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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

Jan 31, 2006:

Long Story at Short

Long Story at Short

(BDD Photo Illustration)

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been;
Light-Hitting Former Marlin Alex Gonzalez is Expected
to Become the Next Red Sox Shortstop

Herald: Sox Get Gonzalez for SS

No More Holes

"Gonzalez could be solid with the stick, but should be at least 'very good' with the glove. Alex Gonzalez, along with Mike Lowell, Mark Loretta, and Coco Crisp, becomes the latest player to leave a pitcher's park for the friendly dimensions of Fenway Park. I would not at all be surprised to see him put up something along the lines of a .277/.330/.430, with 12-17 homeruns, 70+ RBI, and over 70 runs scored. Perhaps it's community projection time? One scouting report had this to say:

"'(Gonzalez) has very good bat speed when healthy, and is one of the strongest middle infielders in the game. Not a base-stealing threat. Has good hands and agility, and exceptional range to his right. Has all the tools to be a very good shortstop.'" -- Over the Monster

Coming, coming, Gonzo

"The Red Sox are just a physical away from signing Alex Gonzalez to a one year, $3 million deal [according to a report in the Boston Herald]. Compared to Renteria last season, Gonzalez neither helps nor hurts the Red Sox. He just moves the wins from the offensive side of the ledger to the defensive side. In 2005, The Hardball Times calculates that Edgar Renteria earned 11.3 wins shares with his bat, 2.7 with his glove. Gonzalez, on the other hand, earned 6.9 with his bat, 6.2 with his glove. It's clear now that when the Red Sox signed Renteria to a $10 million a year contract, they expected him to return to his mid-20's win share form. That didn't happen. So if they're going to get win shares in the low teens from their shortstop they're paying less. There will be fewer runs scored and allowed in Fenway this season.

"Now that all the maneuvering is complete, nice job by the Red Sox this off season. The refused to over pay Damon, got rid of another overpaid player in Renteria, and picked a centerfielder with some upside along the way. I don't think they're a better team, but they're very close to where they were last year, saved some money, and gave the farm system another year to develop while they stay competitive. And if you're competitive, a little luck can take you a long way." -- Baseball Musings

Courting Alex

"Alex Gonzalez better be a vacuum cleaner, because he hits about as often as Johnny Damon shuts up: never. Historically, his stat line is eerily reminiscent of Rey Ordonez'. I recall going to several Mets games way back in the glory days when Ordonez was on the squad and positively marveling at some of the balls he got to and how easy he made moderately difficult plays look. I also remember thinking that he should have been hitting ninth, the pitcher eighth, so bad was the man with the bat. The Red Sox' lineup and the DH should offer some shelter to Gonzalez, but it's imperative that he perform exquisitely with the leather. This could be an experiment that lasts about sixty games, but at least they signed him for just a year and at modest dollars. Another new face -- welcome, Alex." -- Yanks Fan vs. Sox Fan

Jan 29, 2006:

Coco Nuts
Everyone's Crazy for Crisp
(Didn't It Start Out This Way for Edgar?)

Coco in Red Sox
(BDD Photo Illustration / Orlando from Lynn)

Extra Bases:
Coco Reaction Roundup

Snow: 'Crisp Catches Some Praise'

"'Coco is a guy we had identified quite a ways back,' Epstein's assistant, Jed Hoyer, said last night. 'In September we were kind of concerned the secret was out and we weren't going to be able to get him. It was clear we were going to have a tough negotiation with Johnny, and Coco was the top guy on our list.'"

"'Coco Crisp is not Johnny Damon,' [Theo] Epstein said. 'He's his own player, and he brings his own strengths. Johnny was an outstanding, elite leadoff hitter and center fielder. It'd be unfair to ask Coco to fill those shoes.'

"'As far as Crisp playing center field, we're excited. We have excellent scouting reports and objective data on his ability to be a plus center fielder across the board.'" -- 1.29.06, Chris Snow, Boston Globe

Gammons: 'From Theo to Coco'

"If one takes the 2006 projections in the Bill James guide, Crisp's OPS will be .790 with 13 homers; Damon's .786 with 12 homers; Loretta's is .769, compared to the combined .729 Boston had at second in 2005, and it was only above .700 because of Graffanino and Cora the last two months. Youkilis' OPS projects to be .837 with 14 homers; Millar's .802 with 13; Lowell's 782 with 16 homers (projected in Florida's park); and Mueller's .786 with 12 homers (projected in Fenway). Even Gonzalez's projected numbers against Renteria aren't so bad -- .691 with 13 homers for Gonzalez vs. .749 with 10 for Renteria. And by the defensive evaluation system used by one AL team, Gonzalez was one of the top three defensive shortstops, along with Pittsburgh's Jack Wilson and Houston's Adam Everett. Even Dustan Mohr had a .907 OPS vs. left-handed pitchers, albeit playing half his games at Coors Lite.

"If Lowell comes back to 80 percent of his 2003-2004 numbers, Trot Nixon is in the shape he is rumored to be, and Manny is Manny, then the Red Sox actually could be just as good an offensive team as they were." -- 1.28.06, Peter Gammons, Insider (by subscription)

Martone: 'Crisp Trade Brings Smiles All Around'

"'Almost every person we talked to [during their investigation of Crisp's off-field makeup] really thought he would thrive in our environment,' Hoyer said, adding a bit later: 'He's . . . got a certain energy and swagger we think will translate very well to Fenway.'

"If Crisp's self-analysis is accurate, Hoyer is right.

