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Baseball

Subplots plentiful in Bosox's tale

By MARC TOPKIN
Published October 31, 2004

The Red Sox's amazing run to the World Series championship will be captured in books, including the one in the works by Stephen King, and on film, featuring the new ending to Fever Pitch the Farrelly brothers got special permission to shoot on the field Wednesday with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon celebrating with the actual players.

Here are a few leftover tidbits until the first souvenir editions are available:

Pitcher Curt Schilling got plenty of fame during the Series. He also will get a small fortune. Schilling negotiated a clause that if the Sox win the Series during any of the three years of his contract, he gets a $2-million bonus the next year, and a fourth year (2007) gets guaranteed for $13-million.

Schilling, meanwhile, told reporters he would not have been able to pitch again in the Series because of the condition of his injured ankle and is scheduled for surgery Wednesday.

Boston's victory will generate a booming business for merchandise and memorabilia. But it is going to put a serious damper on the industry built around Red Sox failure.

The Massachusetts-based Brigham's ice cream company, for example, already is running a contest to rename one of its top-selling flavors, Reverse the Curse.

Sox owner John Henry made his money in the complicated hedge-fund corner of the financial world and tends to view things from a quantitative perspective.

So he was asked if he had figured the odds of the Sox coming back against the Yankees after being down 3-0. "I quantified it, and it was pretty darn bad: 61/4 percent," he said. "Then Baseball Prospectus (a Web site featuring statistical analysis) took it further and said our chance of winning the series was 1.8 percent."

One rumor circulating is that if free-agent-to-be Pedro Martinez doesn't get what he wants from the Sox, he would consider the Yankees, and he actually may have been planning for that with his now-famous comment about the Yankees being his "daddy."

But on the flight to Boston, Martinez told a Boston Globe photographer, "I promise, I'm not going to the Yankees. I want to stay right here." There are hints that if he does leave, he wants to go to the Giants to help former Expos manager Felipe Alou win a ring.

RAYS RUMBLINGS: The foxsports.com Web site named manager Lou Piniella one of the "10 Most Frightening Sports Figures." Piniella ranked ninth; Raiders fans were No. 1, Bobby Knight No. 2 and Mike Tyson No. 3. ... Backup catcher Brook Fordyce and pitcher Todd Ritchie were the first Rays to file for free agency, with infielder Rey Sanchez and pitcher John Halama to follow. First baseman Tino Martinez will be a free agent after the Rays decline his $8-million option (and give him a $1-million buyout), then can negotiate a new deal. ... Joey Gathright is sizzling in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .365 with 15 steals in his first 15 games. ... Jorge Cantu is hitting .438 with 10 RBIs in eight games for Culiacan in the Mexican winter league.

MISCELLANY: If Willie Randolph gets hired as manager of the Mets, he likely will seek to hire Don Zimmer away from the Rays to be his bench coach. ... Tony La Russa has a 2,114-1,846 (.534) record in the regular season and a 29-35 (.453) record in LCS and World Series play. ... Bob Watson turned down the interim GM job with the Washington team; one theory is that Brian Cashman will end up there after one more year with the Yankees, another is that Pat Gillick could get the job and compete against his former Baltimore bosses. ... Wally Backman must feel pretty good about his chances to be hired as Diamondbacks manager since he canceled an interview with the Mets.

Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

[Last modified October 31, 2004, 00:56:31]


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