Notes: Schilling making waves
Veteran named Rays as possible landing spot in 2008
ST. PETERSBURG -- Curt Schilling's comments during his weekly radio appearance on WEEI 850 AM that he wouldn't mind landing with the Rays next season have sparked interest all around.
The 40-year-old starter, who has yet to come to terms on a contract extension with the Red Sox, said he was merely keeping his options open.
He's compiled a short list of teams he'll begin correspondence with should his Red Sox career not pan out, and the Rays were mentioned.
"I love Tampa, I love the area, I love everything about it," he told WEEI on Tuesday. "Knowing that I'm probably going to spend one more year playing, if circumstances happen and things happen and they made some moves that were positive, I'd love nothing more than to finish my career working on a pitching staff where I know that there are young guys that are going to be positively impacted by me being around [after] I was gone.
"I enjoy that. I love working and talking and being around young pitchers."
Sox manager Terry Francona didn't have much to say in response to Schilling's comments.
"I didn't hear it myself. ... I heard about it third-hand, and that's a dangerous way to respond to something," Francona said. "As a blanket statement, I'd much rather just try to win games and let free agency come when it's supposed to."
Take a load off, Manny: Left fielder Manny Ramirez took a much-deserved break from action on Wednesday to gear up for the coming series at Chicago and New York.
Ramirez is known for pestering coaching staff to play regardless of his scheduled off-days, but Francona said this time, Ramirez kept silent.
"He knows he could use it," said Francona, who said he told Ramirez several days ago this day would be one of rest.
And look what a difference an off-day made for David Ortiz. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound designated hitter hit the gas on Tuesday and managed to leg out a triple, as well as beat out an infield single.
"It's exciting to see him run the bases like that," Francona said.
Walking wounded: Both Dustin Pedroia and Eric Hinske left Wednesday night's game with injuries.
Pedroia, the second baseman, was hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Rays starter Edwin Jackson in the top of the third inning. He managed to take his base and later scored Boston's first run, but was replaced by Alex Cora on defense in the bottom of the same inning.
X-rays came back negative, and his diagnosis was day-to-day with a bruised elbow.
Hinske stole second base during the fourth inning and advanced to third on a throwing error. The left fielder was replaced by Bobby Kielty in the bottom of the frame after suffering what the Red Sox said was a cramp in his right calf. He's expected to be fine.
Bidding war: Whether due to Ortiz's recent speed showcase or his career accomplishments as a whole, bidding for the 2005 Mercedes he's selling on eBay had skyrocketed to $465,700.05 as of 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
The Red Sox-red, 6.0-liter, SL65 AMG was named DUB magazine's Best Celebrity Car in 2006, and goes from 0-60 mph in four seconds flat. The price for ownership, which opened at $169,000 has skyrocketed nearly as quickly.
The auction ends at 6:49 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Draft day: The Red Sox held their annual fantasy football draft after Tuesday night's game. Ortiz seemed especially excited, hopping around the clubhouse while belting out the Monday Night Football theme song over and over.
"He was doing that in the food room, too," Francona laughed. "We were glad he left. About the fourth time he did it, we said, 'All right, thanks for your pick, go home.'"
So who was the early favorite?
"I would say probably, without being biased, [the coaching staff]," Francona said with a smirk. "Everybody in there loves their team, it amazes me. Everybody walked out and said, '[Man], I've got a good team.'"
Here's the question: Entering the week, Dustin Pedroia led all qualifying rookies with a .324 batting average. If he maintains the course, Pedroia will shatter the Major League record for highest average by a rookie second baseman. Do you know who currently holds that honor?
Gone, not forgotten: Although Joel Pineiro is now with the Cardinals, Francona said he wished the best for Pineiro, who appeared in 31 games for Boston this season before heading to St. Louis.
"He's done a good job [with St. Louis]," Francona said. "I haven't watched terribly close because it's the other league. ... When somebody goes to another team, I'm not sure you ever want there to be any ill will. He is a good kid.
"Just because he's playing for another team, that doesn't mean you don't want to see him to succeed."
Francona echoed his sentiments for Wily Mo Pena, who's been tearing things up with the Nationals in the five days since he was traded from Boston.
Pena went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, two home runs and three RBIs during his first three games with Washington, and has reached base in eight times in 14 plate appearances with the Nationals thanks to three walks.
"Wily Mo hit another homer again [Monday] night," Francona said. "We don't want him not to hit. You don't dislike somebody just because they put another uniform on."
A new spin on things: Francona scoffed when told of closer Jonathan Papelbon's declaration that he'd invented a new pitch, the "slutter."
"Cutter, slider, whatever," Francona said. "Have fun with it. All the terms of the pitches confuse me anyway, it's all preference. Somebody's got a cutter, somebody's got a slider, somebody's got a slurve.
"As long as it gets people out, I don't care what he calls it."
They're the best: Rawlings announced its All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team on Wednesday. Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski earned the sixth-most votes among outfielders behind Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Edmonds and Andruw Jones.
Francona had an interesting observation Monday when talking about all-time great fielders, and their ability to make deadly accurate throws.
"You know who's the best I've ever seen? [Royals skipper] Buddy Bell," he said. "He'd leave his feet and he'd throw it...and it would just hit you right in the belt."
Bell, who played for four different teams from 1972-89, finished fifth among third basemen on the Rawlings team.
And the answer is: In 1913, Pittsburgh's Jim Viox hit .317 in his first season, a record for rookie second basemen that still stands today.
He said it: "We all think we have the best knuckleball in the world, myself included. But when you start playing catch with [Tim Wakefield], he'll hurt you. If he wants to hurt you, he can." -- Francona, on Wakefield's nasty knuckleball
Up next: Boston starts off on leg two of its three-city, 10-game road trip in Chicago on Thursday night. The Red Sox will send right-hander Josh Beckett to the mound (15-5, 3.15 ERA), and the White Sox will counter with southpaw John Danks (6-11, 4.30). First pitch is set for 8:11 ET.
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.