"'I love the game,'" he said. 'I play hard. I'm not afraid to run into a wall and get hurt. You know, go all-out. I think that's the type of player they love in Boston.'" -- 1.29.06, Art Martone, Providence Journal

Wells Deal Will Wait Until Theo Talks to Boomer
Stern Returns to Reality

Is Damon a True Yankee Yet?

( Photo Illustration / Modine)

And Is He Still Missing Boston?

Bradford: 'Damon Closes Book on Boston'

"'I wish (Crisp) the best. I don't hope negative things on anybody, but just hope that Boston fans can embrace him and make him feel as special as they made me over the four years I played there.'"

"'He is a guy they wanted. It was clear in the papers they were wanting other center fielders as soon as the season was over. The fact that my jersey went for half price after the season, that kind of tells you something. They got the guy they wanted, so I hope he enjoys it as much as I enjoyed it.'"

"'I remember my first day with the Red Sox and I could not believe how boring the team was, how boring the clubhouse was and how miserable everybody was,' said Damon. 'I like to think that I helped change how fans looked at the team, how the media looked at the team and how the team got together and it was different. How the players stopped being afraid of failing, which I think was why we were able to accomplish something that hadn't been done in a very long time. Now I want to bring that attitude to New York. You must win and you must have confidence, because if you don't have that in this city it will definitely eat you up.'" -- 1.29.06, Johnny Damon to Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune

Jan 28, 2006:

Red Sox Tickets On Sale

The Virtual Waiting Room

(BDD Photo)

You Know the Dreadful Drill

Jan 27, 2006:

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Coco Done?

Snow: Coco Crisp Coming to Boston
'Done' -- Dealer

It's Marte, Mota, Shoppach, PTBNL, and Cash
for Crisp, Riske, Bard

Coco Crisp

(BDD Photo Illustration / Chris Pomerleau)

'I Think It Moved'

George Costanza

(George Costanza from Seinfeld. Played by Jason Alexander.)

Plain Dealer: Movement in the Coco Crisp Trade?
Indians Trade for New Left Fielder:
Michaels-for-Rhodes Deal Done Pending Physical
Tribe Tracker: Indians GM Meets the Press

The Ohio Players:
The Plain Dealer: Lots of Wheelin', But No Dealin'
Cincinnati Enquirer: Reds Backed Out of 3-Way with Indians, Sox Last Week
The Beacon Journal: Red Sox Haven't Quite Given Up

Stark: 'Odds of Crisp Going to Boston Decreasing'
Denver Post: Mohr Gets Minor League Deal with Sox
Extra Bases: Sox Get LHP Breslow

Welcome to Fenway Park

A Couple of Holes to Fill

(BDD Photo Illustration / Peter Stasiowski)

It's a Hole New Ballgame

Jan 26, 2006:

Spin Doctor?

Dr. Bill Morgan

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jonathan Wiggs)


"'When I heard it yesterday, that these guys didn't have physicals, I thought, 'What is going on!? This didn't happen on my watch, did it?' said Dr. William Morgan, the (former) Red Sox's team physician.

"'That's unacceptable. Let me put it this way, the only way to really understand what is really going on with a player or a pitcher is to put your hands on them, talk to them and physically examine them. I lend much less credence to studies than to physical examinations. This was a point of discussion between myself and the administration in regards to Pedro Martinez, for example. We had a questionable MRI, but the physical examination was perfect and the performance was perfect.

"'Any physician that does not examine a patient — I don't care if it's a professional baseball player or Joe Blow living down the street — you aren't serving your patient completely.'" -- 1.26.06, Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune

Eric Wilbur: Time to Fold Leaky Deal
Bill Simmons: Back and Forth with Schilling
GQ: 'Schilling Used Fake Blood.' Yawn.

'I Know Nothing! NOTHING!'

Sergeant Schultz

The Leaks Stop Here.
Sergeant Schultz Named Special Boston Media Liaison.

Will No News Be Good News for Sox Fans?

"Let there be no doubt, by the way, that part of the new Sox compact is a determination to manage the news as much as possible.

"'I think the Patriots have had a lot of success in this market, the way they run things,' Epstein said. 'I'm not saying we're adopting all of their practices, but it's hard to quibble with their approach.'

"In that spirit, no one was saying anything about Epstein's deal, including, laughably, length of term. We're allowed to know that Lucchino signed a contract extension through 2011, but not whether Epstein is signed through next week? Next thing you know, the Sox will be describing Curt Schilling's ankle problems as a 'lower leg' injury. And the same fans who have joined Henry in condemning the media for 'leaks' will be the ones bemoaning the dearth of information about prospective trades and free agent signings." -- 1.26.05, Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Trade Updates Will Only Come From Out of Town Sources Going Forward:

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Delcarmen In? Decision Today?
Cincinnati Post: Will Reds Go to the Mat for Clement?

Jan 25, 2006:

Make Up for Lost Time

Larry Lucchino, president/CEO and Theo Epstein, executive vice president/general manager, get together to discuss the details of Theo's return to the Red Sox during a morning press conference at Fenway Park.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Extra Bases Blog The Theo and Larry Show:
Playing Live at Fenway Today
WEEI Audio: Theo and Larry on D&C

"It took several different statements, on several different pages, to announce that everyone is on the same page." -- 1.25.06, Steve Buckley, Boston Herald

Bradford: 'Theo Returns Too Late to Fix Mota Trade Fiasco'

Buy It on DVD Now

Who's the Boss?

