March 18, 2004

Just Random Notes. One of Curt Schilling's main goals this spring is relocating the fly balls he allows. "I thought we did that in a couple of situations today where we were intentionally trying to do it. ... [W]hen you're on the mound and you're getting ready to throw a pitch and you know the result before it happens, it's a pretty powerful thing, and it happens to me a lot because I've seen these guys hit off me time and time again, so I know if I make my pitch, I know the ball's going to go to this spot if it gets hit. ... Fenway is a park that allows you to make mistakes to center and right-center. As a guy who puts balls in the air, I need to make sure that's the part of the ballpark I use the most."

Schilling on Varitek: "From the preparation standpoint, I think we're birds of a feather. He's got an opinion on every hitter in different situations and so do I. I'm going to be able to tap into that extensively." ... Curt: "I feel like my command got here quicker this spring than normal." ... Varitek: "I expected to see a good fastball, a good split and a good slider. I didn't know his curveball was as good as it was and now he has a good changeup."

Nomar Garciaparra returned to the lineup and was 0-2 with a walk and a run scored. He struck out looking to end the first inning and flew out to right in the sixth. His only fielding opportunity came in the fifth and he handled it cleanly. ... As the team exercises caution with Trot Nixon, Theo Epstein is not ruling out a possible trade before the start of the season. ... Cesar Crespo boosted his average to .435 (10-23). ... Although Ramiro Mendoza had a stiff neck yesterday, he threw 25 pitches of live batting practice and may make his game debut early next week.

Alex Belth interviews Howard Bryant, baseball columnist for the Boston Herald and the author of "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston." ... Here's a look at the possibility that vertigo may be a side effect of steroid use, with comments on the careers of Nick Esasky and golfer David Duval.

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