March 1st, 2007
What is this, the All Star game? After 10 innings of play, the Sox and Twin played to a stalemate of 4–due in large part to the 3-run homer Julian Tavarez gave up to Twins catching phenom Joe Mauer in the 5th. Curt Schilling looked good in his 1st outing, despite all the drama surrounding him in the last week, allowing two hits, with no strikeouts and only using 19 pitches, 15 for strikes, in his 2 innings of work. Brendan Donnelly also fared very well in his 1st inning of work in a Red Sox uniform with a 1-2-3 4th inning. Joel Pineiro did not fare so well in the 3rd, giving up some hits and an unearned run.
A step in the right direction: While it will only be a “B” game against minor leaguers, it will be a start nonetheless. Jon Lester will be pitching for the 1st time the year, and the 1st time since he was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, Monday morning at 10:00am. If all goes well there, 2 days later he will throw a bullpen session, then a 2-3 inning simulated game, then, if all is still in line, he will kick off the Minor League Spring Training season with a start on March 16. “…he’ll continue to be evaluated,” said Francona. “We’re trying to ratchet up the intensity, we’ll pick up the endurance. We’re just trying not to have him go backwards.” Great news!
Hard habit to to break: Every year, Tito says he is going to quit chewing–and during the off season is easy, but once games start, the nasty habit begins anew–made every more revolting by the combo chew/bubblegum thing he does–ewwwww.. But this year he has a bit more motivation–$20,000 worth. He made a bet with Lucchino (who is a cancer survivor) that if he does not chew for the entire season, Lucchino will make a $20,000 donation to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. If he does chew, HE will be making the $20,000 donation. Tito seems to think this will be the year…”To have the support of Larry Lucchino and the whole Red Sox organization infuses me with strength and resolve that are greater than mine alone. I appreciate this effort, and I know how much it means to so many.” Knowing how hard it is to kick a nicotine addiction–I give him credit for trying…but can you imagine making a $20,000 bet for ANYTHING???
A replica of the Ted Williams status that has stood outside of Gate B at Fenway since 2004 is now living at the entrance to the Red Sox park in City of Palms, which will now be called Williams Plaza. This statue previously made its home at the Ted Williams Museum & Hitters Hall of Fame in Hernando, FL. Johnny Pesky, who played with the greatest hitter than ever lived in1942 and from 1946-52, headed the dedication group, which included Sox COO Mike Dee and a bunch of local politicos. The artist and sculptor of the statue, Franc Talarico, was there as well…
Apparently the Cardinals have an interest in Mercenary Roger–whoop die do…But his agent, RANDY, let everyone know that is Roger does come back it will only be to the Astros, Sox or Skanks–and there is still no guarantee he will even play this year…Maybe if everyone ignores him–he’ll go away? Please?
More game scoop: Two of the 3 errors in last nights game belong to 3rd baseman Chad Spann (is he related to Warren?) who also struck out with runners in scoring position in the eighth and 10th innings…Makes me all the more grateful that we have Mike Lowell, and Kevin Youkilis. Speaking of errors, the other was made by our new shortstop, Julio Lugo, leading to an unearned run in the 3rdm, which he got back with a RBI single in his next at-bat–I think we are going to see ALOT of that “give and take” with Julio this year…
Starter Boy?: It’s pretty cliche’, but Mike Timlin has christened newly converted starter Jonathan Papelbon “Starter Boy” which is a constant reminder that he is doing something different, that doesn’t necessarily come as fast or as easy as closing–and that makes Jonathan crazy…”I’m chomping at the bit,” he said. “In my very first meeting with Theo and Tito, the first thing out of their mouths was,’We know you’re ready to go, but we don’t want you throwing 100 pitches right away.’ They were a little worried, but they shouldn’t be. I’m fine.” Papelbon is scheduled to pitch against the Phillies on Saturday.
Coming up: Two for Thursday!
Northwestern, 1:05pm, Josh Beckett will get his 1st start of the season (as will Coco Crisp and J.D. Drew)
Blue Jays, also at 1:05pm, Kason Gabbard will get that start.