Iraq and he can't stand up and say what he wants? I once saw a whole busload of kids scream `Dodgers suck' and they weren't ejected.''
(Aside: You always know things have degenerated when people start making war analogies.)
For what it's worth, Padres director of event operations Ken Kawachi told the newspaper that fans ``shouldn't do anything to disrupt the enjoyment of other fans,'' a clear indication that Kawachi has never been to a game involving the Red Sox and the Yankees.
I mean, if stadium security kicked out fans in Boston and New York for transgressions like that, would there be anybody left to watch the game?
- Robert Saunoke, who serves as as attorney for Jose Canseco, already is hyping Canseco's next book, due out next spring.
``There will be more names, there will be managers, team doctors,'' Saunooke said from his office in Florida. ``There is a component of baseball that people just don't get and this (next book) will show what really goes on inside baseball.''
Does anyone else get the feeling that Canseco's writing efforts will become to the book world what the ``Police Academy'' movies were to film-making?
That just can 't be good.
- David Wells on Jon Paplebon, whom Wells repeatedly met at the top step of the dugout during the youngster's major league debut last weekend: ``I do it all with all my teammates. First game. Rookie. Everybody should be up on that step. You're looking at a future star.''
- So who do you think is calling the shots on whether he plays this year, Barry Bonds or the San Francisco Giants?
My money is on Bonds.
- According to West Coast historian and statistician Bill Arnold, there is a man from St. Paul, Minn. - 63-year-old Seth Hawkins - who has made it a point to be in attendance when the last 18 members of the 3,000-hit club have reached the magical plateau.
This begs the question:
Doesn't this guy have a, you know, LIFE?
- Taking a page out of the Roger Clemens playbook, Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Yhency Brazoban and his wife, Yoneidi, have named their two children Yelaini and Yalana.
His four sons are named Koby, Kody, Kory and Kacy in honor of the strikeout, which, of course, is scored using the letter K.
Oh, and please note that the last two letters of the latter are CY.
- Greg Maddux is just 1-9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his career, in part because he has allowed 10 career home runs to outfielder Luis Gonzalez, who has homered three times against Maddux this year alone.
``I just hope he mentions me in his Hall of Fame speech,'' Gonzalez said.
- Purely for informational purposes, Byung-Hyun Kim has a 4.33 ERA in 12 starts since being moved into the Colorado Rockies rotation.
``I was never hurt, I just had to fix my mechanics,'' Kim said. ``My balance generates my power. I am getting back to that, taking baby steps.''
- Entering today's scheduled game against the Kansas City Royals, the Oakland A's have won 13 straight games started by Danny haren.
``I haven't thrown particularly well the last five or six starts,'' Haren said. ``I've left several games we were losing. The offense has really picked me up the last month.''
- Jason Giambi is a great story, but given his past, it is only human nature to wonder if he is relying on more than Nantucket Nectars.
``It's a result of playing hard and working hard,'' Giambi said. ``If somebody wants to shortchange it, that's their problem, not mine.''
- Got this letter recently:
``To Mr. No It All: Have you ever been tired from working to hard? Well I think Manny has been working to hard for his team hitting all of those home runs. The guy needs a rest once in a while! I believe he should be a D.H. So start writing some cool things about him you (expletive). Wake up and work as hard as Manny Ramirez does for his team.''
Stanley enjoys kid stuff
Mike Stanley and Dante Bichette have 29 years of major league experience between them, but there is something about baseball that can still make you feel like a kid again.
Both retired, Stanley and Bichette are now assistant coaches on the Florida state champion Maitland Little League team competing in this weekend's national regional tournament. If things go well, both could be at the Little League World Series later this month.
Talk about coming full circle.
``It has been a blast to coach these kids. The drama of these last few games has been every bit as intense as being in a playoff game,'' Stanley said recently via e-mail. ``When we won the state title, you should have seen the excitement between Dante and me as he picked me up and (nearly) drove me through a fence.
``There have been many times since I left that I wished Theo (Epstein) would give me a call and offer me something in Boston,'' Stanley continued. ``But I'd be kicking myself if I had missed out on this summer.''
And it isn't over yet.
While it remains debatable as to just how close the Red Sox came to trading Manny Ramirez last week, there is little doubt that the club was serious about disposing of both the player and his sizable contract. In the end, the Sox failed to pull the trigger, a decision based largely on one simple fact.
When it comes to run production, there are so few players like him.
Entering this weekend's series between the Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, Ramirez led all major league players with exactly 100 RBI. While that total was impressive unto itself, Ramirez had amassed that number in only 99 games, the kind of ratio that would place him in the class of Maurice ``Rocket'' Richard were Ramirez a member of the NHL.
