March 17, 2004

Reds 5, Red Sox 4. Tuesday night.
Boston      000 020 200 --  4  9  0

Cincinnati 000 110 102 -- 5 9 0
Juan Castro tripled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth off Anastacio Martinez. Reds starter Jose Acevedo allowed RBI doubles to Johnny Damon and Pokey Reese in the fifth (he also struck out the side in the 2nd). Kevin Youkilis hit a long 2-run home run off Todd Van Poppel in the eighth. ... Bronson Arroyo struck out five in three hitless innings. He walked three (the leadoff man in the 2nd and two in the 3rd) and threw 60 pitches. "[I'll] be trying to concentrate on getting in shape to handle the grind of six or seven innings. I just want to build my arm up." ... Arroyo may get the nod for the Fenway opener on April 9.

Trot Nixon took BP yesterday, but he may not be ready for the start of the season. So Terry Francona -- "just out of common sense" -- has spoken to Manny Ramirez about playing in his old position. Kevin Millar would then play left field. ... Ramirez has acquired the rights to and his sister has begun developing the site.

It looks as if all the media hooey about the Red Sox not accepting Terry Francona was bunk. Brian Daubach: "He seems to keep everyone feeling like they're a part of it. For a Red Sox camp, it's real laid-back. ...[I]t's been all about the game, which isn't always the case here." ... Millar: "He's been amazing so far. ... He's got an open-door policy. ... The big thing is you can talk to him. You can ask questions and he'll get your input into what you're thinking."

Tim Wakefield, Alan Embree and Keith Foulke pitched in a simulated game. ... Francona is leaning toward starting the season with 11 pitchers instead of 12. ... Johnny Damon spoke to Tito's Predecessor recently about reports in which Damon said he was benched last year for partying too much. "[TP] saw me with a friend of mine that looks a little shady. I hang out with rock stars, movie directors. Of course they look a little shady. ... But there wasn't a day last year where I had to be carried home." Uh, thanks, Johnny.

Bill James: "All of my work is entirely driven by questions. The statistics are simply a pathway between the question and the answer. ... When you first discover something like this (that lefty pitchers are harder to steal on than righties) and you print it, you first think, or at least I did, that the whole world is going to be aware of this now and that people will stop saying that left-handed pitchers are easier to run on than right-handers. You quickly discover that nobody is paying that much attention, and that you can demonstrate that proposition A is clearly false and people will continue to assert proposition A for the next 100 years anyway. ...

"Working with the Red Sox gives me a new perspective on every problem. It's more like trying to figure out if the things I thought from the outside really work from the inside. ... There's a universe of unknowns and a little cigar box of information. We're so far away from reaching the end of the task that it's laughable. We don't know anything, really." ... MLB: "Is the truth really in the numbers?"

Curt Schilling cited a lack of trust between the union and management regarding steroid testing. "[Y]ou find an independent third party that will handle drug testing free of ownership input and I'd bet you 99.9 percent of the players in baseball would say please do it." Damon: "I actually believe the owners want [steroids] in the game. What boosted attendance in baseball more than home runs, guys taking steroids and hitting home runs? That boosted attendance. It boosted salaries. It boosted money for owners."

Marvin Miller is calling "for a federal probe into the leak that led a newspaper to report sluggers Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield received steroids. from a nutritional supplement lab in California." Miller: "[I]t's upsetting that the media finds no room to criticize the violation by the [Department of Justice]. ... This might not be as serious as leaking the name of an undercover CIA officer, but this falls into the same category. ... Newspapers think that if you're called to give testimony before a grand jury you're guilty of something. ... The media is beginning to act like the ayatollahs in Iran, thinking they're the guardian of civic behavior."

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