The Sox brass have apparently kiboshed their plan to expand the bullpen, a move that would have shortened the right field fence by about 10 feet (roughly R2-D2 on Chewbacca’s shoulders, for those who like to convert all measurements to “Star Wars”).

The idea was first proposed as a way to “right-size” one of the narrowest bullpens in all of baseball — originally built, depending on whom you believe, to accommodate Teddy Ballgame’s swing or shelter local sausage vendors in the event that Mussolini invaded Kenmore. But it had to be approved by the Massachusetts Historical Society, and likely would have required all sorts of secret handshakes, dog-and-pony shows and suitcases filled with unmarked bills left in dark alleys.

While the change might have helped folks like Ortiz knock a couple more homers each season, it would have given a similar edge to opposing batters. It also would have altered the playing field in a way I’m not too cool with. Let the Yankees “short porch” it in their house; I’d rather see Fenway’s renovations restricted to improving the “Paying Customer Experience”–for example, making sitting in the grandstands something less of a contortionist’s act.

Anyway, with that issue out of the way, it’s time to focus on the bigger concerns. Like convincing D.O. to growing back that abomination of a beard for the 2011 season. You know, the one that cast him somewhere between “hipster uncle” and “guy who’s not allowed within 20 feet of schools or retirement homes.”