Now the owner of eight consecutive seasons with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI, Ramirez is the major league leader in RBI since that streak began in 1998. As the following shows, however, Ramirez has done so while playing in 101 fewer games than his next closest pursuer:
G Avg AB R H HR RBI
Ramirez, Cle-Bos 1082 .318 3992 803 1270 311 998
Alex Rodriguez, Sea-Tex-NYY 1184 .304 4605 939 1398 347 953
Carlos Delgado, Tor-Fla 1148 .292 4139 775 1208 290 917
Rafael Plameiro, Balt-Tex 1204 .282 4349 699 1226 298 876
On location ... and of site; Is it something in the water?
After completing this weekend's series against the Twins in Minnesota, the Red Sox will return to Fenway Park tomorrow for the opener of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. And when the Sox do, they will encounter a Rangers team that leads the major leagues in home runs.
With roughly one-third of the 2205 season remaining, the 2005 Rangers are on pace for 271 home runs, a total that would break the major league record of 264 currently held by the 1997 Seattle Mariners. Texas players Mark Teixeira (28 home runs), Alfonso Soriano (26) and Hank Blalock (21) had combined for 75 home runs, one fewer than the entire Washington Nationals team.
The catch? Like many home run hitters, Teixeira, Soriano and Blalock were benefitting greatly from playing at the hitter-friendly Ameriquest Field. Here were each player's home and road totals entering a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles:
9-28 - Won-lost record of the Baltimore Orioles in their final 37 games under manager Lee Mazzilli, who was fired on Thursday. Formerly a coach with the New York Yankees, Mazzilli was a surprising hire when the Orioles fired Mike Hargrove following the 2003 campaign. During Mazzilli's two years in Baltimore, the Orioles went 129-140, a winning percentage of .480. Baltimore also lost 16 of its final 18 games before Mazzilli's dismissal.
16 - Entering this weekend's series between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, intentional walks drawn by Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, who led the major leagues in that category. Lee's total is worth noting given the extended absence of San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, who drew a preposterous 120 intentional walks last season. Second to Bonds in all of baseball was Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Jim Thome, who had 26.
8 - Combined walks drawn by Red Sox designated David Ortiz over the last three games in which Manny Ramirez was absent from the starting lineup. Tied for the league lead in walks entering this weekend's series with the Minnesota Twins, Ortiz walked four times on July 29 and three more times on Aug. 4, the bookend games on the Sox' recently-completed six-game homestand. He walked once on July 31, after which pinch-hitter Ramirez delievered a game-winning single.
.316 - Entering a weekend series with the Cleveland Indians, batting average of Detroit Tigers second baseman Placido Polanco this season with two strikes in the count. Recently signed by the Tigers to a four-year contract extension, Polanco was batting .366 overall with the Tigers since being acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in a mid-season trade. During the offseason, the Red Sox expressed interest in signing Polanco as a free agent. LOAD-DATE: August 7, 2005
ALL EDITIONS SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 012 LENGTH: 235 words HEADLINE: Meehan calling on Mideast to help fight terror BYLINE:By DAVE WEDGE BODY:
A month after backing a controversial plan to pull troops out of Iraq, Bay State Congressman Martin Meehan is heading back to key Middle East nations to solicit help in the War on Terror.
Meehan (D-Lowell), who traveled to Iraq earlier this year, was among six lawmakers last month who proposed removing most U.S. forces from the war-torn country by the end of the year and having just 30,000 peace-keeping soldiers there by mid-2006.
In three weeks, Meehan and six other members of the House sub-committee on terrorism will travel to Libya, Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt and Israel ``to determine what those countries are doing to assist in the war on terror and what may be happening in those countries that assists terrorists.''
``What is Egypt doing to help us?'' Meehan said. ``Obviously, the number of terrorists around the world is growing and we need to put pressure on those countries that assist and we need to get a better handle on it.''
The nations were chosen because their governments have been cooperative with President Bush, yet terrorists often hide within their borders.
``I think it's an opportunity to try to communicate with the leaders in a part of the world where terrorists seem to be . . . multiplying,'' Meehan said. ``I think we've gotten a lot of cooperation. We've seen progress in Egypt and Lebanon. I think we're making progress but . . . we need better cooperation from other countries.'' LOAD-DATE: August 5, 2005
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The Boston Herald July 31, 2005 Sunday
ALL EDITIONS SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 008 LENGTH: 408 words HEADLINE: Free speech by the yard;
Hell, fire and political ire just par of the landscape BYLINE: By Laura Crimaldi BODY:
Who needs the Internet? If you really have something to say, blog it on your front lawn.
