February 7, 2004

Nixon: Three More Years! Trot Nixon has signed a three-year contract worth $19.5 million. It replaces the one-year, $6.6 million deal he signed January 20.

The Sons of Sam Horn presented the Jimmy Fund with a check for $23,600, raised through contributions as a tribute to the 2003 team. ... Gordon Edes chats with Curt Schilling. ... Prosecutors have videotape that may include part of the ALCS fight in the Yankee bullpen at Fenway Park. ... Scuffling in Red Sox Blogland. ... Ellis Burks on coming back to Boston.

Howard Bryant: "[I] first met [Burks] 1995, when he was with Colorado ... Boston had hurt him, mostly because as a kid outfielder, he was thrust into volatility that was special to Boston. He never became the next Big Thing, as was projected. Race had weighed heavily on everyone in the Sox clubhouse during those years. ... He was not an attention-seeking player, and throughout the years when we spoke formally in conversations that would appear in my book, "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston," as well as informally, his desire to discuss his experiences in Boston were not borne out of the need to vent. Ellis Burks simply remembered hard times as he saw them. ...

"The Boston that Burks returns to now, I reported to him yesterday, is one of softening edges and better everyday living. ... He may not see more black faces at Fenway, but he won't feel the hostility he felt back in the 1980s, either. ... 'I could have gone to Seattle, but the Red Sox were so close. I'm only an hour plane ride away from my family, and the team is stacked with Schilling and Foulke. Wouldn't that be something, Ellis Burks coming back to Boston on a World Series team?'"

Also: Two changes to the spring training schedule: Boston will play Baltimore (not Florida) on March 14; March 15's game against Cleveland has been moved to March 18.

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