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DOWN THE LINE

April 23, 2006|Tim Brown

Three Days in ... Cleveland

Curt Schilling, already kind of cranky, will turn 40 in November. In Boston, they're already celebrating the "big 4-0," which is Schilling's record after four starts, as well as the "small 1.61," his ERA in those starts.

Although the off-season appeared to do them few favors -- Josh Beckett being the exception -- the Red Sox have pitched and defended their way to the early lead in the AL East. Schilling and Beckett are a combined 7-0 , and Jon Papelbon hasn't given up a run in seven save opportunities.

The last time Schilling started this well was in 2002, when he went out 12-1 and finished 23-7.

The Indians, meanwhile, started 6-1, but middle-relief issues have hounded them since.

The probables:

Tuesday: Schilling vs. Jake Westbrook

Wednesday: Tim Wakefield vs. Fausto Carmona

Thursday: Beckett vs. Cliff Lee

Gentlemen, Start Your...Resumes

After an off-season in which new general managers were appointed in Baltimore, Boston (momentarily), Tampa Bay, Texas, Arizona, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, more change could come quickly.

Jim Bowden, after a big night in South Beach and whose Nationals are about to get a real owner, could be in trouble, and Allard Baird, whose Royals are atrocious again, is definitely in trouble.

The short list of potential replacements: Dan Evans, Mariners; Dave Wilder, White Sox; Chris Antonetti, Indians; Mark Newman, Yankees; Tony Lacava, Blue Jays; Dayton Moore, Braves; Gord Ash, Brewers, and Gary LaRocque, Mets.

A New Slogan in ...Boston

Johnny Damon is gone, but not forgiven.

The erstwhile Red Sox center fielder and leader of idiots took the money and ran to New York, leaving the Old Towne Team for a four-year contract and the power of pinstripes.

Red Sox fans aren't displeased with Coco Crisp, who was hitting .333 before going to the disabled list because of a broken finger, but the days of WWJDD (What Would Johnny Damon Do?) have yielded to HSJDS (How Should Johnny Damon Suffer?)

A Kansas City Star reporter noted a new T-shirt in town with Damon's furry-faced likeness on the front and the following on the back:

"Looks like Jesus,

"Acts like Judas,

"Throws like Mary."

In New York, they'd add, "But hits better than Bernie."

The Sound of a ...Domino Falling

Think it was a touch awkward in the Giant trainer's room this week? Think Barry Bonds offered to scrub the Jacuzzis?

A source close to the situation said this week that trainer Stan Conte, subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury investigating Bonds' previous grand-jury testimony, has been uncomfortable with how much Bonds has told him about his drug use.

All of the Padres or ...One Pujols

Nearly three weeks in, the NL West was making its case that the steroid era was, indeed, over.

National League home runs, from the bottom up, through Friday:

16. San Diego 9

15(a). Albert Pujols 11

15. San Francisco 12

14. Dodgers 14

13. Chicago 15

12. Florida 17

11. Colorado 18

10. Arizona 19

One More Thing With ... Vin Scully

His call of Jason Repko's slight overthrow to the plate in the eighth inning Wednesday night: "So Jason Repko really let one fly. And if it doesn't hit the backstop, it hits City Hall."

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