He's No. 2?

He's No. 2?

Red Sox starter Julian Tavarez fields a ground out by Baltimore Orioles' Nick Markakis in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Sept. 29, 2006.

(AP Photo)

Should the Amazing Julian Tavarez Follow Schilling Next Year If Theo Goes with a 'Good Value' Rotation?

Julian Gets the Job Done Again in 4-3 Win
And Manny's Spokesperson is Awfully Entertaining on the Mound
Relief by Committee: Five Guys Hold the Line on Mighty O's
Sox All Set at Third? Mike Lowell is Finishing How He Started
Just Sayin': Tons-o-Fun Millar's Got 15 HR's in 427 At-Bats
Don't-Boo-Us Youkilis Has 13 HR's in 569 At-Bats

"He's been a breath of fresh air for us. When we were in a time of need, he came and did a great job." -- 9.29.06, Terry Francona on the venerable Julian Tavarez


Gordon Edes Friday Chat Transcript
We're Sorry Omar, But You Pay for What You Get:
Ailing Pedro Will Miss Postseason
But Keep Your Eye on Our Man D-Lowe, the Anti-Matt Clement
Blue Notes: Talking with Derek Lowe

It's Fan Appreciation Weekend!

It's Fan Appreciation Weekend at Fenway!
And MLB.com Knows Just What to Wear ...

The latest in dissing the Red Sox wear from MLB.com

(RIP Red Sox 06 Season T-Shirt / MLB.com Store Photo)

The Red Sox Give, and They Give,
and Then They Give Some More ...

In Exchange for Paying the Highest Ticket Prices in Baseball History All Season Long
And Helping Red Sox Inc. Expand Its Real Estate, Entertainment, and Media Empire
While Watching a Dull Third-Place Team, Weekend Warriors Will Be Rewarded with a
2007 Red Sox Preliminary Schedule Without Game Times!
(So You Can Spend More in '07, While We Wait for 2008)

"Somebody pinch me. I'm lucky enough to have tickets to Fan Appreciation Weekend, I'm getting a 2007 Preliminary Schedule ... and we get to watch David Murphy play! This is awesome." -- 9.29.06, another satisfied Red Sox Nation cardholder

Manny Ramirez's Month Off

Enough Being Enough?

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration)

He Doesn't Know What Day He'll Play
But He Knows Friday Is Payday

"Manny has 20 million reasons to be on the field."
-- What Kim Eldredge, Terrell Owens' awesome publicist, would say

Remy Thinks Ramirez is a Goner This Time

"I think there is a groundswell now to move him. I think this last month, month and a half has really ticked some people off and according to what I hear, he's given them a list of teams that he'll go to..."
-- Jerry Remy, NESN's Red Sox baseball analyst

"He said that he wants to be traded again. My understanding is he's given them [Red Sox front office] a list of teams that he would go to and the question is can they match up? The bottom line is at the end, we know how Manny is, will he say yes?... I think it's [the list of teams he'd go to] in double-digits. They could find anybody they want but he could be sitting home in Miami a month from now and say 'ahh, never mind.' They could make a deal and he could nix it because he's a 10-and-5 [player who has to approve a trade]. So I don't know what to expect but I do think there is a groundswell to move him. From the manager, to some people in the clubhouse, to the front office, I think they've gotten past the point of 'we'll put up with this stuff because of the money.' I think they may be even willing to eat some of the money. That's just a guess of mine but I think there is a groundswell now to move him. I think this last month, month and a half has really ticked some people off and according to what I hear, he's given them a list of teams that he'll go to..."

"I think so [that his lingering injury is the straw that broke the camel's back]. It all builds up. I think there are some people that are upset about it. And as I've said once in a pregame show, I will never, ever, ever question an injury because that's how my career ended and I was questioned by some people and it still bothers me. So I don't get into stuff like that. I let other people question him if they want to, I don't do it. Would I like to see Manny Ramirez back? Yes I would because I love watching him hit. He's a Hall of Fame hitter. But I think you gotta weigh that against... you're gonna have to go through this stuff again with him. And I really think the manager's at his wits end as far as that goes." -- 9.28.06, Jerry Remy, NESN's Red Sox baseball analyst on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show

Beckett is a Bust

Beckett is a Bust

Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett cranes his neck as he watches Greg Norton's first inning two out two run home run sail out of the park.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Rays Rock Sad Sox at Fenway, 11-0
Dan Duquette: 'More Days in Third Place'

Is Josh Simply Out of His League?
The Numbers Don't Lie: 36 Long Balls, 5.01 ERA
And It's Two Homers for Hanley and Win No. 10 for Sanchez
Anemic Offense Makes Tim Corcoran Look Like Roger Clemens
When There's a Smokescreen, Birthday Candles Will Be On Fire:
Fenway Fans Attend the World's Most Expensive B-day Party
Eric Wilbur: Pesky Pole Position | Did Sox Do the Right Thing?

"It was just a (horse bleep) performance. It was just pitch execution. I let some things get to me. They put the good part of the bat on the ball. They were hitting balls at guys early in the game, and they stopped hitting them at guys." -- 9.27.06, Josh Beckett dusting off the tired execution excuse for the last time this year

In Henry He Trusts

Extra Bases: Schilling Tries to Clear the Air on Coming Back
and Talks About His Trust in John Henry

“I just don’t envision a scenario in which John Henry allows Theo Epstein to field a team that can’t win a World Series, and Mr. [Tom] Werner included." -- 9.27.06, Curt Schilling is confident in the ownership

Manny Being Ornery
(And Making His Manager Look Silly Again)

“Francona talked with Manny Ramirez yesterday when the left fielder was working out, and after the discussion, the manager thought he'd have the slugger in last night's starting lineup.

"But an hour later, Ramirez, who has appeared in only one game since Sept. 9 (as a pinch-hitter last Saturday), called Francona and told him that he wasn't able to play, so he was scratched from the lineup. Francona said Ramirez mentioned he was hoping to play Friday in the opener of the season-ending three-game set with Baltimore, but at this point, Francona seemed to indicate there wasn't much point of him doing so.

"Ramirez typically was not in a talkative mood, but he sent some words in the direction of a few media members who were in the clubhouse about an hour before the first pitch.

" 'You guys got the story. Get out,' he snapped." -- 9.27.06, Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

Bradford: Shortstop Gonzo Hopes for Extended Stay

Coco Curse?

Coco Curse?

A Hood blimp crashed into a wooded area Tuesday when the pilot lost rudder control shortly after takeoff and tried to make an emergency landing on a nearby beach, authorities said.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Joanne Rathe)

Hood Blimp Crashes Days After Fragile-Fingered Outfielder Signed on as Red Sox Partner's Company Spokesman
Coco Coincidence?


Extra Bases: Manny In Then Out of Lineup Tonight
More Fun and Games: Schilling to Compete in Celebrity Jeopardy!

