BOSTON -- After being removed from Wednesday's game in Philadelphia with a left-hand injury, Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp is back in the lineup tonight. He's hitting seventh and playing center.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Crisp is doing okay and that the training staff called and talked to him on the offday on Thursday. Francona said Crisp thought the injury was a lot worse when he came out of the game on Wednesday, but after icing it and receiving treatment, Crisp is fine.
BOSTON -- For all the talk of Curt Schilling, the Red Sox were quick to put situation behind them and concentrate on baseball. Francona discussed other items concerning the club.
In particular: David Ortiz. The slugger, recovering from a wrist injury, is about 10 days away from picking up a bat, according to the manager.
"David is doing real well," said Francona. "He’s doing his strength and conditioning and has mobility with his wrist. He has very limited pain and he’s doing okay. He still knows it’s there, but he seems to be getting better every day."
Ortiz hasn’t been sitting around doing nothing. He’s been pushing it really hard, according to the manager. Still, the training staff doesn’t want to push him too hard and suffer a setback.
"It needs to heal and we’re going to let it heal," said Francona. "So when he does come back he can come back and be David and not limping through his at-bats; we don’t need that."
BOSTON -- Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein just made it official that Curt Schilling’s season is over.
The veteran right-hander will have season-ending surgery soon and the 41-year-old’s career could also be over.
"He worked hard for a couple of months trying to strengthen his shoulder, and he actually did get stronger," said Epstein. "It went pretty well and he was able to play long toss, and initially got up on the mound, but when he started to let it go in bullpens he hurt and really wasn’t able to let it go."
Because Schilling experienced the pain again he was examined by team physician Dr. Thomas Gill and it was decided the best course of action now would be for the veteran right-hander to have surgery, which Epstein said it’s not known at this point what type of procedure Schilling will have.
"It’s disappointing," said Epstein. "We reached a point where we weren’t counting on Schill. In the back of our minds we hoped, ‘Yeah, maybe this guy will come back and really provide a big boost for us, giving everything he’s done in the postseason.’ We would never bet against Curt Schilling, but always knew this was a possibility. Something was wrong with his shoulder and we didn’t know how it happened. It happened during the offseason. The most appropriate treatment was what our doctors recommended – the conservative route."
Earlier in this process Schilling’s personal physician Dr. Craig Morgan explained to the pitcher and the Red Sox that he thought it would be best if Schilling had the surgery. The Red Sox decided to take that conservative route Epstein talked about, attempting to build up the strength in the arm.
In the end, however, the torn biceps tendon did not responded well enough.
"Maybe because I’ve been watching it day-to-day it’s not such a shock today," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "I know the announcement was made today, but we’ve been living through it. We’ve been trying to fight this since January. . . We tried to put him in the best position where he could pitch for us and when it ultimately came down to it, it wasn’t happening."
Schilling is not at Fenway Park today.
"He made a tremendous impact here," said Epstein. "When we were sitting in his living room in November of 2003, we talked about a lot of things and among those was him coming here and helping us win a World Series, handling the Boston market, pitching effectively and leading a rotation. All those things came true and then some. He certainly lived up to his end of the bargain. It was a very effective marriage while it lasted, that’s for sure. He left his mark on this organization."
BOSTON -- Just arrived at Fenway Park and here are just a couple of early observations: The Red Sox will honor the NBA champion Celtics in a pregame ceremony tonight and already the field here at Fenway has a unique symbol cut into the center field grass -- a giant shamrock. It's actually pretty cool.
Also, there's a sign at one of the local establishments near the park that reads: "Welcome to the sports capital of America."
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Learning to love J.D. Drew
Click the play button below to hear Sean's comments, recorded this morning (before the news of Curt Schilling's surgery broke). The topics: J.D. Drew's terrific weekend in the place where he is hated the most, whether Drew can sustain his hot streak, Manny Delcarmen as the hot hand of the moment in the bullpen, and the Celtics-Red Sox bond.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On Drew's big series at Citizens Bank Park: "He has always risen to the occasion playing in Philadelphia when he returns there. In fact his performance, or his history of success in Philadelphia, was one of the things the Red Sox looked at closely when they signed him to that landmark $70-million deal a few years ago. They saw that as evidence that if Drew could succeed in the face of people throwing batteries at him, as has happened in Philadelphia, then certainly he could withstand the rigors of playing in Boston."
