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Home » Monthly Archive » November 2007

November 28, 2007

Red Carpet

On Monday, November 26 the world premiere of the 2007 World Series Film was unveiled at Wang Theater. At this showing only, over the majestic refrains so typical of sports documentaries, narrator Matt Damon solemnly intoned, “And so, the 2007 Red Sox are World Champions. [pause] Suck on it, New York.” It accompanied a clip of Daisuke Matsuzaka striding to the mound.

Unfortunately, this version is not available for sale to the general public.

I ran into the fine folks responsible for A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory, Gibberish from the 02145, Red Sox Chick, and Sitting Still. We talked about our favorite parts of the film while looking for esteemed Red Sox alumni.

The scene in the lobby.

Better than any holiday decoration yet devised.

Manny Delcarmen makes his way to the stage.

Curt Schilling brings the 2004 trophy to the stage.

This little guy will soon be joined by his friend.

Dave Magadan gets the spotlight at last.

Delcarmen is proud to represent his team and his town.

Schilling wasn’t briefed on proper première attire.

Terry Francona said that winning championships is “like a drug.” Listen to Tito, kids! Drugs are good.

Larry Lucchino hefts the 2007 trophy.

A perfect pair.

Sam Horn departs the theater.

November 20, 2007

Sweet and Lowell

Theo Epstein did what fans gathered around home plate in Colorado and thronged along the Rolling Rally’s route clamored for: he resigned Mike Lowell so that the 2007 World Series MVP will remain at third base for the next three years.

The deal is a reported $37.5M, much less than the four-year, $50M deal proffered by the Phillies. Lowell truly proved he wanted to remain in Boston for the last years of his career as he turned down more money and a cozier park for the Red Sox. As inspiring as the Phillies’ run was this past season, Pat Gillick’s organization lags behind Boston’s both in major league success and minor league talent.

Could anyone have known that the so-called salary dump that accompanied Josh Beckett to Boston would become the cornerstone at the hot corner?

November 13, 2007

Shorn and Forlorn

A warning to Mike Lowell:



Kevin Youkilis cleaned up for charity while Johnny Damon did so for $52M. Another difference is that Youkilis has the option to wear his whiskers from April to September and conceivably deep into October.

Millar Copes with Life Post-Boston


Former Red Sox utility man Kevin Millar still has not accepted that he is no longer part of his beloved Boston club. His return to Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series propelled Millar into a fugue state where he believes he is still a member of the Red Sox.

While in this delusional mindset Millar agreed to be part of a “Where Are They Now?” segment on NESN. As the interview unraveled, however, it became clear that Millar had selective amnesia of his whereabouts since becoming a free agent following the 2005 season. NESN reporter Hazel Mae asked him numerous questions about being an ex-Red Sox, befuddling Millar. Instead, Millar opined on his preference for Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein to sign Alex Rodriguez since the exclusive negotiating period with Mike Lowell had lapsed at midnight. It was reminiscent of the brouhaha the player caused in the 2003 postseason where he appeared on SportsCenter stumping for Rodriguez over Nomar Garciaparra.

When Mae attempted to redirect Millar to discuss what life was like in the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse for the past two years. “Now, Hazel honey, I know you got this practical joke thing going with Tito, but this is taking it way too far,” laughed Millar. as Mae questioned him “And if I’m the one saying it’s gone too far, well, that’s really saying something.”

“So, where are they?” Millar demanded with grim laugh as he dashed from the interview and tore apart the Boston Red Sox locker room. “Timlin! Schill! Belli! You guys can’t hide from me.” Cameras followed the boisterous ballplayer as he searched through the training room, Jacuzzi room, and showers.

This was just the latest in a series of incidents where Millar demonstrated his ever-loosening grip on reality. Last month he showed up for the Rolling Rally through Boston celebrating the Red Sox’s seventh World Championship requesting his name be added to one of the duck boats. “I know I’m not in the MLBPA, but I still deserve to have my name up there with the rest of y’all. Just as long as I get a matching ring for this baby,” he said while displaying his 2004 ring to the police and security personnel who blocked his entry in the parade.

Millar was a replacement player during the 1995 players’ strike and was subsequently barred for life from joining the union representing professional baseball players.

Millar’s wife Jeanna has urged her husband to seek professional help to no avail. “I’ve just about given up. He seems so much happier now that believes he helped win their second title in four years. Before his break from reality he would give dates in relation to October 27, 2004. “Happy six months since we won it all!” he yelled after I gave birth to twins.”