``I guess the signs are a bit of fire and brimstone, but he didn't come across that way,'' said Anita Miranda of the Somerville triple-decker her late father, Hugh Gillen, wrapped in prayers.
From Somerville to Lynn to Groton, homeowners with a message exercise their First Amendment rights by turning their front lawns into political and religious pulpits.
Gillen, a devout Catholic and former seminarian who died in April of Alzheimer's disease at age 84, started erecting black signs with white lettering on his 50 Cherry St. home when Miranda was a teen. One sign - which reads (a tad ungrammatically) `The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, adultery, abortion, condom, gay God Hate' - drew ire from gay rights groups.
Several of them staged a peaceful protest outside the home eight years ago. Vandals have thrown bricks through the front windows and someone even poured battery acid on the front seat of Gillen's car, seriously burning him, Miranda said.
But for drunks, homeless and destitutes, the house was a last resort and Gillen's family often took those troubled people from their doorstep to the detox.
``I believe in God. I like it,'' said Marianna Pernice, a Catholic who lives next door to Gillen.
In Groton, Tom Callahan has put his beliefs on his lawn with a picture of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that reads ``LIARS!'' next to a March 18, 2003, quote from Bush about lethal weapons in Iraq. Underneath,the words ``Quagmire Accomplished'' are scrawled in magic marker.
Though Groton police said they haven't heard a peep about the sign, that's not the case in Lynn, where the Anti-Defamation League has gotten involved in an uproar over a sign hanging on the home of a well-known lawyer.
The controversial sign, which reads ``Land-grabbing Israel is bleeding America,'' is affixed to Martin J. McNulty's home, located in the historic Diamond District.
``He apparently (told a re porter) that he's not an anti-Semite and if he's not an anti-Semite, he should take into account that his sign is offending the Jewish community in Lynn and take the sign down,'' said Robert Trestan, civil rights council for ADL-New England.
Though McNulty did not return repeated calls from the Herald, one neighbor defended his right to express himself. ``This is the United States of America. Freedom of speech,'' said neighbor Jeff Blydell. GRAPHIC: SIGN OF THE TIMES:Presiden Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are the stars of this `Quagmire Accomplished' sign, which adorns the front lawn of Tom Callahan 's home on Townsend Road in Groton. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel
`NOT AN ANTI-SEMITE': In Lynn, Martin J.McNulty shows his apparent feelings on America's support of Israel with a sign that eads, `Land-grabbing Israel is bleeding America.' Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel LOAD-DATE: July 31, 2005
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The Boston Herald July 26, 2005 Tuesday
ALL EDITIONS SECTION: EDITORIAL; Pg. 029 LENGTH: 651 words HEADLINE: Op-Ed;
On national defense, Harvard's boss AWOL BYLINE: By Virginia BUCKINGHAM BODY:
It's time for Harvard University President Larry Summers to pick a fight. And this one will make the contretemps over whether women have a head for science a tea party by comparison.
Army officials testified before Congress last week that their active duty service, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard will miss annual recruiting quotas for the first time since 1999.
Through June, according to The New York Times, the active duty Army had enlisted 47,121, far short of its 80,000 goal. In response to the recruiting drought, the Pentagon has asked Congress to raise the maximum age for active duty recruits across all branches from 35 to 42. And cash incentives for recruits could go as high as $104,400.
Still, ``this is not about money and benefits; this is about message,'' as Gen. Peter Pace, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledges.
And what message is sent to the best and brightest of America's young people if their fellow students who want to commit to military service have to take a bus from Harvard Yard to MIT in order to drill? Nor is Harvard alone in its exiling of ROTC cadets. Yale sends its cadets to the University of Connecticut. Columbia sends its military-minded students over to Fordham. Just four Ivy League schools - Cornell, Dartmouth, Penn and Princeton - allow the ROTC to drill on their own hallowed grounds.
Summers is the one Ivy League president with the guts to lead the charge to return the Reserve Officer Training Corp. to every campus.
1st Lt. Seth Moulton, Harvard '01, decided to join the Marines before Sept. 11 - and before the war in Iraq became a political football. He wasn't in ROTC and of the campus controversy says, ``On the one hand it's cut and dry, Harvard has an anti-discrimination policy. But the military is not just a law firm; there are consequences to barring ROTC.''
Moulton has not been shy about asking his contemporaries to mull the consequences of their actions - or inactions. ``What will be our call to greatness, our summons to nobility?'' he asked his fellow grads as one of three student commencement speakers in 2001. ``In this season of endless prosperity and self-interestedness, is there anything that will require the best of what we have to offer? Is there any cause great or good enough to provoke goodness and greatness in us?''