FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox open their exhibition schedule Saturday with the traditional doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College.
Left-hander Jon Lester is scheduled to start the first game against Northeastern and pitch two innings, followed by right-handers matt Albers, Michael Bowden, and Justin Germano.
Lefty Felix Doubront is scheduled to start the night cap against BC, going two innings, followed by righties Doug Mathis, Chorye Spoone, and Junichi Tazawa.
The first time out, this is, you know everyone says, Oh, its just a spring training game, said manager Bobby Valentine. But getting their legs underneath them, and being out in the center of the diamond is always a new experience, every year. So I just want them to get the newness out of it. Anybody whos working on a pitch, they might work on a pitch too. But basically the first outing is just to get in and out of the game. Thats really what Im looking for.
Valentine is looking for similar things from his position players.
Position players get in the box with a little adrenaline going, Valentine said. Because you dont usually have a lot of adrenaline in batting practice and standing in in the bullpen. Just get that feeling back. Some guys might be working on a bunt or working on taking a certain pitch that they have been swinging at in the past and you can start off the spring by doing something successfully. Its more just to get your feet underneath your body.
Senior right-hander Sam Berg of Brooklyn, NY, will start for Northeastern. Left-hander Steve Green is starting for BC.
BOSTON -- The Red Sox and Braves play the finale of their home-and-home, four-game series tonight . . . to the Sox' dismay, no doubt.
Boston has won the first three games by a combined score of 21-8, extending its overall winning streak to four. The Sox have also won five of their last six, and six of their last eight, as they've closed to within a half-game of the first-place Orioles in the A.L. East. In addition, they now hold one of the two A.L. wild-card positions.
Nick Markakis RF
Daniel Castro 3B
Adonis Garcia DH
Freddie Freeman 1B
A.J. Pierzynski C
Jeff Francoeur LF
Jace Peterson 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Mallex Smith CF
Jhoulys Chacin P
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Christian Vazquez C
Clay Buchholz P
Celtics Managing Partner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck talks with Toucher & Rich about the 98% renewals on season tickets for next year, and how that is unheard of.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while giving a thumbs up to “The Good Dinosaur” as quality family viewing.
*TSN Hockey Buddha Bob McKenzie breaks down the players available in the NHL draft lottery and what kind of names teams like the Boston Bruins should expect to be available with the first 14 picks.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski talks about the World of Cup ads with the ESPN creative people that made them happen. They used the word jarring in something of a positive fashion to describe them. I would use the word “not funny” for Reg Carling, the fictional character created for the ads. If they were trying to feature the personality of NHL players in those ads, I think they missed the mark. It’s not really a big deal in the final scheme of things, but it doesn’t make for a good first step in drawing hockey fans back to the four letter network.
*Good luck to Cam Tucker, a hockey writer based out of Vancouver that appears to have been one of the latest to be downsized in our industry.
*Dennis Bernstein has some thoughts, facts, analysis and theories surrounding the Los Angeles Kings, who have a long time to think about their first-round exit from the playoffs.
*Bruce Garrioch has some info on Ottawa’s long range plan to move to a needed downtown arena and that being the blueprint for most other Canadian cities.
*Tracey Myers has a dilemma for the Blackhawks: Andrew Shaw wants to stay, but the question is whether the Blackhawks can afford him?
*PHT writer James O’Brien has Bruce Boudreau lamenting the tough Game 7 loss for the Anaheim Ducks to the Nashville Predators. The loss may cost Boudreau his job, and will see a lot of new blood in the West with Chicago, Los Angeles and Anaheim now all out of the postseason.
*For something completely different: how can you say “no” to a tour of the world’s most magnificent treehouses.