April Reign

April Reign

Alex Cora (right) and Yankees catcher Jorge Posada (left) got a good view of Cora's fifth-inning two-run homer.

(Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Red Sox Take Two of Three in Bronx
Finish Off April With Best Record in AL (16-8)

"We play solid games to get Ws. It's not like we're doing anything fancy, we're getting guys over, we're getting guys in, we're getting the lead. And with the bullpen throwing the ball the way they are, it's a good feeling when you have that lead in the sixth or seventh." -- 4.29.07, Alex Cora

Empire Strikes Back

Empire Strikes Back

Kei Igawa shut down the Red Sox after replacing an injured Jeff Karstens in the first.

(AP Photo)

It's About Time the Yankees Made This Interesting

Sox Still 5½ Up on Bombers Despite 3-1 Loss

Six(½) Feet Under

Six(½) Feet Under

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (left) looked away as Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo rounded the bases following his solo home run.

(Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Are the Yankees Really This Bad?

Lugo Comes Up Big in Sox' 11-4 Rout
Bronx Bums Now 6½ Games Behind Sox
Dice-K Fuzzy for an Inning, But Bounces Back

"It's as frustrating as you can get. It's embarrassing is what it is. It's a joke that I can't go out there and get through six or seven innings right there when the team needs me to do that as bad as they do." -- 4.27.07, Andy Pettitte

Sock Talk Ends Here

Sock Talk Ends Here

Red Sox manager Terry Francona and Gary Thorne share a laugh before Thursday's game.

(AP Photo)

Thorne Says He Misunderstood Mirabelli ... Case Closed
38Pitches.com: Schilling Blasts Media, Offers Up a Wager

"Someone gave me a great idea to end this once and for all. No one will ever need to bring it up again. I’ll wager 1 million dollars to the charity of anyones choice, versus the same amount to ALS. If the blood on the sock is fake, I’ll donate a million dollars to that person's charity, if not they donate that amount to ALS. Any takers?” -- 4.27.07, Curt Schilling

Back to Reality ...

Red Sox Sweep Orioles Behind Wily Mo's Slam
Dice-K Faces the Reeling Yankees in the Bronx Tonight

Put a Sock in It

Stick a Sock in It

Curt Schilling's bloody sock

(AP Photo)

Gary Thorne Says Mirabelli Told Him Schill's Bloody Sock Was Painted
Hey Gary, Does This Look Like Paint?
Let's Call "CSI: Cooperstown" and Get the Sock From the Hall
Dr. Bill Morgan: 'C'mon, we all know what the reality is'

"The great story we were talking about the other night was that famous red stocking that he wore when they finally won, the blood on his stocking. Nah. It was painted. Doug Mirabelli confessed up to it after. It was all for PR." -- 4.25.07, Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne

"What? Are you kidding me? He's [expletive] lying. A straight lie. I never said that. I know it was blood. Everybody knows it was blood." -- 4.25.07, Doug Mirabelli

Who Do You Believe?

Two-Day Hangover

Two-Day Hangover

Wily Mo Pena made one of four Red Sox errors

(AP Photo)

Sloppy Sox Make Four Errors in Awful 10-3 Loss to Jays
The Good News: At Least the Yankees Are in Last
More Good News: Lester Starting For Pawtucket

"It was a tough game. We made four errors tonight and it's not going to help you win ballgames. All you can do is put it behind you, that's it." -- 4.24.07, Eric Hinske

Buzzkill

Buzzkill

Toronto third coach Brian Butterfield signals home run in the backround and Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin knows it as well, after Aaron Hill took him out of the park in the top of the ninth.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Blue Jays Rain on Sox Parade, 7-3
Letdown Was Bound to Happen After the High of the Yankees Sweep

"It was a lethargic day. It didn't feel like we had the energy we had against New York. It didn't seem like we had anything going. Sometimes you don't have it every single day. A little blah today." -- 4.23.07, Doug Mirabelli

Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four

The Red Sox on Sunday night went back to back to back to back for the first time in team history.

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis)

History-Making Homers Power Sox to Sweep-Clinching Win
Red Sox Take Third Straight From Yankees, 7-6

Manny, Drew, Lowell, and Varitek Make History
Lowell Does it Again in Seventh
Dice-K Just OK, But Good Enough
Chase Wright Has the Right Stuff for Red Sox

Game Photos | Pick your favorite weekend moment

"I'll tell you, I haven't been part of anything like that, not even in Little League. It was good to see Manny put a swing like that on the ball, and then J.D. crushed one. I just wanted to get hold of one, and I did. The dugout was going crazy. It was a unique feeling." -- 4.22.07, Mike Lowell on being part of the Sox' back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers

Welcome to Broomtown

Welcome to Broomtown

BDD_sweep_nyy_4.23.07.jpg

(BDD Photo Illustration / Keith Monahan)

