot whenever it's really humid and after it rains. They put that tarp over there and that stuff just bakes over there... every pitch I would have stuff stuck to my foot, it would have been a six hour game if I had gotten all the crap off my foot every time. So I'm out there, I'm not trying to pay attention to it, I'm trying to focus on executing pitches and my foot slipped out from underneath me and my whole right side had to tighten up to stop everything. My lower back grabbed a little bit and I think that had a little something to do with Tito taking me out even though I was still pitching pretty good up to that point. It's a little tight, but we'll just assess the situation tomorrow and everything will be fine. It's not like it's never happened to me before, and it didn't cause me to miss a bullpen or anything like that so, just start taking care of it and I think everything will be fine.” -- 5.15.06, Josh Beckett, postgame interview

5.15.06: Beckett examines fingers

(5.15.06: BDD Photo / NESN)

A History of Blisters ...

“Every time we think we got it figured out (blister problem), another one pops up. Maybe just getting out of heat and getting out of that humidity maybe that might help a little bit… We’ve tried a lot of stuff, the one that I’ve found that’s been the most productive is some stuff that’s called Stan's Blister Ointment in between starts and keeping it shaved down with a callous shaver. That’s been the most helpful thing. What was happening earlier in my career is that I wasn’t developing a callous. Whenever I would get a callous, I would let the callous get so big that a blister would develop underneath the callous, and then we’d have to cut the whole callous off and start over again. Whenever you start all over again with unhealthy skin, it’s almost like starting at a negative number instead of starting back at zero." -- 11.26.05, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, Extra Bases blog

Blistering Fastball His Curse ...

“For the fifth time in his young career Beckett landed on the disabled list with a debilitating blister on his pitching hand. It sounds like a practical joke: Beckett is blessed with a superhuman right arm and cursed with delicate skin that Palmolive Madge no doubt fantasized about." -- 7.23.04, Stephen Cannella, Sports Illustrated

All Clear with the Cream?

"One of the best examples is Josh Beckett, who has 10 major-league wins at 23, yet remains healthy and a near sure-fire bet for stardom. Beckett was rushed up to the majors with less than 200 professional innings. Then last year, he was bothered all season by blister problems. 'We tried everything,' Marlins pitching coach Brad Arnsberg said. Indeed, Beckett tried superglue that tore off the skin. He tried rice, cow urine and, finally, late in the season he got hold of a vial of dermabond called 'Stan's Rodeo Cream.'

"And Stan's Rodeo Cream worked. Beckett applies a vial of the cream the three days he throws between starts. It is expensive since each vial costs $40 and he uses the entire vial every time he throws. But the investment is worth it to the Marlins, who appreciate that Beckett has the stuff and the makeup to be a star." -- 2003, Peter Gammons, ESPN.com

Blisters No Match for Stan's?


Twelfth Night

Wily Mo Pena of the Red Sox is congratulated by Kevin Youkilis after hitting a two-run home run to knock in Jason Veritek during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles May 15, 2006 at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.

(Getty Images Photo / Jamie Squire)

Wily Mo Powers Sox to 12th Straight Win Over O's

Birds Battered Again 11-1
Let 'Em Eat Cake: Birthday Boy Came Up Big Time
Congratulations on Windy 500 for Tito
'Tek Comes Alive at the Plate
Did You Vote for Mike Lowell AL 3B All-Star Today? Twice?
(He's Not Just Hitting Doubles Anymore)
Photo Gallery: Another Cakewalk in Baltimore

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Burnt to a Crisp

Burnt to a Crisp

NESN commercial for Red Sox Nation card sales

(NESN Screenshots)

Red Sox Use Coco's Dad to Sell $59.95 'Red Sox Nation' Cards and
Ailing Coco, Who Has Missed 30 Games, Signed Baseballs for $54.00

"Autograph fees varied per player. The price for Crisp’s signature on an 8 x 10 photo was $44. It cost another $54 to have him sign a baseball or other item. The fee for Youkilis was $29 per photo and $34 per additional item.

“ 'I think it’s pricey. You look at what the athletes are making for a salary, and then they turn and ask $40 for an autograph,' Bob Ouellette of Chelmsford, Mass., said. 'I guess this is their opportunity to make their money. For the most part, it’s worth it. It’s a thrill to see these guys up close.' ” -- 5.14, Kevin Gray, The Union Leader

"I saw the headline about Coco today and wanted to chime in about his charging for autographs. I went down to Spring Training this year, and as soon as he came out of the lineup and finished with his workout, he walked over to the left field stands and signed autographs for everyone who wanted one. On baseballs. For free.

"Maybe this was just a PR move on his part trying to warm up to Red Sox Nation, but he seemed pretty sincere about it. I just wanted to throw that out there. He couldn’t have been more gracious at the time and definitely made my trip to Spring Training worthwhile. Best regards, Lee Lubarsky"

The Watch for 714* Continues

The Watch for 714* Continues ...

Fans Couldn't Be More Excited

(Boston.com Photo)

Do They Care About the Joyless Pursuit of
Babe Ruth's Career Home Run Total?

Mother Nature Wants Brunch Too: No Game at Fenway on Sunday
Help Refurbish Hoxie Field: Vote for Katelyn Haglof

Loe Pressure System Comes Through Fenway

Loe Pressure System
Comes Through Fenway

A Loe Blow from Kameron

(Reuters Photo)

Sinker or Swim: Kameron Was On,
While Matt Was Barely Treading Water
Sox Bats Silenced in In-Clement Weather, 6-0

Cry Me a River: Sox Didn't Like the Weather, But Rangers Weathered the Storm
The Third Degree: Loretta, Lowell Can't Bring Runners Home
He Couldn't Holtz the Line: Lefty ERA is Only 20.25

Extra Bases Friday: Tito Talks About Coco and Wily Mo
New Sox Media VP: Blake Comes Home to Dream Job

Drama Kings

DRAMA KINGS

Members of the Red Sox celebrated on the diamond after the 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees.

