After my first day off in a while yesterday — you’ll be glad to know I spent a couple hours of it on Sanibel Island with a sunburn on my back to prove it — I’m back in action today, live here from Lakeland.
There was an extremely lame bench-clearing incident in the top of the fifth. Todd Jones threw a pitch behind J.D. Drew’s back. Then Tigers manager Jim Leyland and Sox third base coach Demarlo Hale started jawing at each other, so everyone trotted on to the field and nothing happened.
Beckett did hit Sheffield in the first inning, and then got Magglio Ordonez on the helmet in the third with a breaking ball, but I’m not sure why Jones felt the need to retaliate.Oh well. The incident was over before it began.
In other news, Terry Francona is extremely high on the Gary Sheffield addition to the Tigers. he thinks it makes Detroit the team to beat this year. With all that pitching the Tigers have, you might be hard pressed to disagree.
A couple of hard throwers take the hill today — Beckett and Verlander. As Tito said, there won’t be a lot of changeups.
Coco, Varitek and Drew are the three position players who made the trip. There’s a lot of Japanese media here to see Okajima, or as I like to call him, "the hero in the dark".
The Timlin thing seems like it might drag into early in the season. I suppose it’s better for him to be hurt now, then for him to pitch through it and never be healthy, as was the case last year. But with the bullpen in a state of flux, they can’t afford to be without Timlin for very long once the games start counting.
T-minus 24 hours until the next Matsuzaka moment. T-minus 48 hours until the Yankees hit the Fort, and, yes, Hideki Matsui is making the trip. I’m sure cameras will be clicking with crazy when he greets Matsuzaka. T-minus 72 hours until i fly back to Boston for six days to catch up with my family. My three young boys are excited.
Talk to you later,