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Red Sox fan site has fresh pitch

The Remy Report, a site for die-hard Red Sox fans, is the latest trophy site for open-source software.

To Boston Red Sox fans, he's known as the "RemDawg."

Jerry Remy is a former all-star second baseman who played for the Sox and Angels in the '70s and early '80s. He's better known to a younger generation of fans as the color commentator on Red Sox television broadcasts. Now his Web site, the Remy Report, has become the latest showcase for open-source software.

The Remy Report, which has 50,000 registered die-hard Sox fans, hosts chats with Red Sox luminaries such as pitcher Curt Schilling, has baseball news and sells merchandise. On Monday--opening day for the Red Sox at Fenway Park--the Remy Report relaunched with a new look.

The company that put the Web site together, Back Bay Technologies, rebuilt the Remy Report entirely out of open-source components.

The reason is cost, said Marc Maselli, CEO of Back Bay. Remy's business partner, John O'Rourke, gave the company a tight budget and a long list of desired features.

"O'Rourke asked for the world in terms of functionality. We knew right away, it had to be Microsoft or open source," Maselli said.

Back Bay Technologies figured it could buy the full suite of Microsoft development products and an x86 server for about $10,000. But even that was too much.

"All of the budget had to go to service work, not software licenses," Maselli said.

The company used the JBoss application server, MySQL database, Eclipse development tool and the Apache Struts programming framework. Performance should not be an issue for the Remy Report, Maselli said. If it needs to, Back Bay Technologies can add more memory to its servers to accommodate spikes in traffic, he added.

The company designed the site to be easy to use, because Remy and O'Rourke are the only people responsible for maintaining it. Apparently, both are more interested in sports business than in tinkering with computers.

In a recent broadcast, Remy noted that he recently acquired an Apple iPod. But he admitted he hasn't figured out how to download songs yet.