(AP Photo)

SOX GET IT, TOGETHER
At First They Don't Succeed
But Then They Score, Score Again

Sox Finish As Kings of the Hill,
Come Out On Top of the Heap, 5-3

Willie Harris and Alex Gonzalez of the Red Sox celebrated after both scored in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 11, 2006

(Getty Images Photo / Jim McIsaac)

Mark Loretta, the New Yankee Killa
The Wrist is History: Matsui for Bernie Swap Means Gonzo Pop Drops
Cairo in Denial: Miguel Drops Jeter's Long Toss in 7th
Tim Hung Tough: Wake Doesn't Knuckle Under, Gets 9 K's
D-Fence: Lowell, Mirabelli Robbed, But Sox Take Game Back
Blown Away By Timlin: Down Goes Giambi, Down Goes A-Rod
Insurance Salesman: Youk Flashes Leather, Bangs Another Home in 9th
Bon Appetit: A Four-Out Save is a Dish Best Served Hot
Where the Rubber Game Meets the Road: Tito Plays to Win
Photo Gallery: Take Another Look

Bonfire in the Bronx

Red Sox closer Jonathan Paplebon celebrates the Red Sox' 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees at the conclusion of their baseball game, Thursday, May 11, 2006, at Yankee Stadium.

(AP Photo)

"These are the things that you dream about, coming to Yankee Stadium in a hostile environment and taking the series here. …Our whole pitching staff, we went out and battled our hearts out, and it paid off." -- 5.11.06, Jonathan Papelbon, 13-for-13 in saves

The Battle in the Bronx Was a Four-Hour Marathon...
Hopefully Typical Fan Jack Welch Was Able to Stay Up Until the End


Coco Kidney Stones?
"My moles tell me that Coco had kidney stones... I'll stand by that."
-- 5.12.06, WEEI's Jon Meterparel on Coco Crisp's setback

Schilling Back with Team After Medical Facility Visit

"It's nothing. I'm fine. It has nothing to do with baseball." -- 5.11.06, Curt Schilling after returning to Yankee Stadium after visiting a NY medical facility (5.12.06, WEEI's Gerry Callahan said he's hearing that Schilling went to a hospital to "visit a sick kid")

Wake Aims to Take Series

Wake Aims to Take Series

2.21.06: Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield takes aim at Wingshooters Hunting Preserve in Immokalee, Florida as Sox reliever Mike timlin looks on.

(2.21.06: Boston Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld)

Hench: Why the Red Sox Keep Winning
Tom Caron's Mailbag: Two Team Tango
Wilbur: Clemens Pitch Needs to End

UMass Collegian: Hendricks: Clemens Return is 50/50

" 'There will not be a bidding war, contrary to media speculation,' Hendricks said. 'Once Roger decides, it will go like this: if he decides to retire, I will let everyone know; if he selects a particular team, I believe I will reach an agreement with that team within 24 hours. While I have said he will not play for a discount, I have never said it will be a bidding war.' " -- 5.11.06, South Boston's Danny Picard, UMass Daily Collegian

Curt Shelling

Curt Shelling

Curt Schilling wiped sweat off of his forehead in the middle of a difficult fifth inning.

(Getty Images Photo / Nick Laham)

Long Balls Make for Short Night
As Schilling Gets Shellacked

Cutter = Homer, Fastball = Homer, Changeup = Homer
Game Over After 5 as Yanks Bounce Back 7-3

A-Rod, Posada, and Juice Guy Take No. 1 Deep
Papi Drops One Up Top, But Fast Start Wasted
NY in Early Trouble: All-Star Mike Hits a DoubleDouble
Loaded for Bear in Third, But Captain Can't Deliver in Clutch
There's a Proctor in the House: Manny Folds Like a Cheap Suit in 7th
Willie Useless: Tito Plays It By Old Numbers
Wily Mo Might Have Made a Difference
Gallery: Take a Look at the Loss

"He [Schilling] made some brutal pitches, and he just didn't get away with them." -- 5.9.06, Honest Eck

Roger That Eck. Enough is Enough.

"Don't fake pump me. I don't want to hear about your kids. I'm sick of it. I don't want to hear about it anymore." -- 5.9.06, Dennis Eckersley on this tiresome Clemens money grab travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham

Is Comar Crisp Ever Going to Play for the Red Sox?

"[There's] no target date right now." -- 5.9.06, Former Red Sox Co-General Manager Jed Hoyer (NESN commercial: "Did you see that catch Coco made?" NO, BECAUSE HE HASN'T PLAYED ALL SEASON!)

"In the fifth game of the season, Coco Crisp broke a knuckle sliding awkwardly into third after getting picked off second in a fairly meaningless situation by the Orioles' Bruce Chen. Crisp has missed 27 games and may well miss more games in his first two months with the Red Sox than Johnny Damon missed in four years (50)." -- 5.9.06, Kevin Hench, FoxSports.com

New York State of Mind

Entering Lowell: Start Doing It on Your All-Star Ballots
Damon Still Bothered By 'Vicious' Reception from Ungrateful Fenway
NY Post: 'Tony Francona' and Ortiz Fire Back on Brushback Mountain

" 'What do you mean, 'Make him feel uncomfortable?' bristled Red Sox manager Tony Francona [sic]. 'Who says that? I've never had anybody ask me that question. Who? You?' " -- 5.9.06, Lenn Robbins, NY Post


New York State of Mind

Post, Daily News, Newsday

I Read the NY News Today, Oh Boy!