"... And the answer is: This baseball superstar loves the Fenway fans who pay top dollar to fund his $160 million contract but has no interest in playing in front of them this September ... ...
Who is Manny Ramirez?"

Third World Nation

Third World Nation

Eric Hinske's broken bat single in the eighth inning was one of only two hits the Red Sox offense could muster on the evening.

(AP Photo)

It's a Brand New Day for Red Sox Fans
Blue Jays Blow Past Boston, Move Into Second Place
Sox Make Strong Statement That They're Tired of
Finishing No. 2 Behind Yanks for Eight Straight Years
Mail-It-In Millionaires Roll Over Easy Again, 5-0

Third Grade Theo: '04 Champs Dismantling Leaves Sox at No. 3 in East
Count on It: Death, Taxes, and Wakefield Giving Up Five Runs
Two-Hit Sox Make Shaun Marcum Look Like Bob Gibson
Clement Waits Until End of Lost Season to Look Into Shoulder
Not Enough Games Left for Orioles to Drop Sox into Fourth Place
Maybe the Fenway Faithful Should Walk Out at 8(Yaz):09(Ted)?

"We need to go home and have a good last five games." -- 9.25.06, Terry Francona sadly spinning faux optimism until the bitter end... what would Joe Kerrigan do?

David the Menace

David's the Menace,
Not Dennis

Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley and the former embedded Yankee

(Eckersley: Boston Globe Staff Photo / John Tlumacki | Wells: Reuters Photo)

Baby Boomer Couldn't Handle Eck's Heat in Boston ...
So He's Taking Shots at Him From 3,000 Miles Away

"Boomer on Dennis Eckersley, now a TV studio analyst in Boston: 'Have you heard him lately? He's terrible. It's like he never did anything wrong. You get that Hall of Fame [label] and you can say anything you want, but it doesn't always make you right. It could make you worse as an individual, and I think that's the way he's going. It's sad the way he dogs his own hometown. He's representing Boston. Say positive things, not negative things -- like how lucky they are. He had a big old strike zone when he pitched, so he was lucky too.' " -- 9.25.06, Graduation day nearing for Wells, ESPN.com

"A bit of an odd time for Wells to be popping off: Since being traded to the Padres, he is 0-2 with a 4.43 ERA in four starts, has pitched into the seventh inning just once, and with the Padres in a fight for a postseason spot, was scratched from his start last night against the Cardinals because of gout in his right foot." -- 9.26.06, Gordon Edes, Red Sox notebook

Ask Edes: Manny Reactions | Edes's Extra Bases: Crossing the Line

More Wily Moments

More Wily Moments

Red Sox right fielder Wily Mo Pena can't handle the ball at the fence on a hit from Toronto Blue Jays' Alex Rios the sixth inning during AL baseball action in Toronto, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006. The Blue Jays scored two runs on the play, and took the game 13-4.(

(AP Photo)

Trot Nixon is Seeing Dollar Signs as
Arroyo May Be a Better Option in Right
Papi Hits No. 53, but Big Picture is Ugly, 13-4

Snyder Unremarkable This Time Around
Wrong Place, Wrong Time: That's Just Youk Being Youk in Left
File Under Yikes: Gabbard, Delcarmen, DiNardo, Burns
Imagine Holding Tickets for the Final Week at Fenway?

"It feels good. You're talking about a guy that did everything in the game. When your name is up there with those guys, it tells you you're doing your thing." -- 9.24.06, David Ortiz talking about tying Babe Ruth's AL record for home runs on the road

Adding Insult to 'Injury'

Adding Insult to 'Injury'

9.6.06: It was a dark night at the plate for the Red Sox, here Manny Ramirez looks glum as he heads back to the dugout after grounding out to shortstop in the bottom of the fourth inning.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

After Quitting on the '06 Sox Down the Stretch
Iron Manny Tells His Agent He Wants Out of Boston Again

Edes: Time to Close Curtain on This Act
A Matter of Fact: Gordon Tells Blind Lemming Fanboys and
a Look-the-Other-Way Apathetic Red Sox Management
What They Don't Want to Hear About Mail-It-In-Manny

"Do you suppose that 20 years from now, Ramírez will feel even the slightest bit of remorse for the way he quit on his Red Sox teammates in 2006, refusing to honor the code that is an article of faith for Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell, Curt Schilling and Coco Crisp, Trot Nixon and Alex Gonzalez, and Mark Loretta -- even the now-departed fat man, David Wells -- that you do all within your power to play hurt...

"Barring a midlife conversion experience, I doubt it.While the Red Sox crumbled when Ramírez went on hiatus -- last night was the 22d game out of 30 Ramírez has missed since taking himself out of the last game of the Yankee massacre Aug. 21, during which he has been paid $1.918 million (calculated on his base salary of $15 million this season) -- he had the audacity this week, through agent Greg Genske, to reiterate to the Red Sox his desire to be traded this winter...

"So why hasn't anyone called out Ramírez? Sox management, bedazzled by his performance when he does play and afraid they'll lose him forever if they do raise objections to his behavior (see Tampa Bay last July), instead cover for him, and in so doing diminish Francona every time he does so, compromising principles that have guided him through a lifetime in baseball. His teammates? You have to distinguish what is said about him publicly and to him behind closed doors. There have been teammates who have challenged Ramírez in the clubhouse, and his response has been studied indifference. As one player told me, what's the point of calling him out publicly? What would get accomplished? Embarrass him? Please." -- 9.23.06, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Coffin Meet Nail

Coffin Meet Nail

Troy Glaus, left, celebrated with Aaron Hill after Glaus hit a solo-home run during the fourth inning.

(AP Photo)

Sox Officially Elimated from Playoffs
But It's Been Over Since July 31

Starter Tryouts Continue: Devern Hansack Gets the Loss This Time
Home Run on the Road: Congratulations Dustin Pedroia
Embarrassed by Edes? Iron Manny Comes Up in a Pinch
Apparently Dr. Tavarez Doesn't Know Jack Welch About Manny

Playing Out the String Theory

20/20 Commentary

Playing Out the String Theory

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

You have to ask yourself why you're still turning on NESN (or MLB.com) to watch the Red Sox. David Ortiz has assured that Jimmy Foxx's record has left the building, and the battle for second place in the AL East has all the intensity of watching your lawn grow. So why tune in? Because you're part of the Matt Clement watch? Because you can't get enough Bobblehead and brown tee-shirt talk from Don and Jerry?

Play the kids the rest of the way. Can David Murphy generate enough to become a fourth outfielder? Would looking at Brandon Moss (Eastern League playoff MVP) be such a bad thing?

Playing out the season leads into the Hot Stove League, and the Red Sox have plenty of work to do. An author in the Red Sox newsgroup noted that the Red Sox have only three players with above average OPS, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, and Kevin Youkilis, with Wily Mo Pena qualifying with limited at bats. Conversely, the AL East Champion had seven. And all media people can talk about is jettisoning Ramirez. His disappearing act down the stretch has been a non-factor.