Matsuzaka Should Be Money in the Bank Tonight

Big Time

Big Time

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz watches the flight of his fourth inning two-run home run.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Papi Puts Sox on Top to Stay,
Boston Takes Game 2, Too, 7-5

MVP for a Day: Papi Wins the A-Rod Award on Saturday
Just Win Baby: Beckett Just Good Enough to Get a W
Oki-Doki: Lefty Reliever Is Becoming a Not-So-Secret Weapon
The Small Ball Sox: Bunting Their Way to Wins
Get in the Game: Front Row Fans Let Minky Steal Another Ball
Two Timers: 'Tek and Coco Stay on the Comeback Trail
Bizarro Sox: Everyone Hits But J.D.
Papelbon Voyage
Game Photos

"You play the game. You've got to be aggressive. Sometimes you think too much and don't do your thing, don't take chances. You've got to play the way you know how to play the game." -- 4.21.07, Alex Cora on laying down a bunt hit

The Gr8 Escape

The Gr8 Escape

Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima was in the middle of the Sox celebration after successfully closing out the 9th.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

It's a Green Party at Fenway as Sox Seize the Mo-ment in 8th; Okaji is More Than OK in the 9th

Comeback Kids Knock Out New York, 7-6
Bottoms Up! Lowell, 'Tek, Coco, Cora Lead the Way to a Win
Okajimania at Fenway: A-Rod Learns Japanese the Hard Way
Nothing Left for the Yankees: Mike Myers Can't Stop Papi from Starting Rally
Extra Crispy: It Was the Biggest Hit in the History of Earth for Coco
The Hit Parade: Varitek's Bat Makes a Cameo Appearance
Spring Preview: Rodriguez Shows What He'll Do at Fenway for 81 Games in '08
Strike That From the Record: Ump Lost Sight of His Job in Spotlight
Forget Me Not: Kyle Snyder Comes Through in Clutch Situation
Cora! Cora! Cora! ... Must Get More Starts
Even Red Would Agree: Ban the Green Shirts Forever [Red Tomato Tops, Too]

"...But it's an exciting night for us to run Oki out there and watch what he did. You saw the excitement in everyone's faces... I patted him on the chest. I think I knocked him back about 2 feet." -- 4.20.07, Terry Francona on the save of the year

Turning Point

Red Sox centerfielder Coco Crisp dives into his bullpen as Yankees Alex Rodriguez three run home run ball lands in the pen during 4th inning action at Fenway Park on Friday April 20, 2007.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee)

Give Coco an 'A' for Effort on A-Rod Blast
And for Blasting a Triple Off Rivera

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

Schilling's Not at a Loss for Words After Big Sox Win
Extra Bases: Okaji Interview | Friday Game Photos

Now on DVD, Red Sox Baby, Part II

Now on DVD: Red Sox Baby, Part II

Alec Baldwin presents Red Sox baby

(BDD Photo Illustration)

MIS-Ter AAA-Pril ... MIS-Ter AAA-Pril ...

New A-Rod Chant at Fenway Tonight:
"MIS-Ter AAA-Pril ...
MIS-Ter AAA-Pril ..."

Send in the Clown

(BDD Photo Illustration / Rich Hinds)

Ready or Not ...

Frank Galasso illustration

(BDD / Frank Galasso Illustration)

... Here They Come

Ryan: Rivalry Not So Big | TC: The Rivalry Is Back

Sox Break Out Alec to Cool Off Alex

Sox Break Out Alec
to Cool Off Alex

Alec Baldwin to heckle the Bronx Bombers tonight

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Baldwin Welcomes Bombers to Boston
Hot Head Expected to Heckle MLB's Hottest Hitter Tonight

Angry Actor Hopes to Scare the Hit Out of A-Rod

"I don't give a damn that you're 31-years-old or 32-years-old, or a diva, or that your agent is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn't care about what you do next season... You've been getting a lot of hits but the Red Sox and I are going to STRAIGHTEN YOUR ASS OUT TONIGHT!" -- 4.20.07, An irate Alec Baldwin in a phone call to Alex Rodriguez

A Rally Big Win

A Rally Big Win

Boston Red Sox Manny Ramirez, right, is greeted by Coco Crisp after hitting a two run homer in the eighth inning to tie the game during AL baseball action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Thursday April 19, 2007.

(AP Photo)

Manny Gets In the Game, and Cora Delivers on Both Ends
Sox Come Back to Beat Jays, 5-3

File Under Clutch: Manny Hits a Rope to Tie the Game in 8th
Coco Knows: A Bunt Is as Good as a Hit, Wait... It Is a Hit
Tip Your Cap to Julian Tavarez for Keeping it Real... Close
No Damage: Piniero, Romero, and Timlin Hold On for Papelbon
All the Right Moves: Tito Francona Flying Under the Radar

On Second Thought ...

