Coco Crisp, who has been hampered with a dual groin injury, is slated to run some sprints on Saturday morning before the team makes a decision on the next course of action. . . Shortstop Julio Lugo, who was originally penciled into yesterday’s lineup, but scratched due to a sore back will be examined again on Monday. He was able to work on some drills and hit in the cage Friday morning, but the team wants to hold him back for a few more days for precautionary reasons.
Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz just conclulded his second spring start, allowing three runs on three hits with three strikeouts in three innings of work. The right-hander threw 41 pitches and allowed two home runs. Jonathan Papelbon is now pitching for Boston in the top of the fourth inning.
After the Twins defeated the Sox 7-2 this afternoon at City of Palms Park, manager Terry Francona said this was just another valuable learning experience for Buchholz.
“He has great stuff and I think he’s learning, even if it’s spring training,” said Francona. “If you make a mistake with major league hitters they make you pay a price, and maybe that’s a good thing. We don’t want to see anybody get hit around, but I think, even at this early stage of his career, he knows when he makes good pitches he has the ability to make even good hitters look silly, not just get them out.
“You don’t want to see guys struggle, but because of this [outing] he’ll get better,” added Francona. “He didn’t give in and then went back out and had a good inning.”
FORT MYERS, Fla. _ Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz allowed three runs on three hits in the top of the first inning, including a pair of back-to-back homers to the Twins' Justin Morneau (two-run shot) and Craig Monroe (solo).
Buchholz allowed four runs on five hits in two innings of work against the Twins on March 2.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Manny Ramirez just made Dustin Pedroia’s day.
The Red Sox slugger presented the second baseman with a Rolex watch for winning the American League Rookie of the Year in 2007. Ramirez handed Pedroia a box and then hit it pretty hard with his bat, denting the box. When Pedroia opened it all he could say was “Damn!”
“He’s the best,” Pedroia said before he walked around the clubhouse showing his teammates the generous gift. Along with the watch Ramirez wrote Pedroia a little note, prompting Pedroia to comment, “Now I finally have your autograph.”
Ramirez told Pedroia in the middle of last season that if he continued to play well and won the Rookie of the Year award he would buy him a watch.
“He’s a great kid with a great heart,” said Ramirez, who also bought Pedroia a few new suits to wear on the road last season. “I love him. He’s got a great personality and I don’t care what he does on the field because, as a person, he’s such a great guy. You can talk to him and he’s always happy and working hard.”
Ramirez also plans on keeping the incentives coming for Pedroia.
“If he hits .300 this year, I’ll give him something else,” Ramirez said. “I want him to keep it going.”
The two, along with teammate Kevin Youkilis, worked out together at the Athletes’ Performance Institute in Arizona during the offseason. Ramirez was there for almost three months and said he loved it there and plans on returning next winter.
When told that it was a nice watch, Ramirez shrugged and said, “Ah, it’s okay.’’
Just for the record, he didn't buy it in Times Square for $10.
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Bartolo Colon just completed his third bullpen session of spring and looked sharp during the 50-pitch workout. He was able to mix in his offspeed stuff for the first time, including 10 sliders to his session with Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell looking on.
''He threw the ball very good,'' said Farrell. ''He kept the endurance and the tempo of his session consistent through the 50 pitches he threw this morning. The breaking ball and slider he added was a solid pitch for him. . . It was another good workday for him.''
Next up, Colon will toss a 40-pitch BP session on Sunday. After that the Red Sox will decide if March 15 is still a realistic starting point for game action.
Farrell said it would be ideal for Colon to pitch twice in games before the team heads to Japan.
''The work he’s been doing here every day has been very diligent and his work ethic has been tremendous,'' Farrell said. ''He’s making every progressive step we were hoping to see, and the next one will be batting practice.''
The one noticeable aspect of Colon’s session this morning was how fast he was working. The right-hander would throw, get the ball back and quickly deliver again.
''He has a tendency to get a little rapid fire, which a lot of pitchers do,'' Farrell said. ''He even acknowledged the other day that he needs to slow himself down a little bit because when you get too quick it can cause him to rush a little in his delivery, and lose command of the baseball.''