Ace in the Hole

Ace in the Hole

Red Sox pitcher Julian Tavarez celebrated his complete -game win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

(Reuters Photo)

Who Knew?
Tavarez Starts to Shine for Sox

You Complete Me: Tavarez Goes the Distance
All Set at Third? Mike Lowell Finishing Strong
Mirabelli (.195) Now Batting Higher Than Pedroia (.183)

"That's the only good thing I've done this year." -- 9.22.06, Julian Tavarez telling it like it is

Extra Bases: Surgery for Coco | Eric Wilbur: Jones-ing for Help?

52 Pick-Up!

52 PICK-UP!

David Ortiz follows through after hitting his 51st home run of the season during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park in Boston Thursday night, Sept. 21, 2006. Fifty-one home runs is the most by any Red Sox player in a single season.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

David OutFoxxes Jimmie

Graphic Design by Carl

(BDD Photo Illustration / Graphic Design by Carl)

Big Papi Hits Two and Becomes the Red Sox
All-Time Single-Season Home Run King

Read all about it

Oh, and the Playoff Watchers Win 6-0
Alert the Media: Beckett Lasts for Eight Innings
Foulke Fired Up About His Contract Option

Hoodwinked?

Hoodwinked?

HP Hood, New England's leading dairy products company, announced today that it has signed an agreement with Boston Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp to serve as a spokesman. The partnership opens the door for Hood to tap Crisp for a variety of promotional and advertising opportunities in support of the company's products and charitable programs.

(Business Wire Photo / HP Hood LLC)

Feelin' Good About the Red Sox?

Globe: Coco Crisp is the New Pitchman for Hood

It's Coco Crisp Rocky Road Ice Cream from Hood ...
It Melts at the First Sign of Heat, Too
Hey, John Kaneb is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of
HP Hood and a Partner in the Boston Red Sox Baseball Franchise ...
Does This Mean That Coco Won't Go Anywhere This Winter?

Ask Edes: Will Coco Stay or Go? | Man from Hood Out of Lineup

Fit to Be Tied

Fit to Be Tied

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is congratulated by third baseman Mike Lowell (25) after Ortiz hit a solo home run in the sixth inning of their baseball game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park in Boston Wednesday night, Sept. 20, 2006. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

50rtiz

Ortizz Ties Foxx at 50 | All About Ortiz and His Homers

The Wild Card Dynasty is Over

Sox Lose Fifth Straight to Low Budget Twins
Oh and Yanks Win AL East for Ninth Straight Year

But, Hey, More Crisp Dollar Bills

Wilbur: A Crisp Afternoon

Priorities Lost: A Press Conference Will Take Place Today to Announce the Signing of Coco Crisp as a Spokesman with a Prominent New England Company.
(Yeah, Because Marketing Crisp to the Max Before We Even Knew If He Could Play Here Worked Out So Well for the Red Sox)

Meanwhile, Ortiz Might Lure Torii Hunter to the Sox

The $250-a-Seat Fenway Ticket Holders Must Be Thrilled:
The MRI on Iron Manny's Knee Came Back Clean
But Dr. Julian Tavarez Tells the Nation Ramírez Won't Play Ball

Here We Go Again?

Here We Go Again?

A-Rod Sox?

(BDD Photo Illustration / PS)

Does the 2005 MVP Want Out of the Bronx?
Could They Be the A-Rod Sox in 2007?
Would Iron Manny Play in New York?

SI's Tom Verducci: 'The Lonely Yankee'

"In December 2003, when the Red Sox were frantically trying to acquire Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers, several Boston executives called on Rodriguez in his New York hotel suite after 1 a.m. Rodriguez answered the door in a perfectly pressed suit, tie knotted tight to his stiff collar. The Red Sox officials found such polished attire at such a late hour odd, even unsettling..."

" 'Mussina doesn't get hammered at all,' Rodriguez said. 'He's making a boatload of money. Giambi's making [$20.4 million], which is fine and dandy, but it seems those guys get a pass. When people write [bad things] about me, I don't know if it's [because] I'm good-looking, I'm biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team....' -- 9.25.06 issue of Sports Illustrated

Eric Wilbur: Making a Move

"In Boston, the Ramirez trade watch is an annual offseason tradition. With his Angels struggling and the offense sagging down the stretch, owner Arthur Moreno has made it known he'll be willing to sink more money into the club for 2007. Whether that means he'll give up the pitching (Ervin Santana, to start) to make a deal possible with Boston, however, remains to be seen...

"It may have gotten to the point in the Bronx -- where Rodriguez is hooted on a nightly basis by Yankee fans -- that Brian Cashman sniffs around for a deal this offseason." -- 9.20.06, Boston Sports Blog

Can You Hear Her Now?

Can You Hear Her Now?

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

No Fight Left in Francona's Bunch
Twins Win Easy at Fenway, 7-3

Yikes! Can We Take Another Look at That Wakefield Contract?
Sick Papi: Ortiz Struggles to the Finish While Manny Rests His Knee
Morneau Will Soon Make Twins Forget About Losing Mientkiewicz
300th Consecutive 'Sellout' Crowd of 36,242 Down to 42 By Game's End

"We haven't been in this situation for a long time, but you still have to be professional and go out there and do the things that you need to do to win ballgames." -- 9.20.06, Doug Miserabelli, trying to rebuild his reputation again

Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending

Nomar wins it in a walkoff

(Getty Images Photos / Jeff Gross)

Back to Back to Back to Back Then Nomar
Why Can't We Keep Power-Hitting First Basemen Like That?

Extra Bases: NOMAH!!! Can You Name Me a Better Finish?
LA Happy Hour: Big Night for D-Lowe and the Dodgers

"I'm sitting here with my seventh beer doing another round of interviews and I didn't even pitch!" -- 9.18.06, Derek Lowe in front of his locker after the big Dodger win

Wilbur: Playing Favorites | Kevin Towers: Padres Don't Miss Mirabelli

Another One Bites the Dust?

Another One Bites the Dust?

Red Sox Playoff Stars Derek Lowe, Johnny Damon, and Trot Nixon

(2003, AP Photo)

Are These Nixon's Final Days at Fenway?
Like Most of Our Stars from '03-'04,
Trot Could Be Out the Door

Theo and John Henry May Let Trot Lead Another Team to the Playoffs Next Season Following in the Large Footsteps of Derek Lowe, Johnny Damon, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Dave Roberts,
and the Rest of the Departed

"I just can't imagine [Trot] playing for somebody else, it's just not something I can see. I don't have the ability to... like the whole seeing your grandmother naked thing, you don't want to picture it. I can't picture it.

