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Embree ready for action

Page 2 of 2 -- Damon's book, "Idiot: Beating `The Curse' and Enjoying the Game of Life," will be out April 4. That day, an offday in New York, will be a busy one for the center fielder. He will be on "Live with Regis and Kelly" that morning, sign books at the Barnes & Noble in Rockefeller Center midday, then appear on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

Does the hectic schedule bother his manager?

"Nah," Francona said. "There's a pretty good chance he isn't going to be in bed at 9, anyway."

Pouring it on
Baltimore was batting with two outs in the top of the seventh when the game was called because of rain. Sox starter David Wells was touched for six runs on 11 hits and one walk in six innings, including a four-run sixth. Miguel Tejada did the earlier damage with a two-run homer in the third . . . Josias Manzanillo, who was going to have to compete for a bullpen job in Triple A Pawtucket, was offered his release and accepted . . . First baseman Roberto Petagine, who recently had left knee surgery, is not expected to play again until the end of April. Petagine has a clause in his contract allowing him to return to Japan if he's not playing in the big leagues . . . The Sox optioned lefthanders Lenny DiNardo and Mark Malaska to Pawtucket and reassigned catcher/outfielder Jeff Bailey, infielder Tim Hummel, righthander Scott Cassidy, and lefthander Jason Kershner to their minor league camp. DiNardo has only three innings of Triple A experience on his resume, a rehab stint with Pawtucket last season, when he remained on the Sox roster as a Rule 5 player. The Sox want him to be a starter in Pawtucket this season. "We told him he could compete for a lefty specialist [job in Boston], but with no Triple A experience that wouldn't be fair to him or us," Francona said. "He needs to get some experience, slow the game down." . . . Mark Bellhorn struck out swinging in the third inning, his 10th strikeout in 30 spring at-bats . . . Wade Miller threw to hitters for the first time and will do so again before pitching in a minor league game. Miller said he was "excited" but acknowledged that he's still not "all-out right now" with his fastball . . . Jon Papelbon (fourth round, 2003) will start today's game in Fort Lauderdale against Baltimore. "I've never seen this kid," Francona said. "I'm excited. This is worth getting on a bus for a couple hours." . . . Newly acquired righthanded reliever Blaine Neal will join the team today . . . Byung Hyun Kim was scheduled to pitch yesterday before the rain came. "Between the flu and weather B.K. is having a tough time," Francona said. "We need to see him pitch." 

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