When Colon arrived at camp there was some concern with his body type, but he’s always been short and stocky. Even Farrell was quick to point out that Colon has been able to make it work to his advantage.
''He’s been pitching a long time very successfully,'' said Farrell. ''He has a very good feel for his body and when he does misfire with a pitch he can quickly make the adjustment that’s needed.''
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jonathan Papelbon, who accepted $125,000 less than he had hoped for in his 2008 contract Thursday, nevertheless said he was happy with his one-year deal.
''I'm pleased,'' he said, ''because I feel like I was able to set a precedent for pitchers to come. That was definitely one of my goals and I feel like the Red Sox were on board with that.''
Papelbon's $775,000 salary, agreed to Thursday afternoon, represents the most money ever given to a non-arbitration eligible reliever, topping the mark set almost a decade ago by Mariano Rivera. Papelbon had hoped to match the $900,000 given to Ryan Howard in 2007, but in the end, took less.
''I feel like the Red Sox were very fair,'' he said, ''and I was fair. We can move forward and continue to have a good relationship. Rivera was the one that set the tone 10 years ago. Hopefully, I can follow in his footsteps for years to come.''
For a time, it seemed like Papelbon might have his deal renewed at the Red Sox' choosing, but they were able to reach a settlement.
''You always want to get things done,'' he said. ''It's all part of the process. No feelings were hurt. I don't think anybody wants to renew. It doesn't look good for the club and I didn't want to renew either. We wanted to maintain the good relationship we have.''
General manager Theo Epstein said Thursday that Papelbon understood the Sox' position when they provided him with some context.
''They were saying to me, 'We're putting you as the No. 1 two-year pitcher in history,' '' said Papelbon. ''That was their intent to recognize me. (They were saying,) 'This is pretty much all we can do.'
''I still feel like I deserved what Ryan Howard got, but at the same time, you've got to pick and choose your battles.''
Papelbon said he would listen to any overtures from the club about a multiyear extension. "But I don't think I'll take it into consideration unless it's very inviting.''
NOT YOUR ORDINARY JOE: He was always the enemy, but he was never a villain. Red Sox fans admired and respected Joe Torre (Murder of Ravens blog); as one said on the day of his dismissal as Yankee manager, Torre ''gives nobody anything to hate.'' (New York Times) So, as we discover in Sean McAdam's report, it's good to see him enjoying his baseball life again after trading in his pinstripes for Dodger Blue. It also turns out that the winning-isn't-everything-it's-the-only-thing mentality of the Steinbrenner Yankees irritates him just as much as it irritates most of us on the other side of the aisle.
THE BEST-LAID PLANS . . . Tim Wakefield is trying to be more conscious of stopping the opponents' running game, but when the opponent is as speedy as the Dodgers' Juan Pierre, sometimes trying simply isn't enough. (projo.com)
NOTHIN' BUT BLUE SKIES DO I SEE: The Joy of Sox posts excerpts from The Sporting News' preseason baseball print publication, which picks the Red Sox to win the World Series again. (Over the Cubs, no less.) And if quotes about them from a scout are to be believed, they may not lose a game.
I CAN'T HEEEER YOU!! New Royals manager Trey Hillman's displeasure with the way his team ran the bases resulted in a 10-minute lecture -- in full view of both the public and yesterday's opponent, the Diamondbacks -- at home plate immediately after the game. (Kansas City Star) The drill-sergeant routine -- enormously popular with fans and some portions of the media, not so with players -- has gone the way of the straw hat in baseball, so it'll be interesting to see how the Royals respond to it. If it works, expect to see a spate of Sergeant Carters in major-league dugouts. Judging by the career record of modern martinets (like this one), though, I suspect I know the answer.
NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY: Speaking of Tao, this was what prompted the post about Opening Day in Toronto. Jays followers have every right to be upset; when your team does direct marketing to opposing fans, the message you're getting is "All you represent to us is currency, and we don't really care where that currency comes from."
BLAME THE POPE: That's what the Yankees are doing regarding their tough April schedule, since a lot of it stems from the Pope's saying a Mass at Yankee Stadium on April 20, which forced the team to switch some games. (nj.com)