"I don't know what they're gonna do in Trot's situation. I know I enjoy playing with the guy and I hope he's a teammate, but I'm not gonna say one way or the other because they have to do what they have to do." -- 9.19.06, Curt Schilling on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show

Schill Still Thinks Henry Will Spend a Bundle This Winter

"I'm hearing things, and talking to people, just the feeling I get is there's gonna be a little different landscape here in how they operate this winter... in a sense if you don't kinda ignore that [payroll] threshold and you spend a little more openly, playing in a division with the Yankees is going to leave you with a severe disadvantage and I just think it's going to be a little bit different this winter." -- 9.19.06, Curt Schilling on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show

Globe: Schilling Believes Team Will Spare No Expense in '07
Ask Edes: Focus on the Future

A Meaningful Win

A Meaningful Win

Frank Galasso Illustration

(BDD Illustration / Frank Galasso)

At Least One Win in New York This Weekend Mattered

Moral Victory

Moral Victory

Members of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees 5-4 in the second game of a double header baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006, at Yankee Stadium in New York.

(AP Photo)

Sox Are Better Late Than Never with 5-4 Sweeper

Sacrificial Man: Loretta Puts an End to Two Days of Madness
Some Guy Named Kevin Jarvis Took the Hill for Five This Time
Yes, Crisp Can Make a Decent Catch Every Once in a While
Taking a Left Turn: Javier Lopez Might Be a Keeper
Seems Like Old Times: Nixon Belts a Two-Run Homer in the Bronx
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Bullpen: Sox Relievers Hold on Again
Congratulations David 'Home Run' Murphy

"It's what we do for a living. Hey it's a great job, but those people who think it's great to travel everywhere, I'd like them to take a shot at our schedule." -- 9.17.06, Mike Timlin thinks we're not tough enough to stay in four star hotels every night

Not In Our Face

Not In Our Face

Red Sox fans cheered their team after David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mark Loretta returned to the dugout after they scored on Kevin Youkilis seventh-inning three-run double.

(AP Photo)

NY Won't Be Able to Stick 9th Straight Division Title in The Faces of the Former Wild Card Dynasty Dogs
Sox Keep Champagne on Ice with Nice 6-3 Win

Sox Have Too Much Pitching: Snyder's Another Five Inning Warrior
Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Youk Clears the Bases with 7th Inning Double
Loretta's a Big Hit with 14-Pitch Walk in the Big Inning
Big Papi Has No Award Worries, and Finally Hits No. 49
Andy Marte is Dandy and David Murphy Might Be Just as Good as Crisp
Corey, Foulke, and Timlin Hang on This Time

"Sooner or later, we are going to clinch this thing." -- 9.17.06, MVP candidate Johnny Damon, who apparently wasn't a good value for the oh-so-frugal Boston Red Sox

Yanks Not Losing Any Sweep Over Sox

Yanks Not Losing Any
Sweep Over Sox

Aaron Guiel, right, greeted teammates Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi at the plate after the two scored on a double hit by Bernie Williams in the fourth inning.

(AP Photo)

Bullpen Blows the Nightcap, 7-5

Maybe Tavarez Will Be the Staff Ace in '07
Surprising That the Venerable Craig Breslow Couldn't Close the Door
Wily Mo Pena Might Make An Excellent First Baseman or DH
Doesn't Crisp Know Youkilis is Already Running Radio
Commercials Saying He's the Leadoff Hitter?
Pedroia Hit Raises Average to .137

"...But, again, you get into your bullpen with innings to go against this team, we had a very hard time stopping them." -- 9.16.06, Terry Francona knows his bullpen can't be counted on in crunch time

Most Vain Pitchman?

Most Vain Pitchman?

David Ortiz, left, smiled after Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter tapped him on the backside after the third out in the third inning.

(AP Photo)

Ortiz-Created Sideshow Continues in New York
Dead Sox Get Rare Win, 5-2

Another Beckett Long Ball, But He Finally Gets Win No. 15
Murphy's Law: Kids Come Out to Play When Big Guns Go Belly Up
With the Pressure Off, Bullpen is On

``I think I definitely had to learn the hard way in a few starts this year. All in all, we're here to win games. Do I think I won enough? No. Most of that's my fault." -- 9.16.06, Josh Beckett's mea culpa

Who's Sorry Now?

Who's Sorry Now?

Frame That 'Toon

(Boston Globe Illustration)

Sox Getting All the Sympathy

Frame That 'Toon: Submit Your Cartoon Caption Here
Eric Wilbur: A Rivalry Reduced

Can't Quit Stroking

Can't Quit Stroking

Red Sox batter Mark Loretta stroked the game winning base hit with the bases loaded off of Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Rodrigo Lopez in the ninth inning of their American League baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland September 14, 2006. Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez is at left.

(Reuters Photo)

Mark 'Mueller' Loretta Comes Up Clutch in Camden
and Will Hang Tough Until the Bitter End
For What It's Worth: Sox 6, O's 5

"Assuming we don't have a miracle run here and that we don't make the playoffs, I have a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth with the season. Things were really going well for the first four months; it was a lot of fun. Then a lot of things that were out of our control happened." -- 9.14.06, Mark Loretta on the ups and downs of the '06 season

O's Awful Pitching Helped Make it a Walk in the Yards
With $20m Iron Manny Mailing It In, Get Used to Walking Papi
If DiNardo Is DiAnswer, What's the Question?
Timlin 'Nails' It Down for Gang of Five Pitchers
Millar's Almost Playing Like Sox Made a Mistake Dumping Him
Schilling Thinks Henry Will Spend Enough to Fix This Colossal
Trainwreck of a Team for His Final Season ...

"We came out of spring training, everybody said, `Well, you have extra starting pitching.' Nobody ever has extra starting pitching. If you have it on Monday, you don't have it on Sunday. It never fails...

``So many things happened to us so fast that it became a surplus to a lack of very quickly here. I think it's a lesson that people like [general manager] Theo [ Epstein] will have to learn only one time. I don't think it will ever be an issue again."I think they'll be very aggressive in trying to fill the roles they see need to be filled. They'll be a player in every race for every player they feel will be a fit here... I think there will be less attention paid to the payroll number than there has been in the past. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I get..." -- 9.14.06, Curt Schilling -- Boston Globe Red Sox notebook

Yankees Fan Jack Nicholson Refused To Wear Red Sox Cap in New Film
Extra Bases: Schedule Alterations | Eric Wilbur: A Balancing Act
Courant: Iron Manny's Having a Grand Old Time Watching the Games

Slumber Party

Slumber Party

Sleeping Dogs

Lazy Lineup Bangs Out Two Singles Against O's in 4-0 Loss

Wake's a 10-5 Guy: 10 Hits in Five Innings
Not Even Ortiz Can Hit in This Lineup

"At this point, it's pretty much over with. We're not mathematically eliminated yet, but our chances of getting into the postseason are paper thin." -- 9.14.06, Tim Wakefield, who could have said this a month ago too

Adding Insult to Injuries ...

Millar (right) was greeted at home plate by teammate Ramon Hernandez after Millar rounded the bases.