(BDD Photo Illustration By Justin Bell and Chris Tanner)

Ryan: Long on Titles, Short on Logic

Jan 24, 2006:

The More Things Change,
The More They Stay The Same

Theo Returns

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Theo Epstein Is Back in the Saddle
As the Red Sox General Manager

Henry, Werner, Lucchino, Epstein, Hoyer, Cherington,
and Joint Statements: The Comeback Kid Returns

"We work together as an organization damned well and have a strong sense of humor about much of what goes on around us – thankfully."
-- 1.24.06, John Henry, Principal Owner, Boston Red Sox

Your Turn: What Are Your Thoughts on the Red Sox Statement?
Survey: Is GM the Right Title for Theo?


"The Red Sox are poised to announce Theo Epstein’s return as the general manager of the Red Sox, with roughly the same powers, authority and autonomy he had when he left on Oct. 31."

"...There is, according to sources both on and off the ballclub, a less complicated rationale for Epstein’s return. He has now become convinced that the work environment has improved to the point where there is more listening, more cooperation and more of an ability to compromise when there are differences."

"The team has been disinclined to hold a press conference announcing Epstein’s return, fearing a free-for-all atmosphere that would wind up making the front office’s tumultuous period of nearly three months even more of a distraction than it already has been." -- 1.24.06, Michael Silverman, Boston Herald

Fired Reds GM Balked on Trade for Matt Clement
Report: Mota Flunked Physical; Crisp Deal on Hold

Snow: Agent Denies Mota Flunked Physical
Indians Take Closer Look

Crisp July Mailbag: Everything You Wanted to Know About Coco
Verducci: Sox Will Still Be Competitive

No Live Show for Theo

Boston, MA  12-17-04: Boston Red Sox Senior Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein answers questions concerning the look of next years club as well as issues concerning the departure of Pedro Martinez following a press conference where new shortstop Edgar Renteria was introduced to the media at Fenway Park after he agreed to terms to a four year deal with the club.

(Boston Globe File Photo / Bill Greene)

Sox Pull Presser:
Won't Face Media on Theo's Return

The Double-Talk, Empty Clichés, Lawyer-Speak, Half-Truths, White Lies, Innuendo, and Reading Between the Lines Will Arrive Via E-mail Instead

Wilbur: Hide and Seeking
Barstool Sports: Ben and Jed in Action

Extra Bases Blog The Skinny from Schilling:
Curt Feels 'Fantastic,' Foot Fine

WEEI Audio: Curt in the West Coast Car

Bradford: Crisp Taking Rumors in Stride

"'I am a center fielder and I am a leadoff hitter,' said Crisp, who entered professional baseball as a second baseman. 'As far as leading off, I've been doing it my whole life.'"

"'I was facing Pedro (Martinez) for the first time, playing my first game in Boston,' said Crisp. 'My first at-bat I hit a double off of him, almost hitting a home run. That was a fond memory.

"'But then my next at-bat I remember thinking there was no way he was going to throw another fastball, but of course he does because there is no way Pedro is afraid of Coco Crisp. I was like, man, look at him throwing that again. And he strikes me out. The game ended up getting rained out so my 1 for 2 off of Pedro was wiped out. That was too bad.'" -- 1.24.06, Coco Crisp to Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune

Jan 23, 2006:

The Hot Stove is Extra Crispy

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

What Do You Think of the Potential Deal?

Bradford: New Beginnings for Crisp

"Crisp came from a long line of athletes; his mother and father, Loyce, both were former Olympians (Pam a sprinter, her husband a boxer). And even his sister had entrenched herself as one of the nation's top figure skaters."

"'Like I told his dad, the way (Crisp) sprays the ball he could have 50 doubles in that ballpark,' said Fick. 'Coco is a class act. They are going to love him.'" -- 1.23.06, Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune

Cleveland's Center Fielder Coco Crisp

(Getty Images Photo / Nick Laham)

Anybody and Everybody Could Be
Coming and Going to Get Crisp

Snow: It's Marte, Mota, and Shoppach for Crisp, Riske, and Bard
Survey Gallery: Inside the Deal
Plain Dealer: Sox Get Low Minor Leaguers ...
and Include Manny (Delcarmen)?

Herald: It's Marte, Mota for Crisp, Minor Leaguer
Beacon-Journal: Crisp Not Boston Bound Yet
Wilbur: A Right Crispy Treat Covelli Loyce Crisp's Career

Steel Curt ...


(Fox Sports Video Image)

... Must Be Mr. Happy Today

Jan 22, 2006:

Loco for Coco

Coco Crisp on the Jake scoreboard in June 2005

(TechIMO Photo)

Is Crisp Coming to Boston?

Tony Massarotti Report: 'Sox Reach Deal with CF Crisp'
For 3B Prospect Andy Marte and Reliever Guillermo Mota;
But it May Depend on the Indians Locking Up a Left Fielder

"According to baseball sources, the Red Sox and Cleveland Indians have agreed in principle on a deal that will bring outfielder Crisp to the Sox in a multi-player trade. The deal was agreed upon several days ago under the condition that Cleveland be able to acquire another outfielder to replace Crisp, presumably Jason Michaels from the Philadelphia Phillies."

"The Red Sox will send a package including reliever Guillermo Mota and prospect Andy Marte to the Indians. The inclusion of Mota in the deal explains why the Sox signed free agent reliever Julian Tavarez to a two-year contract despite having a bullpen that already included Keith Foulke, Mike Timlin, Mota, Rudy Seanez and, perhaps, Jonathan Papelbon." -- 01.22.06, Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald

Sounds Like the Deal Bradford Laid Out in December

Crisp $aves Sox in Long Run

"Crisp, if obtained, would be under the Sox' contractual control for four seasons before becoming a free agent. He's likely to command about $3 million this year and probably close to $20 million over the next four seasons, vs. the $52 million Johnny Damon will make with the Yankees.

