The J.D. Drew Crew Took In the Harlem Globetrotters Game Against the Hard Charging Washington Generals in Fort Myers Last Night... That's the Real Globetrotters, Not the Store-Bought NY Yankees $400 Billion Team Rumor Has It the 'Trotters Won in a Close One, and Haven't Lost Since 1971 To Honor Drew, Meadowlark Lemon Sat Out the Game with a Sore Hamstring/Back
The Globetrotters will dribble their way into to Boston for two games (against the Boston Shamrocks? Atlantic City Seagulls?) at the TD Garden on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28. Get tickets here.
Mike Lowell Is the Ultimate Stand Up Guy But He'll Have to Take a Seat If He Stays in Boston
Lowell: 'No Real Playing Time for Me Here' I Used to Be 10 Times Stronger, Too, Oh Nevermind. Sincerely, Mark McGwire So Who's the Guy Who Felt Sorry for a Guy Making $12 Million to Play Ball? He's As 'Dicey' As Your Articles Want Him to Be... And He's Not Dead Yet, Johnny On the Texas Mess: Beyond the Annual Rumors, Being on Da Plane Was Weird And With Vlad in the House, He's Obviously Not a Fit With the Rangers Anymore On the Fans: He Says All the Right Things Because He's Smart, Stupid He's a Cool Breeze to Boot: 'Want to Stress That I'm Not Stressed'
"I said hi to [Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre] today. I hadn't seen him before. I mean, I know him as a baseball friend. I've never had meals with him. But I think he has an opportunity to make $10 million. I don't really think he’s worried about it. If I'm him, I don't not sign on a team because of the other guy. Especially if the organization tells him you're going to play. I think he made it clear that Theo told him that whether he signed or not, I was not going to play third. I think that makes it a little easier for that guy... I don't need to see him to know where my status was. I think the writing was on the wall, basically the first day of the winter meetings." -- Mike Lowell, knows the score
"Well, protection, in baseball, for a guy like me, is always going to be an issue. No question about it. Whoever knows baseball, knows that. If you look at the Yankees last year, [Mark] Teixeira when did he start raking? When Alex [Rodriguez] came back. Manny [Ramirez] and me, we did the same thing. If I'm a pitcher and I had to face Papi and I gotta face any other guy, in a tough situation, I'm not sure I'm not gonna shoot for the guy that I feel is not gonna be a tough guy in a dangerous situation for me. That's how baseball goes. And everybody knows that. So everybody needs protection in baseball... I've been doing that for years because I don't have Manny behind me all the time, all the time I've been here when Manny wasn't even playing I had to figure things out, you know, but it doesn't go like that the whole season. At one point you need someone behind you to see pitches... I'm not making out the lineup, I can't tell you right now [if I have enough protection]... ask Tito, he would tell you." -- 2.22.10, Ortiz speaks in Fort Myers
In Other Controversial News... Mike Cameron Forgot His Batting Gloves on Day One Theo Called Him Out Like It's His First Day at School... Good Times
Lackey, Lester, Beckett Ready to Roll to Another Championship
Lester: We're All Aces. It Takes 5 to Make a First Rate Rotation
"We all are (aces). You guys can label us whatever you want but in my mind it takes five starters to win a championship. That was proven back in '07. Just different guys that took over those roles. It's going to take all of us, all six of us, the whole season and hopefully we can all take our turns and all be healthy and get into the playoffs and have a good playoff but right now we're focused on tomorrow and throwing bullpens and trying to stay healthy."
-- 2.19.10, Jon Lester
By Bob Ekstrom, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor Just as Yawkey Way flows into Brookline Avenue, so too does winter flow into spring, and the instance of time carved by their union has a name. For as long as I can remember, we’ve called it Truck Day.
To a New Englander, Truck Day is like Saint Peter waving our hopes through his pearly gates to a metaphoric journey from cold city streets to verdant pastures under a Florida sun. Within a mere three days, the boxes, bags, and sundry packages – I saw a red tricycle - crammed into the hold of the 18-wheeler resting on Van Ness Street will be spilled onto those pastures, the tools of another baseball season.
My job on this February morning was easy: don’t get in the way, and let my thoughts carry me to a better place. But the north and westerly winds whipping off the Charles that negated any benefits of the bright sun made for a surreal experience to any baseball fan. I see myself a world removed from those humid nights balancing a hot dog and a beer in my grandstands seat while wrestling with usurping neighbors for the prized armrests on either side. It still seems hard to leave winter behind.
Yet around me, a robust crowd approaching two hundred simply turned their collars to the bitter breeze and more bitter memories of a season past. Anthony Pleva and Vanessa Lee, both of Boston, were on Van Ness Street since nine o’clock this Friday morning.
“It is kind of cold,” acknowledged Pleva. “It takes a lot to come out here. But after October, you’ve put your life on hold until now.”
Pleva, originally from Tampa, has been a Sox fan for years, but Lee, a local college student playing hooky, is enjoying her first full season as a member of the Nation, and she likes what she sees.