(Reuters Photo)

... Cowboy Upends Sox with Long Ball

Down the Stretch They Come!

Down the Stretch They Come!

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

“Speaking of fashion week, the Boston Red Sox have unveiled a new line of clothing this week … it comes apart at the seams.” -- 9.12.06, David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman

Wake Returns in Time to Be Part of '06 Funeral


Flower Power

Boston Red Sox wives who attended the Say It With Flower Luncheon presented by Shonda Schilling and Dawn Timlin

(Red Sox Wives Photo Courtesy of Leighton Communications, Inc.)

The Wives Have It

The Second Annual Boston Say It With Flowers event took place on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the State Room in Boston. It included a floral arranging class, a wine reception, a silent auction, a live auction and a luncheon. Proceeds totaled $200,000 and will benefit ALS patients, caregivers and research in Massachusetts.


The Self-Proclaimed 'America's Most Beloved Ballpark'
Finishes No. 28 Out of 30 in SI's Fan Value Index

"Let's get this straight. Fenway is impossible to drive to, the seats are uncomfortable and/or obstructed and it costs a kidney -- or two -- to get in and eat. What, exactly, is the draw? Ah, yes, the history, the passion, the atmosphere of Fenway. But is that really worth more at Fenway than at any other park in the league? To the fans of Boston, who continually pack the place, it must be. And, truth be told, every student of the game should see the place at least once in his or her life. But to wring every last dollar from one of the majors' most loyal fan bases is not merely hard-nosed business, it borders on the unethical." -- Sports Illustrated Fan Value Index, The skinny on Fenway

Coco Keep?

Coco Keep?

Coco Crisp watched his two-run double in the seventh inning.

(AP Photo)

Is Crisp Showing Signs He Can Play?
Bust Sox Hang On for 6-5 Win

Coco Leads Also-Ran Offense Over O's
Youk Keeps Avoiding Those Evil Fenway South Boos with Two RBIs
Gabbard Had It Going Until He Joined the Hurt Parade
Iron Manny's a 10-5 Guy: Miss 10 Games, Play Five
The Shell of Mike Timlin Nearly Blew It for Seven-Pitcher-Attack
Javier Papelbon Gets First Save

"Tough for him, tough to watch." -- 9.12.06, Terry Francona on Mike "Final Days" Timlin

A Little Trouble for Big Papi

A Little Trouble for Big Papi

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz wears a pair of sunglasses with built-in headphones before the start of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006, in Boston. The Red Sox won 9-3.

(AP Photo)

Extra Bases: 'Ortiz Catching Unfair Heat'
Papi's Talk About MVP Award Sparks Media Firestorm

This Is What Happens When You Wave the White Flag in August

Papi on not worrying about the MVP award: "I'm right there, but I'm not going to win it. They give it to Alex [Rodriguez] one year, even though his team was in last place, so now they can't play that BS anymore, just because your team didn't make it. They gave it to Alex that year because of his numbers. But they always have a reason to vote for whatever, so that's why I don't worry about it. But they'll vote for a position player, use that as an excuse. They're talking about [Derek] Jeter a lot, right? He's done a great job, he's having a great season, but Jeter is not a 40-homer hitter or an RBI guy. It doesn't matter how much you've done for your ball club, the bottom line is, the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that's the guy you know helped your team win games. Don't get me wrong -- he's a great player, having a great season, but he's got a lot of guys in that lineup. Top to bottom, you've got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be." -- 9.11.06, David Ortiz talking about individual end-of-season awards with the Globe's Gordon Edes

Jeter fires back (ouch): "I don't have to do it in his lineup... I am not thinking about the MVP. We are trying to win the [AL East]. No one cares about individual awards." -- 9.12.06, Derek Jeter's not talking about awards

"... That rant may have just cost him [Ortiz] the award." -- 9.12.06, Jim Rome, ESPN's Rome is Burning

Wilbur: Power Struggles -- Ortiz, Jeter, and the MVP

Congratulations to Winthrop's Rick DiPietro
TV Tonight -- ESPN Classic at 10 p.m.:
Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Grady for Blowing the 2003 ALCS

It's a Whole New Ballgame

It's a Whole New Ballgame

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

The Sox Playing Out the String in September is for the Birds
Read All About the Pats Instead

'Rise, Fall of Red Sox Nation'

"Do you know who the Red Sox are playing tonight? Or where they're playing? Do you care?

"The date is Sept. 12 and the fiery intensity of Red Sox Nation has cooled like general manager Theo Epstein's reputation. The team with baseball's second-highest payroll has 19 games left in the 2006 season, stands a mere nine games over .500 and is limping toward the finish line.

"They are yesterday's news, an afterthought in our sports consciousness as we shift our attention to the Patriots and even the opening of Bruins training camp. They will finish second to the Yankees for the ninth consecutive year and miss the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Their stunningly rapid demise will be blamed on an unprecedented rash of injuries and health problems. But there will be no shielding the fact that this edition was severely flawed, built on a shaky foundation that collapsed at the first whiff of trouble." -- 9.12.06, Rob Duca, Cape Cod Times

NY Times: Freddy Sanchez (Another One That Got Away)
When Fans Attack: Suddenly Not-So-Friendly Fenway

Never Forget

God Bless the United States of America

On the Fifth Anniversary of September 11, We Remember Our Brothers and Sisters Who Flew Out of Boston on 9/11:

Families, friends, and those paying respects to the Sept. 11 victims visited the memorial in the Boston Public Garden today.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / David L. Ryan)

American Airlines Flight 11

Flight 11, flying from Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into the World Trade Center.

Confirmed dead

Name

Age

Home

Job

Employer

Crew

Barbara Jean Ares Tegui

38

Marstons Mills, Mass.

flight attendant

American Airlines

Jeffrey Dwayne Collman

41

Novato, Calif.

flight attendant

American Airlines

Sara Elizabeth Low

28

Boston, Mass.

flight attendant

American Airlines

Karen A. Martin

40

Danvers, Mass.

flight attendant

American Airlines

Thomas F. McGuinness Jr.

42

Portsmouth, N.H.

first officer

American Airlines

Kathleen Ann Nicosia

54

Winthrop, Mass.

flight attendant

American Airlines

John Ogonowski

52

Dracut, Mass.

captain

American Airlines

Betty Ann Ong

45

Andover, Mass.

flight attendant

American Airlines

Jean Destrehan Roger

24

Longmeadow, Mass.

flight attendant

American Airlines

Dianne Bulls Snyder

42

Westport Point, Mass.

flight attendant

American Airlines

Madeline Amy Sweeney

35

Acton, Mass.

flight attendant

American Airlines

Passengers

Anna Williams Allison

49

Stoneham, Mass.

founder

A2 Software Solutions

David Lawrence Angell

54

Pasadena, Calif.

executive producer

NBC

Lynn Edwards Angell

52

Los Angeles, Calif.

librarian

Seima Aoyama

48

Culver City, Calif.

accountant

Japanese

Myra Joy Aronson

50

Charlestown, Mass.

press and analyst relations manager

Compuware Corp.

