March 3, 2004

Now Pitching For the Red Sox. Tomorrow afternoon's Grapefruit League opener against the Twins will feature: Derek Lowe, Jason Shiell, Jamie Brown, Tim Hamulack, Anastacio Martinez and Reynaldo Garcia. ... Mike F's March 2 report.

Will the Red Sox carry 11 or 12 pitchers once the season begins? Terry Francona says "an 11-man staff is more workable," but the decision is weeks away. ... After Pedro Martinez's bullpen session, some spectators asked him to sign autographs -- for their children. "They used the kids to bait me," Pedro said. "So I fooled them." He took more than a dozen kids past the security ropes to a practice field, where he sat and chatted with them and gave them autographs. ... Francona said Martinez would likely make the trip to Jupiter on March 10 to face the Cardinals. In years past, however, Pedro has avoided long bus trips and the ride to Jupiter is three hours. Martinez may pitch March 11 against Baltimore or March 12 against the Dodgers, both of which are in Fort Myers.

Knuckleballer Charlie Zink's parents were wardens at California's Folsom State Prison. "They would show me everything that happened in prison. They would bring home pictures of Charles Manson and all those famous guys. And they would take me inside the prison once in a while to show me what it was like, kind of a 'scared straight' type of thing." ... The Globe reports that Curt Schilling buzzed Kevin Millar with his first batting practice pitch after Cabin Mirror* razzed Schilling about a home run he hit in April 2002. It came as a surprise to Jason Varitek: "My heart dropped. It scared the crap out me." There is no mention of this in the other papers or in MLB's story (which all include various quotes from the BP session). [* - Last spring, when the Red Sox were trying to buy out Millar's contract with Japan's Chunichi Dragons, a SoSH poster ran an article through Babelfish and Millar's name was translated as "Cabin Mirror"; and thus was a nickname born.]

Steroids: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Marvin Benard, Benito Santiago and Randy Velarde received steroids from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) through Greg Anderson, Bonds's personal weight trainer and longtime friend. The paper noted that the information it received "did not explicitly state that the athletes had used the drugs they were said to have obtained." ... Curt Schilling said Tuesday that some of his former teammates used steroids and Johnny Damon said he's played with steroid users, including a close friend. [Also here, here and here.)

Fox will broadcast the first game of the season between the Red Sox and Yankees on April 16. The Friday night game will be pushed back to 8:05 pm. ... From yesterday's New York Times: How Mike Cameron tracks fly balls. ... The back end of the Yankees rotation -- Jose Contreras and Jon Lieber -- are hurting already. Contreras's stiff lower back and Lieber's sore groin have caused them to missing throwing sessions.

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