"However, obtaining Crisp would cost the Sox their top prospect, a player widely regarded across baseball as an elite prospect with power who should be ready to play full time by 2007. The Indians, meanwhile, have 32-year-old third baseman Aaron Boone signed for this season, with a mutual option for 2007." -- 01.22.06, Chris Snow, Boston Globe

Rotoworld's 'Rave' Reviews

"It’s a sequence of events that may placate the media, but that doesn’t make it any less disturbing. Marte alone is worth more than Crisp, in our opinion, just as he was worth quite a bit more than Edgar Renteria. The Red Sox are giving up Guillermo Mota, too, and it's unclear what they'll be getting back along with Crisp. Gonzalez is an even bigger problem, especially if it's a multiyear deal. He's not much of an upgrade over Alex Cora, and Dustin Pedroia might be Boston's best option at shortstop by June 1." -- 1.22.06, Rotoworld

Shortstop Solved?

"Beyond the acquisition of Crisp, the Sox also are about to sign free agent (shortstop Alex) Gonzalez." -- 1.22.06, Mazz, Boston Herald

What About Wells?
"David has made it pretty clear to everyone that he doesn't want to be in Boston."
Wells Puncher Rocco Graziosa to Serve Sentence

Jan 20, 2006:

It's Friday Happy Hour ...

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

... And Love is in the Air as Cupid Came Early to Yawkey Way

Extra Bases Blog
Theo Reaction Roundup
Wilbur: Feel-Good Fiasco

2006 NESN Red Sox Schedule with Game Times

Theo: Get Coco

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Gentlemen: Does Bronson Know That the
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame is in Cleveland?

Hey Theo, Get Coco.
Sox Still Making Crisp Effort

"Also yesterday, there were ongoing conversations between the Sox and Indians aimed at bringing outfielder Coco Crisp to Boston. The deal, according to a major league source, probably would cost the Sox top prospect Andy Marte and probably would include multiple players changing sides." -- 1.20.06, Chris Snow, Boston Globe

The Theo Saga: A Timeline | What Should His New Role Be?

Theo's To-Do List

Theo's To-Do List

Olney: Political Power Struggle

"After all, it was Henry who said in November that Epstein would not be returning to the Red Sox, and then indicated last Saturday that Theo was not part of the organization, which must have been a big surprise to those who had actually talked to Epstein on the phone since the New Year while under the impression that he spoke for the Red Sox.

"What we do know is that this entire episode has been much less complicated than portrayed. Forget all the heart-wrenching stories about needing life outside of baseball and the love of privacy, and ignore all the posturing that has come out of many corners of Fenway Park (Many within the Red Sox hierarchy are Democrats -- and for the purpose of full disclosure, I lean left myself -- and they are in no position to complain about the White House spin machine now, considering how much whirling they've done since Oct. 31).

"This has been a good ol' fashioned power struggle between two extraordinary politicians, nothing more, nothing less." -- 01.20.06, Buster Olney, ESPN Insider blog (by subscription)

Around the World in 80 Days:
The Comeback Kid Returns to the Nation

"This is like celebrating the return of stolen money."
-- 1.19.06, Bob Lobel, CBS-4 Sports Director

Shaughnessy: Questions Still Linger

Theo and John

"Unfortunately, there wasn't much honor or glory in Theo's comportment after he left Fenway in that gorilla suit Oct. 31. Rather, he undermined the credibility of the entire Boston front office by straddling the fence regarding his place in the organization. He repeatedly refused offers to return, but would not rule out coming back. He revealed himself to be every bit the cutthroat politician Lucchino is. He's been at best, immature and at worst, duplicitous."

"Like a character from Camelot, Theo remained forever young, forever brilliant, forever the man who brought a championship to Boston. And as long as he operated in the shadows, or allowed us to believe he was still involved, he couldn't lose. This dynamic made Theo less than popular with some of his hard-working friends in baseball operations." -- 1.20.06, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe


Snow: Theo's Issues,
John Henry's Comments

"Principal owner John W. Henry, in an interview with the Globe Thursday prior to the team's formal announcement, said Epstein was ''not going to come back in a higher position" than he held before. That would seem to suggest that none of president/CEO Larry Lucchino's power would be usurped in the process of Epstein's reemergence."

"A team source close to those negotiations revealed in early November that just before resigning, Epstein examined several issues, foremost among them whether his trust in Lucchino was well placed. There also appeared to exist a divide in philosophies -- Epstein's desire to somewhat retool the club around pitching and defense and younger players even if public scrutiny was harsh, juxtaposed against upper management/ownership's apparent resolve to spend on older, established players." -- 1.20.06, Chris Snow, Boston Globe

Jan 19, 2006:


It's Alive!

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Young T. Epstein Returns


Return of the King

(BDD Photo Illustration)

"The white knight is riding back to Fenway on his high horse."
-- Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe


Extra Bases Blog
Red Sox Statement on Theo's Return

A Gorilla in the Midst

Gorilla Monsoon

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Welcome Back, Mr. Epstein

Return of the Theo

(BDD Photo Illustration / Graphic Design by Carl)

Rosenthal: Sox Interested in Jeff DaVanon for Center
Browne: Sox Sign Outfielder Willie Harris
And Catching Up with Big Papi

In other news: Australian Trent Durrington Wants to Be the Sox Super Sub

The Real 'Welcome Johnny' Shirts

A Real New York Welcome

(BDD Photo Illustration / Karl Stier)

'Welcome to New York Johnny'
'Where Overspending and Failing
Is the New Yankee Tradition'
(Not Sure If MLB Will Be Selling These Online Yet)

Arroyo deal official; pitcher talks about his decision to sign

Getting Griffey With It?

