Schilling Is Curt With Minor Leaguers. The new ace pitched four scoreless innings in a simulated game against a bunch of Sox minor leaguers: Chris Durbin, Brandon Moss, David Murphy, Hanley Ramirez, Chad Spann, Dustin Brown, Jeremy West, James Buckley, Patrick Boran and Kenton Myers. Schilling threw 62 pitches, allowing one hit (a single by West), and two walks; he struck out five. ... Gabe Kapler played third base during the outing. ... Mike F was there with his camera.
For the 4th consecutive year, Schilling will not pitch against teams in his division in spring training. "I feel like with the video preparation that I do, I have a huge advantage over hitters that haven't seen me." ... He's also experimenting with a changeup after getting some tips from Pedro.
Johnny Pesky: "There's not a tougher place for a third base coach than Fenway Park. ... Wendell [Kim] ... thought everybody could run like Seabiscuit. And Rene Lachemann was a guy who had great baseball instincts, but he was awful." Dale Sveum takes over this year. ... Last year, Derek Lowe says he didn't throw as well as he's throwing now until June. I like this news a lot. ... Bob Hohler looks at the Blue Jays. ... Baseball has always been dying.
With a headline like this -- "Will BoSox blow it? Always do" -- you know just what you're gettin'. Dave Perkins writes that the Red Sox are loaded this year, so "it's difficult to imagine which portion of the club will go kablooey and leave the customers in tears," but "something always does." ... There aren't many moldier storylines than this, although "baseball is dying" is certainly one of them (though to be honest, a lot of his piece deals with the '04 improvements). Maybe Perkins is angling for a writing gig in Boston?
Either way, he ought to can the kablooey talk, because he writes for a paper in a town whose 1987 team led the Tigers in the AL East by 3½ games with 7 to play. Toronto lost all 7 games, including the last 3 to Detroit and finished 2 games out of first. Known then as the "Blow Jays," that collapse came only two years after losing the ALCS to the Royals after being up 3 games to 1.
Dave Perkins -- you are on The List.