More on Drew: "One thing you see him doing this month, that you haven't seen him do much of in his brief Red Sox career, is really drive the ball, whether it be to center field, where a lot of his home runs seem to go, or some doubles and extra-base hits that he's hit the other way off the ball at Fenway. He needs to use the whole ballpark, and he's been doing that more the last month."
On the Celtics and the Red Sox: "I think there is a bond. There's a lot of guys [on the Red Sox] who are basketball fans, they have enjoyed the run as much as the fans have, and I think there also is a bond between players who play in the same city. Even though you may not run into each other much because of conflicting schedules and seasons, but there's an identiy that's shared, that you kind of represent Boston. And I think there's some pride on the part of Red Sox players who are rooting for the Celtics, even though they may have grown up in other parts of the country, they now share Boston as their place of work."
Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, on this morning's edition of the WEEI radio show Dennis and Callahan, said that he will have shoulder surgery on Monday, ending his chances of pitching this season. The 41-year-old right-hander went on to say that "there's a decent chance that I have thrown my last pitch, forever."
Following last year's Red Sox championship season, the club signed Schilling to a one-year deal that includes $8 million guaranteed, with a possible $6 million in additional bonuses for making weight, plus pitching incentives that Schilling will not reach.
WEEI plans on posting the full audio of Schilling's comments later today on its Web site.
IF THIS IS AN OFF-DAY . . . it must be time for examinations of all sorts of things that normally get lost in the normal crush of news. With the Sox not playing yesterday, we now have time to look at . . .
CAN'T BLAME THE STAT GEEKS FOR THIS ONE: Analysts have never seen Derek Jeter as being bathed in the same golden hue as some fans, and criticism -- any criticism -- of Our Captain has drawn quick and angry rebuke from the Mystique and Aura crowd. (Their take is pretty accurately summed up on the blog Blogging The Bombers.) But now it's fellow major-leaguers saying Jeter is the most overrated player in baseball. (New York Daily News)
MY TURN: Willie Randolph writes -- or had someone ghost-write -- his take on his firing by the Mets for the Daily News. "I won't lie to you," he says. "I don't like the way the Mets handled my firing. I think it was pretty weak. I think I would've deserved better if my record had been 0-555, not 302-253." Still, he absolves Omar Minaya of any malicious intent. And in one of the more amusing sidenotes, he cites Brian McNamee -- and not Bill Belichick -- as the source of the saying "it is what it is."
ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO: Tony Bernazard is emerging as the hidden villain in all this, at least in media accounts of how it all went down. And now the Daily News is reporting Bernazard may be in line to replace Minaya if the GM doesn't survive . . . which apparently is possible.
BACK UP THE TRUCK: Former Seattle Times journalist Bob Sherwin, now writing for examiner.com, makes a bunch of recommendations to the Mariners, which include releasing Richie Sexson ("not a leader") and trading Erik Bedard ("a flake and a bit of a fake . . . his act is tired . . . a fraud").
CODE YELLOW: The Chicago Sun-Times says the Cubs' season "could hinge on the outcome" of Carlos Zambrano's MRI today. Zambrano was 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA in the seven starts he made after developing stiffness in his neck that radiated into his shoulder, and on Wednesday against the Rays he said he "couldn't go back over the top with my arm" because of the pain.
Former Sox player, oldest living major leaguer, turns 100 today
From Scott Fowler, in the Charlotte Observer:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Happy birthday, Bill Werber.
The oldest living former major league baseball player turns 100 years old on Friday in a south Charlotte retirement community. In front of about 85 friends and family, with a plate of fried chicken and barbecue, he will celebrate hitting the century mark.
“I’m not celebrating it,” Werber said. “I’m tolerating it.”
Werber is by turns merry and cantankerous. He boasts a full head of white hair, zips around in a motorized wheelchair and lives alone in an apartment at The Carriage Club retirement complex.
He remembers playing alongside Babe Ruth 75 years ago more easily than he remembers his daughter’s address. A conversation with Werber opens a fascinating window into a world most of us never experienced — a world where roads were unpaved, haircuts were 35 cents and baseball on the radio was king.