Christine Barbuto

32

Brookline, Mass.

buyer

TJX Co.

Carolyn Mayer Beug

48

Santa Monica, Calif.

filmmaker and video producer

Kelly Ann Booms

24

Brookline, Mass.

accountant

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Carol Marie Bouchard

43

Warwick, R.I.

emergency room secretary

Kent County Hospital

Neilie Anne Heffernan Casey

32

Wellesley, Mass.

planning manager

TJX Co.

Jeffrey W. Coombs

42

Abington, Mass.

security analyst

Compaq

Tara Kathleen Creamer

30

Worcester, Mass.

planning manager

TJX Co.

Thelma Cuccinello

71

Wilmot Flat, N.H.

homemaker

Patrick Currivan

52

Winchester, Mass.

vice president

AtosEuronext

Brian P. Dale

43

Warren, N.J.

partner

Blue Capital Management

David DiMeglio

22

Wakefield, Mass.

computer service

Donald Americo DiTullio

49

Peabody, Mass.

endoscopy division

Smith & Nephew Inc.

Alberto Dominguez

66

Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia

baggage handler

Qantas Airways

Peter el-Hachem

40

Tewksbury, Mass.

senior software engineering manager

Teradyne

Paige Farley-Hackel

46

Newton, Mass.

spiritual counselor

Alexander Milan Filipov

70

Concord, Mass.

electrical engineer and church deacon

Carol Flyzik

40

Plaistow, N.H.

marketing supervisor

Meditech

Paul Friedman

45

Belmont, Mass.

management consultant

Emergence Consulting

Karleton D.B. Fyfe

31

Brookline, Mass.

senior analyst

John Hancock

Peter Alan Gay

54

Tewksbury, Mass.

plant manager

Raytheon Co.

Linda M. George

27

Westboro, Mass.

buyer

TJX Co.

Edmund Glazer

41

Wellesley, Mass.

chief financial officer

MRV Communications

Lisa Reinhart Fenn Gordenstein

41

Needham, Mass.

assistant vice president and merchandise manager

TJX Co.

Andrew Peter Charles Curry Green

34

Santa Monica, Calif.

director of business development

eLogic

Robert Jay Hayes

38

Amesbury, Mass.

sales engineer

Netstal

Edward (Ted) R. Hennessy Jr.

35

Belmont, Mass.

partner

Emergence Consulting

John A. Hofer

45

Los Angeles, Calif.

owner

John's Sharpening Center

Cora Hidalgo Holland

52

Sudbury, Mass.

Sudbury Food Pantry at Our Lady of Fatima Church

John Nicholas Humber Jr.

60

Newton, Mass.

owner

Brae Burn Management

Waleed Iskandar

34

London, England

chief of digital strategy for Europe

Monitor Group

John Charles Jenkins

45

Cambridge, Mass.

corporate office services manager

Charles River Associates

Charles Edward Jones

48

Bedford, Mass.

retired astronautical engineer and manager of space programs

BAE Systems

Robin Kaplan

33

Westboro, Mass.

senior store equipment specialist

TJX Co.

Barbara Keating

72

Palm Springs, Calif.

receptionist

parish office, St. Theresa Catholic Church

David Kovalcin

42

Hudson, N.H.

senior mechanical engineer

Raytheon Co.

Judy Larocque

50

Framingham, Mass.

founder and CEO

Market Perspectives

Natalie Janis Lasden

46

Peabody, Mass.

product testing team leader

General Electric

Daniel John Lee

34

Van Nuys, Calif.

road crew

Backstreet Boys

Daniel C. Lewin

31

Charlestown, Mass.

co-founder and chief technology officer

Akamai Technologies

Susan A. MacKay

44

Westford, Mass.

assistant vice president of merchandise planning and allocation

TJX Co.

Christopher D. Mello

25

Boston, Mass.

analyst

Alta Communications

Jeffrey Peter Mladenik

43

Hinsdale, Ill.

interim CEO

eLogic

Carlos Alberto Montoya

36

Belmont, Mass.

Colombian

Antonio Jesus Montoya Valdes

46

East Boston, Mass.

housekeeping worker

Boston Harbor Hotel

Laura Lee Morabito

34

Framingham, Mass.

national sales manager

Qantas Airways

Mildred Naiman

81

Andover, Mass.

retired tester

Western Electric Co.

Laurie Ann Neira

48

Los Angeles, Calif.

transcriber

Your Office Genie

Renee Lucille Newell

37

Cranston, R.I.

customer service agent

American Airlines

Jacqueline J. Norton

61

Lubec, Maine

retiree

Robert Grant Norton

85

Lubec, Maine

retiree

Jane M. Orth

49

Haverhill, Mass.

retiree

Lucent Technologies

Thomas Nicholas Pecorelli

30

Topanga, Calif.

cameraman

Fox Sports and E! Entertainment Television

Berinthia Berenson Perkins

53

Los Angeles, Calif.

actress and photographer

Sonia Morales Puopolo

61

Dover, Mass.

former ballet dancer

David E. Retik

33

Needham, Mass.

general partner

Alta Communications

Philip M. Rosenzweig

47

Acton, Mass.

vice president

Sun Microsystems

Richard Barry Ross

58

Newton, Mass.

president and chief executive

The Ross Group

Jessica Leigh Sachs

23

Billerica, Mass.

accountant

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Rahma Salie

28

Boston, Mass.

chief operating officer

Cinoni

Heather Lee Smith

30

Boston, Mass.

financial analyst

Beacon Capital Partners

Douglas J. Stone

54

Dover, N.H.

co-owner

Odyssey Press

Xavier Suarez

41

Chino Hills, Calif.

civil engineer

Michael Theodoridis

32

Boston, Mass.

technology consultant

James Anthony Trentini

65

Everett, Mass.

retired teacher and assistant principal

Mary Barbara Trentini

67

Everett, Mass.

retired secretary

Pendyala Vamsikrishna

30

Los Angeles, Calif.

project manager for consulting firm

DTI

Mary Alice Wahlstrom

78

Kaysville, Utah

retired loan officer

Kenneth E. Waldie

46

Methuen, Mass.

senior quality control engineer

Raytheon Co.

John Wenckus

46

Torrance, Calif.

tax consultant

Candace Lee Williams

20

Danbury, Conn.

student

Northeastern University

Christopher Rudolph Zarba Jr.

