Coco Crisp had better study his "Law & Order" reruns, or at least keep watching that LeBron James courtroom commercial on a loop. Because, come June 23, it's going to be his turn.
With his suspension for charging the mound at Rays pitcher James Shields and starting last Thursday's brawl with Tampa Bay still pending, Crisp will meet with Major League Baseball officials in Boston for his hearing. He was given a seven-game suspension, the most severe of the eight players punished. Shields, meanwhile, dropped the appeal of his six-game suspension.
"I think people are looking at me for the example, like I'm the main culprit of the whole thing," Crisp said. "Which, if they feel is the case, so be it. But I don't feel that is necessarily the truth in the whole matter. So I guess that's the whole process of the appeal is to go there - or in any kind of court thing - I guess is go plead your case, and after that, you see what happens."
So, is this old hat for Crisp? Is he the kind of player who does this sort of thing often?
"Charged the mound?" Crisp said "No. Suspension? No, nothing like that. No principal's office."
While Jon Lester finished his five-game suspension last night, enabling him to start against the Orioles tonight, Sean Casey has not had to make a decision about whether to appeal his three-game suspension because the penalties were staggered.
"He's going to appeal," manager Terry Francona said. "You kidding me? He's not going to miss this next series. Plus, I don't think he feels real good about the suspension anyway. I'm making light of it, but, yeah, he's going to appeal."
With Casey's suspension set to begin Saturday, he has until tomorrow to appeal. The Red Sox will be spending the weekend in Cincinnati, where Casey played for eight years.
Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a bullpen session yesterday, his first since he went on the disabled list with a mild strain of his right rotator cuff suffered May 24 against the Mariners. Francona called it an "aggressive" session.
Matsuzaka, who will throw another tomorrow, was scheduled to meet with Francona and pitching coach John Farrell before last night's game to determine his next rehab step. Because of the length of time since his last game action, he may have to make a minor league rehab start.
"He's done a really good job of what's been asked of him, because there are some differences of opinion on how to get there and we've been pretty adamant on some things," Francona said. "He's done a really good job of living up to that, which we've been pleased with.
"We just want to give him a chance to go out there and be able to pitch and pitch like we talk about with everybody, with health and with production for the entire year, however long that lasts. Hopefully, it lasts a long time. Good pitching is so hard to come by, we probably get overcautious. If that's the case, I don't think anyone in our organization's ever going to apologize."
After the game, Francona said the Sox will wait until after Matsuzaka's session tomorrow to determine a course of action.
A pair of 15s
Manny Ramírez extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the third inning last night. That broke a tie with Dustin Pedroia for the longest on the Sox this season. With his blast Tuesday, Ramírez reached the 15-homer plateau for the 15th straight season. It's the longest current streak in baseball. Ramírez is the 18th player to have a streak of that length, with Eddie Murray and Hank Aaron owning the longest, 20 years each . . . J.D. Drew extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his first-inning double. During the streak, which started June 1, Drew is batting .500 (16 for 32) with 5 home runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 13 RBIs, and 9 walks . . . Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 29th base of the season, the most for a Red Sox player under age 25 since Buddy Myer had 30 when he was 24 in 1928 . . . With his home run, Jason Varitek is five away from Carlton Fisk's club career mark for catchers (157) . . . With his 91st save, Jonathan Papelbon tied Ellis Kinder for third on the team's all-time list. Papelbon needs 13 to tie Dick Radatz for second . . . If it looked like shortstop Alex Cora was heading farther toward center field on cutoff throws when Crisp was manning the position Tuesday, it wasn't a coincidence. Though Crisp has speed and excellent defensive instincts, he is not blessed with a strong arm. Francona cited the Yankees' decision to employ a similar strategy in 2004 with Hideki Matsui and Derek Jeter. "When Coco's out there, we go deeper," Francona said. "Just try to take some air out of the throwing, give the guy with the stronger arm the decision." . . . Red Sox pitchers took part in fielding practice before last night's game. The pitchers lined up at around 3:15 p.m. to take grounders off the mound. With games against National League foes coming up - in which they'll also have to hit - the Sox felt it would be a good idea to give their pitchers a refresher course, especially with all the NL bunts . . . Three Red Sox donated items to the Hall of Fame before the game. Ramírez gave his batting helmet and the lineup card from May 31, the night he hit his 500th home run. Lester offered his spikes and a baseball from his May 19 no-hitter, while Varitek provided his catching gear from the same game . . . ESPN announced it will televise two Red Sox-Yankees Sunday night games, pushing the starting times for July 6 in New York and July 27 in Boston to 8:09 . . . Tonight's game will begin at 6:05 to accommodate those who wish to see Game 4 of the NBA Finals.