Notes: Crawford receives honor from Rays writers

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Notes: Crawford receives honor from Rays writers

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Before Tuesday's 1-1 tie between the Red Sox and Rays at City of Palms Park, Marc Topkins of the St. Petersburg Times and the BBWAAs Tampa chapter chairman presented Carl Crawford with the Rays 2010 MVP and Paul C. Smith Champion (Good Guy) awards.

My work getting ready for the 2010 season paid off, Crawford said. I won the MVP of the team from the writers and the Good Guy award, so I was able to carry myself in the manner that was professional and respectable on and off the field. So, it's nice to win both of those awards. They're equally important to me. I take a lot of pride in making sure I don't get in trouble and set a good example when I'm at the field."

The Pawtucket Red Sox have announced that every PawSox player will wear a patch with the name BEN on their right uniform sleeve this season in honor of late PawSox owner Ben Mondor who passed away last October 3. The patch will be worn on each home uniform and will measure 5.5 long by 3.25 high.

Ben always wore his love of the PawSox on his sleeve, so its only fitting that we carry BEN on our sleeve for the 2011 season, said PawSox president Mike Tamburro.

The PawSox open the 2011 season on Thursday, April 7 vs. the Rochester Red Wings at 7:05 p.m. at McCoy Stadium.

Josh Beckett is scheduled to start the exhibition game Wednesday against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. He will be followed by Jonathan Papelbon, Dennys Reyes, Bobby Jenks and Daniel Bard. The Astros are expected to start Nelson Figueroa, followed by Brandon Lyon, Wilton Lopez, Enerio Del Rosario, Aneury Rodriguez, Henry Villar, and Jose Valdez. Daisuke Matsuzaka will pitch a simulated game Thursday morning in Houston.

The Red Sox will be moving to a new facility in Lee County for next year's spring training, and manager Terry Francona spoke about the Sox final game at City of Palms Park.

I think wed be a little more sentimental if we were leaving town," he said. "I think were all glad were staying in Fort Myers. I think were also very appreciative that we get to go into a state-of-the-art facility where we can probably get our work done a little bit better and have our minor-league complex together. But I think were very appreciative of the support we get here. Obviously we get great support and Im glad were staying. Im also glad were going into a nice, new facility.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Tonight's lineups: Red Sox at White Sox

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Tonight's lineups: Red Sox at White Sox

The Red Sox face a left-hander -- Carlos Rondon, in this case -- for the second night in a row as they play the middle game of their three-night series in Chicago against the White Sox.

The lineups:

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Chris Young LF
Travis Shaw 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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Clay Buchholz P

WHITE SOX:
Adam Eaton RF
Jimmy Rollins SS
Jose Abreu 1B
Todd Frazier 3B
Melky Cabrera LF
Brett Lawrie 2B
Jerry Sands DH
Dioner Navarro C
Austin Jackson CF
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Carlos Rondon P

Jeter: Sox fans 'softer' and 'treat me better' after winning three titles

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Jeter: Sox fans 'softer' and 'treat me better' after winning three titles

There was a time not too long ago when the New York Yankees would fear for their lives when they came into Boston.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that serious.

But go back to the early 2000s and the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees was about as heated as could be.

On one side was the Evil Empire: George Steinbrenner, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens,etc. On the other was the Red Sox: Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, etc.

Those were the days.

Then the Red Sox came back from three games down in the 2004 ALCS, beat the Yankees, and went on to win the World Series. Then they won the World Series again in 2007. And again in 2013.

All that winning changed the narrative around here. The frustration and anger of  years of disappointment was replaced by joy.

Welcome to Friendly Fenway.

Suddenly, players like Jeter could come to town and even go out to dinner without being heckled by diehard Sox fans.

On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Jeter told Meyers -- a Red Sox fan -- about how Sox fans have gone soft since their team started winning.
    
“It doesn’t happen anymore,” he said about being heckled outside Fenway. “I can say this now because I’m retired. Boston fans have softened up since you guys have won. It pains me to say it, but . . . I won’t say it. I’m not happy you won. But you treat me a lot better since you won.”

Time for Red Sox to clear away Clay

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Time for Red Sox to clear away Clay

In our Early Edition production meeting, someone said Clay Buchholz was pitching for his job tonight.

Sorry, not anymore.

As soon as Steven Wright pitched well for the fifth straight time last night, Buchholz's train left the station. It’s time to do with Clay what the Sox did to Panda: Make up an injury, fake a surgery (okay, that’s all a bit of an overstatement with Sandoval) and get him out of the way.

As soon as the White Sox said goodbye to John Danks, we all said the same thing: If Chicago can do it, why can’t Boston? Danks was to start tonight against Buchholz, but the Chisox said "No more" and paid off the final year of his $65 million contract. The Bosox -- haven’t heard that term in a while, have you? -- could do the same with Clay and the $13 million he's owed for this season, plus a $500,000 buyout at the end of the year. 

David Price is the No. 1 starter and eventually he'll be fine. Eduardo Rodriquez gave up three runs in six innings last night for Pawtucket and will soon be ready to take his spot in the No. 2 slot. Then there's my pick to click, Rick Porcello (with a 2.76 ERA), and the previously mentioned Wright with his 1.76 ERA. Wright was supposed to be the odd man out when E-Rod returned, but that’s not happening. So there are your top four starters. And what about Joe Kelly when he comes back? I would rather see Kelly and anyone from Pawtucket pitch in the fifth spot instead of Buchholz and his 6.51 ERA.

Is there any reason to keep Buchholz?  Not that I can see. Clay can throw his second career no-hitter tonight and my feelings won't change.

It’s time to move on from Clay Buchholz.