New Chat

Well, it’s only KIND of new. More like ‘moved chat.

I’ve finally tied in the main page username/password with the chat username/password. So you need to log in on the main page, then click either ‘Flashchat’ on the top link bar, or ‘Chat Here’ on the left side.

Here is the link, if you want to add it to your favorites: Chat Link

Pedro starts, Schilling relieves

Heckuva 1-2 punch, eh?

"It went fine. Just the way we wanted it," said Martinez, who gave
up an RBI double to Ken Griffey Jr. in the first. "The results don't count
right now. The fact that I feel fine, feel healthy, feel strong is good enough."

Schilling threw 47 pitches (33 strikes) in 32/3 innings, allowing one run and
two hits. He struck out five of 13 batters and walked none.

"I felt strong as hell," Schilling said. "I felt like I could
have stayed out there and pitched a normal game, strength-wise. I still feel
strong. That tells me too that I went out tonight and I relaxed and I threw
the ball and pitched instead of trying to overthrow."
HEUSCHKEL

And do you think last October might be on Terry’s mind?

"If I'm going to pull a guy there, I'll do it right before I leave the
dugout just so he can't [talk me out of it]," Francona said. "We're
all human and they're so good, but I don't want these guys reaching back for
more."

I know it was only a meaningless Spring Training game, but it looks like the
Bruins are going to screw me yet again this year. Last year when there was a
conflict, NESN put the Sox on an alternate channel…but my cable company didn’t
carry it. And I just found out that the Bruins are going to make the NHL playoffs,
so I can look forward to interruptions a couple times a week until the All Star
break, I suppose…

And here’s a Contract Update for today:

There was a strong indication yesterday that the Sox are making serious bids to re-sign Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Jason Varitek before the end of spring training, according to one industry source with knowledge of the talks. The team has made offers to all three players, with the offer to Garciaparra believed to be for three years plus an option. So far, the source said, the players have not been receptive to the proposals. "Actually, I prohibited my agent [Fernando Cuza] from calling me about my that," Martinez said of his negotiations. "I haven't heard anything, I don't know anything. If I hear anything, it will be, `Pedro's ready to sign.' "Globe Notes

Spin

So I’m sitting here reading the AP story on the Sox/Yanks spring training game…was today a slow news day??

The Red Sox blew that comfortable lead just as they had done last Oct. 16 in Game 7 when they squandered a 5-2 lead in the eighth and lost 6-5 on Aaron Boone's solo homer in the 11th.

On Sunday, the Red Sox gave up a 4-0 lead as the Yankees hit four homers -- two by former Boston first baseman Tony Clark and one each by Jeter and Ruben Sierra. Clark and Miguel Cairo each had three hits for New York.

Mariano Rivera, who pitched a perfect third inning, got the win just as he did in Game 7 when he finished with three shutout innings.

Here’s what I’d like you to do in the comments section. Do an AP writeup of yesterday’s game, with the following changes: Score was 11-7 Sox, Pedro/Schilling/Lowe got bombed for 4 runs in the first 2 innings, and the Sox came back against AA/AAA pitching.

In Tents

Shilling appears to be like campers (the title? Get it? in-tents? OK; let’s
move on.). Fired up for a game against my wife’s alma mater, he was evidently
fired up:

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was sitting at his locker
putting on his socks when he noticed a reporter approaching.

"Not right now," Schilling said politely. "After the game, OK?"

From the moment he arrived at City of Palms Park wearing a Sandy Koufax jersey,
Schilling was focused. It didn't matter that his first start this spring was
against a bunch of college kids.

"He'll find some reason to treat this like a big game," Red Sox manager
Terry Francona said before the game. "I'm not sure what it is yet, but
he'll find one."

Schilling pitched three innings and allowed three hits in a 7-0 victory over
Northeastern University Friday. He struck out three and walked none. He threw
36 pitches, 28 for strikes.
HEUSCHKEL

The article goes on to say that Curt plans on being at 100 pitches by the time
Spring Training is over. Workhorse pitching like that in addition to a much
stronger staff than the one that left Florida last March bodes well for the
2004 bullpen.