47

Hopkinton, Mass.

software engineer

Concord Communications


Now That the Season's Over, Let the Games Begin

Now That the Season's Over, Let the Games Begin

Green Monster Games

CURT SCHILLING ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF GREEN MONSTER GAMES, LLC,
NEW GAME STUDIO, FOUNDED IN BOSTON AREA

Maynard, MA. - September 8, 2006 - Green Monster Games, LLC (GMG) announces the formation of a new company dedicated to producing innovative and genre-defining massively multiplayer online games. Founded in the Boston area by Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, Green Monster Games first title will feature the artistic vision of Todd McFarlane (creator of Spawn, www.spawn.com) as Art Director and celebrated author R.A. Salvatore (creator of Drizzt, one of modern fantasy's most memorable characters) as Creative Director. Together with a growing team of experienced industry professionals, Green Monster Games is now in pre-production on their premier title.

A longtime MMO player, Schilling is dedicated to entering the gaming industry with the same drive and commitment to success he has demonstrated in his baseball career. "I've had a passion for gaming as long as I can remember and I've always known this was something I wanted to do one day, and today is that day. My goal is to not just enter the marketplace but to reach the apex."

For Schilling, the chance to work with McFarlane and Salvatore is the culmination of years of planning. "Publishing great games has more to do with the people you have on board than it does with the cash and ideas you bring to the table. With that in mind, I conceived a plan years ago in which I envisioned a 'dream team' of talent. If I was going to create the funniest, coolest, and best game I could, who would I want from a creative standpoint? At the top of my list were Todd McFarlane and R.A. Salvatore, and it's a dream come true that they have agreed to join Green Monster Games in the production of our first title."

GMG will be a collaboration based on the combined strengths of every employee. Says Schilling: "The great thing about our approach is that we each understand what we bring to the table. We have begun to assemble a team of the smartest, brightest, and most creative design people in the world, made up of both veterans and those new to the industry. Our character and commitment will be tangible in every facet of the company, from art, design, audio, and programming to the appreciation we show to our customers."

Schilling says GMG is dedicated to raising the bar in the world of online gaming. "The challenge is not simply in publishing a game, but in publishing a game that changes the landscape of the online marketplace. Our company motto is 'If you can't do it better than it's ever been done before, work for someone else."

GMG is currently looking for talented, driven, accountable, and responsible people with a passion to create games better than anyone has ever done it before. Green Monster Games will release more details on their first project in the near future. Their upcoming company website [http://www.greenmonstergames.net] will be the first step in establishing GMG's presence in the online gaming world.

"We are excited about the future of the industry and even more excited that we will be a part of it, and help shape it for years to come," says Schilling. "We look forward to proving that to every gamer on the planet."

Extra Bases: Lopez Released | Support The Lester Project

Goodbye Charlie

Goodbye Charlie

Charlie Wagner, Jan 25, 2006 at a Philadelphia Phillies winter caravan stop in Reading, Pa.

(BDD Photo / Richard S. Blaha)

Rest in Peace Broadway Charlie Wagner

"In tribute of Charlie Wagner, who passed away early Thursday morning, August 31 in Reading PA, I submit to you two photos taken Jan 25, 2006 at a Philadelphia Phillies winter caravan stop in Reading, Pa. Charlie was 93, with the Red Sox organization for seven decades, and roomed with Ted Williams. His proudest moment was receiving his World Series ring last year in a ceremony at a Reading Phillies game. I attended his viewing last night, and he is going to his eternal rest with his beloved ring still on his right pinky finger." -- 9.6.06, Richard S. Blaha, Wyomissing, Pa.

Anibal House

Anibal House

Florida Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez of Venezuela is hoisted atop his teammates' shoulders as they celebrate his 2-0 n0-hit win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2006, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

(AP Photo)

Adding Insult to Injuries ...

Even More Impressive Than Andy Marte's Grand Slam,
Our Anibal Sanchez Pitches No-Hitter for Marlins
While Dead Sox Fall to Chicago, 8-1
The Horses Have Left the Farm

In Theo We Bust?

Mnookin: Loss of Scouts May Have Hurt More Than Losing Players
On Second Thought, Maybe Not

The Crying Game

The Crying Game

Julian 'The Talkin' Man' Tavarez and Nomar Youkilis Let The Tears Flow

“I hear the cheers [and] I don’t tip my hat [because] I'm not happy about way I'm treated… like Rudy Seanez, myself, I wish they knew how tough it is for us when we leave here [Fenway], we don’t want a face-to-face thing, we don’t want to eat here, we’re embarrassed… I’ve never been in a place, a city that does things like that, we were six games up and they’re booing … if a player is telling you they don’t hear the boos, they’re lying to you.” -- 9.5.06, Julian Tavarez whining more on Tuesday's Red Sox pregame show

Boston Dirt Dog: Yes Suri, He's Being a Baby

(Reuters Photo / Annie Leibovitz exclusively for Vanity Fair / BDD Illustration)

Boo Hoo: Youk Gotta Be Kidding Me

Youk Wants You to Be a Fanboy Through Thick and Thin Skin
... Sounds Like He'd Love It in Kansas City

" 'The way [fans] treat some people is just wrong. If you're going to be a loyal fan, be a loyal fan through thick and thin. There are some great fans out there, but there are some fans that I really, honestly believe, they listen to WEEI and that's their final opinion. I honestly think WEEI is what some people believe is what their [own] opinions are. Being a true fan is sticking by your [players] when they're struggling, not booing him when he's coming into a 2-2 game in the eighth inning... He [Julian Tavarez] had no reason to tip his hat to them, they've treated him bad all year. I was watching him every step and was saying to Mark [Loretta], 'Please do not tip your cap.' That's how I felt, for him. I was mad for him, because if he tips his cap here, he's giving in. And that's what the fans do, they give in... I'd rather have no one at the field than people booing me all day... Of course, fans' booing means they care, which is certainly better than apathy, right? Do they really care? They care about the team, but when they boo a specific individual, do they really care about that person? No. If you boo somebody, it's like you despise them.' " -- 9.6.06, Youkilis Irked by Testy Fans, Herald News

Eric Wilbur: Alive, But Not All Well

Absolutely Gabulous

Absolutely Gabulous

Kason Gabbard started for the Red Sox.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

The Skinny on Gabbard:
Kason Kept Them Off Balance Like Boomer
Falling Sox 1, Fading Sox 0

Another Gift of Gab: Kason Pitched Like It Counted
Good News: Papi Returns; Bad News: .300 Damon Doesn't
Nixon's the One Run (Are These Trot's Final Days?)
Coco Does It Again: Ho Hum, Another Crisp Game Winning Smash
Lowell and Behold: Mike is Double Play Trouble Too
The Reports of Mike Timlin's Demise Were Greatly Exaggerated

"Besides being relieved, I was thrilled. Transient subluxation. We all know what that is. I thought Pap was under a bridge." -- 9.5.06 Terry Francona on the positive report regarding Jonathan Papelbon's MRI

Still Hanging On?

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Do You Have Renewed Hope?

Will Julian Tavarez Regret Taking On Red Sox Nation?

Will Julian Tavarez Regret Taking On Red Sox Nation?

