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If You're Going to Fort Myers, Go Here First:

Spring Training Guide

A Look Back on the
2004 Regular Season


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Contents Copyright 2001-2006, except logos used in accordance with the Fair Use provision (section 107) of US Copyright Act.

Photographic images published with full rights from The Boston Globe and Associated Press unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Dirt Dogs Home

Boston Globe: Sox-Yanks pitching matchups > Sox do it again > Wake Comments were doctored > Robinson's legacy set in stone >  Thumbs

Boston Herald: 'Tek good in pinch > Heckuva first game > Cora corralled > Schilling offers a far-from-Curt response > Chamberlain to miss Sox

ProJo: Varitek's 9th inning homer fuels comeback > Ailing Cora could be put on the DL > Schilling insists: I won't play for Yankees > Wrapup

Hartford Courant: Farnsworth comes up big in Yankees win > ESPN settles with Reynolds > Phillies beat Astros > Tigers rally past Twins

It's Red Sox vs. YankeeZZZzzzzz: Rivalry's Buzz Takes a Beating
38Pitches: 'Umm, no.' | Wilbur: Space Shot | Yankee Swap
Video: Big Papi Explains Reason for Hitting Woes

Dec 11, 2004:

Winter Meeting Minutes

Sox Go Back to the OC; Will Theo Take Cab?

Dan Roche: Sox Talking to Orlando Agent in Anaheim
ESPN's Tim Bonds*-Kurkjian: Cards Now Have Upper Hand for ER
Edes/Hohler: Mets Suggest Manny/Piazza Blockbuster
Sox Backup Plan: Kaz Matsui for Mink
Theo Refutes ESPN Report on Renteria.
Sox Still Shopping for Shortstops, Might Address Through Trade
Cardinals, Tigers Still in Edgar Hunt, Sox Offered $38M/4Y
Gammons: Sox Couldn't Afford Pedro and Pavano,
May Not Be Able to Afford Pedro and Renteria Either
Wells' Signing Put Sox Between the Sheets in 2006
Dan Roche: Theo Meets with D-Lowe; And Bora$ on 'Tek
Sox Add Perks to Pedro Deal, Cuza Back Up to Theo's Room at 11:00pm
Tim Hudson in Play; Roberts/BK, Payton/Vazquez (Infielder) Deals Still Alive

Henry on Hanley. Is He the Starter?

12.11.04: "Henry asked me where I saw myself playing next year, and I told him in Pawtucket. But he told me to go to spring training with the idea that I would be able to be the regular shortstop at Fenway. I smiled nervously and was moved by those words." -- Red Sox SS Hanley Ramires to ESPN Deportes

Christmas at Fenway, Bah! Humbug!

Scalpers, Some Fans Score Big Ticket
Majority of Unofficial and Offline Nation Gets Scrod
Expect Sox to Blame State, Season Ticket Holders, But Not Selves
Lucchino Continues to Disappoint His Biggest Lapdog :-(
Sox Fail to Put Security on the Street Again
Bitter Yawkey Way Waiter Describes Chaos

Scalpers Intimidate and Muscle In On Ice-Rain Campers
Crooks Cut Lines with No Problem, No Red Sox Repercussions
Some Fans Camp for 3 Days, While Online Savvy Crowd Got All Tix/Pax in 3 Seconds Flat
"Magic Links" Take a Carpet Ride All Over the Internet, Sold on Craigslist
While Virtual Waiting Room is Dead Fan Walking, Other Idiots in Phone Purgatory
Tickets on sale for up to 8 Times Face on eBay in Seconds
Same Old Song and Dance for Cardless, Computerless Members of Nation Investigates and Breaks it All Down for the Fans

No Poke Bluffs
Welcome to Edgartown

Sox on Verge of Signing Renteria
(Theo met with Edgar agents Meister and Lane at 5:30 PST)


(AP Photo)


Rent a Shortstop? No Renteria.

Renteria Would Replace OC, 4 Years, $40M

Carl Pavanoverrated Signs with Yanks
NY overpays for .500 pitcher with 4 year deal
Did Carl's mother or girlfriend make the NY decision?
Brian Rose is next on Yankees radar screen

Gammons: Sox sign lefty John Halama
(WEEI news reader Pete Sheppard chokes on his cannoli)

Modern Day Mythology

Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be – Kurt Vonnegut

Most of us, Red Sox Nation, card-carrying or not, have spent our lives either envying or despising our American League rivals, the New York Yankees. So many years they either outhit, out pitched, or out-defended the locals. In our youth Mantle, Maris, and Ford played our antagonists. As we grew, they morphed into Reggie Jackson, Gregg Nettles, and Goose Gossage, and later the likes of Paul O’Neill, Ramiro Mendoza, and Bernie Williams became the villains. 

Free agency became a contradiction, as salaries and ticket prices escalated. Franchise prices became astronomical. While owners decried outrageous payrolls, they continued to play the fool, bidding up not just the stars, but the price of mediocrity.

Amidst the folly, pockets of sanity existed. The Twins won a few championships living within a budget, and the Marlins and Angels both overcame Yankeebucks to capture the World Series.

Meanwhile, our Red Sox emulated what we detested. New ownership came with the determination and the capital to compete. They understood the need to increase revenue and have developed NESN into a regional cash cow. Professionally, the organization brought not only the dollars but the dynamic, quantitative analysis through the eyes of GM Theo Epstein and Senior Baseball Advisor Bill James to identify the missing ingredients for championship recipe.

The Sox had never been cursed by the sale of Babe Ruth or the trade of Sparky Lyle but by the failure to develop and maintain pitching excellence. While other teams sought or cultivated power arms, the Sox relied primarily on pitching craft, with guys like Bill Lee, Rick Wise, and Reggie Cleveland. Strategy and pitch selection can take you so far in baseball. As Al Capone said in ‘The Untouchables’, “you can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word.” The same applies to baseball, which is why they call it ‘hardball’.

The Cardinals tried to get by with Woody Williams and Jeff Suppan. Tony LaRussa’s genius evaporated the way it always had since losing baseball’s real genius, talent.

Theo Epstein recognized the twin objects of the game are not only run creation, but also run prevention. Opening up the franchise checkbook, Epstein fought the arm’s race for solutions to both the front end of the rotation (Schilling) and the back end of the game (Foulke). With the imminent departure of Derek Lowe, he found a possible solution in David Wells, while patiently awaiting the development of prospects Alvarez, Papelbon, and Lester.

The gap between baseball’s haves and have-nots (small markets) widens continually. Kansas City and Milwaukee have become the Ethiopia and Somalia of baseball.

Win at any price remains our mandate. We have tasted the fruits of victory, and we are not satiated. Celebrate the first baseball championship of Red Sox Nation and spend megabucks to resign our and other’s baseball mercenaries. A simple truth emerges. For most of baseball, we too have become what we pretended not to be -- the Yankees.

-- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs

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Get the CD. Support Paul and Theo Epstein's Foundation to be Named Later.

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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, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Curt’s Pitch Goes Global!

Run for SHADE!

For the fourth consecutive year, SHADE Foundation of America will be represented at the Boston Marathon by a team raising funds for SHADE. SHADE is currently seeking marathon runners to join the team . For more information on running with Shonda Schilling on SHADE’s team or sponsoring runners, please visit SHADE's marathon page here. The SHADE Foundation thanks Red Sox Nation for joining in their fight to save future generations from melanoma.

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