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Red Sox Notebook

Information is spare on Ellsbury’s ribs

By Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / May 28, 2010

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The Red Sox are expected to implement a new course of action concerning Jacoby Ellsbury’s rib problem before game time tonight.

Ellsbury was examined by team doctors yesterday after a CT scan and MRI taken in Tampa Wednesday night came back negative. The Sox’ medical staff will decide today whether to give Ellsbury one more imaging test just to make sure.

The disabled list remains a possibility, with Ellsbury feeling no relief from the soreness he has expereinced the last three days. While there was no refracture or new injury, according to a team source, Ellsbury remained out of the lineup for last night’s loss to the Royals.

While the Sox were in Tampa, Ellsbury expressed frustration in remarks to ESPN.com that the injury was misdiagnosed early — as a bruise rather than a break — but team sources said he later regretted making those comments.

“He’s really tender,’’ manager Terry Francona said before the game. “He’s been examined, and we’ve looked at all the pictures. All the medical people are trying to look at everything. We’ve got to get to the bottom of this; we’re not at the bottom of it.

“We don’t want to rush into putting him on the disabled list, but at the same time, he’s not ready to play because of the way he feels.’’

Ellsbury has played in three games since returning from a rehab assignment in Pawtucket and Portland, and seemed to be turning the corner. Doctors say it’s not unusual for soreness to accompany a rib injury after it has healed. It’s this soreness that Ellsbury is experiencing, and given that his game is speed and diving for balls in the outfield, it is difficult for him to get back on the field.

Francona has said that when Ellsbury is ready, he will be the center fielder and Mike Cameron will be in left field every other day.

Wild West show
Umpire Joe West, who in April made disparaging remarks about the pace of play during Red Sox-Yankees games, worked the plate last night and had his first beef with David Ortiz on a called third strike to end the first inning.

This was the first time back at Fenway for West since the April series, when he told a New Jersey newspaper that the Red Sox-Yankees games had become “pathetic and embarrassing.’’

Asked yesterday about those comments and the controversy they stirred up, West said, “I told you, I can’t comment on that. I’ve been asked not to speak about it.’’

West put himself back in the news Wednesday when he ejected White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle and manager Ozzie Guillen during a game at Cleveland. After West called Buehrle for a second balk, the pitcher dropped his glove to the ground in disgust, and Guillen came out, initially to protect his pitcher, though he was eventually kicked out for arguing.

After the game, Guillen made expletive-filled remarks about West, saying at one point, “Sometimes he thinks people pay to watch him umpire.’’ It was not the first time West has been accused of wanting to become part of the story.

Asked last night about the Cleveland incident, West said, “I’m not supposed to talk about it. I don’t know what the reaction is, and I’m really not concerned about it. I’m here to do a job.’’

Asked specifically about a response to Guillen, West said, “I really don’t have a response because that would just be opening up a can of worms that doesn’t need to be opened.’’

According to ESPN, Major League Baseball is investigating Wednesday’s incident.

He’ll likely toe the line
Victor Martinez, nursing a sore big toe that was hit by a foul ball, will likely return to the lineup tonight to catch Tim Wakefield. Martinez hadn’t played since being hurt Monday, before pinch hitting last night and grounding to second to end the game. The problem has been squatting, but he has improved daily and appears ready. “He did a lot Wednesday during BP, did some throwing and some receiving,’’ Francona said . . . Josh Beckett had been scheduled to throw a bullpen session today, but because of the team’s late arrival (4:35 a.m.) from Tampa Bay, that schedule might be altered. “If he throws a side tomorrow, everything has gone really well,’’ said Francona . . . Francona had a lot of fun with Kevin Millar, who has joined NESN’s studio team. “The media just got worse,’’ he said to Millar. He added, “I shouldn’t be speechless, I just don’t know what to say. I don’t know if I’m embarrassed for television. I’m not sure where to go with this.’’ . . . Jed Lowrie (mononucleosis)will return to Fort Myers, Fla., today to continue his workouts.

Nick Cafardo can be reached at cafardo@globe.com. Michael Whitmer of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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