“John Lackey is a strong pitcher, and I think he’s going to help out our rotation,” she said. Lee has also become an instant fan of Theo Epstein’s new-found mantra of pitching and defense. “I think we’ve got enough big bats,” she added.
All the way is Kelly Jefferson’s expectation for the upcoming season. The Shrewsbury resident took the day off from work, as did friend Karen Potter of Sutton. Both are long-time fans – Potter recalls listening to Red Sox broadcasts from a radio fastened to field hockey goalposts during her high school playing days – raised in Yankees households. Not surprisingly, they enjoy sticking it to the Empire.
“I think we beat them in pitching – at least, our top five,” assessed Potter, who is also relishing the anticipated departure of Johnny Damon to someplace far away.
“Damon not being anywhere near the Northeast helps the Sox,” she explained. “It’s not only what he brings to the table in terms of skill level. It’s also that psychological thing. It’s like . . . [he’s] polluting the Northeast.”
“Not that we’re bitter,” clarified Jefferson.
And for Kelly Oconor of Arlington, Truck Day is a reunion of sorts. She is part of a vibrant online community that embraces opportunities like this to put faces to screen names. To help her, she brought along a companion.
“Steve T. Ferret,” went the formal introduction of the stuffed companion attached to her waist garbed in Red Sox road grays. “It can be hard when you only know people online to figure out where you can find them when you all meet up somewhere, and you have a whole group of crazy Red Sox fans. We’re the only ones with ferrets.”
Unlike its distant cousin, Punxsutawney Phil, Steve T. does not run from his shadow, and that portends good things for Oconor today.
“It’s the first harbinger that it’s finally going to stop being cold and that baseball is back, especially when it’s in the middle of this sports lull.”
Just after noon, the engine of the day’s guest of honor cranked over, and the frigid air raking through the heat of twin exhaust stacks melted into a meadow breeze laced with diesel aftertaste. Spring - that damnedest of all liars, as proven in 89 of its last 91 incarnations - had begun.
On this early afternoon some eight and a-half months removed from a potential Game Seven of the next World Series, not a spirit in attendance could be stilled by the riches of a thousand shipbuilders, however soon they may be dashed by the wealth of one.
“This is like family,” proclaimed Anthony Pleva as he surveyed the fevered crowd. “You come here today for the family that can’t be here.”
Not Exactly. Nomar Makes His TV Debut on Baseball Tonight.
No Word Yet If Nomar Stayed Behind the Red Tape Line Before the Taping Reports That He Fractured His Wrist Clipping on the Microphone Unconfirmed
Nomar's Analysis of the Dodgers: "Well I think they're definitely gonna compete and I think the difficulty right now is the way the team is you know say I really feel for Ned Coletti right now, I don't think he can really go out there and go get kind of the starter like you may be talking about that would really help them out so much because you don't what the team [signature nervous laugh] you know the condition the team is in right now know ... and that makes it difficult. But I think you know they're gonna be there. They're the Dodgers they have great guys coming up from the minor leagues, they have a wonderful system and a wonderful pitching in that system and I think you might see a couple guys come up [no names of course] and really step up."
"It was tough, walking away from the season like that. We had a good season. Won 95 games. We made the playoffs and came up short and got beat by a team that was better than us at the time. For us, this year, I think we have a pretty good team and hopefully we can get to the playoffs again and go further than the first round." -- Kevin Youkilis to WBZ radio's Jonny Miller in Brownie Points
"Kids crying all over Boston for a month or two, or maybe some even now still crying at night going to sleep. Nomar was... hey look, I feel it's saad that Nomar's still not a Red Sock. He was the link. Williams. Yaz. Nomar..." -- ESPN's Nomar Delusionist Chris Berman, October 2004
"At what point did things change on Gilligan's Island? Brady used to be Mary Ann, now he is Ginger. Peyton used to be Ginger, maybe even Mrs. Howell (Lovey), and now has become Mary Ann! Brady used to be the likeable 6th rounder who defied odds and someone you always wanted to hang with (Mary Ann), now he runs in exclusive circles and has become that untouchable--almost insufferable (pictures of yourself w/a animal over your shoulders) person you can not relate to (Ginger). Meanwhile, Manning has gone from the elitist, robotic QB that no one could stand/want to hang with even though they are immensely talented (Ginger) to now the self depreciating, likable midwesterner that you may just want to hang out with (Mary Ann). Seriously, at this point, whose house would you want to go over to for a BBQ? Aside from the fact that Gisele would be at one---and let's face it, at this point I am not even sure Brady WOULD HAVE A BBQ---probably a fondue party where the required dress would be an ascot. Good grief Tom---get back to being Mary Ann!" -- Rick B.
Crock & Role: Girardi, GM dismiss Joba's talk of starting or closing for Yankees > Steinbrenner A-OK with Alex's portrayal in Yankees kids movie > Youkilis not worried after being pulled from Yankees lineup > Desperate Damon makes plea to be Yankees' Granderson sub