Ken Griffey Jr.

(BDD Photo Illustration / Nick Merrill)

From the "Take It for What It's Worth" department: WEEI's John Meterparel had a "scoop" this morning that the Red Sox were interested in Cincinnati's Ken Griffey Jr., who could possibly come to Boston in a trade involving pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

Damon's Brother's Family Very Secure Now
and Other Johnny Ramblings

Jan 18, 2006:

Larry Lucchino,
Revenue Generator

Larry Lucchino, the Revenue Generator

(BDD Photo Illustration / Graphic Design by Carl)

And the 2004 Team Fire Sale Continues

Hooray for US: It's U.S.Alex in the WBC
Troop and Joe Castig Chime in On the Offseason
Are the Sox Making Moves Fast Enough?

Tavarez Deal Official; Bausher Released
Roche: The Guitar Player is Close to Signing Three-Year Deal

Jan 17, 2006:

He Might Be Giant?

Johnny Football

(AP Photo)

Johnny Football Gets Ready for Baseball

"New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon catches a football during a morning workout today at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Damon is currently preparing for spring training by working out with coach Tom Shaw at the complex. Shaw, a former Florida State University speed and conditioning coach, now provides performance enhancement training to professional athletes and those entering professional sports. Damon, newly acquired by the Yankees from the Boston Red Sox, played high school baseball in Orlando, Fla. for Dr. Phillips High School." -- The Associated Press

The Red Sox Center Fielder is Getting Ready Too

"It was minor shoulder surgery and I've been hitting and throwing every day for 2 1/2 months." -- Adam Stern, 1.17.06, Toronto Sun

Eric Frede's Dad Dies: Rest in Peace Edward Frede
Bradford: I Heart Huckaby

Mota Avoids Arbitration with One Year Deal

'Welcome to New York Johnny, Where Winning Happens More Than Every 86 Years'

MLB: Welcome to New York Johnny

( Photo)

This Message Brought to The Nation By Major League Baseball
(A.K.A. The Yankees Luxury Tax Dollars Hard at Work)

World Series Lineup Is Not
in the Cards for Sox Fans

Red Sox lineup card

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Sox Cash In On World Series Game 4 Lineup Card,
'Not Interested' in Having Historical Document on Display
for Fans at Fenway

'A Sox Suit: For Love or Money?'

"The winning bid for the lineup card was $165,010, the most ever paid in an MLB auction. The winning bidder was Sky Lucas, a lifelong Sox fan who grew up in New Hampshire. A partner in New York hedge fund firm Vicis Capital, Lucas says he was surprised the lineup card was put up for sale: 'For a Red Sox fan, it's a definitive historical document.' He says he bought it not so much as an investment--though he would like to sell licensed replicas--but rather to keep it in New England. 'I'd like to share it with the rest of Red Sox Nation,' he says.

"To that end Lucas and his lawyer, David Campbell, approached Sox limited partner Sam Tamposi Jr. and later team management about putting the lineup card on display at Fenway Park. All they asked is that the team insure it while on exhibit. The Red Sox were not interested. (Tamposi and Treat did not respond to repeated requests for comment.) Says Campbell: 'I found it odd they would make such a play for the ball yet let this fall through their hands.' Mark it down as an error." -- 1.11.06, Fortune Magazine

'Tek Missing Dirt Dogs

"'Doug (Mirabelli), Kevin (Millar), Johnny (Damon) and Bill (Mueller) brought intangibles of playing hard, getting dirty and grinding out games. You appreciate playing with people like that, and you hope that it isn’t lost by whoever they do bring in.'" -- Jason Varitek, 1.17.06 Boston Herald

Jan 16, 2006:

Schilling Runs Half Marathon

The Schillings and Haile Gebrselassie

(Leighton Communications Photo)

Umm, No, Not Curt. Shonda.
Umm, Yes, The Red Sox Better Make Some News Soon.

Shonda Schilling ran the P.F. Chang's Third Annual Rock 'N Roll Arizona Half Marathon Sunday Jan. 15 with a time of 2:07. Shonda ran for the SHADE Foundation, an official charity of the marathon and half marathon.

And A World Record is Broken

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia shattered the world record in the half marathon Sunday with a time of 58 minutes, 55 seconds. Gebrselassie lowered the mark by 21 seconds. He is pictured (in center) above with Curt, Shonda, Gabby, and Gehrig Schilling.

More Sox Leave: See Ya Tomori
Pats: Mangini to Become HC of NYJ

Jan 14, 2006:

Are Theo 'Smithers' and Mr. Henry
Running the Show on Yawkey Way?

The Red Sox Simpsons

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration)

Olney: Theo's Been Making Calls, Too

"The Red Sox haven't announced any deal with Theo Epstein, officially, but I heard that he has made calls on behalf of the team, indicating to others -- for now -- that he is a special assistant to John Henry. Makes you wonder what issue is holding up the formal announcement of Epstein's return." -- 1.14.06, Buster Olney, MLB Blog

As the Orioles 1B Would Say,
"Time to Cowboy Up, Patriots!"

The Taming of the Broncos

(BDD Illustration / Graphic Design by Carl)

Pats-Broncos Mile High Showdown: Read All About It
Reiss: The Latest Before, During, and After the Game

Jan 13, 2006:

Dialing for Players

The Busy Switchboard Room at Fenway Park

(BDD Photo Illustration)

And If The Phone Don't Ring Back On Yawkey Way,
That's Someone Who Can Fill Johnny Damon's Shoes On The Other End.

'Abreu Could Still Land with Red Sox'

The Loss of a Maine Legend: Rest in Peace Frank Fixaris

Jan 12, 2006:

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?