And from yesterday
on the report of the first ST game of the season, we see that Francona had the
bright idea (not a new idea to all of us, mind you) to switch Manny and Nomar
in the lineup. I LOVE this move for a couple of reasons. No more Manny leading
off the 2nd…starting pitcher forced to throw more pitches in the first inning…splitting
up the power guys a bit…

Anyway, the Sox are now 2-0 in ST (yeah; I know they’ve played 3..but come
on…Northeastern and BC?), and I’ve only watched 1/2 an inning. I went down
to Mohegan Sun last night
during the game for my wife’s birthday. I hadn’t been in nearly four years…that
joint is impressive. Since it was her birthday, we only did slots (which I loathe)
and ended up losing only $40. Had a nice meal at Bubba’s
BBQ
, I recommend it if you are in the area. In fact, I might make the trip
down a few more times just to try out the restaurant selection.

I figure the first full game I take in will be tomorrow’s Sox/Yanks game.

Roid Rage

Today, the Courant weighs in on the steriod issue with comments from some of
the Sox players. Damon all but names Giambi:

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said Tuesday that some of
his former teammates used steroids. Johnny Damon also said he's played with
steroid users.

"Everything right now is hearsay," Schilling said. "But if these
guys are caught, or whoever they are, there will be a price to pay beyond the
embarrassment of having your entire career tainted and having the game tainted."

Damon said one of the players mentioned is a close friend.

"I know there's a chance he has done stuff in the past," Damon said.
"It doesn't take away the fact that he can hit baseballs. You still have
to hit them. But it definitely made him a lot of money. It's worked out for
him. Hopefully he's aware and he's able to stop and continue to play well."
HEUSCHKEL

Also noted is the progress of Schilling’s new cut fastball (“It’s coming”),
and Pedro looking sharp for his second mound session.

From the Yankees camp, the Courant’s Dom Amore also weighs in on the issue.

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are trying to pretend the steroids issue in baseball
is not an issue for them.

Still, this one is not going away, and it threatens to blow a hole through
this usually impregnable baseball cocoon.

"We're going to be playing some games," manager Joe Torre said, "and
that will give you something to talk about besides this stuff we're not commenting
on that won't go away."
AMORE

Should be interesting to see if this affects the Yanks.

And I’m gonna like this Schilling fella. This cracked me up:

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mess with Curt Schilling at your peril, it seems. Even if you're a teammate.

Kevin Millar made the mistake yesterday of reminding Schilling about the time he took him deep April 28, 2002, for the Marlins, when Schilling was pitching for Arizona.

"He was talking about how he has a tape on all the hitters," Millar said. "I asked him if he had my big blast against him. It went about 330 feet and barely cleared the fence."

Schilling answered Millar's question a little later. When Millar stepped in against him for batting practice, Schilling whistled his first pitch of the day just behind Millar's neck.

"My heart dropped," said catcher Jason Varitek. "It scared the crap out me."

Ditto for Millar, whose homer was his only hit in seven career at-bats against Schilling.

"He didn't even tell Varitek he was going to do it," Millar said.

Asked about the pitch afterward, Schilling said, "You can ask [Millar] about that one."

Told that Millar connected it to his playful banter earlier in the day and that Varitek dismissed it as "just joking," Schilling seemed a bit puzzled. Or he did a good job of faking it.

"You're taking this seriously," a reporter said.

"This is what I do," Schilling said. "Did I hit him?"
Globe

EDIT: Apparantly, Schilling didn’t take to kindly to the above piece (which I saw as funny…it is evident that some people read it and thought that he really did try to kill Millar.) Follow the Tuesday Mike F link for his full response.

First off, the pitch was nowhere near his neck, obviously whoever wrote the piece was not actually an eyewitness to the incident. Second, what Bob Hohler wrote was not accurate either, since it was he who asked me the question, not "a reporter".

