Curt Schilling, who was supposed to throw off the mound Friday, get a head start today, throwing 25 fastballs today.
``He was complaining that he only threw 22 strikes,'' said manager Terry Francona. ``He was justifiably excited
Francona added that Schilling didn't try throwing any breaking balls.
``He's still in the arm-shoulder strengthening stage,'' said Francona.
He will throw 35 pitches Friday. As to when he might go the next level -- which would include throwing live batting practice, and eventually, a rehab assignment -- Francona said that would be determined by assistant trainer Mike Reinhold and pitching coach John Farrell.
Manny Ramirez's right hamstring still is a little tender, so once again he will serve as the Sox' designated hitter, an option that exists for the left fielder and manager Terry Francona because David Ortiz (left wrist) is on the disabled list.
"It's not getting worse," said Francona. "It's something guys go through, and Manny goes through it three or four times a year. Sometime he has to miss games but with the DH spot opening up we don't have to do that."
Francona said he can tell Ramirez has been careful when he has been running.
"His gait to first is even, which is good, but you can can see Manny's thinking about it, trying not to do something he shouldn't do," said Francona.
Ramirez, meanwhile, was in good spirits this afternoon, talking about his hamstring discomfort and other topics.
"I can feel it a little," said Ramirez of his hamstring. "That's why I have to run through the base (and not stop suddenly). It's weird. It seems like every time I run it bothers me. That's okay. I'm playing through it."
So he has to serve as the DH. It was thought he didn't like that role. That's not what he said this afternoon.
"I love it. It's easy," said Ramirez, who spends time between at-bats hitting in the cage in an effort to stay loose.
When Ortiz returns, will Ramirez want to claim the DH job for his own and send Ortiz to left field?
"No. We don't want to make it a circus," said Ramirez.
He was asked about the relief he feels after having reached his homer milestone, belting number 500 last Saturday in Baltimore. And he compared it to what Ken Griffey Jr., who is sitting on 599, is going through, especially with how special baseballs are put in play for the 499 and 599 at-bats, so as to guarantee authenticity once the magic homer leaves the ballyard.
"In a situation like Griffey, you just want to get it and move on," said Ramirez. "Now that I've ggot 500 out of the way I'll just go out and have fun. What I get from now on is extra.What's left for me to do? Steal bases? Maybe 500?"
J.D. Drew, who has batted sixth for the most part this season, has been moved up to the number three spot vacated by the injured David Ortiz.
Drew will bat third tonight and most likely third again tomorrow, switching batting-order spots with Kevin Youkilis, who had batted third in the first two games the Sox played without Ortiz.
Manager Terry Francona said there were a couple of reasons for the switch. Edwin Jackson and James Shields, the Rays' starters tonight and tomorrow night, respectively, have been tough on Youkilis, Francona said. Also, Drew "looks like he wants to get hot," said Francona.
Drew was two for three -- a double and a homer -- in Monday night's win. Over his last three games Drew has batted .500 (5 for 10) with two homers, a double and four RBI, raising his average from .282 to .296.
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Eleven straight wins at home
Click the play button below to hear Sean's comments, recorded this morning. The topics: Coco Crisp and Craig Hansen rising to the occasion, David Ortiz's rehabilitation plan, and why the Sox will never, ever sign Barry Bonds.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On Hansen: "Not only are [the Red Sox] looking for someone to work the seventh, but given the unpredictability and poor work by Okajima of late, the eighth inning is sort of up for grabs, too, and last night Hansen seized that, coming in and getting three guys right in a row with two on and the potential tying run at the plate with no outs. Certainly a big confidence booster for him, you would think, and also one that would provide more confidence by the Red Sox in him."
Why not go for Bonds? "I'd say that that has no chance of happening. There are all sorts of issues associated with that. The guy hasn't hit since last September, and his physical condition and shape would probably be about sevennth on the list. First would be the fact that he's got all sorts of perjury indictments hanging over his head. Second is his association with performance-enhancing drugs that I don't think the Red Sox would want to associate themselves with. Thirdly is his reputation for being a pretty distant and egotistical personality that could disrupt things in the clubhouse. Fourth would be ownership's connection with commissioner Bud Selig, who I would bet would not look kindly upon some team giving Bonds an opportunity to get back into the game, given all the mud that he's brought to the game in the last couple of years. We could go on and on."
MANNY BEING CAUTIOUS: Crisp was a late addition to the lineup; Krasner reports that, originally, Jacoby Ellsbury was in center field with Manny Ramirez in left and Sean Casey as the DH. But Ramirez' legs have been bothering him, so Terry Francona pulled Casey. made Manny the DH, shifted Ellsbury to left and put Crisp in center.
WHERE'S THE BEEF? The world -- at least hereabouts -- went crazy when Manny hit his 500th home run. So Adam Dunn wants to know why there's no buzz about Ken Griffey Jr. closing in on 600. (Dayton Daily News)
LEFT IS ALL RIGHT: The blog Batter's Box challenges its readers to come up with a stronger single franchise position than Red Sox left fielders, whose run of excellence started with Duffy Lewis and ran through Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice all the way to Ramirez. (Do they take points away for Troy O'Leary . . . ?)
DRAFT NOTICE: McAdam reports on the Red Sox' strategy in tomorrow's amateur draft, which -- because the players selected are getting to the major leagues so quickly these days (think Pedroia, Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, et al) -- is perhaps the organization's most important day of the year.
THE LIGHTNING ROD: The mood at Yankee Stadium last night was sour enough; thankfully, Joe Girardi didn't bring in Kyle Farnsworth or the joint might have collapsed five months before the wrecking ball is due to arrive. The blog It Is About The Money Stupidis so fed up with Farnsworth that its author has actually begun an I Hate Kyle Farnsworth group on Yahoo! and is urging Yankee Universe to "come and join."
TWO STRIKES, TWO OUTS, BOTTOM OF THE NINTH . . . and it looks like it'll take a miracle to save Tiger Stadium. (Detroit News)
DEAR CECIL: The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice likes Cecil Cooper and wants him to succeed as Astros manager. So he's posted some advice for Coop on his blog, advising him to lighten up, end the public mood swings and begin to exude a facade of public confidence.
Bob Breidenbach shot these amusing photos of a fan at Fenway Park who ran out onto the field in the eighth inning and managed to elude security personnel long enough to jump back into the stands. You can't disappaear from the law, though, when you're wearing a (Delonte West?) Celtics jersey and you have that hair -- so the speedy guy was escorted out in due course.