Sox start Grapefruit League games with a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins.
Matt Clement pitched the first two innings of the game, giving up one run in the first but settling down in the second. Clement chalked the rocky first inning up to simple nerves after not having pitched a game in about 6 months, and also came fairly close to gushing about how much he was going to love working with Jason Varitek. "He's everything everybody said he was." Of course he is - why do you think he's got that C on his chest?? The Sox will be playing split squad games today against BC and Northeastern Universities.
The Red Sox gave one-year contracts to several players yesterday, locking up the entire 40-man roster. Among them were Abe Alvarez, Juan Cedeno, Manny Delcarmen, Mark Malaska, Anastacio Martinez, Luis Mendoza, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Smith, Kelly Shoppach, Hanley Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis, Adam Hyzdu and Adam Stern. Adam Stern is a Rule 5 pick whom the Sox are looking at as a potential replacement for Dave Roberts on the bench. It's nice to see the club getting a teeny-tiny bit younger.
Here's a nice, cuddly, fuzzy piece about Kevin Millar. Millar threatened to go sleep with upstairs neighbor Mark Bellhorn if his pregnant wife was going too crazy to allow him to sleep the night before the home opener.
And, if his willpower stays strong, we may never have to see the disgusting spectacle that is Terry Francona's tobacco chewing habit ever again. The man has quit at the request of his children, and so far, so good. Tito said he would have to see how he felt once the real games start and someone throws the eighth ball of the inning, but since Bobby Jones is no longer with the team I can't see how that will be a problem.
And finally, the New York Daily News had a piece today on the Red Sox's success against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Of the 14 blown saves credited to Rivera, 5 were against the Red Sox, whereas no other team in baseball has come back against Rivera more than once. The author speculated that no one on the Sox wanted to talk about it for fear of breaking the spell, but I don't think there is anything magical about their success. When you have a lineup that is as good as Boston's, who have faced Rivera as many times as they have, there is bound to be some eventual success. One thing the article didn't touch on was the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Mo was slowing down a fraction as well. He's no spring chicken.
Well, it was nice to hear Jerry Remy's voice for the first time this year, even if it was only the last three minutes of the game I got to watch. Just makes me all the more excited for April 3rd!