(AP Photos)

Beckett and Loretta Come to Town for the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America 2006 Awards Dinner



New Baltimore Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar talks with reporters, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006, in Baltimore. Millar agreed to a $2.1 million, one-year contract Thursday with the Orioles, who hope the former Boston Red Sox star can provide leadership and some punch in the lineup.

(AP Photo)

He's for the Birds: Cowboy Up Goes Down to Baltimore
(KFK Gets $2.1 Million. File Under: What a Country.)

Wall Marte?

Atlanta Braves rookie Andy Marte drives in a run with a sacrifice fly off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Paul Byrd in the fourth inning Tuesday, June 7, 2005, in Atlanta, in this June 7, 2005 photo. The Boston Red Sox gave up on Edgar Renteria just one year after lavishing a four-year, $40 million contract on him, trading the shortstop to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday Dec. 8, 2005, for third baseman Andy Marte.

(AP Photo)

Bradford: Could Andy Marte Be Out in Left Field?

"While in the Dominican, Shipley asked perhaps a telling question. 'He asked me if I could play left field,' said Marte. 'I told him, 'Yes.' I'm ready to play right now.'" -- 1.12.06, Rob Bradford, Eagle-Tribune

And Papelbon Wants to Start

Still Retooling

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Did They Order the Right Parts?
Will They Get the Motor Running Anytime Soon?
Who's the Mechanic Anyway?

Jan 11, 2006:

Tavarez Tossed into 'Pen

St. Louis Cardinals pitchers Jason Isringhausen, left, and Ray King, right, play a little rough house by carrying  fellow pitcher Julian Tavarez in the infield during a team workout in Houston, Friday, Oct. 15, 2004. The Cardinals, leading the best-of-seven games National League Championship Series 2-0, play the Houston Astros in Game 3 on Saturday, Oct. 16.

(AP Photo)

Edes: Sox Get Reliever Julian Tavarez

"This guy pitches four days in a row," Tavarez's agent Scott Boras told the New York Daily News in December. "He provides a very strong, durable arm. He can protect a closer like Wagner or Mariano Rivera. They don't need to get every save. This guy has been a save guy, and he does it at a ratio that's almost 80%. That ratio for a setup guy is very, very high. That may be very helpful to guys you want rested for the postseason."

Sox Sign Tony Graffanino to One-Year Deal

What's Up the Middle?

Are they coming up short?

(BDD Illustration / Boston Globe File Photo)

So who's in center?

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Sox Still Have Big Holes to Fill

"Pennant-winning teams are supposed to be strong up the middle, and if the Red Sox opened the season today, they would watch a lot of balls go through the hole at shortstop and others fall for hits in center field." -- 1.11.06, Murray Chass, New York Times

Announcement on Theo Soon?
Manny Wasting Precious Time?

"'I said that we were going to keep a light on in the window for him,' Lucchino said Sunday. 'I didn't specify a number of days. If he wanted to come back, it would make us a better front office. I don't want to comment further until we have an announcement to make. We may have an announcement sometime soon.'"

"'We've tried to keep faith with the understanding we reached with Manny and his agent,' Lucchino said. 'It has consumed some time.'" -- 1.11.06, Murray Chass, New York Times

Jan 10, 2006:

The Puck Stops Here

Is Schilling in Shape?

(Phoenix Coyotes Photo / Norm Hall)

Is Schilling in Shape?
('Dome Belly' Missing in Action)

World Series hero Curt Schilling and his wife, melanoma survivor Shonda Schilling, dropped the ceremonial first puck at the Coyotes game on Sunday, January 8 at Glendale Arena in Phoenix. The Schillings were on hand to help promote the SHADE Foundation, their charitable foundation for skin cancer awareness and prevention. The game has been designated “Skin Cancer Awareness Night with the Coyotes,” and some ticket proceeds were donated to the foundation.

Is the Sox Ace Still No. 1?

Jim Doesn't Get In The Hall

8/19/1984: Red Sox Jim Rice hits a home run.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld)

Rice Doesn't Get Served

Jack Snow Has Died. Rest in Peace.

Jan 9, 2006:

Is That All There Is?
Is Alex Cora the Answer? Jay Payton Gotta Play... in Boston?

Alex Cora and Jay Payton

Are the Co-GMs Coming Up Short in Center (and Short?)

Will It Ever End?

The Ramirez Controversy

(Boston Dirt Dogs Illustration / J.Reilly /

'Sox Still Keep Eye On Tejada'

Bradford: Arroyo Dazed and Confused by Sox Moves

Jan 8, 2006:

Let 'Em Eat Streak
Where There's a Willie, There's a Way

Willie McGinest pointed the way for the Patriots’ defense with an NFL playoff-record 4½ sacks, giving him 16 in the postseason for his career, also a league standard.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee)

Patriots Pound Jags 28-3 for 10th Straight NFL Playoff Win

Jan 7, 2006:


Let's Go Pats

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Jim Davis)

Saturday Night's Alright (for Winning)

Jan 6, 2006:

Boston Gets Snow
Old Man Winter Joins Olde Towne Team

First baseman J.T. Snow of the San Francisco Giants tries to catch a line drive hit by Xavier Nady of the San Diego Padres in the first inning on July 1, 2005 at PETCO Park in San Diego.

(Getty Images Photo / Donald Miralle)

Co-1Bs: Looks Like Snow and Youkilis at First

Edes: Sox Agree to Terms with First Baseman J.T. Snow

Baseball America: Top Ten Red Sox Prospects

Wilbur: Manny's Staying Power
Rosenthal: Manny-for-Miggy Deal is Still Alive

Is Manny Keeping His Sox On or Not?

