The Red Sox are charging normal admission to tonight's game against the Blue Jays even though they have a spring training "B" team on the field tonight behind Tim Wakefield. But having clinched the wild card after losing to Toronto while Texas lost to Los Angeles last night, the Sox are going to begin gearing up for the postseason.
The biggest news was that Josh Beckett threw a 62-pitch side session and appears to be good to go for Saturday's start. Both Theo Epstein and Terry Francona said the side session went well.
Francona got to the ballpark later than usual because he was returning from attending son Nick's graduation from officer training school in the Marines. Francona said he got about two hours sleep and wasn't around for the early morning celebration because he had to depart for Virginia to be with his son. But Francona said he checked in to make sure there was at least one coach around to provide "adult supervision" of the closed-door party.
"I just wanted to make sure there was a coach there. I just don't want to have some silly thing happen that doesn't need to happen," Francona said.
Francona said he was sorry to miss the party but he needed to see his son. "I think it's great. I think it's fantastic. I don't think many people -- maybe those who are around the team -- know how long of a year it is. And for them to let it loose like that together, I think it's good for them. Winning should never get old. Everybody in that room knows this is not our ultimate goal,. but it is still an accomplishment and you enjoy it. and then you move on."
While the manager indicated he'd like to win every time he takes the field he made the comment that the next five games were "cosmetic" in nature and wanted to make sure his team had its proper rest and was ready to go to compete against the Angels, most likely next Thursday, in LA.
Francona thought there was no bad momentum as a result of Boston's five-game losing streak heading into the playoffs.
"Zero," he said."I hope we play good because that's why we show up today. Every time we play I want to play good. I hope our record is better than it is worse. But these games will have no bearing on what we do next week."
Francona said he won't know about the makeup of the roster until the team holds a meeting on it at the end of the week. The meeting may even be as late as the West Coast the day before the game.