DETROIT -- The Red Sox and Detroit Tigers don't exactly have a long, angry history with one another.
Thanks to the unbalanced schedule, they usually only play two series per season against one another.
But when the two teams meet again at the end of May at Fenway, it could get interesting.
Adrian Gonzalez was drilled in the ribs by Detroit reliever Phil Coke in the eighth inning and Gonzalez believed it was in retaliation for Matt Albers hitting Prince Fielder is the lower leg in the late innings of Saturday's 10-0 shutout by the Tigers.
Fielder had homered twice in that game. Gonzalez had hit a two-run homer in his previous at-bat in the sixth inning Sunday.
Coke's first pitch sailed behind Gonzalez, which Gonzalez didn't think much of. But then the next one got him in the ribs, prompting a warning to both dugouts by the umpires.
"I'm not a big fan of warnings because you take away the immediate retaliation of it," said Gonzalez. "You know it's going to happen. We've all got seven more years here. It might not happen the next series, but eventually it's going to happen."
Gonzalez didn't believe Albers was intentionally going after Fielder Saturday, noting that there were two strikes at the time.
"It didn't even cross my mind (that Albers was going after Fielder)," said Gonzalez. "I just think it's a bad call on their end because now it's putting (Miguel Cabrera's) and Prince's careers at risk. You know it's going to happen eventually."
Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine sit-down with Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas to talk about the high expectations for the season, the addition of Al Horford, and getting married this offseason.
Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about Thomas, including his very team friendly deal will ever become an issue.
Look for new podcast versions of our media day interviews in the coming days, plus videos and other content as the Celtics get ready for the season.
There’s no way to spin rookie Jacoby Brissett starting a game rather than three-year NFL veteran Jimmy Garoppolo or future Hall of Famer Tom Brady as preferable.
But can the disadvantages be mitigated? Can the fact there is no “book” on a player be helpful?
“I think there’s always an element of the unknown when you’re dealing with a player or something you haven’t seen or scouted as much,” said Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on a conference call Monday afternoon. “I don’t know if there’s an advantage there, it’s just that you don’t have as much information on a player or on some scheme that they may use, which then forces you to figure some things out as the game goes along and do some quick self-scouting as you move through the first cquarter, the first half, whatever it is, just to make sure that if it is something new you haven’t seen before, if it is a player that you haven’t played against and don’t have a lot of volume of tape on, that you have an opportunity to evaluate quickly what is going on.
"What’s happening in the game? How much of an impact is that player having? Are they trying to do something that’s disrupting what you’re trying to do with their scheme? I think that happens a lot of weeks during the course of the year based on health and availability, new players, guys being called up, someone that just got signed and you don’t really have a lot of experience watching them play in their system. I would say that’s a common occurrence for us.”
With a fullback or UDFA guard pressed into duty, there’s not a helluva lot that will be altered in terms of scheme. With players like Garoppolo and Brissett, though, the Patriots' long-established offense can take on an entirely different look if different areas are emphasized.
For instance, jet sweep is a play the team won’t use much with Tom Brady except as a “keep ‘em honest” on the edges kind of play. With Garoppolo, quickness when he gets outside the pocket has to be respected so if he fakes that jet sweep and rolls to the outside, he’s a run-pass threat with speed and downfield accuracy. With Brissett, he’s a threat with elusiveness, size and power as a runner. Additionally, if the Patriots wanted to try the old Elway Throwback to the opposite sideline, Brissett may have more arm power than either Brady or Garoppolo.
McDaniels said the Patriots aren’t looking necessarily for ways to “surprise” opponents as much as they are looking for ways to accentuate players’ strengths.
“We’ve got to take the guys that we get to play with, based on health and other factors, and then we consider the defense that we’re getting ready to play against, and the great players and the scheme that they use, and then we try to formulate the right plan to allow our players to go out there and play fast, play well, and do the things that suit their talents the best,” McDaniels explained. “I don’t think that our mindset has changed.
"Some of the variables have changed from one week to the next, which is always the case, and of course, when you get a group of guys a plan and then you work so hard to get ready for Sunday or Thursday night and go out there and watch them play and execute and take care of the ball and do the things you need to do to try to win, and then they enjoy it so much, that’s really the thing that you take the most satisfaction from as a coach.”