Manny Being Traded

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Manny Reportedly Has Changed His Mind Again and Would Like to Stay in Boston
(Does Juliana Know?)

Extra Bases Blog Manny Being Manny:
'There will be no trade, I'm staying in Boston'

Not So Fast: Agent Discounts Manny's Statement

"Meanwhile, Ramirez's agent, Greg Genske, told Thursday night that Ramirez would consider waiving his no-trade clause for the Orioles or another team, discounting Ramirez's statement to that he was 'staying in Boston.' ...Genske, however, said he called Ramirez after learning of the slugger's remarks, and Ramirez denied making the comments. 'If Boston is able to work out a trade with Baltimore or another team, Manny is still open to making a move,' Genske said." -- 1.06.06,

Extra Bases Blog Sox Name Names:
2006 Coordinators, Coaching Staff

Jan 5, 2006:

Taking Center Stage?

Theo plays guitar

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / John Tlumacki)

Or Is Theo Still Stringing Us Along?

"I definitely will get back into baseball eventually, where things turn
you never know." -- 1.05.06, Theo Epstein

At the Jamspot recording studio in Somerville, former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein rehearses for his upcoming gig on January 8 at the Paradise Rock Club where he will play guitar in the Sixth Annual Hot Stove, Cool Music show. The concert will raise money for the Jimmy Fund and for Theo's Foundation To Be Named Later, a branch of the Red Sox Foundation which benefits eight other charities. Epstein was rehearsing for the show at the recording studio today.

From Extra Bases Blog Theo Talks Red Sox
Epstein Defends Red Sox Offseason Moves,
Responds to Rumors About His Return

Jan. 6, 2006: Former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein took to the radio airwaves this morning, defending the Red Sox’ offseason moves and responding to the speculation that he may return to the team in some capacity.

“I really haven’t gone into all the substantive reasons why I left,” Epstein told Boston radio station KISS-108’s Matt Siegel this morning. “I think that’s probably the right thing to do, but there were reasons why I left and it was a tough decision, left a lot of great friendships, left a great organization, left a lot of work that we still had ahead of us but in the end I thought it was for the right reasons as difficult as it was.”

More comments from Epstein during the interview:

On reports that Red Sox owner John Henry was caught off guard by his resignation:

“I don’t think he was necessarily surprised because in the final days we had been talking and he certainly knew this was a strong possibility but I think he was genuinely disappointed as I was genuinely disappointed and I enjoyed, and still do enjoy, a very close relationship with him, working relationship and professional one and it was hard on both of us to see this interruption in that relationship at least from a professional standpoint. I don’t think he was shocked but I do think he was disappointed as I was.”

Would Johnny Damon be a Yankee if he were still Red Sox GM?

“Probably, given the way it’s gone down. I hate to comment on negotiations when I’m not directly involved in them but I’ll say this, I don’t think anyone’s at fault for the way things transpired. Johnny did what was best for him and his family. The Yankees, given the need they had at leadoff and in center field, did the right thing for them. They did a good job in the negotiation. And the Red Sox offered $10 million a year and really adhered to the philosophy of setting a value on a player, remaining disciplined through the course of the negotiation, a philosophy that played a large role in 95-plus wins three years in a row and as tough as it is when you lose players, as tough as it is on the fans, that philosophy will serve the fans well in the long run because it will lead to winning teams.”

Did he make a mistake in signing Edgar Renteria to a four-year contract to play shortstop for the Red Sox last winter?

“Oh yeah, I think I did based on the results in the first year. I think we got bad results the first year (but) I think the process was good. We had excellent scouting reports universally across the board excellent scouting reports on Edgar and we’d done our subjective work and our objective work on him and we thought he was a great fit for whatever reason, physically he wasn’t the same player last year that he was and I think one of the reasons the Red Sox were open to moving him was that we… they just couldn’t take the risk that that would be the way he’d play the game going forward so he certainly could bounce back and be the player that he was for the rest of his career but if he doesn’t, that would really hurt the Red Sox at a key position so that trade was in both team’s best interest. The Red Sox were able to acquire one of the top two or three prospects in the whole game in Andy Marte. And the Braves were able to get a guy, who for all but one season, had really been one of the better shortstops in the game and fits their ball club perfectly.”


Jan 4, 2006:

Hot Stove, Cool Chat

July 17, 2005 -- Peter Gammons plays Saturday evening at Fenway Park as part of the Hot Stove, Cool Music summer program

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Justine Hunt)

Peter Gammons Chat Transcript:

Chances Not Good For a Clemens Return
Prospect Props: Andy Marte is a Keeper
Will It Be Lugo at Short and Reed in Center?
Manny Has Time to Report to Spring Training
The Best Offense and the Best Defense: Youk's On First
Theo Would Have Traded Rent-a-Wreck, Lost Damon Too
Tejada Trade Talks Stalled, Best Guess is Still Miggy at Short
Top Dog: Nixon's the One to Be in Shape, Have Big Year

"Tejada's numbers will increase because of the lineup around him. But I think Manny is born to play in Baltimore. He's a right centerfield hitter. His greatest power has been minimized by fenway park. I can easily see him hitting 50 homers in Camden Yards. In my mind, as great a player as Tejada is, if the Orioles can get Ramirez and Clement, I personally think they would be crazy to turn it down." -- 01.04.06, Peter Gammons, chat

From the 'Gotham Baseball Rumor Mill:'
No 4-Way? We'll Throw Out a 3-Way

Extra Bases Hot Stove Update: If you see rumors of a three-way trade between Seattle, the Red Sox and the Cubs involving Arroyo, Graffanino, Reed, Patterson, et al, file under: Not Happening.

