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Original Issue

The Beat

Red SoxG.M. Theo Epstein has a thing for disguises. In 2005 he ducked out ofFenway Park in a gorilla suit after (temporarily) quitting his job, and lastweek he went to a Pearl Jam show in Boston wearing a fake mullet wig, glasses,a blue hat and a hooded sweatshirt so that he wouldn't be recognized. Epstein,who plays guitar in a band called Trauser, joined Eddie Vedder and the boysonstage for Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World, dropping to his kneesduring a solo before flinging his hat into the crowd and revealing his trueidentity. (Two days earlier Epstein had hosted Vedder at Fenway; the rockershagged flies during batting practice and watched the game in Epstein's booth.)Epstein will reprise his axework on July 12 for the Hot Stove, Cool Musicconcert at Fenway.

■ David Beckham ishoping that England's World Cup campaign goes more smoothly than thepretournament charity bash he threw. Becks and his wife, Victoria, shelled out$1.2 million on a party at their Herefordshire estate. A few big names (OzzieOsbourne, Ewan McGregor, Nick Faldo) made it, but several bigger names (TomCruise, Prince Charles, Elton John, King Juan Carlos of Spain) failed to show.To make matters worse, the lawn was flooded by rains, Posh bickered with thechef over the menu, and a flyover by three World War II--era airplanes had tobe nixed so as not to offend the German World Cup hosts.

■ Last year SteveNash watched his pal Nelly Furtado perform at halftime of his charityfoundation basketball game--Nash's mullet was the genuine article, by theway--and now Furtado (left) is namechecking the Suns' star on her new album,Loose. In the song Promiscuous, Furtado (who, like Nash, is from BritishColumbia) sings, "Is it the truth or are you talking trash/Is your game MVPlike Steve Nash?"

■ Not everybody inEurope loves soccer. The Woothwaite House Hotel in Cumbria, England, ispromising a soccer-free environment during the World Cup. TVs will showromantic comedies, sports pages will be removed from the hotel's newspapers,and anyone who hears a staff member talking about the tournament will get afree glass of champagne.... It used to be only tough guys could say theyknocked out Lennox Lewis. But last week at Washington Square Park in New YorkCity, four ordinary--and sedentary--Joes got the best of the former heavyweightchamp in a speed-chess tournament. (Lewis played 18 matches.) Each won $1,000and a certificate stating I KO'D LENNOX LEWIS. Said Lewis, who often playedchess while training for fights, "[Chess and boxing] are similar in thatit's one-on-one."

A pin position at the rain-delayed PGA Memorial tournament had to be changedbecause someone had defecated in the cup during the night.

They Said It

TODD HELTON, Rockies first baseman, refuting anewspaper story that said the team was built around "a Christian-based codeof conduct": "We're dirtbags, like 99 percent of the world. Maybeworse, because we are baseball players."

There was a time when almost nothing got past Oliver Kahn, the goalkeeper whohad five clean sheets in leading Germany to the 2002 World Cup final. Now,though, anybody with a Volkswagen can blow by him--or at least this giantbillboard of him--en route to the airport in Munich, where the Cup opens onFriday (page 54). Perhaps it's fitting; the 37-year-old has lost a bit of hismagic, not to mention his job. Jens Lehman is expected to start for thehosts.