Red Sox Notebook: Historic Crowd Awaits

The Red Sox are used to playing in front of packed houses. But the one that awaits them tonight in Los Angeles is unlike anything anyone has ever seen.

A sellout crowd of more than 115,000 people is expected to turn out to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum when the Sox take on the Dodgers. That would be, by far, the biggest crowd to ever attend a professional baseball game. The major league record was set May 7, 1959, when 93,103 filled the Coliseum for a benefit game honoring paralyzed Dodgers icon Roy Campanella.

The Sox played in front of their largest crowd ever May 30, 1938, when 83,533 fans attended a Sox-Yankees game at Yankee Stadium.

"Even our relaxing time, so to speak, is going to be a little crazy with 115,000 people," Theo Epstein told The Boston Globe. "But it should be fun."

So, too, should be the sight of batters for both teams taking aim at a left field foul pole that stands a mere 201 feet away from home plate—and left fielders attempting to play the ball off a screen 62 feet high. According to mlb.com, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy has taken to calling it "The Screen Monster."

"It's wild—I look around and it's like someone dropped acid in my oatmeal this morning," Epstein told mlb.com. "I'm glad it's only one game. I'd hate to play in this regularly."

Tim Wakefield is scheduled to start against Esteban Loaiza in a matchup that will certainly evoke memories of Game Five of the 2004 AL Championship Series, which the Sox won over the Yankees, 5-4. Wakefield earned the win with three shutout innings of one-hit relief while Loaiza took the hard-luck loss after 3 1/3 gutsy innings. Adding to the nostalgia: Joe Torre, the manager of the '04 Yankees, is now managing the Dodgers.


Timlin to the DL: Mike Timlin will open the season on the disabled list for the second straight season.

Timlin, who suffered a two-stitch cut on his right ring finger during a minor league game March 19, was placed on the disabled list Friday, retroactive to March 20. He'll be eligible to return April 3, the off-day in between the Sox' series against the Athletics and Blue Jays.

The assignment buys the Sox some more time to determine what to do with the four relievers who are out of minor league options: Left-hander Javier Lopez and right-handers David Aardsma, Bryan Corey and Kyle Snyder. The Sox are fond of all four, but it's likely two will have to be jettisoned once Timlin and Josh Beckett return.

Timlin began last year on the disabled list due to an oblique strain.


Capellan returns to Sox: Minor league pitcher Jose Capellan, whom the Giants selected from the Sox in the Rule 5 draft in December, was returned to the club Friday by the Reds, who had claimed Capellan on waivers March 12.

The Sox have received back both players they lost in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Lincoln Holdkzom, who was selected by the Phillies, re-signed with the Sox after he was placed on waivers by the Phillies March 13.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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