Down in Whoville

Who's on First Larry?

(BDD Photo Illustration)

From Abbott and Costello to Larry and Francona

Lucchino Introduces the 2006 Red Sox to Tito

Francona: What's the guy's name on first base?
Larry: No. What is in center.
Francona: I'm not asking you who's in center.
Larry: Who's on first.
Francona: I don't know.
Larry: He's at short, we're not talking about him.
Francona: Now how did I get to shortstop?
Larry: Why you mentioned his name.
Francona: If I mentioned the shortstop’s name, who did I say is playing short?
Larry: No. Who's playing first.
Francona: What's on first?
Larry: What's in center.
Francona: I don't know.
Larry: He's at short.
Francona: There I go, back to shortstop again!


Jan 3, 2006:

Is the Writing on the Wall?

The writing is on the Wall

(BDD Photo Illustration)

We're No. 3!... We're No. 3!...

"At the moment, the Red Sox look like a team that could finish third behind the Yankees and Blue Jays in the American League East. The White Sox, Indians, Athletics and Angels appear to have better chances of making the playoffs -- and the Twins, with their pitching potential, could contend if they can find a way to score runs." -- 1.3.06, Peter Gammons Insider

'Red Sox a Mess? Not Quite'

"The financial issues in the Epstein negotiations did not get resolved until nearly 48 hours before his old contract was to expire, which did not give the GM and CEO time to work out other issues -- most of which involved Lucchino loyalists, who the baseball-operations folks believe have undermined the situation, sourced countless leaks and (with their attempts to make Lucchino look good) roved over Epstein and the baseball staff."

"If Theo had been the GM, he likely would have gone to the club's ceiling of $45 million for four years the weekend of the winter meetings, and if Boras did not back off his (then) seven-year demand, would have called off the negotiations and done the Jeremy Reed deal with Seattle in Dallas when the Mariners thought they could get Juan Pierre from Florida."

"Epstein's view is that without a $200 million payroll, it is practically impossible in the American League East to win 95-100 games every year. The goal is to be in position to make that run seven or eight out of 10 years, which means that about once every five years they have to step back and, in Lucchino's words, 'retool. Not rebuild, retool.'"

"Trading Ramirez to Baltimore -- which would also include Matt Clement -- for Miguel Tejada could be determined later this week. It has long been fueled on the Tejada end by his close friend, David Ortiz. It does not in any way include a four-way creation of a Mets fan's Internet fantasy."

"'If I were to wager a guess today,' says an Oriole executive, 'it would be that Manny opens the season with the Red Sox and Tejada is with the Orioles. As far as I'm concerned, Tejada is one of the five best players in the game. His contract ($12 million annual average value) was signed in a down market, as opposed to Manny's ($20 million annual average value), which was signed in an inflationary market. If Tejada went on the market this winter, he'd probably get between $14 million and $16 million a year.'" -- 1.3.06, Peter Gammons Insider

Oh, the Places He'll Go!

BDD Photo Illustration / Nick Merrill

(BDD Photo Illustration / Nick Merrill)

If This Tejada Trade Ever Gets Done

Sox-O's Still Talking About Manny for Miggy

"According to sources, the Baltimore Orioles would like to decide the fate of shortstop Miguel Tejada within the next several days. Among the possible trade partners with Baltimore are the Red Sox, who are offering outfielder Manny Ramirez and pitcher Matt Clement in exchange for Tejada and an outfielder, who could be 22-year-old prospect Nick Markakis." -- 1.3.06, Boston Herald

"The Orioles' losing out on Burnitz would inevitably lead to more speculation about a potential deal with the Boston Red Sox involving left fielder Manny Ramirez. Boston has offered Ramirez and pitcher Matt Clement for disgruntled shortstop Miguel Tejada. The Orioles are still talking to several teams about Tejada to gauge other offers, but the Red Sox are believed to be one of the front runners to land the All-Star shortstop and former Most Valuable Player. The Orioles are considering offers for Tejada and are expected to either accept one or decide to keep him by late this week or early next week." -- 1.3.06, Baltimore Sun

"As for Tejada, the Cubs and Orioles didn't negotiate over the holiday weekend, but that should change in the next couple days. The Cubs would like to know where the Orioles stand so a resolution can be reached one way or another within the next week. There has been speculation in Baltimore that Orioles management plans to take a hard look this week at various trade proposals for their disenchanted superstar and decide once and for all if they want to make a move. The Cubs have made it clear that they wouldn't trade Mark Prior in a one-for-one deal for Tejada, but they would be willing to make Prior part of a package as long as they get a starting pitcher such as Erik Bedard in the swap." -- 1.3.06, Chicago Sun Times

FWIW: More Trade Fodder from an Orioles Fan Site

"The word is the Tejada-Ramirez/Clement trade has been agreed to in principle by the two teams blocked only at this time with last minute complications caused by Manny. Assuming these are ironed out the O's will have to make additional moves."

"The Manny extension demand would require the O's to pay an additional $40million over two more years. It all is negotiations and would Manny agree to one more year and/or would the O's do that? Who knows? The O's won't do the two years." -- 1.1.06, Wild Bill, Orioles Hangout Community

"The Manny extension demand would require the O's to pay an additional $40million over two more years. It all is negotiations and would Manny agree to one more year and/or would the O's do that? Who knows? The O's won't do the two years." -- 1.1.06, bigbird, Orioles Hangout Community

BDD Update: If Manny Gets Traded to Baltimore
His Contract Won't Be a Problem

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Hot Stove, Cool Music

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

The Gabe Kapler Foundation

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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