Fort Myers, Florida: 03/02/2007: Red Sox infielder Alex Cora is shown around the cage before a Grapefruit League game at City of Palms Park.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Should We See More of Cora?

Overbay Goes Overboard and Alex Takes One the Hard Way

"It was a tackle. I don't mind people going hard, but when you see the replay, he's going in with his hands up, he can't reach the bag. I don't mind when they go hard, but not with their hands up... That's something I really don't like in the game. That part really bothers me sometimes." -- 4.19.07, Alex Cora on being taken out at second base by Lyle Overbay

High Fives All Around ...

High Fives All Around ...

Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell is congratulated by team mates after hitting a home run in the fifth inning off Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Tomo Ohka at their baseball game in the Rogers Centre in Toronto April 18, 2007.

(Reuters Photo)

Low Fives Too, Because ...

Boston Red Sox's Julio Lugo, right, celebrates with teammate Doug Mirabelli after scoring on his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during sixth inning baseball action in Toronto, Wednesday, April 18, 2007.

(AP Photo)

It's Sayonara Sanjaya!

In this photo made available by Fox Television, Sanjaya Malakar performs Tuesday, April 17, 2007 on the set of

(AP Photo)

And Sox Top Jays, 4-1
A Great Indoorsman: Wake's Officially on a Roll
Three Earned Runs in 20 Innings

Papi Picks It Up, While Manny's Not Being Manny
Mike Lowell, Going Deep, Hitting .280
Oh My Josh Bard: Mirabelli Bangs Out Another One
Warning: Coco Crisp Criticism Free Zone, Pedroia Too
Papelbon Creates His Own Save


The Dice Deck? Fenway May Get New Seats on Right Field Roof
King for a Day? Felix Hernandez Injured
Schilling: More Q&A and Observations

Dice-BB

Dice-BB

Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka stands on the mound during the fourth inning baseball action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Tuesday, April 17, 2007.

(AP Photo)

Bases Loaded Dice Unravels in Fatal Fourth Inning
Jays 2, Sox 1, Matsuzaka Now 1-2

MatsuzaKKKKKKKKKKa Plays Fast and Loose, But Still Loses
Another Quiet Night for Spotty Sox Offense
Jays Starter Steps Up: Another Chacin Redemption Against Boston
Okaji Picks Up Where Dice-K Left Off
Welcome to the Season, Wily Mo
Would Have Been a Good Time for Manny To Come Through

Things Could Be Worse ...

Frank Galasso Illustration

(BDD / Frank Galasso Illustration)

Easy as Pie

Easy as Pie

There was an unceremonious fling of a pizza slice by one box-seat patron at another, the man on the receiving end of some chunky cheese having already lost a cupful of beer while trying to grab J.D. Drew’s foul fly ball in the seventh.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Slice-K Hits His Mark, Then Gets Tossed From Park

Bats + Beckett = Blowout at Fenway
Sox Romp 7-2, Outscore Angels 25-3 in Three-Game Rout
Watch the Pizza-Tossing Incident and Laugh All Over Again
The New Yorker: Waiting for Manny

Taxing Season

Here's to You, Mr. Robinson

Jackie Robinson, Think Different, Apple 2001

(Apple Computer Photo)


Summer of 42: Robinson's Impact Beyond the Number


Taxing Season

The tarp covers the infield, as raindrops are seen on a railing in the stands at Fenway Park, as the precipitation continues to fall from the dark clouds overhead. The weather forced the postponement of this afternoon's scheduled game between the Red Sox and the Angels. Monday's Patriot's Day game is also in jeopardy

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Extra Bases: Rainy Days and Sunday Notes
38Pitches: Schilling Breaks Down a Command Performance

The Write Stuff

The Write Stuff

Red Sox starter Curt Schilling adds some entries to his notebook after pitching 8 innings, 4 hits and no runs

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Take Note: Schill Sharp Again in Another Blowout Win
The Winning Numbers: 8 Innings, 4 Hits, No Runs, 2.84 ERA
Red Sox 8, Angels 0

Say Hello to the Eric Hinske of Old
J.D. Hits End: Drew Flew Out of the Gate with 9 Game Hit Streak
Papi's Got His Pop Back and Slow Starting Manny Gets and RBI
Not Your Average Bottom Feeders: Varitek, Pedrioa .222... Coco .111

"I absolutely thought I was going to finish that game right up through the (28-pitch) seventh inning. Going back out for the ninth would have been me trying to get a shutout as opposed to me trying to make 33 or 34 starts and be as healthy as I can for every one." -- 4.15.07, Curt Schilling don't need no gratuitous complete games

Mission Timpossible

Mission Timpossible

Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield tips his cap to a standing ovation as he leaves the game in the 8th inning allowing only one run.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Seven Strong: Wakefield of Dreams Can Still Come True
Standing Ovation for Overlooked Knuckleballer
Red Sox 10, Angels 1

Battery Power: Mirabelli Bangs One Out, 2 RBIs
Lugo go go: Leadoff looks like a strength again with Julio at the helm
Pap Was in the Right Place at the Right Time
Papi Picks It Up in the RBI Dept.
C'mon Coco, No Pressure Here

"He's [Mirabelli's] so valuable to me. Tonight, he won the game for us." -- 4.13.07, Tim Wakefield making sure the much-maligned Mirabelli gets his 15 minutes for stepping up

Caretaker of the Future

FARM REPORT by Gary Jacobs

Caretaker of the Future

Boston Globe Photo: Ron Johnson, PawSox manager

PAWTUCKET, RI | April 13, 2007-- It’s opening night in Pawtucket, and two hours before game time, McCoy Stadium is filling.

