Doug Mientkiewicz has the ball. The Red Sox want it back. ... "We're going to make a request of him to return it to us," Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said late last night. "We want it to be part of Red Sox archives or museums so it can be shared with the fans. We would hope he would understand the historical nature of it."Mientkiewicz called the ball "my retirement fund ... I'm thinking, there's four years at Florida State for one of my kids. At least." ... Later that day, Snook called WEEI: "I thought it was going to be a light-hearted article. ... I was just joking around with him and kidding about it. ... If they'd like to show it to fans, I'd be more than happy to. Hell, I'll stand out there myself and show it to everybody."
John Henry (e-mail): "I called Doug to discuss the situation with him on Thursday. We spoke on Friday. We didn't discuss solutions. ... I just wanted to listen to what his feelings were with regard to all of this. I have a great deal of respect for Doug." ... Team spokesman Glenn Geffner: "It's not a huge controversy. This story has been blown way out of proportion."
The location of other World Series final out balls? 1983 Orioles (Cal Ripken), 1998 Yankees (Andy Pettitte), 1980 Phillies (unknown), 1985 Royals (unknown), 1986 Mets (unknown), 1988 Dodgers (GM Fred Claire), 1990 Reds (Todd Benzinger) and 2002 Angels (Darren Erstad). ... The Hall of Fame has the ball from the final out of only two championships -- 1889 and 1903.
Also: Pokey Reese agreed to a $1.2 million, one-year contract with the Mariners on Tuesday. ... Sox players react to Randy Johnson agreeing on a 2/32 contract extension with the Chokers. ... The Dodgers are close to signing Derek Lowe to a 4/36 deal.
It's official: The Red Sox and Chokers will open the 2005 season on Sunday night, April 3. ... David Ortiz says he's still recovering from a nagging right-shoulder injury but expects to be healthy by spring training. [Fuck you, Dale Sveum.]