May 17, 2004

And On The 21st Day, He Rested. Johnny Damon is "looking forward to getting home and jumping on my boat and fishing." ... Boat? You mean he doesn't just walk out onto the lake? (I have to get in my Son of God references before "Jesus Shaves" on the 21st.)

His teammates will similarly enjoy their first day without a game in nearly three weeks. Boston's last off-day was April 26 and since then -- "riddled with injuries and fatigue" -- they have gone 10-10 against Tampa Bay, Texas, Cleveland, Kansas City and Toronto. Kevin Millar: "This has been the worst travel I've ever seen. We've gotten into three cities at 4 in the morning or later." (Looks like Herald can't wait to panic.)

Damon suggests the team misses Trot Nixon more than Nomar Garciaparra: "We have a spot for Trot right away, but we're going to have to finagle the lineup a little bit to get Nomar back in there because Pokey and Bellhorn have done a great job. But I think we mostly miss Trot." I can't say I agree with this. It should be pretty easy to mix-and-match Reese and Bellhorn at 2B. ... Speaking of the disabled duo, Nomar played in another simulated game at Fenway yesterday and will be reevaluated today. Nixon is scheduled to DH in an extended spring training game today."

Bill Mueller will likely be back at 3B tomorrow night, but if the Red Sox continue to keep 14 position players (yes please!), which seems likely, Kevin Youkilis may stick around. ... He and fellow rookie Lenny DiNardo had to wear Hooters outfits through customs and the flight to Tampa. ... Cesar Crespo has not walked this year (56 plate appearances). ... Boston obtained outfielder Henri Stanley from the Padres for cash and assigned him to Pawtucket. Theo: "He's a guy we've had our eye on for a while. He's not off to a great start this year, but sometimes that's the time to get a player."

In Tampa Bay:

Tuesday: Tim Wakefield/Mark Hendrickson
Wednesday: Curt Schilling/Rob Bell
Thursday: Derek Lowe/Victor Zambrano

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