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Spring things: A tale of three losses

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  • The Denney Tomori experiment (11.56 ERA in 4 2/3 spring innings) should be over.

  • In the ninth, one lone Sox fan started a clumsy chant of "Here we go offense, here we go! (clap, clap)." But the City of Palms Park crowd was dead in the water at that point and so were the Sox, as the pen gave up three runs in last two innings to blow this one.

  • After the game, young guys in their 20s were standing around with boxes of baseballs to get signed by players on their way out of the park. I really hate the memorabilia-fest this spring training has become. Note to parents: Get your kids back into the game and not obsessed about getting some ink on a baseball.

    Sunday: Clement's early-inning struggles continue in loss to Twins

  • Forget being a great late-inning defensive replacement, Ramon Vazquez could start at second base for the Sox. In the first inning, he made an outstanding play on a grounder in the hole, though he could not get the ball to first in time for the out.

  • The third time wasn't the charm for Matt Clement, as his early inning troubles continued against the Twins, the only team he has faced so far this spring. Clement had runners on first and second with two outs in the first when Jacque Jones punched a single through the infield and the Twins were off and running with a 1-0 lead. While he didn't give up any walks this time, Clement gave up five hits in 1 2/3 innings before another had Minnesota up 3-0 at the end of two.

    On the plus side for Clement, he had a 1-2-3 third, striking Jacque Jones out on three straight fastballs and settled down as he had done in his prior two spring training starts. He finished with five strikeouts while going four innings in his longest outing of the spring. He's not going to make anyone forget Pedro Martinez or even Derek Lowe at this point, but he's got the potential to be a solid starter if he can get his early-inning problems under control.

  • Mantei looks like he's going to be the top righty setup man for the Sox, giving Mike Timlin a run for his money. Although Mantei gave up a hit and a four-pitch walk to catcher Corky Miller in his one inning of work, he continues to be able to throw the ball hard in every appearance this spring.

    Playing pepper

  • Jason Varitek does indeed look funny with the captain's "C" on his uniform, especially on the home whites. While it's not his style to stand out from the crowd and bastardize the traditional Sox home unis, he's being a good soldier and doing what the Sox brass want. Why they want him to wear the "C" is another story.

  • The rock radio stations are much better than the sports stations in Florida. They play all the old classics. On the way to Dunedin, two stations were playing Boston at the same time. "Hitch a Ride" on one, and "Smokin'" on the other. Can't beat that when the other option is auto racing and fishing talk.

  • Kevin Millar and family were spotted at Potts Sports Café on Daniels Parkway in Ft. Myers. Naturally, Millar was surrounded by yahoos as soon as he walked in. Rock star in the making Lenny DiNardo was holding court at Dwyers on Friday night, the new hot just south of Daniels and the place where you are most likely to meet a player. Nobody goes to Ft. Myers Ale House anymore, it's too crowded. (Apology to Yogi). 

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