Post: Boston Sox Unit, Yanks; E-Rod Always in Spotlight;
The Big Empty; Angry Boss Takes Shot at A-Rod

Daily News: Boss & Bosox Spank Yanks; Big Glare Finds Shadow of Unit; Once Again, the Choke's on Alex
Newsday: Jeers are Unit of Measure; Randy, Take an Intentional Walk;
A-Rod Target of Angry Boss

Maybe Sox Fans Should Break Out Their 'I'm Obsessed with the Yankees' Moronic T-Shirts and Start the Idiotic, Embarrassing Chant

Extra Bases: Manny Likely Playing, Harris in Center, Comar Crisp Has Setback
Eric Wilbur: Lightning A-Rod | Extra Bases: Roger's Kin Chimes In
Pinstripe Pounding: Game Photos | Crowd Shots

Slaughterhouse That Ruth Built

Slaughterhouse
That Ruth Built

Randy Johnson heard it from two Red Sox fans as he headed to the dugout after being relieved in the fourth inning.

(Reuters Photo)

It's a Boston Massacre in the Bronx
as Red Sox Drill Johnson, Yanks 14-3

Ace Returns: Beckett Blows Away So-Called Bronx Bombers Again
Drop Papi? Yanks Sloppy: Errors Kill NYY as E-Rod Leads the Way
Loretta's Better: 3-0 Count? Take That! Mark Breaks Game Open
Going, Going, Gonzo: A-Gon Looks Like A-Rod at the Plate
Manny Being Money: Ramirez Came to Play Tonight
The Melky Way: Cabrera Drops Popi (Not RJ)
Old Man Bernie Barely Avoids Becoming Delmon Young
Wily Mo Leather: Nice Running Catch for Pena
Hey 19! Two More Doubles for All-Star Lowell
More Days in First Place

"Gotta credit Tito for letting me swing there [3-0 with 2 out and Ortiz on deck]. I found a hole and that got us going a little bit." -- 5.9.06, Mark Loretta on the game breaker

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

Johnson Waxed: And Unit Gets the
Fenway-Damon Treatment By NY Fans


Extra Bases: Less is Mohr; Holtz in the House; Tonight's Lineups
Johnson & Beckett: The Ties That Bind
Yanks-Sox: Frame That Toon Contest

Damon on the Dark Side

Hey Sox Fans in the Bronx Tonight ...

BDD: Damon on the Dark Side

(BDD Photo Illustration / Matthew Derba)

Don't Forget to Boo Johnny Damon for Going to the Dark Side!

Paper Tigers

Paper Tigers

NY Post

Yankees Must Stink If They're Driven By Ink

Post Pandering: 'It's About Time the Bombers Drop David'

"The Yankees have to droppy Papi. They need to brush the beast back. They need to pick out one of David Ortiz' chins and let a little music dance across the whiskers. And they need to do this immediately. Across the next three days, Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina and Shawn Chacon will each get three or four shots to put Ortiz on notice that, on behalf of the entire Yankee pitching staff, they are mad as hell.

"And they aren't going to take it any more." -- 5.9.06, Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

Will the Empire Strike David?

Randy Johnson

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

Schill Doesn't See It Happening

Curt Schilling spoke about the possibility of Ortiz getting plunked on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show this morning: “Most of the guys and gals that write here [in New York] are such horrific hacks anyway that that stuff doesn’t… I mean, seriously, I’ve played in a couple of cities before coming to Boston and the dredge of the places that I played in respect to the media, the people who wrote there have left those cities and come here, and they write here now. If I could just pick out some of the guys and people that were just horrible writers and I thought bad people, the places that I played before I came to Boston, they all went to New York and are writing there now. It’s so perfect, but it’s such a different… they’re just bad people. It’s just stupid, stupid, irresponsible stuff to do because again, this is such a different series. The thing is I’ll say in defense of New York or Boston right now, these three days is the reason why you play here, in either city. No one else in sports gets this.

“It might be the opposite [Randy Johnson’s response to the ‘Drop Papi’ back page]. The guy that wouldn’t do it just for the sake of… he wouldn’t want them to think that they actually mattered to him.

If Randy Johnson were to drill Ortiz in the first inning tonight, the warning comes out, I have very little doubt that Beckett would take care of his guys and probably drill Damon in the ass and then probably get thrown out of the game. That would all work toward the New York Yankees favor.

“Yeah, I think the ass would probably be one of the last places he’d hit somebody. Because one of the goals I think when you’re in a situation like that is to make sure that the guy that starts it doesn’t feel comfortable starting another one. Josh throws 98. And you know, that’s not… it’s something I’ve always thought about when I’m throwing. If I know that the other guy is A: stupid enough to retaliate for something he shouldn’t retaliate for or B: knows exactly how to handle it, you don’t want a guy like freakin’ [Mariano] Rivera trying to even the score against your guy, hitting your guy in the wrist and you lose somebody for the year. I think it would a huge advantage if he came out and hit David because it’s been nine innings bailing in the at-bats against Josh until he hits somebody. I don’t see that happening. These two teams are way above the media baloney that happens.”

What's the Point?

David Ortiz points to cheering fans following Boston's 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at the end of American League play in Toronto September 14, 2005. Ortiz hit a two-run game winning homer in the eighth.

(AP File Photo)

Papi Was Only 3-for-18 Against RJ in '05 Anyway

Eric Wilbur: Hard-Knock Response


Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)


He Tiptoes Through the Tulips

BDD: New York Times photo

(New York Times Photo / Andrea Mohin)

Should Fans Bring Petunias for Paydro When He Comes Back to Boston?

"...Martínez, the Mets star known for his intensity and cleverness on the mound and his quirkiness off it, is in the yard outside his six-bedroom Tudor revival home in Greenwich, Conn. He is planting. He is pruning. He is talking to his tulips. 'What about you, beauty?' he will ask in language rarely, if ever, heard on a baseball field. 'Aren't you going to grow up to be so pretty?' " -- 5.9.06, New York Times on Pedro's green thumb

Young and Younger

Young and Younger

Reebok in Canton welcomed Vince Young at their headquarters today. Vince Young (left) standout from The University of Texas Longhorns, and Jonathan Papelbon of the Red Sox.

