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.
Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.
Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.
Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children. He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.
Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.
Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004. He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.
The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993.
In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.
“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”
A. Sherrod Blakely breaks down the Celtics offseason wish list, and which players are the most likely that they could acquire.