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Formal presentation before April 11 game

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox will get their World
Series rings at their home opener April 11 before a full house of
35,000 fans -- and the New York Yankees.

The jewelry symbolizing the team's first championship in 86
years will be handed out in a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park.

"I'm sure I'm not going to help them hand them out," Yankees
shortstop Derek Jeter said to laughter at New York's camp in Tampa.
"But they deserve it. I'm sure they've been looking forward to
this for a long time. So let them do it."

Boston became the first major league team to overcome a 3-0
deficit in a postseason series, doing it against their biggest
rival in the AL Championship Series last October. The Red Sox then
swept St. Louis in the World Series.

"This is the kind of quality problem I hope we're going to be
able to have with some frequency," Red Sox president Larry
Lucchino said, "sit around at spring training and decide just
when, oh when, do we give out the World Series championship
rings."

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had no complaints about the
ceremony being held while New York is at Fenway Park.

"The Red Sox won their rings. They earned them," he said in a
statement. "They have the right to pick the date at which they
present them, and it's not a personal affront to our players."

To accommodate fans who didn't get tickets to Opening Day, the
rings will be displayed at a welcome-home dinner attended by
players that same night and at a display on the Fenway Park field
along with the World Series trophy and the ball Doug Mientkiewicz
caught for the last out of the Series.

Admission, perhaps $5, will be charged for the display, which
probably will be held on April 12, an off day. Proceeds will go to
the Red Sox Foundation.

"Even though the fans are not getting it, they have to feel
like they're receiving one because they all deserve it," David Ortiz said. "They supported us a lot through the years."

Lucchino expects the final ring design to be revealed this week.
Players began getting their fingers measured Tuesday.

Center fielder Johnny Damon already has a new ring. He was
married late last year and made his wedding band flashier so it
wouldn't get lost in the glare of the championship ring.

"The only reason why I put some bling on my wedding ring was
because I knew I was going to have that nice ring," Damon said.
"I was just going to go with a tattoo or even just a little
band."

Every player who played for the Red Sox last year will get a
ring. Lucchino estimated that several hundred would be awarded to
managers, coaches, scouts and other employees.

"They won," Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina said. "They can do
whatever they want. Hand out 5,000 rings if they want to."

Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Nomar Garciaparra and other players
who left the team after playing for Boston in 2004 also will get
rings. Lucchino would like them to receive it directly from a
member of the organization rather than have it sent to them.

New York manager Joe Torre won't be bothered if he watches the
ceremony.

"If we're normally in the dugout at the time they plan to do
this, we're not going to not be in the dugout," he said. "We're
not going to arrange, or rearrange, our routine to either be there
or not be there."

Ortiz said the Yankees, winners of 26 championships, might even
enjoy the ceremony.

"They know how the feeling is," he said.