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Schilling's comments devilish

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Curt Schilling raised a few eyebrows when he said on his weekly radio appearance yesterday that the idea of playing for the Devil Rays next season had some appeal to him.

Schilling did not come to terms with the Sox this spring on a contract extension, and up to this point, he had not specified any prospective matches, other than to declare that he would never pitch for the Yankees.

"They asked me about it," Schilling said of his appearance on WEEI. "It's not a big deal.

"It's one of those situations you'd certainly have to look at. Knowing that I'm probably going to spend one more year playing, if circumstances happen and things happen and they made some moves that were positive, I'd love nothing more than to finish my career working on a pitching staff where I know that there are young guys that are going to be positively impacted by me being around [after] I was gone. I enjoy that. I love working and talking and being around young pitchers."

Schilling also mentioned that he used to have a home in the area and would welcome a return.

"I love Tampa, I love the area, I love everything about it," he said. "I loved living down there."

With an Opening Day payroll of just over $24 million this season, the Devil Rays wouldn't figure to be a logical candidate to recruit Schilling, who is being paid $13 million this season and turns 41 in November. But the D-Rays would like a veteran presence on their staff, and manager Joe Maddon has known Schilling since he was a high school and junior college player in Arizona in the '80s.

"He threw at my baseball camps in Arizona in the mid-'80s," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "My distinct memory of him back then was that we were playing night games at Gene Autry Park and the lights weren't that good. He's facing these high school kids from Colorado and I was kind of nervous because he was throwing that well back then, and of course he pitched very well.

"I saw him at Yavapai Junior College also. And we knew back then he was going to be very good; we didn't know to what extent. So relationship-wise, I've known him since that particular time."

Carter on board
The Sox, as expected, acquired first baseman Chris Carter from the Nationals as the player to be named later in the Wily Mo Peña deal. The Nationals sent a minor league pitcher, Emiliano Fruto, to Arizona for Carter, who was assigned to Boston's Pawtucket roster. Carter, a 17th-round draft pick out of Stanford in 2004, is regarded for his bat -- he was hitting .324 with 18 home runs and 84 RBIs in 126 games for Tucson, Arizona's Triple A affiliate -- but has major defensive shortcomings both at first base and in the outfield. "I watched him play first base, and popups gave him a lot of trouble," said one big league scout. "I can't imagine him playing the outfield. He's going to the right league -- he can be a DH in the American League." The Sox, of course, have a DH, but Carter, 24, already has played two years at Triple A, so he can hardly be excited about spending a third season there in 2008 with the PawSox.

Used car salesman
Taking a cue from that legendary auctioneer, Manny Ramírez, David Ortiz has offered the red Mercedes he bought after the 2004 World Series for sale on eBay. The asking price is $169,000. "I love that car," he said, "but I'm going to buy another one." Ortiz also owns a Lamborghini and a Cadillac Escalade. Manager Terry Francona, asked if he might have an interest, said: "I'll pass on that one. I'm not a car aficionado. Don Kalkstein [performance enhancement counselor] wants to buy my used SUV, only because he knows I've never gone over 60."

Handy device
Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, struck by an Andy Sonnanstine fastball in the fourth inning, may have averted injury with the makeshift protection he wears on his left hand. Lowell wears a piece of a catcher's shinguard wrapped in tape, a device created by the Sox training staff . . . The Sox played before a typical for Sox-centric crowd, but it numbered just 16,393, the smallest audience to pay to see them perform this season. The crowd was a few hundred smaller than the gathering the night before. The Sox have been leading the majors in road attendance with an average crowd of 39,503 . . . J.D. Drew made his third straight start in the No. 6 spot in the batting order; the first two were against lefties, last night was against a righthander, Sonnanstine. Drew has flip-flopped spots with Mike Lowell, and even though it is not ideal in terms of the way Francona likes to go lefty-righty in the middle of his order, the change may stick for a while. Last season, Lowell did not do well in the No. 5 hole, batting just .208 (22 for 106) with 4 home runs and 13 RBIs. Last night, he made his 12th start in the 5-spot, and in the first 11 games he was batting .404 (17 for 42) with the exact number of home runs and RBIs he recorded in the 5-hole last season. Lowell's three RBIs Monday gave him 85 for the season, the most he's had since he had 85 with the Marlins in 2004.

Ellsbury up to 17
Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 17 games -- within two of the Pawtucket record shared by Dave Stapleton (1979) and Dave Berg (2005) -- going 1 for 5 in the PawSox' 9-7 victory over Syracuse. Ellsbury is batting .386 (27 for 70) during his streak. He went 0 for 3 with a walk for Boston in the second game of last Friday's doubleheader. Ellsbury is certain to be a September callup and figures to be on the postseason roster. The Sox will have some flexibility because of players on the disabled list; both Matt Clement and Brendan Donnelly are on the DL, and Ellsbury could be used for one of those spots . . . The Sox had their fantasy football draft yesterday; despite being on the 60-day disabled list, Clement retained his position as the league's commissioner. Dustin Pedroia had the first pick.

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