RED SOX NOTEBOOK
Fun outing in the park for Seibel
Thrills for newcomer even during a loss
Except for the fan whose cellphone was borrowed by Manny Ramirez, yesterday's game was memorable only for Red Sox lefthander Phil Seibel.
Seibel, whose major league debut Thursday against Baltimore ended after two batters, neither of which he retired (walk and an error), held the Yankees hitless over 3 2/3 scoreless innings in yesterday's 7-3 loss. Seibel hit the first batter he faced, Jason Giambi, with a big breaking ball, and walked four, but handled the Bombers with comparative ease. His finest moment came in the seventh, when he retired Alex Rodriguez on a tapper to second with two on and two out. He also whiffed Giambi to start the eighth.
Seibel, 25, opened the season in Pawtucket and was the PawSox' Opening Day starter. He joined the Sox Thursday, replacing Bobby Jones.
During the game yesterday, he said he didn't allow himself to think about whom he was facing. Afterward, however, was another matter.
"My parents were here and got to see the game," he said with a smile. "I'm sure my dad will probably say to me, `Do you realize what just happened?' "
Ramirez was a fans' delight during the team's photo day for ticket-holders allowed onto the field before the game. Ramirez stuck around for a good half-hour, signing autographs, posing for photos, and in one instance taking a fan's cellphone and carrying on a conversation. Three Sox players did not come onto the field, club officials confirmed -- pitchers Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, and Kevin Millar, who was in the training room. Nomar Garciaparra was on the premises early, but did not take part in the activity . . . Ramirez's two-hit game was his seventh multi-hit game of the season, tops on the team and second in the league to Texas's Michael Young, who has nine.
A spot is opened
Yesterday's roster move involving reliever Frank Castillo, who was outrighted to Triple A Pawtucket, opens a spot for Rule 5 lefty Lenny DiNardo, who presumably will be activated for this morning's game . . . Mark Bellhorn, who began the day with more walks than Barry Bonds, sat out yesterday with a sore right elbow, having been hit by a pitch the day before by Donovan Osborne. Cesar Crespo played second. Manager Terry Francona said he was leaning toward giving shortstop Pokey Reese today off, with Crespo playing short, assuming Bellhorn will be cleared to return. Millar also may get excused for today's 11 a.m. special, Francona said. Millar has four at-bats against today's starter for the Yankees, Kevin Brown, and has whiffed all four times. Bellhorn began the day with 15 walks, most in the majors, and had a .500 on-base percentage, second in the league to Baltimore's Javy Lopez (.553). At his present rate, Bellhorn would finish the season with 243 walks. "That's the way I've always played," said Bellhorn, who led Triple A Sacramento with 94 walks in 2000 but never has had more than 76 in the big leagues, 2002 with the Cubs, when he also whiffed 144 times. "I've never had this many walks in this few games. It's good for the team, good for me."
Garciaparra's progress remains slow. He worked on the elliptical machines yesterday, and depending on how he feels, he may do some jogging and take some ground balls by the end of the week. But team doctor Bill Morgan said the activity is all predicated on no setbacks. "We don't want to put a timeline on it," Morgan said . . . Trot Nixon has wrapped up a three-week stint at the University of Miami Spine Institute and was due to begin some baseball activity today in Fort Myers, Fla. "It's like extended spring training for him," said Morgan, noting that the right fielder will need some time to get in baseball shape . . . Morgan insisted again there are no physical reasons of which he is aware for Martinez's early struggles. "None," Morgan said. "It was cold [Thursday night]. He had trouble gripping the ball." . . . Ramiro Mendoza (shoulder tendinitis) was due to report to Fort Myers today and begin his rehab . . . Byung Hyun Kim is scheduled to pitch three innings today for Pawtucket . . . Lookalikes: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Beau Mills, 17-year-old son of Sox bench coach Brad Mills. "He's having a blast," Mills said of his son, who was in Fenway last week and kept getting stopped by fans who thought he was the Patriot QB. Beau Mills, a shortstop, has a scholarship to attend Fresno State . . . Keith Foulke, who had appeared in three straight games, wasn't in Francona's plans yesterday . . . Derek Lowe, after the game: "Does anyone know how to get hockey tickets? Anybody? There are seven of us who want to go." Lowe said he and six teammates were planning to fly to Toronto tomorrow if they could score tickets for tonight's Bruins-Canadiens Game 7 at the FleetCenter . . . The Yankees placed outfielder Kenny Lofton on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right quadriceps, and also put righthanded reliever Jorge DePaula on the 15-day DL with a sprained right elbow. Righty Scott Proctor and lefty Alex Graman were recalled from Triple A Columbus. Graman is scheduled to start against the Chicago White Sox tomorrow.
© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.