(Boston Globe Photo / Sarah Brezinsky Gilbert)

Reebok Hosted Young Jonathan Papelbon and Vince Young
(and Josh Beckett Too) at Their Headquarters Today


South by South End

Red Sox pitcher and South End Youth Baseball alumni Manny Delcarmen throws out the first pitch during opening Day ceremonies of the 20th season of South End Youth Baseball at Peters Park in the South End of Boston.

(Boston Globe Photo / Rick Friedman - www.rickfriedman.com)

Red Sox pitcher and South End Youth Baseball alumni Manny Delcarmen threw out the first pitch during Opening Day ceremonies of the 20th season of South End Youth Baseball at Peters Park in the South End of Boston on Saturday.
Delcarmen headed south to Pawtucket today.


Sox Change Stations: Games Moving to WRKO Next Season
Sox vs. Yanks: The Pitching Matchups | Eric Wilbur: Match Game
Extra Bases: Delcarmen Demoted | Report Card: The A Team

The Game that Ruth Built

The Game that Ruth Built

1920 home run totals: Boston Red Sox: 22; Chicago White Sox: 37; Baltimore Orioles: 50; Cleveland Indians: 35; Babe Ruth: 59

(Globe Staff Photo Illustration / Greg Klee; Ruth Image / Corbis)

Forget Bonds*. The Babe Invented the Home Run.

Alex Beam: Barry and the Babe

Seeing Double

Seeing Double

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration: Meir Weinberg)

Entering Lowell: Start Doing It on Your All-Star Ballots

Streak Sweepers

Streak Sweepers

Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez throws the new ball he just got from home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor (not pictured), because Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (right) had just hit the last one over the fence for a first inning grand slam. Varitek is greeted by the three teammates who scored ahead of him on the blast, (left to right) Mark Loretta, Trot Nixon and Manny Ramirez.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Final Slap: Sox Turn it Up to 11
Sox, V-Tek Just Wing It Over Hapless O's, 10-3

Slam Bam: Tek's Shot is All the Sox Needed
DiNardo Delivers: Congratulations to Our Friend Lenny on His First Win
Anna Benson Would Have Shown More on the Mound
The Lowell Connector: Mike is on the All-Star Superhighway
Shame on Tito for Playing Millar Over Youk Last Year
High on Loretta: He's Finally Starting to Make His Mark at the Plate

"I was actually looking out over the plate, and I just happened to actually react to it. I was able to get on top of it." -- 5.7.06, Captain crunches another grand slam


Fenway Was More Faithful

"The [Damon booing] breakdown wasn't as one-sided as was reported in the papers and on TV. A boo is 3-4 times louder than a cheer. Johnny saw the people cheering, but it sounded like 10 percent if you were sitting at home. It was more like a 30-40-50 percent split in the crowd that night." -- 5.7.06, The Boston Globe's Chris Snow on CBS4's Sports Final

Good Night

Good Night

1. Wily Mo Pena and David Ortiz walk off the field arm in arm after tonight's win over the Orioles. - 2. Manny Ramirez flips his bat after his 4th inning leadoff homer. - 3. Wily Mo Pena and Mike Lowell score in the 2nd inning on a single by Alex Gonzalez.

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Barry Chin)

Manny, Wily Mo, and Gonzo Lead the Way
Birds Don't Fly at Fenway, 9-3

A Wake in the Park: Sox Bats Batter Bedard, Baltimore
Wily Mo Might Be a Superstar Sooner Rather Than Later
A Rare Manny Homer as Ramirez Becomes Baseball's Quietest .301 Hitter
Gonzo Keeps Going: Sox May Not Have to Pick Up Another Shortstop
Paradigm Shift: Ortiz Continues to Struggle, Defense Remains Solid
He Digs Doug: Wakefield Catches Fire in the Belli

"It made my job a lot easier. I was pitching well, but you're on the short end of the stick sometimes." -- 5.6.06, Tim Wakefield on getting some love with the sticks

Papilicious

Papilicious

Manny Ramirez reaches out to congratulate  Kevin Youkilis, Alex Gonzalez and Mark Loretta in the 6th inning after they all scored on David Ortiz's double

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Loretta Sets the Table, Ortiz Cleans the Plate
Sox Keep Rolling Over O's, 6-3

High Mark: Loretta's Small Ball was Big Time Thinking
Two Strikes, No Problem: Papi Does What He Does
What a Catch: Mike Lowell is Leading a Double Life
The Greek God of Walking the Walk: Youk is Not Killing Us at All
Cinco de Schilling: Curt Was in Control for 5th Win, Naturally He's Disappointed
Gonzo-a-Go-Go: Don't Forget About the Big Hit for the Beleaguered Shortstop
A Page Out of Torre's Book: Every Win Counts, So Tito Calls Pap's Number

"I've been begging for a hit. I've been fighting so much. You just forget about the at-bat before and go back and fight for the next one." -- 5.5.06, Ortiz on breaking his 0-for-11 slide

Fenway Smartens Up: Millar Gets His Just Desserts

Kevin Millar acknowledges the standing ovation he received from the fans in his first trip back to Fenway as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

He's One of a Kind

A Warm Welcome

Former Red Sox player Kevin Millar now a Baltimore Oriole, signed autographs before the game as many fans welcomed him back to Fenway prior to the start of tonight's game.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Extra Bases: Millar is Excited to Be Back Tonight. Talks About Damon.

