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Red Sox notebook

Some surprise names among the no-shows

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / April 21, 2012
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The Red Sox welcomed back more than 200 former players, managers, and coaches to Fenway Park on Friday. But also notable were those who did not attend.

Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, and Curt Schilling were among the former stars who did not make an appearance, along with Fred Lynn, Trot Nixon, Manny Ramirez, Mike Greenwell, Dave Roberts, and Bob Stanley.

Former managers Butch Hobson, John McNamara, Eddie Kasko, Don Zimmer, Grady Little, and Jimy Williams also took a pass on the party.

For some, like Roberts and Stanley, coaching duties with other organizations prohibited their attendance. Schilling said he had business to attend to. Boggs was hosting a charity golf tournament in Florida.

Lynn was on a trip to Europe with his wife. Nixon had a family obligation. Clemens is being tried for perjury in Washington in relation to his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Bruce Hurst, who was there, was in contact with Clemens and hoped he would attend.

“He had some legitimate things that he needed to take care of family-wise, and he was where he probably should have been,’’ Hurst said. “I would have loved to have him here. I told him I felt bad, because it was a less day because of that.’’

Hurst believes the fans would have welcomed Clemens.

“I’m going to give everybody the benefit of the doubt and say they would have cheered him, and they should,’’ Hurst said. “I know all the things that happened. But for the time he was here in Boston, name one pitcher who did more for this franchise and changed the face of what it meant to be a Red Sox pitcher. Roger Clemens made me better. We went from being, basically, afterthoughts and laughingstocks to where he gave us all credibility.’’

Big crowd

For manager Bobby Valentine, it has been fun seeing so many players he played with or against during his career.

“I saw 50 guys [Thursday] I haven’t seen in umpteen years. I’ll see another 100 or so [Friday] afternoon,’’ he said before the game. “I think that’s amazingly special.

“There are some guys I didn’t recognize and we played together. They have a little advantage on me because they’ve been in the post office lately and seen the ‘Most Wanted’ photo of me. It’s a little easier for them.’’

Valentine also was impressed that 54,000 fans toured Fenway on Thursday during the team’s open house. He said 20 of his friends were in the crowd.

“I was amazed,’’ he said. “There’s probably a better word to describe what it was. The park has at least a life. It has a magic to it. It’s the baseball land of Oz. People dream about this place.’’

Mike Aviles was one of the players who spent time signing autographs and posing for photos on Thursday.

“I can’t lie, that was a special thing,’’ he said. “To have that many people come to just walk around the park was great to see. It was a madhouse.’’

First pitch history

Boston’s mayor, John “Honey Fitz’’ Fitzgerald, threw out the first pitch at the first game at Fenway Park in 1912. His great-granddaughter, Caroline Kennedy, and grandson, Thomas Fitzgerald, threw out first pitches Friday along with mayor Thomas Menino.

As befitting the style in 1912, the pitches were thrown from the stands. Three Hall of Famers - Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice, and Carl Yastrzemski - caught them.

Ready to rehab

Daisuke Matsuzaka may only be a month away from rejoining the Red Sox.

The righthander, who had Tommy John surgery last June, will start an injury rehabilitation assignment with Single A Salem on Monday and start against Wilmington.

Given that those assignments have a 30-day limit for pitchers, the Red Sox believe Matsuzaka can return to the majors on or around May 23.

“Daisuke feels really good,’’ Valentine said. “The conversation with him is that he’s ready to starting dealing with competition rather than rehabilitation. We will still monitor his pitches. He won’t have a 30-pitch inning.’’

Matsuzaka is scheduled to make five starts. He has been cleared for up to 75 pitches on Monday.

The other pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery, lefthanded reliever Rich Hill, is set to pitch for Triple A Pawtucket on Saturday.

Crawford update

Carl Crawford was 1 for 1 with a double, two walks, and a stolen base in an extended spring training game in Fort Myers, Fla. He also scored two runs . . . Lefthander Andrew Miller will remain with Pawtucket on a rehab assignment in the hopes of regaining his control. He has walked nine in six innings in the minors. Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler can use Miller as he sees fit. His rehab assignment ends May 7.

Repko hurt on catch

Center fielder Jason Repko jammed his shoulder making a catch and was pinch hit for in the seven inning. He said X-rays were negative but Valentine indicated the Red Sox would have him checked out further . . . Derek Jeter’s single in the second inning was his 3,111st career hit. That moved him past Dave Winfield for 18th place all-time. Alex Rodriguez’s home run leading off the fifth inning was his 631st. That moved him past Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth place . . . The Red Sox wore all-white caps and all-white uniforms with “Red Sox’’ in red letters on the front. There were no numbers. The Yankees had on gray uniforms with their familiar “NY’’ logo on the chest and on the front of their gray caps . . . Jose Canseco, who flexed for the crowd when he took the field, was signed by the independent Worcester Tornadoes.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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