Fans in the blue general admission seats arrive early to stake their claim in the seats of their choice, which is almost completely pointless; there truly is no bad seat here, with the possible exception of the hundred or so seats for which the overhanging press box obstructs their view of the field.

The player/media parking lot is choked with police and fire honor guards, practicing their drills, making sure their shoes and badges are shined to a high gleam. In the public areas of the stadium, as well as the hidden hallways underneath the stands, the smell of new paint contends with the more traditional aromas of hot dogs and beer. McCoy is old – older than can be covered up by a coat of paint – but it is spotlessly clean, and that’s really all you can ask of a stadium that is older than most of the people in it.

On the field the PawSox are taking infield practice, and the man with the bat is no coach; it is the skipper of the team himself, Ron Johnson. As often as not there is a smile on his face, which is typical of RJ, as he is known; he is as far removed from the stereotypical crusty baseball lifer as it gets. Unfailingly positive and never one to deliver a message through the media, his players to a man enjoy playing for him.

“Well, I enjoy being their manager,” says Johnson. “Therefore I think it’ll maybe rub off and they enjoy playing for me. I don’t want to create an atmosphere where guys don’t want to be at the ballpark. If that goes hand in hand with wanting to play for me, then sure.”

***
Johnson was first drafted by the then-California Angels in the 13th round in 1976, but didn’t sign, opting instead to attend Fresno State University. After a standout collegiate career (first team All-American in 1978), he was drafted by Kansas City in the 24th round, thus beginning a tenure in professional baseball that is entering its 30th year.

His own major-league career was short-lived; it started with a September callup in 1982. “I’ll never forget that day [September 12], because it was in Anaheim, and I grew up in Garden Grove,” he remembers. “It was really neat for me because my Dad was in the stands. And he ended up passing away of prostate cancer…he was my biggest fan. It was obviously not a long career, so to be able to play your first game, have your first at-bat with your Dad in the stands, it was pretty special.”

After spending parts of the next two seasons in the bigs, playing mostly first base but spend some time in the outfield and even a few games catching, he was demoted by the Montreal Expos in 1984 and never saw Major League action again.

Johnson: “I spent ’85 in the minor leagues. I was in the twilight of a mediocre career. It was very obvious that my playing days were coming to an end. I got released by the Tigers in 86, got picked up by the White Sox and finished out the season there up in Buffalo. The next season I was just out…working in a carpet store.”

After ending the first phase of his career, he embarked on his second; after contacting John Schuerholz, who originally drafted him, he took a position as a part-time coach in the Royals farm system. By 1992 he had become the manager of the Single-A Baseball City Royals. He worked his way through the organization, eventually taking the helm of the triple-A Omaha squad just two years later.

Bronx Papi?

Bronx Papi?

BDD_DO_JP_espn_4.13.07.jpg

(Scott Clarke / ESPN)

Why is David Ortiz Wearing a Yankees Cap?

The Answer

Help the Jimmy Fund and Bid on Two Sox-Yanks Fenway Seats!
Look Who's Been Selling Sox Tickets Outside Friendly Fenway

Felix The Catch

Felix The Catch

Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez reacts following the final out of his one hitter.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Looks Like the Mariners Caught the Real Big Deal
Hernandez Outduels Dice, Without the Hoopla and Hype

Shaughnessy: Not Quite Good Enough
One Hit Wonder: Hernandez Was the Monster that Invaded Fenway
Matsuzaka Was Mediocre as Seattle Slapped the Ball Around All Night
CoC0-for-3 Crisp Has Sunk to a Scary .143 Average
And He's Surrounded by Dustin .227, and 'Tek .217
Ortiz .207, and Ramirez .214 Aren't Exactly a Force Up Front
J.D. Drew Can't Do It All
Game Photos | Video: Matsuzaka Mania

"He [Hernandez] threw me a pitch my last at-bat, I'm not kidding you, it moved about 6 feet and it was a 95-mile-an-hour sinker. I mean, what can you do? He had some electric stuff, especially in these conditions." -- 4.11.07, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the pitching of Felix Hernandez

A Dice Night at Fenway ...