Millar repeatedly declined to comment on recent events, citing his hectic schedule filled with post-World Series appointments such as a ring sizing session. “Funny how you can add on a few pounds over the years. Just ask my buddy Schill.”

November 12, 2007

Peewee’s Big Award

He who is too short and has too big of a swing garnered AL Rookie of the Year honors, becoming the first Red Sox player to be so recognized since Nomar Garciaparra in 1997.

Dustin Pedroia has been proving naysayers wrong his entire life and this most recent honor may at last quiet those doubters. Even if the skeptics continue to harp on his untraditional build and technique, the infielder will do the same he has done for the past 24 years: ignore them.

The Red Sox second baseman was first on 24 of the 28 ballots for a total of 132 points. He was tenth in the league for batting average with .317 and 21st for OBP at .380. Only Placido Polanco had comparable production at the same position.

Two of his teammates also got the sportswriters’ attention: Daisuke Matsuzaka came in fourth with 12 points and Hideki Okajima sixth with three points.

Congratulations to Rat Boy!

November 10, 2007

Chip Off the Young Jock

Rob Bradford of the Boston Herald revealed that Dustin Pedroia played the final two months of the season with a cracked hamate bone in his left hand. This is the same bone that David Ortiz and Wily Mo Peña have had removed and is commonly fractured by batters and golfers.

Now that Pedroia has followed in the footsteps of his teammate Ortiz, could the Silver Slugger award be close behind? Ortiz garnered his fourth Silver Slugger award yesterday. Ortiz also had surgery recently, but his procedure was on the torn meniscus in his right knee. Follow the link for actual images of arthroscopic procedures from Wheeless’ Textbook of Orthopaedics hosted by Duke University.


Image courtesy of the College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida via the University of California.

November 6, 2007

20 Karat Gold

Kevin Youkilis garnered the Gold Glove award today, making him the 16th Red Sox player and the only other first baseman than George “Boomer” Scott to seize the award. The Red Sox farm product boasts 135 errorless games and 1,094 flawless innings.

Coco Crisp was iced out of the same honor for his superb work in center. Instead the outfield was represented by perennial winners Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki, both of whom snagged their seventh award, and Grady Sizemore, who won his first. That could have helped Crisp’s trade value.

Results Not Typical

The Red Sox and Curt Schilling agreed to a one-year contract for $8 million. He can earn $2 million more if he meets a weight clause and $3 million additional for performance-based incentives.

If this is his last year as a professional baseball player, he would retire as a Red Sox. He could have his number retired should he make it to Cooperstown. The Black and Gray Ink have him making it by a smidge. Although he never won a Cy Young, he has been the World Series Co-MVP and is a preeminent postseason pitcher. I think he makes it in eventually.

I’m certain Schilling is already in initial discussions with various weight-loss companies for endorsement deals. Other titles I considered for this piece:

  • Pounds, Schillings, and Sense
  • Heavy Consequences
  • Weighty Decision

November 2, 2007

2008 Takes Shape

Doug Mirabelli joined Kevin Cash (who declined an assignment to Pawtucket), Matt Clement, Eric Gagne, Eric Hinske, Bobby Kielty, and Curt Schilling in filing for free agency. See you guys next April on Opening Day.

Mike Lowell is eligible but has not yet filed.

In each post-championship interview I have seen, everyone from David Ortiz to Terry Francona have praised the World Series MVP third baseman to the skies. He may be aging, but he doesn’t have the ego issues of Alex Rodriguez or the weight and character concerns of Miguel Cabrera. According to Peter Gammons, the starting price for the man who minds the hot corner for the Marlins would probably start at Clay Buchholz. Hopefully the Yankees would top that offer with their emerging ace Phil Hughes, crippling their rotation.

Pitching coach John Farrell, who so adroitly managed the development of young and foreign arms, mentored Josh Beckett on his path to maturity, and eased Schilling’s transition from power to finesse pitcher, declined to join the Pirates as their field manager. Farrell seems destined for bigger and better things; an offer from any other franchise than the woebegone Bucs may have had him packing.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Tim Wakefield, the elder statesman, had his option exercised, as did Julian Tavarez. Perhaps the latter will cease his pouting, so evident as he was left off the postseason rosters.

Finally, Sean Danielson was sent from the Cardinals to complete the Joel Pineiro deal. The Pedroia-sized outfielder projects as bench player with both defensive and pinch-hitting possibilities.

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