Youkilis, Aviles get Sunday off vs. Nationals

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Youkilis, Aviles get Sunday off vs. Nationals

BOSTON -- Both Kevin Youkilis and Mike Aviles have the day off on Sunday. Will Middlebrooks and Nick Punto are in the lineup instead, but Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that their off-days are not injury-related.

"They're not injured," said Valentine about Youkilis and Aviles. "It's just, we're going down into the hot weather, a day game today, all those good things. Punto needed to get in there, I think. And get Will Middlebrooks in two days in a row, all that good stuff."

Valentine also gave an update on pitcher Aaron Cook (knee laceration). Cook pitched two innings on Saturday, and will meet the team in Miami to throw a bullpen, and then will pitch a few more innings.

Also, Valentine said that Carl Crawford had no ill effects from throwing the last couple of days.

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

One White House tradition will have to wait, if it’s in fact maintained.

President Donald Trump is not going to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals this season, according to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Barry Svrugula wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the White House declined an invitation from the Nats.

POLITICO reported early Tuesday morning that Trump was in talks to throw out the first pitch and that it was also possible he could spend an inning in the MASN booth.

President William Howard Taft began the custom of U.S. presidents throwing out a first pitch on April 14, 1910, at National Stadium in D.C.

According to The Week:

“Since Taft, every president not named Jimmy Carter has thrown out at least one Opening Day first pitch. The executive guests of honor followed in Taft's hefty footsteps, throwing the first ball from the stands, until the late 1980s when Ronald Reagan sauntered onto the mound and improved upon the tradition."

The most famous presidential pitch in recent memory is George W. Bush’s toss during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Nats open their season on Monday at home in Washington D.C., in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins. A Nationals Magic 8 Ball is to be given away to the first 20,000 fans.

The Red Sox happen to play the Nats in a pair of exhibitions right before the season, on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is at the Nats’ home park in D.C. Saturday’s game is to be played in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Evan Drellich talks with Toucher and Rich about who the starting catcher will be and should be for the Red Sox. Christian Vazquez appears to be all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Can he hit?