The scene at Fenway for Dice-K

(Boston.com Photos)

Fans Were Fired Up, But Matsuzaka Let Them Down

Photo Gallery: The Scene at Fenway
Schilling Did Some Q&A Yesterday
Eric Wilbur: Dice Hype Sputters

Welcome to Fen-K Park

Welcome to Fen-K Park

Sign of the Times in Boston

(Boston Globe Photo / BDD Illustration)

The Dice Man Cometh Tonight

Frank Galasso illustration

(BDD / Frank Galasso illustration)

Have You Heard? The World Will Be Watching ...

Dice-K

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Seattle Times: Dice-K vs. Ichiro: History to Repeat
Will Matsuzaka Throw the Gyro to Ichiro?

"I hope he [Matsuzaka] arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul. I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger." -- 4.10.07, Ichiro on facing Dice-K

Masters of Their Domain

Masters of Their Domain

Seattle Mariner's starter Jeff Weaver looks toward the outfield as Boston Red Sox' J.D. Drew (7) crosses home plate on his two-run homer during the second inning of their baseball game in Boston, Tuesday, April 10, 2007. Weaver gave up seven runs on seven hits in his two inning outing.

(AP Photo)

Sox Are the Kings of Their Castle in Opening Day Drubbing
Two Touchdowns for Home Team, M's Settle for Field Goal

Shaughnessy: Fast Start at Fenway
Seattle Can't Weather Boston Storm, M's Get Blown Away at Fenway
Couch Potatoes Get Pounded: Game On Meant an Off Day for Rusty M's
He's Hotter Than Trot: J.D. Lynn is Quietly Taking Over This Team
Owns Ichiro: The Resurgence of Josh Beckett Continues (Hanley Who?)
Gone with the Wind: Weaver Didn't Look Like He Liked The Weather
The Reports of the Captain's Demise May Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
Right From the Top: Lugo and Youk Get It Going Together
Ejection Seat: Front-Row Fanboy Grabs Double, Stops 'Tek Run
That's Just Brendan Being Brendan and Guillen Being Guillen
Gotta Start Somewhere: Coco Picks Up Two RBIs
Timlin Returns, But Not to Form

"We pulled out the whupping sticks today. They've been off for a while. It maybe affected their pitchers being able to throw strikes. You can't go through our order and walk guys. You're going to get burned." -- Cy Young Candidate Josh Beckett, 2-0

Hugging It Out

Julian Tavarez greets Sox pitcher Dice-K Matsuzaka during Opening Day ceremonies at Fenway Park

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Well, Hello There: No. 5 Greets No. 3 Before Game

Wrap-up from Fenway: Sox Manhandle Mariners
No Glove Lost: Guillen Tipped Off Robinson About Donnelly

Goulet, Opening Day

It Must Be Opening Day ...

Singers Robert Goulet (Left) and Harry Connick Jr. talk prior to the American League baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts April 10, 2007. Goulet and Connick Jr will perform as part of the pre-game ceremonies for the Red Sox home opener.

(Reuters Photo)

'Cause There's Robert Goulet... With Harry Connick, Jr.

Get Ready

Get Ready ...

 Workers were out in force this afternoon getting Fenway Park ready for Tuesday afternoon's Opening Day game vs. the Seattle Mariners.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

'Cause Here They Come

Photo Gallery: Fenway Gets Ready for Opening Day

The Schilling of Old ...

Schilling at 38Pitches: A Few Words, Well 3,474 To Be Exact, About Last Night

The Schilling of Old ...

Starting pitcher Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox throws against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark April 8, 2007 in Arlington, Texas.

(Getty Images Photo / Ronald Martinez)

... Makes It a Sweepless Night in Texas
Is This the Shape of Things to Come for Curt?
Road Trip Ends, Sox Hang On, 3-2

Bounceback in the Saddle: Schilling Goes Seven Strong in Second Start
Contract Up! Ace Is Holding All the Cards Again
Easter Papi: Star of David Shines on Sunday Night, 2 ESPN HR's
The .217 Avg. Gang: Youk, Ortiz, Ramirez
J.D. Standing Ovation: Drew Won't Hear Any Boos Tomorrow
'Pen Problems: Pineiro Looks Like the Righthanded Romero
'Tek and Coco Trying to Stay Under Radar After Rough Trip

15 Pitches ...

Pitcher Jonathan Papelbon of the Boston Red Sox reacts after a 3-2 win against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark April 8, 2007 in Arlington, Texas.

(Getty Images Photo / Ronald Martinez)

... That Really Closed It Out. Now, That's a Save.

