As he entered the park, Lucchino met a woman selling "Evil Empire" T-shirts, a phrase he coined for the Yankees. "I almost bought a couple for Christmas presents," he said. Earlier this weekend, Lucchino bumped into Yankees GM Brian Cashman. "I told him that if anybody took a picture of us having a civil conversation it might be a bad career move," quipped Lucchino.
Every sentence when these teams meet is loaded with intensity, humor and one-upmanship. "East Coast fans are the best," said Rodriguez. "I get booed so often now I don't know who boos best." One Boston fan walked with a sign bearing a recent quote by Jeter but with a twist: " 'A-Rod's hands are so soft -- Jeter.' "
Meanwhile, back in the Red Sox clubhouse, Curt Schilling was explaining to the Boston media for the umpteenth time that he is very offended when they go to the Red Sox fans' chat room (sonsofsamhorn.com) and take the quotes he posts there and put them in the newspaper. After all, he writes "off the record" beside the quotes.
Curt, if you rent a billboard and post a quote on it beside your picture, do you think that's off the record, too? What is it, a disease? A smart player goes to Boston and within months his brain cells disintegrate. "I never anticipate that any of the stupid things I say will be turned into more than they are," explained Schilling. Sort of.
"Curt wants to pick a fight [with the media]," said an exasperated Red Sox executive. "We don't know why."
Good thing it's only spring training. Just 19 regular season games, and maybe seven more in October, left to go. Issue the flak jackets.