Boston first baseman Kevin Millar was the unlucky Red Sox left out of the starting lineup for Game 3 of the World Series in order to accommodate David Ortiz, who must play in the field against the Cardinals in St. Louis because there is no designated hitter in the National League park.
"You know what, he's such a character that it ended up being funny," Boston Manager Terry Francona said.
Francona said he would have to keep a bag of snacks in order to keep Millar entertained. During their interleague series against Atlanta this year, Millar became a nuisance on the bench.
"When he doesn't play, he said things that made me laugh when I didn't want to laugh," Francona said. "You'll hear a voice at the end of the dugout and it's hard not to laugh. He's a character. He's good for our ballclub."
Meantime, should Boston's Curt Schilling be unable to pitch in a possible Game 6, the assignment will likely fall on Bronson Arroyo. Doctors are monitoring Schilling's troublesome ankle, which twice has been sutured to hold a ligament in place. Arroyo is convinced he will have to spend this World Series in the bullpen.
"If we get to Game 6 or 7, I'm 100 percent sure Curt Schilling will be ready to pitch," he said.
Arroyo pitched 21/3 innings of relief in Game 1, allowing two runs on four hits. His most noteworthy appearance in the postseason occurred in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. On a play in the eighth inning, the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, while running to first base, attempted to swat the ball away from Arroyo, who had fielded the ball near the base line. Rodriguez was originally called safe, but the call was overturned a few minutes later.
"I think to me [Rodriguez is] less of a likable guy than people perceive on TV," Arroyo said.
Arroyo and Rodriguez have a dubious history. A brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees started on July 24 after Arroyo hit Rodriguez with a pitch.
"I'm sure he doesn't respect me," Arroyo said. "I could care less."
O's Seek Farm Director
The Baltimore Orioles will interview former Pittsburgh Pirates scout Chris Lien for their vacant farm director's position, a major league source said Tuesday.
Lien would become the first candidate from outside the organization to interview for the position -- formally known as minor league operations director -- which was vacated when the team fired Darrell "Doc" Rodgers following the regular season.
Lien was considered for the job in January 2003, but was passed over in favor of Rodgers.
The team has interviewed two internal candidates -- assistant farm director Tripp Norton, who was been acting as interim director, and minor league hitting instructor Dave Stockstill.
Lien was the Pirates' longtime advance scout before leaving the organization during the 2003 season; he has been out of baseball since.
Cards Want Home Field
The Cardinals are still grumbling over the fact they did not get home field advantage despite having the best record in the major leagues -- 105-57 -- during the regular season.
"We're fighting all year long over a 162-game schedule, which is not the easiest thing in the world to do," said veteran left-hander Ray King. "If you have the best record, you deserve home field advantage."
Since 2003, home field advantage has gone to the league that wins the all-star game. The Cardinals can blame Houston Astros ace Roger Clemens for the fact they get to host only the middle three games -- it was Clemens who gave up six runs in the first inning of the 2004 All-Star Game, leading to an easy victory for the American League.
"There are other ways of doing it," King said, "besides basing it on the all-star game." . . .
Is it possible that a Red Sox victory could deal a fatal blow to the presidential hopes of Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry?
If the Red Sox clinch the Series in Game 7 Sunday night at Fenway Park, their victory parade would be the following Tuesday -- which is Election Day.
And since nearby New Hampshire is considered a swing state in the election, potential voters there might have to choose between voting or driving to Boston for the parade -- which could tilt New Hampshire's electoral votes and thus decide the election. . . .
Manny Ramirez's first inning homer off Jeff Suppan was his 18th postseason homer, tying him with Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle for second place all-time, trailing Bernie Williams, who has 22.