August 24, 2004

An Off-Day With Manny. Last Thursday, Manny Ramirez took a trip to the small town of Manteno, Illinois, to work out the details of the complete restoration of a 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible he's giving his father for his 65th birthday in October. The Globe's Stan Grossfeld tagged along (and took photos, 7 of which are online). This highly entertaining article is exactly the kind of stuff we should be getting from the Boston media. When Ramirez says he's worried the car won't be ready in time, the negotiations for a rush job are hilarious.

Ramirez: "Boston is the best city ever. The fans are great. They love me. Oh my God. You go out to eat, they don't let you pay for nothing. You win it there and people will go nuts. I'm going to party for a month." ... A month?!? Lightweight. They'll have to delay spring training so the players can get over their hangovers.

Even though Jason Varitek is unavailable until Friday, the Red Sox chose not to call up another catcher. So who's Mirabelli's backup? Doug Mientkiewicz, who says he caught in high school, college and the minors, adding, "I'll be a lot more comfortable behind the plate than at second."

Theo Epstein was in Portland (AA) on Sunday watching Pedro Astacio and Lenny DiNardo. Astacio started and went 4 innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk and 0 runs; he had 4 strikeouts. DiNardo allowed 3 runs on 4 hits but got credit for the win. ... Pokey Reese took "20 swings at 60 percent" on Friday and then hit again on Sunday. He also took some grounders.

Tonight: Tim Wakefield vs. Miguel Batista, 7:05 pm
Wednesday: Curt Schilling vs. Josh Towers, 7:05 pm

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