“I think the Johnny Damon situation was magnified. Everybody loves Johnny Damon. There’s not a person in this city that doesn’t appreciate what he’s done... Johnny never said no to an autograph. He was a phenomenal teammate. He played hurt. With a superstar like that, everybody says ‘let’s boo him.’ Everybody loves Johnny Damon. If you don’t like him, you got problems.” -- 5.5.06, Kevin Millar on Former Face of the Red Sox Johnny Damon

He's One of a Kind

Boston Dirt Dogs: Thanks for the memories... and all the fun Kevin

(Boston Globe and Wire Photos / BDD Photo Illustrations)

Fenway Gets It Right This Time and
Cowboys Up for Kevin Tonight

(Hopefully They'll Let Him Pinch Hit or Something)

During Times Like These, We're Missing Millar More Than Ever
(His Off-Field Antics Of Course. On-Field? Not So Much.)

''These were the greatest three years of my entire life playing baseball. Playing for the Red Sox, playing for Boston, that city, those fans. And that's 100 percent from my heart.

''It's sad, of course. I don't think there is anyone that did more laughing, more winning, more competing than this team, and who would believe that it is over.

''I don't think people will realize until these guys are gone what they were like, a good group from 1-to-25 that knew how to win on a daily basis." -- 12.8.05, former Red Sox first baseman and World Series Champion Kevin Millar


Extra Bases: Papelbon is Fine
Globe Business Ticker: Sox Radio May Move to WRKO-AM680
Eric Wilbur: Seanez Believing | Surviving Grady: Sum of All Fears

Pap Scare

Pap Scare

Jonathan Papelbon catches his spike

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Laugher Turns Serious

Sox Control Towers Early, Hang On for 7-4 Win

Some Bats for Matt: Offense Explodes for 5 in 1st
Walk Don't Run: Clement Throws Two Hitter, But Walks Four
Double Mint: Lowell Connects Again and Again
Wily Mo Must Stay in the Lineup if Coco Comes Back
Youk Adds Insurance with Long Ball; Loretta Comes Alive
Too Close for Comfort: Pap Gets the Call, Sox Get Scare, Save No. 11
A Little Help Please? Seanez, Tavarez Can't Finish the Job and Save Jon

Nixon Gives Jays the Slip

Boston, MA 05/04/2006: About the only thing that didn't go right for the Red Sox in the bottom of the first inning. Trot Nixon was rounding third, headed for the plate to score on Jason Varitek's double, but as he went around, third base coach DeMarlo Hale gave him the stop sign, and when he tried to put on the brakes quickly, he slipped and unceremoniously ended up on his back right in front of the Blue Jays' dugout. He did get back up in time to safely get back to third, and he eventually did score as part of a five run opening frame for Boston.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Pedro Could Feel the Heat in Boston

'I Was Pretty Much Let Go'
More Revisionist History from the Disingenuous Diva

"Does he expect to be booed? 'I hope not, but there are some people... I don't know how they feel,' Martinez told Newsday yesterday. 'Knowing my fans and the relationship I had and how much I expressed how I wanted to stay... it wasn't my choice. I wasn't given the choice to actually think about, I was pretty much let go.' " -- 5.3.06, Pedro Martinez: New York Newsday

Pedro Could Feel the
Heat in Boston

Martinez Returns in June

(AP File Photo)

Some Nuggets from Gammons:

Comments from ESPN's Peter Gammons on WEEI's Big Show Today (Audio Here):

On the Damon reaction at Fenway:

“I thought it went a little bit over the top. I don’t understand the mentality of someone spending hours at home making up some obscene sign. It wasn’t like he was an electric personality here… he was very popular here but it wasn’t like Pedro or Clemens, he didn’t depart simply because of money. It was a prolonged kind of a mixed-up negotiation. And the one thing about him, he always played hard, he played hurt, and he was always accountable. I don’t know, I just didn’t think it needed to be quite so insane.

"I sit down there and I listen to people stand up there with their kids on either side of them scream obscenities at Derek Jeter like their big people because they’ve got a fence in between them and the field so, I guess if that’s what makes people happy… I think sports can be fun too. There are a lot of people that don’t think it’s fun… I just thought that, in Damon’s case, one thing about him… I like Roger a lot, but he did say that, he did complain about things like carrying his bags, and he did go to Toronto and say that he loved it because it was so much like Houston, and Pedro left town with guns blazing because of his relationship with Schilling. But I just thought that the way Damon was always very respectful of the fans… I did not think taking out that ad in the Globe was phony in the least, I think Johnny’s pretty genuine, but that’s it, he’s moved on and I’ll say this, I found this really interesting, Don Mattingly made, and this surprised me, he said to me ‘you know, Damon has really changed our team’… this team had become so businesslike, and so uptight the last three years, Damon is sort of goofy, he comes in everyday with a big smile on his face, he’s up to something, he’s always accountable to the media. He said ‘he’s really changed our personality for the better.’ And if that’s true, and I believe Mattingly’s got a pretty good finger on that team as hitting coach and future manager, then I think that’s pretty interesting. I think the Yankees got more than they thought they got when they signed him."

On Pedro coming back to Fenway:

"I think there’s more hostility towards Pedro [than Damon]. And it’s partly because he’s an electric personality. I think that Pedro will get a pretty rough [reception]. Now he’s not pitching for the Yankees, and that’s a big difference. They won’t have people standing there with their kids and screaming obscenities at Jose Reyes, but I think Pedro will take a lot of heat here. I’ll be interested to see how he is. I think he’s gonna be a little testy when he comes back here."

Gammons also said the Red Sox are worried about the double play combination's offense. If Alex Gonzalez continues to struggle, Gammons thinks the Sox will call up Dustin Pedroia to play some second base and shortstop, and give them a little offense.


