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NAMES

The party's over

Maybe Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo should start focusing a little more on the mound and a little less on the music. Notice his numbers since his CD, ''Covering the Bases," came out in July? In nine starts, the righty's registered a not-so-stellar 3-4 record with a 5.24 ERA. All the while, he's continued to play gigs to promote the disc. (A day after he coughed up a 6-0 lead against the Tigers, Arroyo was back crooning '90s covers at a cocktail party hosted by Deutsche Bank at the .406 Club.) Before becoming the team's resident music man, Arroyo was a respectable 7-5 with a 4.02 ERA.

Celebrity clock watchers

Local bling king Raman Handa and his crew at Alpha Omega Jewelers were at the ''Style Villa" at the MTV Video Music Awards giving watches to celebs, including Hilary Duff and Eva Longoria, both of whom took home pricey Krieger Gigantium timepieces. (Duff took a shine to one with a mink band and a $4,500 price tag, and Longoria was in the Boston-based company's tent for 30 minutes before finally choosing a $4,095 model.) Alpha Omega also lent jewelry and diamond-studded watches to some of the celebs appearing on the show. Leave it to Paris Hilton to request a watch with a load of diamonds to complement her 24-carat diamond engagement ring. Yes, they found Hilton a $6,000 bling-filled watch from Bedat & Co.

Sneaker peek

The chichi swag bags at the Video Music Awards didn't include any New Balance sneaks, but the Brighton-based shoe company still managed to place its product. The New Balance booth at the MTV extravaganza in Miami drew several celebs, including Ice T, Nelly Furtado, John Singleton, and local yokels Damien Fahey and Lawrence native and former Miss USA Susie Castillo, but it was a really big name who stopped by three times to check out the Limited Edition Spring 2006 Classics. Who? Shaquille O'Neal. But the basketball superstar declined when a New Balance rep tried to take a photo of him with a pair of the sneakers. ''I wish I could, but I have my own line of shoes," Shaq said. ''So I'd be breaking my own contract, and then I'd have to sue myself."

Here and there . . .

Todd English rushed back to Boston from the Video Music Awards because the stars of ''The Departed" were having a wrap party. At least, that's what he was told. But when the chef walked into Gypsy Bar last night, he discovered the crowd had gathered for a surprise (45th) birthday party for him.

Pats pooh-bahs Bob and Myra Kraft, former Pat Garin Veris, and Hizzoner Tom Menino huddled at the Mayor's Cup Pop Warner Football Jamboree in Jamaica Plain over the weekend.

Golf shindig

Golfer Brad Faxon, who won the Buick Championship over the weekend, will be in North Attleborough tonight for a screening of ''The Greatest Game Ever Played." The Disney flick is about the 1913 US Open at the Country Club in Brookline, and the 20-year-old amateur named Francis Ouimet who beat reigning champ Harry Vardon. (Ouimet had grown up across the street from the club and caddied there as a kid.) Joining Faxon tonight will be: South African golf pro Tjaart Van Der Walt, who faced Faxon in Sunday's playoff; the film's director, Bill Paxton; actors Shia LaBeouf, who plays Ouiment, and Josh Flitter; Governor Mitt Romney; and Ouimet's daughters Barbara McLean and Janice Salvi.

Early celebration

Ross McElwee isn't even dead, and already the Museum of Modern Art's doing a retrospective of his work. (The folks at MoMA are actually calling it a ''midcareer" retrospective.) The documentary filmmaker, who's taught at Harvard for over two decades, kicks off the weeklong celebration Sept. 21, introducing his most recent work, ''Bright Leaves," about the tobacco industry in his native North Carolina. Afterward, McElwee will have a chat with Darryl Pinckney, essayist and author of ''High Cotton." Virtually all of McElwee's 11 films will be featured, including ''Sherman's March," which won the Grand Jury Prize at the '87 Sundance Film Festival and is included in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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