Photo: Bunting is big as Sox get ready for home opener
Journal photo / Bob Breidenbach
Dave Batchelder, of Alden Flag in Narragansett, hangs bunting around Fenway Park today as the Red Sox get ready for their home opener against the Detroit Tigers tomorrow. The field was being groomed, fresh paint was being applied and cleaning was being done.
The World Series champions, who kicked off their 2008 season in Japan, will start tomorrow's game at 2:05 p.m. But before that, they'll mark their winning season with a ring ceremony and more. Come back to the SoxBlog tomorrow for the latest before, during and after the game.
Colon, bothered by "soreness in his oblique," will miss at least one start
BY JOE McDONALD
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- Bartolo Colon will be placed on the seven-day minor-league disabled list because of soreness in his oblique muscle, and will miss at least one start -- his scheduled start Tuesday at McCoy Stadium against Lehigh Valley -- for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
"It's not an oblique strain, but he does have some soreness in his oblique," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona today. "The training staff felt it was best to stop it now, because these things can linger."
Colon will report to Fenway Park on Tuesday to be examined by the team's medical staff, and a treatment program will be developed.
The Boston Globe is reporting this morning that Bartolo Colon, who dazzled with his performance in Pawtucket on Thursday, is experiencing soreness in his right side, and that is next minor-league start might have to be delayed by a day or two. Colon is scheduled to face Lehigh Valley tomorrow afternoon at McCoy Stadium. The Globe report says that the problem does not appear to be serious.
Just arrived at Fenway Park and pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is running sprints in right field. The right-hander will start the home-opener Tuesday. He also stood on the mound here at Fenway and threw a few shadow pitches.
Click the play button below to hear Sean's comments, recorded this morning. He discusses the Red Sox' sorry showing in Toronto as well as the coming series with the 0-6 Detroit Tigers.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On the team's travel fatigue: "I think it was inevitable that it would catch up with them at some point. I think the combination of a pretty good team to beat, and maybe the Red Sox sort of collectively hitting the wall right before they got home, combined to result in those three losses."
On Josh Beckett "It's worth remembering that Beckett did not have a traditional spring training. He faced a college team in his first actual start down in Fort Myers at the end of February, and then when he took the mound the next time, that's when the back spasms happened, and he had to scratch himself from what would have been his first real Grapefruit League start. And then everything after that was either in a camp game, a simulated game, a minor-league game -- he never really faced major-league hitters. ... So they understood that he was not going to be at 100 percent [yesterday]. He hadn't maxed out on his arm strength or thrown as many pitches as he normally would have before facing major-league hitters in a regular-season game. So I think that's the explanation for tiring in the fifth inning and having some difficulty, and that resulted in leaving the bases loaded, and things unraveled after that."
On the bullpen: "One of the things I thought was interesting was that you have the fifth inning yesterday, which is hardly the time when you would ordinarily bring in one of your power setup guys that might otherwise be used in the seventh or eighth, and Terry Francona felt compelled to go to him in the fifth. To me that spoke to some issues about perhaps not having a lot of faith right now in the middle guys, and sort of having to use a guy like that far earlier in the game than you might otherwise do."
On the Tigers: "They're not 100-percent healthy ... they're without both Gary Sheffield and Curtis Granderson, so that affects that lineup that everyone knows is going to be pretty fearsome when it gets clicking. And it just seems like they came out of the gate and had everything bad happen to them at once. Bullpen blew a couple of games late ... really nothing has gone very well for them."
IF YOU AIN'T GOT A BULLPEN . . . Yogi Berra's most cogent maxim was proven beyond the shadow of a doubt this weekend, as the Sox' relief corps was torched for 11 runs (10 earned) in 6 1/3 innings in blowing a 3-3 tie Friday night (winding up in a 6-3 loss), turning a 4-2 deficit into a 10-2 defeat on Saturday and allowing a 2-2 game to morph into a 7-4 defeat on Sunday. Steven Krasner has the excruciating details of all three, two of which turned on Manny Delcarmen (above) showdowns with Frank Thomas. The results: A two-run double Friday night and a grand slam yesterday afternoon.
KEEPING WATCH: He'd never, ever admit it, but the Sox' relief implosion has probably raised the hopes of Craig Hansen, whom McDonald profiled Saturday. Already gone from the Boston bullpen is Kyle Snyder, though Krasner says he was a victim of the numbers game and his departure wasn't related to his 0-out, 2-walk, 2-runs-allowed performance on Saturday.
HINDSIGHT'S 20-20 . . . AND EYE-OPENING: Chad Finn lauds Baseball Americafor putting Josh Beckett -- then with the Marlins -- on the cover of its 2002 Prospect Handbook and relates in horror the top names in the Red Sox farm system at the time. (Horror, you say? How about Seung Song, Tony Blanco and Rene Miniel at 1-2-3?) Kevin Youkilis has made it from that class, and so, at a lower level, has Manny Delcarmen -- the weekend notwithstanding -- but, as Chad writes, "the organization was pretty damn far from being 'a player development machine'." (touchingallthebases.com)
FROM ONE A-ROD TO ANOTHER: Alex Rodriguez says he's praying for Alexa Rodriguez, the young girl who was attacked by a hawk while taking a tour at Fenway last week. (New York Daily News)
FEELING BETTER: Joe Girardi was sick over the weekend -- from a flu bug and not his team's play, though the Yanks' 13-4 and 6-3 losses to the Rays weren't exactly what the doctor ordered -- but both he and his club were feeling better yesterday after a 2-0 victory in which Joba Chamberlain hit 101 on the Yankee Stadium radar gun, which is said to be a little fast. (Both stories New York Daily News) Feeling the pain now is Jason Giambi, who has a sore left groin muscle and may miss tonight's series finale against Tampa Bay. (New York Post)
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: There are times when the joys of working at a baseball stadium are lost on this poor chap, who apparently is employed at the Great American Ballpark -- they are still calling it that, right? -- in Cincinnati.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: When White Sox GM Ken Williams was pulled into Jose Canseco's web of steroids accusations -- under the "Williams knew what was going on and didn't do a damn thing" subcategory -- he didn't skulk into no-comment territory: He's hinting that he's going to file a lawsuit against Mr. Self-Appointed Whistleblower. (Chicago Sun-Times) "I'm not the guy that you want to go down that road with," Williams said. "Because I'm more likely to come out swinging, and I'll swing a hell of a lot harder than any punch you'll throw at me.''
TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE: Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is familiar with cheating: In 1980, he was suspended 10 days for being caught with a thumbtack on his finger to cut the ball. (espn.com) (Honeycutt also scores in the Dumb Criminal Department: He rubbed his face absentmindedly with the hand that had the tack, cutting a gash in his forehead.) So perhaps his accusations should be taken more seriously than most after he announced he has a picture that shows Padres ace Jake Peavy with pine tar on his right hand. Peavy, though, says it's just dirt and that umpires can come out to the mound to check him any old time. (Los Angeles Times)