Extra Bases: Wells, Riske, Kapler, and Coco Making Progress

Shaughnessy Spanks $ox, Globe

Shaughnessy Spanks $ox, Globe

BDD_bgfp_5.3.06.jpg

(5.3.06: Boston Globe front page)

Dan Slams Henry and Co. for Soaking Fans,
Travel Infomercial, and Ubiquitous Signage

"Speaking of no-win propositions, we've got a problem here at Daddy Globe. Those of you not living in caves know by now that the New York Times Co. owns us, and also owns 17 percent of the Red Sox. This conflict of interest taints everything we do on these pages and the Globe looks especially compromised on days like yesterday when we ran a Page 1 story entitled, ''Hit the road with the Sox and get . . ."

"Yesterday's journalistic wet kiss included a nifty graphic detailing exactly what Sox fans get if they purchase an official team VIP road trip package. The story contained no inside info that couldn't be gleaned by a fan with access to the Internet, but the timing was abysmal and the packaging worse. By any measurement, this was a Red Sox infomercial, a front-page story guaranteed to embolden those who believe the Globe is part of a Red Sox Cartel and certain to make life more difficult for Messrs. Snow, Edes, and all others who toil tirelessly to bring balanced coverage to our readers.

"...But it never stops with these guys and Henry's NASCAR-ization of Fenway has crossed the line. Everything is sponsored. Everything is for sale.

"...Then again, can anything be a surprise after the $ox sold the sacred sod of 2004 or sanctioned gambling by getting their own Mass. Lottery scratch card? Yeesh.

"The $ox have been appropriately applauded for all they have done in the community and for the amazing improvements at ancient Fenway, but the ballpark has officially morphed into a haven for the rich." -- 5.4.06, Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe


Gallery Survey: With Damon Gone, Who's the Next Sox Sweetheart?
Eric Wilbur: In-Clement Forecast | TC's Mailbag: Grind It Out
Tom Verducci: Sox Get What They Asked For: Weaker Offense

Verducci Mailbag: "In your Red Sox column, I couldn't help but stutter when I got to the part about Jason Varitek and Trot Nixon ("noticeably trimmer and with less pop"). Short of saying "Jason and Trot sure miss that flaxseed oil and the clear," what are you insinuating? I'm not from Egypt, and don't know about da' Nile. -- John, Windsor, Conn."

"Ah, yes, this is the shadowy age we live in, the one owners and players created by giving us the Steroid Era. Scouts take note all the time of players who look smaller and show less pop. They use the line "Congress got him" to explain some guys' declines. If you've been watching the past two seasons, you know what I mean. That said, I do think both players got very big, and at their age, and in Nixon's case, with his injury history, they're probably better off being a bit lighter. The question is not what happened -- everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt -- but will they suffer any decline? Pudge Rodriguez, Bobby Higginson, Scott Spiezio, Ryan Klesko, Nomar Garciaparra ... all suffered declines when they weren't as bulked." -- 5.3.06, Tom Verducci's Mailbag

Loser Baby

Loser Baby

Boston Red Sox closer Jon Papelbon punches his glove while walking off the field after the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday May 3. 2006. Papelbon gace up a game-winning RBI double to Toronto Blue Jay's Russ Adams for his first loss of the season. The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 7-6.

(AP Photo)

Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby -- Beck, Mellow Gold, Loser

All Great Things Must Come to an End
Papelbon Gives Up First Run and Gets the Loss
Blue Jays 7, Slumping Sox 6

Hats Off to Paps for a Great Ride
Say Hello to a 4.86 ERA: Beckett Loses Control
(And Drops an S-Bomb in the Postgame Presser)
Bronson Who? Give It Up for Wily Mo Superstar
Tek Heats Up at the Plate, But Watches the Game End
Super Mike: Lowell Flashes the Leather, Slashes the Ball
Shea-Bomb: Foulke's Choke Didn't Help the Cause
Way Off the Mark: Loretta's Just Gotta Get Bettah
(NESN Can Only Milk That Walkoff To Sell Tickets For So Long)
Time for Sox to Punt? 'Cause Gonzalez Can't Even Bunt
Double Play Abomination: Loretta .207, Gonzalez .181
Bad Stretch: Sox Lose 8 of 12, 2-5 vs. Toronto

"I'll think about it a little tonight. I'm not going to ponder losing the ballgame for us. I won't lose sleep over this. That would be stupid. The sun will rise tomorrow." -- 5.3.06, Jon Papelbon on his first loss

Gas Up the Private Jet,
Put the State Police on Call ...

Time to get Bellhorn back

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration/ Chris Pomerleau and Michael Knapp)

Is It Time to Reverse the Bellhorn Mistake Too?

Extra Bases: Sox to Make a Plan for Wells
The Magnificent Edgar Renteria Sets Braves Hitting Streak Mark
Why Can't We Keep Shortstops Like That (Instead of Paying Atlanta to Play Him)?

It's Just a Flesh Wound

One Last Try ...

BDD - Karl Stier, Watershed Media

(BDD Photo Illustration / Karl Stier, Watershed Media)

Johnny Made One Last, Desperate Attempt at Bonding
with the Locals Before Leaving Town


It's Just a Flesh Wound

Boston Dirt Dogs

(Monty Python and the Holy Grail Photo)

Damon Supporters Fight On!

King Arthur: [after Arthur's cut off both of the Black Knight's arms] Look, you stupid Bastard. You've got no arms left.
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: *Look*!
Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound. -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975

El Tiante Takes Out the 'Garbage'

"Luis Tiant, 65, made it clear he didn't think Damon should have been greeted so harshly.

" 'That's [garbage],' Tiant told the Hartford Courant, who left the Red Sox and signed as a free agent with the Yankees in 1979. 'What difference does it make? You go where you want to go. ... What about when they don't want you anymore and they kick [you] out? And then I see signs - 'Judas, Judas' - like he's a bad guy. That's [garbage]. You don't do that [stuff]. He's a human being like everybody else. He's got a heart.' " -- 5.3.06, Hartford Courant

McAdam: Damon Deserved Better

"He frequently ran into walls, and on one notable occasion, his own teammate [Damian Jackson]. Facing free agency, he played despite significant pain in his shoulder. Once, in Texas, he privately acknowledged that his shoulder was worse than ever, but nonchalantly shrugged: 'My team needs me.'

