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It's just Manny being chatty

Yes, Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez and his wife, Juliana, are expecting their second child, and contrary to some reports, No. 24's been bragging about it all over town. (Oddly, the Herald's Inside Track twins suggested yesterday that the slugger's been circumspect on the subject.) Speaking through a family friend, Juliana told us she had wanted to keep the good word under wraps a while longer, but Manny couldn't contain himself. ''Secrets aren't the Ramirez family. We want Red Sox Nation to know us," Juliana said. ''People recognize Manny Jr. when he walks down the street." Juliana said she knew the jig was up when David Ortiz's wife, Tiffany, recently congratulated her. And how did the bride of Big Papi know there was a baby on deck? Manny announced it in the clubhouse, of course. Juliana said she was even praised the other day by a salesperson at the Ermenegildo Zegna store on Newbury Street, where Manny gets those trendy togs. As for the Sports Illustrated item insinuating that the proud papa is unhappy in Boston and wants out, Juliana had this to say: ''Manny hasn't told me anything about that. As a family, we love Boston and love living here."

Is ‘Nuts’ on the shelf?

While tooling around, a blog of all things Bosox, we stumbled upon a most disturbing bit of news: One of the most consistent arms in the park is taking some time off. The arm in question? No, not Mike Timlin. It's peanut tosser extraordinaire Rob ''Nuts" Barry, who's listed as questionable for tomorrow night's Red Sox game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway due to a shoulder injury. Barry, who's a corrections officer by day, has made headlines for his ability to throw peanuts to patrons. Barry missed the last couple of home games against Tampa Bay after straining his arm.

Shorn senator

New Hampshire Senator John Sununu startled his colleagues recently, when he showed up in the Senate chamber sporting what can only be described as a brush cut. Even more oddly, Sununu had the clip job done between votes, and was nearly unrecognizable when he walked in. What gives? It's solidarity, not fashion, that led the Granite State's junior senator to shear his head. Sununu said he decided to crop his locks in support of Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter, whose cancer treatments cost him his hair. ''I figure we'll grow it in together," Sununu said. Sununu said he noticed two Judiciary staffers who had cut their hair in support of Specter and decided to do the same. Any others he'd like to see with a short 'do? ''Trent Lott and John Kerry," Sununu said, referring to his famously big-haired colleagues.

Here and there . . .

BSO music director James Levine, his predecessor Seiji Ozawa, and Boston Pops conductor laureate John Williams gathered backstage at Tuesday's rehearsal for Tanglewood on Parade. . . . Tomorrow on ''Today," Boston event planner Bryan Rafanelli will be in Columbus, Ohio, where he's organizing a party for Tom and Linda Eckfeld and their 22 children -- yes, 22 -- as part of the show's ''Christmas in July" series. . . . Singer-songwriter Ben Harper was spied yesterday outside The Colonnade Hotel, where he stayed while in town.

Borrowed bling

While he waits for a new ring to replace the one lifted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pats owner Bob Kraft is wearing the Super Bowl bauble belonging to his son, Jonathan. Dining with his family the other night at the Regatta of Cotuit, Kraft showed it to the wait staff, but kept a close eye on it. ''I wasn't going to say anything to him about the Russian thing," waiter Fred Hannigan said. ''But then Mr. Kraft said to me, 'Make sure you bring it back.' He's got a good sense of humor."

Get real close

Ever wanted to meet a reality star? Get to The Rack tomorrow for ''Fantasy Meets Reality," a win-a-date benefit for the C2 Mission, an organization for kids with cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy. TV types expected include: ''Survivor" winner Ethan Zohn, Syrus of ''Real World: Boston," ''The Real Gilligan's Island" guy Shawn Manning, Michael Tarshi of ''The Apprentice," Brian Holden of ''The Bachelorette," Michael Gregorio of ''My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss," ''ESPN's Dream Job" joker Chris Williams, and Brian Worth (below) of ''Average Joe: Hawaii."

Susan Milligan of the Globe staff contributed. Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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