SARASOTA, Fla. — Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made news on Thursday night when he criticized the Yankees for not wanting to play an extra inning in a game that finished tied 4-4.
“They had plenty of pitching. … I didn’t think that that was very courteous,” Valentine said after the game. His contention was that it wasn’t fair to pitcher Clayton Mortensen, who was warmed up and ready to pitch.
“I'm as annoyed as I was last night, which isn't very annoyed,” Valentine said Friday. “Mortensen had a bigger problem this morning than I did. And he had a bigger problem last night than I did. I didn't get it. You know, it's not going to make any difference in the Grapefruit League trophy at the end of the year.”
Mortensen was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said his team was his priority and he didn’t want to use any of the minor leaguers on the roster.
“I’ve got to worry about our club and keeping our club healthy and not putting people in bad situations and making sure our club is ready to play,” he told reporters in Tampa.
Girardi also didn’t know that Valentine wanted Mortensen to pitch.
“That would’ve been acceptable to me. But there was no communication and usually there is,” he said. “It's not like this is something new. There's a lot of tie ballgames in spring training that end in the ninth inning. ”
So that's one dust-up put to bed. Until the next one.
As to other matters:
• The Red Sox have a split-squad doubleheader on Saturday and two of the pitchers competing for spots in the rotation will be starting. Alfredo Aceves is set to face the Phillies in Fort Myers with Felix Doubront the scheduled starter against the Marlins across the state in Jupiter.
The other primary contender for a spot, Daniel Bard, will start against the Blue Jays in Dunedin on Sunday.
Lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales is scheduled for an inning against the Phillies. That would be his second appearance of the spring. Closer Andrew Bailey will work back-to-back days for the first time. He is on the list to pitch against the Phillies and Blue Jays.
Vicente Padilla will work in relief against the Phillies. Valentine has told him he will work as a reliever for now. "I thought it was fine. He was like, ‘OK. I'm ready to pitch. Whatever you need, OK.’ But he explained, and he is, he's a real feel guy. And a lot of times, feel guys need some pitches,” Valentine said.
• Andrew Miller, who has been out with a strained left hamstring, was cleared to play long toss on Friday. It’s uncertain whether he can recover in time to be on the Opening Day roster.
• Chipper Jones, who announced his retirement on Thursday, ruined many a day for Valentine when he was manager of the Mets from 1996-2002. “It would have been nice if he retired 20 years ago and never came into the league,” Valentine cracked. “He’s one of the great switch hitters, one of the great Met-killers, one of the great kind of leadership figures that I’ve been around. He had a great presence about him. Uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and do the right thing.”
• Jose Iglesias had a painful fifth inning. He was hit by a pitch and then, while at first base, was hit by a ball off the bat of teammate Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
• Darnell McDonald was 3 for 3 and is now 12 for 24 this spring. “He’s proven he belongs on the team,” Valentine said.
• Pat Sajak of “Wheel of Fortune” fame was on the field before the game chatting with Orioles general manager Dan Duquette. Sajack is a big Orioles fan. Maybe they can get a “W” from him.