"As a reward for his on-field excellence and unselfish behavior, Damon was treated like some common criminal Monday. Ever classy in the face of boorishness, he tipped his batting helmet to the fans before stepping into the batter's box in the first inning." -- 5.3.06, Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

Damon: Blame Red Sox Brass

" 'There are not many teams who fail to pursue their most popular players or their better players," Damon told the New York Daily News before last night's rainout. 'I know the Yankees would never do that. If Derek Jeter's [contract is] up, if Bernie Williams is up, they're going to keep them.'

" 'These people are real upset, but it's year after year,' Damon said before naming several other members of the 2004 World Series team that departed. 'Me, [Kevin] Millar, Pedro [Martinez] - one of the game's greatest pitchers of all time,' he said. 'He's always going to be looked at as a Red Sox, but there's a line to the way you feel you should be treated and the way other things happen.' "

" 'Walking down the streets, people said, 'We hate that you're a Yankee, but we loved the way you played,' he said. Fans are generally nice -- they just wanted to get under my skin. I have thick skin.' " -- 5.3.06, Sam Borden, New York Daily News

" 'What people have a hard time understanding,' Johnny Damon told the New York Post yesterday, before the Yankees-Red Sox game was postponed because of rain, 'is that there's a lot of respect on both sides of this rivalry, in both clubhouses. You can't have the kind of battles we've had with each other the past few years and not feel that. It's not possible.' " -- 5.3.06, Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

BDD E-mail Mania: Are the Boo-Birds Feeling Guilty That They Weren't
on the Same Page as Coco Crisp, Big Papi, Keith Foulke, Peter Gammons, Jerry Remy, Bob Ryan, and Superfan Dennis Drinkwater?
Eric Wilbur: Boston Boo-ster Club

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)


No Waiting in Rain for Yankee Fans Tonight

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo / Paul Gillis)

But Red Sox Fans May Get $oaked Again

More from the New York Post ...
Ortiz May Trump MVP Race Card, While A-Rod Has a 'Pink Elephant'

" 'The voters got it wrong,' an AL manager recently told the New York Post's Joel Sherman unsolicited. 'I would do almost anything to avoid facing Ortiz late in a close game. I don't feel anything close to the same fear with Rodriguez. What is more valuable than that?'

... "There have been a lot of empty moments in big spots since and, because it is A-Rod, it is noticed. He knows that. Before last night's rainout, Rodriguez agreed the subject 'is the pink elephant in the room.' You know it is there, but you don't want to discuss it.

"But, he insists, 'I don't take the pink elephant to the plate with me. I love those situations. I want those challenges.' " -- 5.3.06, Joel Sherman, New York Post

Players: Jeter Overrated (He's No Alex Gonzalez)

"In a Sports Illustrated poll of 470 players, Jeter was named on 9 percent of the ballots as the most over-rated. Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran was second with 7 percent and Alex Rodriguez was third with 6 percent.

" 'I don't care, I guess anything I do now is a plus,' Jeter said with a grin. 'At least I am in good company.' " -- 5.3.06, George King, New York Post

Fire in the Hole

Fire in the Hole

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration / Kevin Johnson)

Will Beckett's Emotion Create the Perfect Storm?

NY Daily News: Yanks Know Beckett's Fire is No Josh

" 'Last night a former teammate of Beckett's, a player who is a member of neither the Red Sox nor Yankees, predicted trouble ahead. " 'He's not afraid, I'll give him that,' the player said. 'But one of these times he's going to say something to the wrong guy. It's more likely to happen when emotions are high, like when Boston and New York play. One of these days somebody's going to go after him.' " -- 5.3.06, John Harper, Daily News

Johnny Drama

Extra Bases: Shocker: Tonight's Game Rained Out, Make-up On Aug. 18
(But the Sox Thank You for Buying the $4 Hot Dogs and $6.50 Beers)
Johnny Had the Yankees Call Him Names to Prepare for Fenway

Johnny on Michelle Damon's reaction to his greeting from fans at Fenway: "She was okay. She knew how the fans here react. I told her that's how it's going to be. She heard some of the comments the Red Sox made and she was happy that they were displeased by their fans."

Johnny Drama

Johnny Damon of the New York Yankees acknowledges the crowd before his first at-bat against his former team, the Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park May 1, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts.

(Getty Images Photo / Ezra Shaw)

While Some Who Found Their Way Into Fenway Were Crass,
Johnny Damon Showed His Class to the Entourage

“I was a little disappointed in the reaction by the fans. I guess we should feel proud. Evidently wearing a Yankee uniform overrides winning a World Series and busting your tail for years. Without Johnny here, they may have been working on 89 or 90 years [without a championship]. It’s too bad they don’t appreciate that more so than they dislike the fact that he’s wearing our uniform.” -- 5.1.06, Joe Torre, Extra Bases: Wrapping Up a Wild Night

'Disgraceful'
-- 5.2.06, The Providence Journal's Sean McAdam on the
Behavior of the Boo-Bird Brains at Fenway Last Night
McAdam Called It a "Black Mark on the Fans of Boston"

Photos: Fans Welcome Johnny Back, The Game | Sounds: Damon, Mirabelli
MacMullan: Hating Him Seems Idiotic | Jacobs: Idiocy Uniform Trait in 'Welcome'
Reynolds: Johnny Damon Gets It, And He Hasn't Forgotten the Fans

Johnny the GM?

Trader or Traitor?

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo)

So He's Not Only a Traitor, but Damon's a 'Trader' Too?
These Were Your Boo-Birds Ladies and Gentlemen

And They Called It Papi Love ...