Paps Really Saved the Day Last Night
Those Were Five Outs That Count
Sigh Young: Michael Was Overmatched
What a Relief: Jon Is Starting to Feel Confident About Closing:

"Every year, every pitch, every inning, I get more and more confidence." -- 4.8.07, Jonathan Papelbon, 2 saves and counting

Saving Papelbon

Saving Papelbon

Kansas City, MO 04/05/2007: Jonathan Papelbon, the Red Sox closer turned starter turned closer comes in from his familiar spot in the bullpen, on his way to his first save of the year.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

While Jonathan Threw to Three Batters
The Sox Throw One Away with Tavarez

Another Texas Mess, Rangers Roll Over Sox, 8-4
J.D. Blew It: Error Opens the Floodgates in Arlington
J.C.'een Better Days: Romero Can't Get Anyone Out
Papelbon Can't Save a Game That His Replacement Lets Get Away
CoC0-for-4: Crisp Not Looking Sharp

Roger, Pedro, Dice-K... Tejeda?

Roger, Pedro,
Dice-K... Tejeda?

Starting pitcher Robinson Tejeda of the Texas Rangers reacts during the opening day game against the Boston Red Sox on April 6, 2007 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Texas defeated Boston 2-0.

(Getty Images Photo / Ronald Martinez)

Just Wondering if Robinson Tejeda Is Headed to the
Hall of Fame After One Good Start, Too?

Hitless Wonders: Sox Bats Sleep During Day
The Experts and Prognosticators Said There'd Be Days Like These
Rush Hour: Patience Not a Virtue on Bad Friday
Big Trouble: Even Papi's Not Popping the Ball


Live Science: Mathematician: Yankees Will Dominate Baseball This Year

Wake's Effort Wasted

Wake's Effort Wasted

Tim Wakefield

(AP Photo)

Knuckleballer Solid, But Bats Go Cold in Frigid Texas
Tejeda, They Fall: Sox Shut Out By Rangers, 2-0

Fortune .500's: Sox Drop to 2-2
ProJo: Strange Comments from Jim Rice
Schilling: Headed to Texas

Start of an Era

Start of an Era

Daisuke Matsuzaka

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Dice and Easy Does It: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 10 K's

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 5: Pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka  of the Red Sox throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals on April 5, 2007 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Boston defeated the Royals 4-1.

(Getty Images Photo / G. Newman Lowrance)

Globe: Worth the Wait
Extra Bases: Analysis and Observations
View from Japan: Staying Up for Dice-K
Photo Gallery: Matsuzaka's Debut

Beck on Track

Starting pitcher Josh Beckett No. 19 of the Boston Red Sox throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals on April 4, 2007 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Red Sox defeated the Royals 7-1.

(Getty Images Photo / G. Newman Lowrance)

Josh Gets the Job Done, Sox Turn the Beat Around, 7-1

Beckett Has Control Problems, Too, But Stops Streak at Kauffman
Bull Market: This Is Not Ramiro Mendoza's Bullpen, Maybe
Deep Threat: Youk Shows the Power of a First Baseman
J.D. Jump: Drew Shows What He Can Do, Both Sides
Maybe Manny and Papi Won't Walk Four Times Every Night
CoCo.000, But No. 8 Hitter Gets on Base
Lugo Gets Going

"Sometimes the first one's the hardest to get. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling, score some runs for Dice-K, and take some pressure off him." -- 4.4.07, Josh Beckett, 1-0

Was Lowell Seeing Double in the Field, Too?

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration: Meir Weinberg)

Lowell Looked Good with Double Play, Double
But Then Came Three Errors, Thankfully Harmless


Ex-Patriot Receiver Darryl Stingley Dies at Age 55

BDD_DSting_4.5.07.jpg

Rest in Peace
Globe Archive: No Sting of Bitterness

Tony C'eats

Tony C'eats

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino and Mayor Thomas Menino toured Conigliaro's Corner, new affordable roof top seats at Fenway Park, Wednesday, April 4, 2007.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Wendy Maeda)

Sox Turn the Corner on Conigliaro

The Corner Gives Our Hometown Hero a Spot at Fenway
But How Long Do We Have to Wait for No. 25 to Be Retired?

Improvements at Fenway Park this year include the new bleachers section, “Conigliaro’s Corner,” which will provide 200 seats in bleachers atop the right field corner. The tickets will be priced at $25, same as Conigliaro's uniform number. “Since 2002, we have heard sentiment to honor this fondly-remembered native who inspired so many children in our area to believe they too could become major league players,” Lucchino said. “This tribute is not necessarily the ultimate gesture, but it is one that befits the park by its right field location and by the anniversary of the Impossible Dream season.”

38Crickets: Nothing New from Schill on the Blog Today
Boston.com: Gordon Edes Chat Wrap | Offensive Mailbag
Globe: Download Today's Soxcast
Eric Wilbur: Peyton of Japan | Oh, Baby

Sign of the Times at Fenway

Sign of the Times at Fenway

B.G. Lewandowski Photo

(B.G. Lewandowski Photo / from his Flickr page)

Loosely Translated, Dunkin' Donuts Is Out to Create
Some Coffee Buzz Around the Water Cooler.
Can Diced Coffee Be Far Behind?

