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Millions expected in Boston

wire services
Published October 30, 2004

BOSTON - After 86 years of frustration, Red Sox fans are used to disappointment.

Because so many members of Red Sox Nation are expected in Boston to celebrate the team's World Series triumph, the victory parade today won't be making any stops and won't culminate with a staged rally, either.

"I understand the problem - where do you stick 5-million people?," fan Dave Henry said.

Whether it's 5-million or half that, authorities won't let fans stuff themselves into City Hall Plaza, where the Patriots held rallies after they won the Super Bowl twice in the past three years.

The parade route was lengthened late Friday, taking the team, riding on amphibious Duck Tour boats, onto the Charles River for a victory lap on the water after rolling through the city.

Officials decided to extended the 3-mile parade route into the river due to overwhelming interest.

BRAVES: Pitcher Russ Ortiz and 46-year-old first baseman Julio Franco filed for free agency.

CUBS: Nomar Garciaparra filed for free agency, starting the bidding process for the All-Star shortstop. Catcher Paul Bako, outfielder Tom Goodwin and outfielder Ben Grieve also filed. Garciaparra has said he'd consider returning to Chicago, and general manager Jim Hendry has already spoken with his agent, Arn Tellem. But Garciaparra also wants to test the free-agent market for the first time in his career. ... The team exercised its $2-million option on Ryan Dempster after the right-hander showed last season he had recovered from Tommy John surgery.

INDIANS: Shortstop Omar Vizquel and closer Bob Wickman filed for free agency on after the team declined to pick up $5-million options on the two veterans earlier this month.

MARLINS: Mike Lowell, who could have opted out of his contract because the team hasn't secured new stadium financing, agreed to a revised deal in which the team guarantees the remaining $25.5-million.

RANGERS: Reliever Frank Francisco pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge for breaking a woman's nose after tossing a chair into the stands at an A's game, his attorney said.

REDS: The team picked up Sean Casey's contract option for 2006, an indication they have no intention of trading the popular first baseman who is among the team's highest-paid players.

ROCKIES: Former Devil Rays third baseman Vinny Castilla declined a $2.1-million mutual option with Colorado for next season and filed for free agency along with pitcher Shawn Estes.

YANKEES: The team declined its 2005 option on former Devil Rays first baseman Travis Lee and its 2006 option on reliever Paul Quantrill.

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