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox (R) greets former teammate Johnny Damon of the New York Yankees (L) before their game at Fenway Park May 1, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts.

(Getty Images Photo / Jim McIsaac)

The News from New York

5.2.06: New York Post front and back covers

(New York Post Cover Photos)

Read All About It

The Windbreaker

The Windbreaker

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox hits a three run home run in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on May 1, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts.

(Getty Images Photo / Jim McIsaac)

Ortiz's Big Pop Helps Sox Blow Past Yanks 7-3

Papi Breaks Wind, Sox Smell Victory
Wake Gets His Battery Charged as Doug Flies Back Into Fenway
No Diving? Loretta Won't Stop Two-Run Single But Knocks in Winner
A Little Run Support: Cora, Youk Get Sox on the Comeback Trail
Mike Myers Turns the Savage Boos to Cheers with One Pitch
Gone with the Wind: Papelbon Blows Yanks Away in the Ninth

“I’m a strong guy. I swing hard all the time in case I hit it. What else can you do about the crazy winds coming into Fenway at this time? You had to have really good contact to hit it out.” -- 5.1.06, David Ortiz on the insurance policy pop

Heeere's Johnny ...

Heeere's Johnny ...

Current New York Yankees outfielder and former Boston Red Sox player, Johnny Damon, gestures to the media after a pre-game news conference in Boston, Monday, May 1, 2006 prior to his first time taking the field at Fenway Park in a Yankees' uniform.

(AP Photo)

Extra Bases: Damon Speaks Before the Game

Mayday! Mayday! Sox trade for Mirabelli

Mayday! Mayday!
Sox Trade for Mirabelli

Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, left, and catcher Doug Mirabelli, right, wait in the dugout to be introduced as the makeovers for five Red Sox players were unveilled after a game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday March 16, 2005. Five Red Sox players took part in the show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

(3.16.05: AP Photo)

No Excuses Now: Wakefield Gets His Binky Back

The Globe's Chris Snow Has Confirmed That the Red Sox Have Re-acquired Catcher Doug Mirabelli from San Diego for Catcher Josh Bard, Reliever Cla Meredith, and Cash

CBS4 Video: Damon Talks About the Second Coming
Eric Wilbur: Johnny Cash | Mike Adams: Mirabelli Returning Tonight?
The Real Question: Will Fans Cheer or Boo Mike Myers Tonight?
And Is Gary Sheffield Ducking a Rematch with Chris House?
Outstanding: Don Orsillo Chat Wrap | Sox vs. Yanks: Frame That Toon
Boston.com Red Sox Report Card | Remy: Three Cheers for Damon

The Passion of the Damon

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration / The Weekly Donut)

Boo Who? Cheer Up!

Boo Who? Cheer Up!

Oct. 20, 2004: Johnny Brings Down the House that Ruth Built

(Oct. 20, 2004: Getty Images Photo)

Stand. Because He Delivered.

"I just can't imagine anyone wanting to boo Johnny Damon... all he did was hustle here for four years." -- 4.30.06, Peter Gammons

"The right thing to do is a raucous standing ovation... show some class. Show some common sense." -- 4.30.06, The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan

“I think he’s gonna get a lot of cheers, you’re gonna have your boo-birds, (but they'll) kinda get drowned out by a lot of applause because he's done so much for this club.” -- 4.27.06, Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp

"First time up, standing ovation." -- 4.30.06, The RemDawg

"The ideas emanating from the lunatic fringe of Red Sox Nation — that Damon is a 'traitor,' that he has gone from 'Jesus to Judas,' that he should be called 'Demon' instead of 'Damon' — are not worthy of serious discussion." -- 4.30.06, Ken Rosenthal, Foxsports.com

"I think the fans will cheer for what we accomplished the last few years, and boo the fact that I'm a Yankee." -- 4.30.06, Johnny Damon

" 'I think he's probably going to get a heavy booing. You go from Red Sox Nation to a big Yankee. I'm sure there will be a lot people who will cheer him, but I think you'll hear pretty loud boos. That's just how the fans are... No one ever leaves their job for a job that pays more money,' Foulke said, his words dripping with sarcasm. 'Why would [fans] understand? We're just overpaid, spoiled kids.' " -- 5.1.06, Keith Foulke Being Keith Foulke

Oct. 20, 2004: Damon gets hugged after hitting his second home run of the night in the Bronx to send the Red Sox to the World Series.

(Oct. 20, 2004: Boston Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld)

Boston Never Forgets
Red Sox World Series Champions.
Period.

Oct. 20, 2004:
Home plate umpire Randy Marsh, New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, and Johnny Damon of the Red Sox watched Damon's second inning grand slam home run during the seventh and final game of the American League Championship Series between the Sox and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

(Oct. 20, 2004: Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Give It Up for the Guy Who
Gave His All... All the Time

Oct. 6, 2003: Damon gave a wave to the fans as he was put into an ambulance after colliding with Damian Jackson in Game 5 of the ALDS.

(Oct. 6, 2003: Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Thanks for the Memories Johnny
A Look Back at the Life and Good Times of Johnny Damon

Feb. 22, 2005: The scene at the Red Sox minor league facility looked more like a rock concert than a sporting venue, and at no time did it more so than when Johnny Damon came out of the clubhouse and made his way to the field. With his hair flowing out of his hat, he was surrounded by screaming fans on his left, some young, some old, some male, some female.

(Feb. 22, 2005: Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Bob Ryan: Switched Hitter | Remember, He Was a Free Man
Boston Globe Writers React on Damon's Return

Photos: Fans Chime in on Johnny | Survey: Cheer or Boo?

2004 World Series Game 4: Damon celebrates at the top of the dugout after his first inning home run.

(2004 World Series Game 4: Boston Globe Staff Photo Jim Davis)

Rob Bradford: James Damon Chimes in On His Brother

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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