Red Sox starting pitcher Julian Tavarez takes a seat on the team bench after being pulled from the game during the top of the seventh inning. The Boston Red Sox host the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, MA on Monday, September 4, 2006.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / John Bohn)

He Can Just Ask Keith Foulke How It Worked Out for Him

" 'It felt good,' Tavarez said [regarding his standing ovation on Monday], 'but I didn't tip my hat to them. I hear that they cheered for me, but that is something they have not done in the past. I never played for a city that booed the players even when you're five or six games ahead in first place. We go out there and don't get the job done, we get booed by the fans.

'That doesn't make me happy and I'm sure a lot of players are very concerned about that.' " -- 9.4.06, Julian Tavarez after his one decent outing

Hometown Hero

Hometown Hero

Red Sox infielder Carlos Pena rounds third base after hitting a game-winning home run during the 10th inning.  Red Sox third base coach Hale De Marlo offers congratulations. The Red Sox host the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, MA on Monday, September 4, 2006.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / John Bohn)

Pena Powers Sox to Win with Walkoff, 3-2 in 10

Who Knew? Julian Tavarez Finds His True Calling
Just What We Kneeded: Manny Gets Back in the Mix
Sophomore Jenks: Lowell Double Brings Sox Back from the Dead
'Tek and Trot Return Toughens Sox for the Home Stretch

Three’s Company

20/20 Commentary

FARM REPORT by Gary Jacobs

Three’s Company

September 1, 2006 | PAWTUCKET – The world, it seems, descended on Pawtucket this weekend.

In a rare confluence of scheduling, rehabbing Soxers Alex Gonzalez, Trot Nixon, and Jason Varitek all played for the PawSox as the last step of their return from injury – and McCoy Stadium was bursting at the seams to accommodate the fans eager to get a close-up view of these Big Club Players.

“I’ve never seen [three players rehabbing at once] at any level I’ve managed,” said PawSox manager Ron Johnson. “It’s nice, though, isn’t it?”

Nixon was the first to arrive, with a seven-inning stint in right field and an 0-fer at the plate on Thursday, the opening game of the team’s final series, against the Ottawa Lynx. “I felt fine in the field, but I was not comfortable at the plate,” he said in a prepared statement. “My timing was off…physically I felt fine but was disappointed in my plate appearances.”

Friday saw the addition of Varitek to the lineup. ‘Tek, catching and batting second, signaled his readiness to return by clubbing a 1-2 offering off of Lynx righty Cory Morris out of the park.

Saturday was Alex Gonzalez’s turn to take the field, completing the troika. Gonzo knocked a single in the third, and was his normal silky-perfection self in the field, handling five chances, all cleanly.

Over the weekend the team went 2-1. Gonzalez, Varitek and Nixon combined to go 6-22.

But this is Pawtucket, and as much as everyone wants to win, it’s really about development, and reaching out to the fans. What The Three Amigos accomplished or didn’t accomplish on the field is almost immaterial. The two key points to take away from this weekend were that all three seemed perfectly healthy and ready for prime time, and that the fans at Pawtucket were able to see a good show.

And lots of fans, too: McCoy was sold out on Friday, with a total attendance of 11,711, just 89 SRO seats short of an all-time attendance record. It’s not unheard-of for McCoy to sell out; it’s happened perhaps five or six times so far this season. But given the disappointing season the PawSox had this year, it provided the fans a welcome excuse to cheer for the locals—and some Big Club heroes—in the season’s final weekend.

“I had been thinking about going to McCoy, just to see a Red Sox team win,” said Jon Lurie, who took his wife Renée and kids Lindsey, 11, and Nicholas, 7, to McCoy on Saturday. “When I found out that Trot, ‘Tek and Gonzo would be there, that pretty much sealed it for me.”

Despite the marquis names, Nicholas was happiest to see his favorite player, Corky Miller, who crushed a three-run home run in the third inning. “The fact that ‘Tek and Trot were there was secondary to him,” beamed his dad. “When Corky hit that 3-run shot, my son was thrilled!”
* * *
While a packed house is undeniably good for business, it does make for a hectic day for team officials. The more people in the stands, the greater the need for effective spectator safety and crowd control. Throw in three rehabbing members of the Big Club nine and the headaches multiply exponentially.

For Daryl Jasper, the club’s Assistant General Manager, the arrival of a Boston player presents a set of logistical challenges, all of which have to be met perfectly.

“Our biggest concern is coordinating their arrival, communicating with Red Sox personnel, getting them here safely, and making them feel at home, which is what Ben [Mondor, team owner] and Mike [Tamburro, team President] have always wanted.”

Jasper, who has a hand in just about every aspect of the day-to-day operation of the club, adds some additional responsibilities to his already-full plate.

“There’s handling their access to the media, for one,” says the genial Jasper. “Some don’t care [about media access]; some do. There’s getting them out safely – sometimes we arrange for a police escort if we have to.”

Varitek’s is the biggest name to arrive at McCoy since Curt Schilling’s stint last season. Jasper recalled some of the more memorable Big Club visits to Pawtucket.

“Dennis Eckersley was here back at the old stadium,” says Jasper, referring to McCoy prior to its major remodel for the 1999 season. “We got him out behind a gate behind the old barbeque tent. There must’ve been 100, 120 people waiting for him [to sign autographs]. We told him not to stop or he’d never get out! But he stopped. He told the crowd, ‘give me a foot [of space] and I’ll sign.’ And he signed. He was great.”

Connecting with the fans is a common theme to Jasper’s tales. He clearly reserves his deepest respect for the players that made an effort to make the fans happy.

“The last time Trot was here, he couldn’t spend a lot of time signing, so he brought around 100 cards that he’d signed, and he gave them to Rick [Medeiros, Director of Security] and me to pass out to the fans,” recalls Jasper. “Mark Bellhorn, too – he must have signed everything anyone gave him. Here’s a guy coming off a miserable season, and he gets hurt, has to rehab, and he just couldn’t have been nicer.”

Not every trip to Pawtucket passed without controversy.

“Well, there was the [José] Canseco thing,” remembered Jasper. “He stopped to sign for the fans outside – and it came out that he referred to people as ‘Neanderthals.’ I think that was blown out of proportion, frankly. But I think overall it’s been a very positive experience, for them and for the fans.”

With PawSox and Red Sox fans both well short on positive experiences lately, this past weekend provided a welcome respite from the grim realities of being a Red Sox fan this year.

Gary can be reached at gary@soxfarmreport.com.

Hello 2007

Sox Surrender

Terry Francona

(Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Sox Bid Today Farewell, Say Hello to Tomorrow
Oh, and They Happened to Beat the Jays (Thanks Alex Rios)
Papi Has a Plan; Lester Undergoing Tests

"We never want to be in this position at this time of the year. We had a chance to make a deal for an older player who will help a team for a month or two months and in return we hoped to get a player who can help us in the future." -- 08.31.06, Theo Epstein

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

Boston Globe:

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

Boston Herald:

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

ProJo:

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

NY Post:

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

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

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