Will the Man with Two Faces ...

Will the Man with Two Faces ...

Josh Beckett in April and September

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis)

... Finally Come Up Aces This Year?

It's a Must-Win Situation for Beckett and Winless Sox Tonight
WEEI Big Show Audio: Beckett Says All the Right Things,
But Does He Have the Right Stuff for the American League?


Neyer Wants Something New From Schilling's Blog

"Based on what Schilling has said in past years, and now what he's writing in his blog, it seems that when he struggles it's usually because his 'FB command was crap.'

This blog seems more therapeutic than anything else, a place for a pitcher to dump all his postgame thoughts and then get on with his life. Which is fine; blogs are inherently (or at least traditionally) egocentric. But if Schilling wants us to come back throughout the season, he's going to have to take us to some places where we haven't already been. And crappy FB command will get old fast, for both him and us." -- 4.3.07, Rob Neyer, ESPN.com

Opening Day Nightmare

OPENING DAY NIGHTMARE

Red Sox starting pitcher Curt Schilling is despondent in the dugout after the bottom of the fourth inning, in which Kansas City scored three times off of him. It would be his last inning of the game.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

A Changeup for Schilling ...
Sox Ace is Finished After Four
While Sox Bats Are All Meched Up

Shaughnessy: 38 Not So Special
Schill Shaky, Royals Rock Sox, 7-1
89Pitches ... and Most of Them Hittable
A Fine Meche: Gil Worth Every Penny on Monday
Choke? Kaufman Is the Home of Six Straight Sox Losses
Papi Put Sox On Top, But That's It for Big Hits
33Pitches: It's a Long First Inning for the Big Blogger
In a Cloud of Dustin: Pedroia Makes Mirabelli Look Like Millar on Basepaths
Price Goes Down: So Schill Wants Gil Meche Money, Eh?
Wait a Second: Youk Gets a Mulligan Because He's One of the Few Offensive Weapons
Lugo at Leadoff? Julio's Not Going to Make Anyone Forget Johnny
What's Wrong? Was Curt Sampling the Schilling Schardonnay Today?
In Theo We Trust: Epstein Looks Like Einstein Today By Not Signing Curt Early
It Is What It Is: Coco and 'Tek Continue to Bottom Out
Okaji Debuts: Maybe Dice-K Needs a New Friend
Sox Back in Third Place

Extra Bases: It's a Wrap
Schilling: Launched MLB.TV Contest Today, Recaps Performance Tonight | Q&A X


Extra Bases: Harry Connick, Jr. and '67 Sox at Opener
Eric Wilbur: Opening Day Observations and Manny's Grill T-shirt
Survey: More Jogging, Less Blogging? Why Did Schill Struggle?
Sox Still Paying Braves: Renteria Homer (No. 2) Downs Phillies
Damon: Still Leading the Charge | Hanley: Our Best SS Keeps Hitting (4)
Hot Start for Trot: Nixon Has Big Debut for Indians
Gallery: Opening Day Nightmare Photos
Discuss: Are You Worried Yet?

Schilling at 38Pitches: 'Not Sure Where to Even Start ...'

"A huge bug for me last year was first pitch hits, which doesn’t happen until the final two hits in the fourth today. All five runs score with 2 outs. I had more than ample chances to make this a game, and never did. Inconsistent command and horrific execution cost us the game. When you are facing a guy like Gil certain things can make it easier or harder. He’ll walk some guys if you give your offense a chance. His stuff is so good that when offenses have to press against him, or their down and need to make something happen, he can eat you up. After the first he settled into a nice groove and executed. I never let us get into the game after the first. Every inning they pushed and I didn’t push back." -- Schill's postgame wrap at 38Pitches

No Whining!

No Whining This Season!

BDD: Schilling Schardonnay.jpg

(BDD Photo / Jonathan Banchick Illustration)

... Except for Charity of Course

Three Sox Players Unveil Charity Wine Labels

Charity Wines and Charity Hop have teamed with Red Sox superstars to raise money for their respective charities. For every bottle sold of these charity wines, $1.25 will be donated to the charity of the player’s choice. Additional proceeds from the sale of this product also benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust.

"We're delighted to be working with Tim, Manny, Curt and their charities," said Andrew Graff, Charity Wines owner and president. "After a five day pre-sell we already have commitments from stores and restaurants to purchase over 100,000 bottles. And that's just the beginning."

Charity wines are expected to be available to the general public across New England at liquor stores, restaurants, hotels and at Fenway Park late-May or early-June 2007.

MANNY BEING MERLOT (presented by Manny Ramirez)
Manny Ramirez believes that all children should have a chance to achieve their dreams. By purchasing Manny Being Merlot, you're helping children of Miami, Florida, have the chance at success and reaching their dreams. A portion of the proceeds from sales of Manny Being Merlot benefit CHARLEE Homes for Children. CHARLEE provides therapeutic, residential, and supportive services to abused, abandoned, and neglected children within a safe environment in a community-based continuum of care. For more information or to make a donation please call 305-779-9796 or visit us at www.charleeprogram.org.

