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DAN SHAUGHNESSY

Picking up on several things

Picked-up pieces while waiting for Oil Can Boyd's start for the Brockton Rox in an exhibition game against the Worcester Tornadoes tonight at 6 at Brockton's Campanelli Stadium.

  • That was one remarkable press conference Danny Ainge held last Thursday. He said a lot of things fans wanted to hear, but it's going to be almost impossible to enforce a more rigid code of conduct with the personalities currently wearing Celtic uniforms. He was clearly talking about folks named Pierce, Davis, and Payton. Oddly enough, Antoine Walker is one Celtic who -- despite his annoying antics on the court -- carries himself with utmost dignity and class when interacting with ball boys, media, team personnel, fans, and airline personnel. Many of the other Celtics don't get it. They don't realize how lucky they are and they're setting a bad example for the impressionable and talented Celtic kids. It's hard to say where it first went wrong for Pierce around here, but if the Celtics can get value, they should trade the selfish, scowling high-scorer.

  • Forget the Red Sox giving Johnny Damon any kind of contract extension during the season. Damon's off to the best start of his career and likes to promote the idea that the Yankees would come calling, but there are obstacles. He'll be 32 in November, he's looking for a four- or five-year deal, and his agent is Scott Boras, who just about always waits until the last moment to commit one of his players. One more thing, Johnny. The hair must go if you're gonna play for George.

  • Count Keith Foulke as one who did not embrace Damon's "Idiot" theme. "I don't consider myself an idiot," Foulke said on WEEI last week. Foulke, by the way, was the recipient of Pedro Martinez's locker, the prestigious dressing space in the clubhouse corner near the manager's office at Fenway. Carl Yastrzemski, Dwight Evans, Roger Clemens, and Bret Saberhagen were among those who had the coveted cubicle before Foulke.

  • Twenty-three-year-old Danica Patrick will be as big as Maria Sharapova and Mia Hamm if she can win the Indy 500. The boys in the pits seem to be taking her more seriously than previous female drivers.

  • I guess the Pacers were better than we thought. Larry Bird showed up in Boston and said, "We don't belong here." Then his team trailed the Celtics by 37 in the second half of Game 1 and we believed him. I still can hear Ricky Davis yelling "sweep" during the blowout, and let's not forget that the Celtics gave the Pacers the worst beating of their playoff lives (31 points, in Indiana, without Walker) in Game 5. Now the Pacers are playing like a team with a shot to win the NBA Championship.

  • Orioles coach Rick Dempsey claims that four members of his family -- covering two generations of catchers -- threw out Jim Gantner attempting to steal. Gantner played with the Brewers from 1976-1992 and stole 137 bases, getting caught 78 times. Rick Dempsey nailed Gantner while a member of the Orioles. Dempsey's brother, Pat, got Gantner in Triple A ball and Rick's nephew, Gregg Zaun, threw out Gantner in a spring training game at the end of Gantner's career. Rick's son, John, didn't make it as far in pro ball as the rest of his family, but he nabbed Gantner when the veteran infielder was playing in Single A on a rehab assignment. There no doubt will be some players thrown out by three Molina brothers, but Gantner's got to be the only player ever thrown out by four members of the same family.

  • The Patriots drubbed the Eagles again last week. Within the space of a few days, Tom Brady re-upped, taking less dough than Peyton Manning and saying all the right things . . . then Terrell Owens said he'll sit out unless the Eagles renegotiate his seven-year, $46 million deal.

  • In case you missed it, Roger Clemens fanned 10 and walked none in eight innings of a 4-1 win over the Giants Saturday. The Rocket's ERA swelled to 1.11.

  • Newton North High School and the Newton community are teaming up to hold a fund-raiser for Hector Paniagua, the star guard at Lawrence High School who was paralyzed when he was shot outside a nightclub a few days after competing against Newton North in the EMass state basketball final at the New Garden. Newton coach Paul Connolly and Jay McManus, director of the Children's Law Center, are organizing the event, to be held June 14 at the Newton Sheraton from 6-9:30 p.m. Comedian Jimmy Tingle will serve as emcee and students from Newton and Lawrence will entertain. Tickets are $25 and can be obtained by calling 781-581-1977 or 617-559-6354.

  • Phil Jackson is boring. Dwyane Wade is not. Let's have more Dwyane and less Phil from now on.

  • In a remarkable coincidence, not unlike the (then) relatively obscure Bruce Springsteen appearing on the cover of Time and Newsweek the same week in October 1975, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both ran Page 1 stories on uniform numbers last Friday. The Journal examined the relatively rare occurrence of pitchers wearing single-digit uniform numbers (David Wells wears 3 for the Red Sox in honor of Babe Ruth). The Times examined conflicts that arise when players buy and sell jersey numbers from teammates.

  • Pedro Martinez is scheduled to pitch for the Mets against the Yankees at Shea Stadium Friday night.

  • I'm having friends over to watch the undefeated Revolution take it to the MetroStars Saturday. Hope it's on in HD.

    Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. His email address is DShaughnessy@globe.com.v


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