On the WEEI Midday show today, Dale Arnold talked about more renovations planned for Fenway. Apparently the new “dugout seats” on each side are going to be extended around and connect behind home plate. Even less foul ground in the ballpark. Another idea that is being kicked around is possibly dropping the playing field down by 18 inches. The idea behind this is to improve the sightlines for everyone in the park.
They had Sox centerfielder Johnny Damon on. He likes that there are Red Sox fans everywhere, all around the country in all the ballparks they’ve played in there have been tons of Red Sox fans, and it’s really cool When he was in Kansas City he was jealous of the Red Sox, that their fans were always showing up in the Royals ballpark. Asked about playing a big market team, if the added expectations and pressures and having many more reporters is something he or others like to avoid, Damon said he prefers winning. He said his biggest goal is winning a World Series. If you play for a big market team, you likely have more resources and are more likely to be a winner. The other stuff is something, dealing with the media more and so forth, is something that you have to accept if you want to be on a winner. Dale asked about his role in the clubhouse, he said the Red Sox were very nice to him, giving him a four year contract, and he’s been around 7 years now and knows alot about the game, and in Oakland, he learned to win, and a big factor was having a loose clubhouse, you can’t ever panic, and it’s been working here and he’s tried to contribute to that. Asked about Manny, it hasn’t bothered him. They need to have Manny ready to play at the big league level. He is looking forward to having him back in the four-hole and it’s important to make sure Manny is happy. He said sometimes they joke about it, that Manny is MIA, but they know he’s doing what he has to get back. As for as Pedro, last night he was so sharp and crisp, it was his best outing of the year. Asked about where he likes to hit in the lineup, he said he actually likes hitting second better. He said they have the best leadoff hitter in the history of the game in Rickey who can still get the job done and hitting after him and before Nomar is very comfortable. He is also very comfortable in the leadoff spot. Asked about whether he knew he’s hitting .429 against Hideo Nomo, Damon didn’t even know they were facing him tonight. He said he’s just been lucky against him, Nomo has been very tough. He just hopes to have continued success for himself and the team. He really hopes a strike does not happen, but he said Bud Selig does not want to talk. They’re open to talking, but Selig won’t, it’s almost like he wants to force them into action. They know it can be really damaging to the game. He really hopes that it doesn’t put a damper on the Red Sox season because they think this could be the year. He’s got the green light to steal at all times, but with all the good hitters behind him, he hasn’t taken as many chances this year yet.
They also had Dodgers GM Dan Evans on. Talked some about Vin Scully. Doesn’t use a color man is in the booth my himself in his mid 70’s, He’s a great guy, no one can say anything bad about him. In a poll last month he was voted the most popular Dodger of all time. Uses index cards, scours the newspapers for material to use in the broadcasts. Hideo Nomo has been consistent, just two or three shaky starts. Eric Gagne has been a great story as a closer. Didn’t have this velocity as a starter, but for 15-20 pitches a night, he can bring it Talked about Shawn Green, something like 20 homeruns in the last 30 games. Hottest player in the game. Evans wishes he could take credit for the Green/Mondesi trade, but it was a Kevin Malone deal. Laughed at the gaffe he made last night, forgetting how many outs there were. That led to a short discussion of Larry Walker and Casey Fossum mistakes too. Evans cracked sometimes you have to do that to keep the fans entertained.
Eddie Andelman has been broadcasting from the Barking Crab with Nick Cafardo. No one works a sponsor like Andelman. Not a whole lot of sports talk here today. The nation of Senegal is his theme of the day, along with some pretty lame comedians.
The Patriots have re-signed Roman Phifer. The media had this one right all along. Once the mandatory offseason conditioning program was over, he was back. This was so he could remain in California with his family and work out there and not be in violation by missing the mandatory workouts back here.
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