Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring Training Notes

Spring Training is in full effect and it seems as if the 2011 collapse is still lingering. The media is mainly to blame, including the newest addition to ESPN, Terry Francona. Francona was quoted today on an ESPN radio show that the beer ban that Valentine recently released is a "PR move." Valentine didn't go into great detail on what he thought about the comments, but he did say "you get paid over there (at ESPN) for saying stuff. You get paid over here for doing stuff. I've done both."

Personally I think Francona needs to stay away from the situation. I understand its his job to be an 'analyst,' but with a touchy subject such as this one, it's best for both parties to forget about it and move on.

Carl Crawford underwent wrist surgery back on January 17th and was questionable coming into Spring Training whether he would be in the Opening Day lineup or not. Crawford has been taking swings off a tee and says he feels a lot better than expected. He is optimistic and says he is striving to be in the Opening Day lineup. Crawford has also come into Spring Training with a brand new attitude. He says he was completely out of sync last season in all facets of his game and is ready to contribute to the team in the manner that he did during his tenure in Tampa Bay.

As of now, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Bucholz are locked into the starting rotation. Daniel Bard has transitioned extremely well to being a starter and seems to be a mortal lock for the 4th spot. That leaves the 5th spot up for grabs to Alfredo Aceves, Vicente Padilla, and Andrew Miller.

And the big news of the day is the announcement that Jason Varitek will retire on Thursday. Not to the surprise of many, Varitek will retire after 14 MLB seasons (all in Boston). The Red Sox will be losing one of the best leaders in baseball and he surely will be missed.

Here is the Sox upcoming Spring Training schedule:

Thursday: "B" game at Minnesota (Aceves)
Saturday: Northeastern University (Lester)
Saturday: Boston College (Doubront)
Sunday: Minnesota (Beckett)

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