SCHILLING SCHARDONNAY (presented by Curt Schilling)
A portion of the proceeds from your purchase of Schilling Schardonnay will be used to support Curt's Pitch for ALS, a program founded by pitcher Curt Schilling and his wife, Shonda. The program benefits The ALS Association, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for those living with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and to support their families while aggressively funding research for a cure. For more information or to make a donation, please call 888-CURE-ALS or visit www.curtspitch.org.

CABERKNUCKLE (presented by Tim Wakefield)
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of CaberKnuckle support Pitching In for Kids, a program dedicated to improving the lives of children across the New England region through sports- related events, including the Annual All-Star Celebrity Golf Tournament co-hosted by Tim Wakefield. For more information or to make a donation, please call 617-367-3322 or visit www.pitchinginforkids.org.

Charity Wines and Charity Hop have teamed with Boston Red Sox superstars to raise
money for their respective charities. For every bottle sold of these charity wines, $1.25
will be donated to the charity of the player’s choice. Additional proceeds from the sale
of this product also benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust.

(BDD Photo / Jonathan Banchick Illustration)

Kansas City Here We Go!

Kansas City Here We Go!

04/01/2007: The Red Sox worked out this afternoon in Kauffman Stadium in anticipation of Monday's season opening game vs. the Royals. Shortstop Julio Lugo, who will make his Boston debut on Monday, celebrates as he comes out of the batting cage after hitting a long ball during his turn at bat.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Boston.com Coverage: Today's the Day

Hench: Power, Pitching Will Put Sox Back on Top

"The Red Sox had 37 starts made in ‘06 by journeymen who ended the season with a combined 6.91 ERA. Replace 33 of those starts with Dice-K and last year's 11-game gap between the Yanks and third-place Sox has to disappear, right?

Besides, with David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and J.D. Drew (who raked this spring) in the middle of the order, it's not like Boston will struggle mightily to score runs. Heading into 2007, the Red Sox look like the much more balanced team and, accordingly, will end the Yankees' nine-year hammerlock on the AL East, relegating New York to the wild card."-- 4.1.07, Kevin Hench, FOXSports.com

Shaughnessy: Opening Day Fever | KC Star: Sox Circus Comes to Town

"If you’re not optimistic, you’re crazy." -- 4.1.07, Red Sox manager Terry Francona

Schilling to Blog in Japanese

B D D   E X C L U S I V E:

Schilling to Launch New
Japanese-Language Blog

Red Sox pitchers Curt Schilling  and Daisuke Matsuzaka of Japan share a laugh in Fort Myers

(Reuters Photo)

Red Sox Internet Ace Will Bring His
Long-Winded Analysis to a Japanese Audience *

He's Got a New Changeup, Why Not a New Language, Too?

Boston Dirt Dogs has learned today -- April 1 -- that Red Sox web guru Curt Schilling will launch a new Japanese-language blog next week that will feature his analysis of Daisuke Matsuzaka's starts this season.

Similar to what Schilling does now on his English-language blog, 38Pitches.com, he will offer between 10,000-15,000 words of analysis of each pitch Matsuzaka throws during his starts. Schilling's plan is to have the recap posted live by the time Matsuzaka begins his postgame press conferences. Schilling will also invite site visitors to leave comments on his entries, ask him questions, post any random thought that comes to mind, post links to their MySpace pages, ask him for money, or request a personal meeting the next time he is in Japan ... similar to the reader postings on 38Pitches.com now.

Schilling's mastery of Japanese accelerated this spring between postings on 38Pitches.com, to the point that he feels he's fluent enough to launch this new site.

BDD was able to obtain a draft of Schilling's initial blog entry which included the following passage:
Schilling's first blog entry in Japanese
Translated back to English, the above reads "I have decided to name my new Japanese blog Dice-a Roni." The name plays homage to Schilling's appearance on Celebrity Jeopardy this past offseason when he froze after responding to "the answer is" and could not identify "The San Francisco Treat" as "Rice-A-Roni." Schilling also advises his new audience that if they are not interested in what he has to say about Matsuzaka's outings "you don't have to click over here, simple as that."

Schilling also plans to break a little news to his new audience again. In his is opening entry on the new blog, he is expected to detail secret talks between Larry Lucchino's Japanese entourage and Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

In addition, Schilling hand picked Dr. Bill Morgan to develop a wrist, hand, and finger plan that should enable Schilling to handle the load of typing up to 30,000 words per week on both blogs this season.

* - Oh, and while you are digesting this story, don't forget to check the calendar.

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

Boston Globe:

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

Boston Herald:

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

ProJo:

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

NY Post:

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

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

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