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Battle for Mayor's Cup starts tonight

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 27, 2011 03:56 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox and Twins play every year for the Mayor's Cup. The managers have fun talking about it and joking about it. But there's an actual cup. It's an ugly plastic thing on a faux wooden base.

At one point they added engraved plates to signify which team won on a given year. But in recent years it was updated with pieces of white athletic tape. The Sox have won it four years in a row and they'll bring it to Hammond Stadium tonight to put on the bench.

You can bet Terry Francona will make sure Ron Gardenhire sees it, too.

"There's a lot of anxiety," Francona said with mock seriousness. "Gardy can say what he wants but he moved up Pavano two days, And we're bringing in (Clay Buchholz) second. It's like facing the Yankees Opening Day. It's too much too soon."

Francona on winning the Cup four years in a row: "It's hard not to be arrogant."

The teams play three of their five games this week, so the Cup to be decided soon. Francona said if the Sox lost the first two games, they would think about bringing Josh Beckett back early.

On a more serious note, with the Sox moving to a new stadium in Fort Myers next year, the city would like to bring in a third team to use City of Palms Park. That would be excellent news for the Sox and Twins as it would help cut down on travel.

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