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Keeping his eye on the ball

(Richard Phibbs for Men's Vogue)
Email|Print| Text size + By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan
February 18, 2008

Red Sox rookie phenom Jacoby Ellsbury (above) had the kind of season little boys dream about and the kind of World Series Red Sox Nation will be bragging about for years to come. And the man who stole a base and won the country a free taco seems to be adjusting to life as a big leaguer. "As a Little Leaguer, you put yourself in those situations, this ultimate state," the 24-year-old says in a several-page spread in the new edition of Men's Vogue, which hits stands tomorrow. "It was a dream come true," No. 46 says of hitting .438 in the Series. For a guy who started out his season in Double A, it isn't lost on Ellsbury that he needed to spend this off-season working out and getting ready to report to camp later this week. "I don't want to get lackadaisical," Ellsbury, the first Navajo to play major league ball, tells writer Hudson Morgan. "I'm going to get better, and the awards and the individual aspects will take care of themselves." The Oregon-bred player's grace under fire isn't lost on Sox skipper Terry Francona. "We put him in some pretty important situations, and he competed, and he didn't back down," Francona tells the magazine. "Usually we can live and die by the home run, but he brought speed that we hadn't seen. He can fly." Ellsbury and his girl- friend, 23-year-old Kelsey Hawkins, have allowed a few trappings of success. He drives a new blue Escalade, uses an iPhone, and has a closet packed with new sneakers. As for what he would be doing if he wasn't gearing up for baseball: "The NFL," he says. "Wide receiver." Seriously? "Or the NBA."

Controversial films take top awards

As the 58th International Berlinale Film Festival came to a close Saturday night, Cambridge filmmaker Errol Morris (above) walked away with a Silver Bear for his much-anticipated and controversial documentary "Standard Operating Procedure," about the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal in Iraq. Morris received the Jury's Grand Prize, the runner-up award, for his film that took him two years to make. The festival's Golden Bear, or top prize, went to Jose Padilha's "The Elite Squad," about a team of Brazilian police who resort to corruption and torture in their fight against drug lords in Rio's slums. (That these two films took the top prizes caused as much debate as their subject matter. Both films, seen as overtly political, had been questioned by critics for message and methods, Reuters reported.) Morris used not only the infamous photos from the prison, but interviews with former soldiers including Lynndie England, recovered footage from the prison, and re-enactments. Upon receiving the Silver Bear, Morris told reporters in Berlin: "As the movie points out . . . the people who are actually convicted and in prison over Abu Ghraib are not the only people involved in this."

Shapiros give $27m to cancer care center
That Saturday night's Discovery Ball in Palm Beach, Fla., raised more than $3 million for Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute would be impressive enough. But then philanthropists Carl and Ruth Shapiro surprised the 650 or so attendees gathered at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago with the announcement of a $27 million gift to expand a cancer care center run by Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Hospital. The Shapiros, who have homes in Boston and Palm Beach, have long supported a host of programs and institutions in both cities, including the Museum of Fine Arts and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Carl Shapiro, who celebrated his 95th birthday the night before the swanky soiree, told the Palm Beach Daily News that they made the gift because cancer care is "unfortunately . . . a growth industry." (As is the custom for events benefiting programs outside of Florida, a portion of the amount raised Saturday will be donated to a local charity: the Pediatric Oncology Support Team at St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach.) Among those at the fete, which was chaired by Howard and Michele Kessler, were: Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, politico Bob Crowe, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his wife, Myra, Trump and his wife, Melania, Mandarin Oriental hotel developer Steve Weiner and his wife, Roberta, party producer Bryan Rafanelli, philanthropists Elaine and Jerry Schuster, Cheers owner Tom Kershaw, PR maven George Regan, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, and the heads of both medical centers: Dana-Farber's Dr. Edward J. Benz and Brigham's Dr. Gary Gottlieb.

Scorsese preps for a new Boston shoot
Director Martin Scorsese (inset) hasn't started filming "Ashecliffe," but we already know it'll be in theaters on Oct. 2, 2009. The movie, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel "Shutter Island," stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Michelle Williams with Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, and Patricia Clarkson. Scorsese and Co. are expected to start production in the Boston area in less than three weeks.

McConaughey, crew get started at Felt
"The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" star Matthew McConaughey and the romantic comedy's director Mark Waters hosted a party for 150 cast and crew at Felt on Friday night to kick off the flick's several weeks of filming, which get underway tomorrow. McConaughey, who stayed close to the bar, we're told, chatted up his castmates, who included Lacey Chabert, Emma Stone, Christa Allen, and Breckin Meyer. Also enjoying a night on the private floor of the downtown nightclub were producers Brad Epstein, Jonathan Shestack, and Marcus Viscidi, who said the bash was planned to allow everyone on the set to "Get more comfortable . . . and get to know each other." Although McConaughey's costar Jennifer Garner and her husband, "Gone Baby Gone" director Ben Affleck were on the VIP guest list, they were no-shows.

Tapping creativity to benefit UNICEF
Chef/owner Marc Orfaly's Pigalle is one of the several restaurants where ordering tap water instead of bottled can do some good. Eateries including Michela Larson's Rocca, chef Philip Aviles's Masa, and chef Tony Maws's Craigie Street Bistrot have signed up for a program in which diners donate the money they'd pay for bottled water to UNICEF. (The organization says it can provide 40 liters of drinking water for every $1 donated.) The program is being coordinated locally by ad giant Hill, Holliday, and PR prince Chris Haynes.

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

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