What Happened With the Red Sox: Thursday
|03.26.10 at 8:58 am ET|
With 10 days left until the start of the regular season, people are getting anxious for answers.
Tim Wakefield made his sixth start of a highly successful spring, allowing three runs in six innings. Ordinarily, he would have a good sense of the kind of schedule he would be following at the start of the regular season. This year, however, he admitted that he has been given “zero” indication of when he would be pitching once the bell rings on the regular season.
‘I’m very curious, not knowing,’ Wakefield said. ‘Normally I kind of know what’s going on. I think they have some decisions to make. We’ll see what happens.’
That is because the Sox are still puzzling through how to proceed in light of their three off-days in the first 10 days of the regular season. In theory, the Sox don’t need a fifth starter until April 18 because of the manner in which the schedule is structured.
— While Wakefield wonders about the start of the regular season, Daisuke Matsuzaka had to content himself to begin his spring training build-up in earnest. For the first time of the spring, he pitched in a Grapefruit League game, allowing a run in two innings. He will next pitch on Monday, when he will throw three innings. He will be a couple weeks behind his fellow starters to being the year.
— With the season-opening rotation still being determined, the Sox have not yet formally identified their Opening Day starter. But an off-hand remark by manager Terry Francona seemed to confirm what had already seemed like a foregone conclusion.
— Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had a different concern about timing. Chiefly, he was miffed that Major League Baseball is once again pushing to speed up the pace of games, and especially games between the Red Sox and Yankees. MLB officials have already talked about the concern they have for the opening series of the season between the two clubs. Papelbon considered such measures unnecessary.
‘Have you ever gone to watch a movie and thought, ‘Man, this movie is so good I wish it would have never ended.’ That’s like a Red Sox-Yankees game,’ Papelbon said. ‘Why would you want it to end?’
Asked about having to potentially watch a movie in 30-degree temperatures, the closer offered a solution, simply saying, ‘Bundle up and drink beer.’
For more of Papelbon’s thoughts on the matter, click here.
— Mike Lowell suggested that he is just now entering the period of games in which he must begin in earnest to get ready for the regular season. He is satisfied with his health at this stage of the spring, and believes he’s in position to prepare in earnest for meaningful games.
‘I can’t say I’m disappointed where I am health-wise. I can’t say I’m disappointed at all,’ Lowell said. ‘I was never really expecting from the hip standpoint to be flying around the bases, and I was expecting my thumb to heel, and both things worked out. Those were my two biggest concerns. I thought I would be playing in games earlier, but I understand the progression of why because I did feel fatigued in that first week. I’m not upset where I am.
‘I always believed the last eight to 10 days is the most important. You kind of go through the motions in the first week when games start. You’re kind of feeling things out, getting your balance and working on things. Then I think the last week to 10 days it’s time to get in gear for the season. I think we’re starting that now.”
Lowell added that he feels no need to impress the Sox or scouts of opposing teams during spring training.
— One person who says that he does not need to be impressed by Lowell in spring training is Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez. Gonzalez’ team has been rumored to harbor interest in acquiring Lowell. Gonzalez did nothing to dispel his team’s interest in bringing back the player who holds the Marlins franchise record for homers.
‘He would be great for any team, including the Red Sox. I can’t say anything more than that because it would be considered tampering, but this guy is a good player,’ Gonzalez said. ‘I know they’ve got another good player in [Adrian] Beltre. The Red Sox are lucky to have him if he stays there, and if they trade him whomever gets him gets a good player ‘¦ if they trade him.”
For more, click here.