The Nomar Wars; Optimal Lineups; Williamson Not Feeling The Heat. Red Sox owner John Henry says Nomar asked his agent Arn Tellem to ask for a trade one week before the trading deadline. We know that the club offered Garciaparra a 4-year deal for $60 million in the spring of 2003 and then 4-years/$48 million last winter. ... Henry stated last night that another $60 million offer was made this spring (though some of the money was deferred). "We never received a counter to any proposal we made." ... More on Henry's comments. ... Nomar talks back, as does Tellem. ... Bob Ryan looks at all angles.
Three stories from Chicago:
Garciaparra denies bad blood in Boston
Hope that Nomar's heel was just part of a game
Nomar takes a big cut - at his critics
David Ortiz will be back in the lineup on Saturday. Francona is leaning towards having Orlando Cabrera bat fifth behind Manny Ramirez. ... One discussion during the NESN broadcast last night was how to give Manny some protection. I wish Tito would flip-slop Manny and Tizzle -- which was his plan with Manny/Nomar before Garciaparra got hurt in camp. Bat Manny 3rd and Ortiz 4th -- and move Mientkiewicz up to 2nd. ... SoSHer Eric Van has plenty of thoughts on the optimal lineup. His analysis is always essential reading. Here's his lineup vs. RHP:
Mueller, 2b / 3b
Youkilis, 3b / Gutierrez, 2b / Reese, 2b
Once Bellhorn returns:
Last night was a change of pace for Curt Schilling: "[F]or four months now, I have not had my split for an entire start, much less a period of starts. I got tired of waiting for it to come around. I've been working to get it back and in lieu of that, I need something, so I've been working on a changeup for a while. I've been watching Petey and the other day (Sunday), I watched Santana pitch, and I said, 'You know, I'm going to start using it.' Tonight, I probably threw it more in a game than I have combined in my career."
Scott Williamson has made three rehab appearances for Pawtucket and his velocity is way down. "[N]ever in my career have I thrown this slow. Obviously, mechanically I'm doing something or there's something in my arm, I don't know. But, I've never thrown 86-88 miles per hour. Even with a dead arm I've thrown harder than this. It's frustrating. ... There's no pain or discomfort, so that's the good thing."
Remember Ellis Burks? He thinks he could return from his second knee surgery by the end of August.