The pitch WAS intended to be a joke, kinda. ... I knew he was in my BP group, so I waited to make my response It worked, everyone had a laugh, and I think everyone that isn't a close friend or teammate in the immediate vicinity got the idea.

Lastly, what he did ask me, which in reality is really none of his business, was if I was joking, which I thought was a pretty stupid question to begin with, of course I was as far as he was concerned. But the work being done during BP is not a joke. Everyone outside of the batting cage, rookie pitchers and hitters included, were left to wonder whether it was or wasn't, so I was satisfied. Bottom line is if I can scare the crap out of one of my teammates (for just one second), then they ought to be pretty confident that when the games count, starting tomorrow, like every winning team I have ever been on, they have my back, I have theirs.

And in all honesty, I think I walked about 60 guys in my last 400 or so innings, if I wanted to hit someone...........

The above is about what I assumed when I read the Globe piece…which is why I got a chuckle out of it. Evidently, on SoSH (and I saw it here on PSF.com as well as other message boards), some read the article at face value and were actually MAD at Schilling.

I thought this was a group of fans that didn't buy into alot of the crap being written, you can't take alot of this stuff at face value, you can't.

Ouch. Anyway, I really hope Schilling doesn’t feel the need to present his side of everything that is written about him during his Boston tenure…because if so, he ain’t gonna have time to get ready to pitch!

WARNING

EDIT: I’m bumping this back up to the top, as I seem to be getting a lot of hits from a lot of search engines about this problem. You can find information about the virus here

If you get an email from staff@portlandsoxfan.com with a zip file attatched, don’t open it. I have no idea what it is; but I got one as well. Here is the text of the message:


Dear user of Portlandsoxfan.com,

Some of our clients complained about the spam (negative e-mail content) outgoing from your e-mail account. Probably, you have been infected by a proxy-relay trojan server. In order to keep your computer safe, follow the instructions.

For more information see the attached file.

For security reasons attached file is password protected. The password is "01415".

Cheers,
The Portlandsoxfan.com team

UPDATE

It appears that some yahoo with a University of Michegan account with me in their address book was hit with a virus. A clever one, mind you. It takes the domain of the person who it is emailing, and crafts a custom letter. For example, if your email was abc.com, the above letter would have been from staff@abc.com, and would have been signed ‘the abc.com team’.

So you all are fine; nothing was compromised as I initally feared. And Go Buckeyes!

Puff Willy, Pedro Diddy

Today’s Courant article discusses Williamson, with a blurb about Pedro that
is very encouraging.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Nomar
Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez weren’t the only players the Red Sox were willing
to trade in the off-season. Scott Williamson also was rumored to be headed elsewhere.

Williamson, who wanted to
be the closer, knew the Red Sox were pursuing free agent Keith Foulke to fill
that role. Williamson kept hearing he was headed to the White Sox with Garciaparra,
a deal that eventually fell through.

Williamson said there were
at least a half-dozen teams that inquired about him, and that he was told by
general manager Theo Epstein to pick one.

“I want to stay in Boston,”
the righthander told Epstein.

Epstein was more than happy
to oblige.HEUSCHKEL

-?

Heuschkel also reports that Pedro was looking good off the mound:

Pedro Martinez threw off the mound
for the first time. His bullpen session was impressive.

“The only word [pitching coach]
Dave Wallace used is ridiculous,” manager Terry Francona said. “He
hadn’t thrown off the mound since October. He’s not supposed to be that good.”

Martinez, who threw 49 pitches, also
was encouraged.

“You know, I got a little bit
excited today and I actually threw all three pitches and all three seemed to
be pretty comfortable,” he said. “It’s the first time ever that I
threw breaking balls on the first time out on the mound. I normally just throw
fastballs. This time I felt like I could do that. I did that and it went OK.
I just hope [today] I’m not too sore.”

And from the ‘awww, that’s a SHAME’ department, Mendoza may start the season on
the DL.

On a completely unrelated note..if my mailman, Mike the Sox Fan, is reading this…no, I did not switch sides. Those damned Yankees sent me a brochure and ‘fan guide’ because I bought ALCS tickets!

-?