A few pregame notes on a beautiful day at the ballpark:
• Kevin Youkilis played catch out to 90 feet today, his second day of such activity. But he has yet to start swinging a bat, so his activation remains at least a few weeks off.
• The pitchers are taking batting practice in shifts with the first interleague road game coming up on May 18. Daniel Bard is lined up to start that first game and he reports that he was a pretty fair hitter at Charlotte (N.C.) Christian High.
North Carolina, Bard said, recruited him as a two-way player but quickly made him a pitcher.
At the risk of sparking bad golf jokes, Josh Beckett is a career .145 hitter with three home runs and nine doubles in 221 at-bats. Not bad.
• The Red Sox traded infielder Jeff Larish to the Pirates for cash considerations. Larish was picked up earlier this month and had yet to join an affiliate.
• LHP Justin Thomas, designated by the Red Sox earlier this week, was claimed by the Yankees. He has options and can be sent to Triple A.
• David Ortiz (left heel) is in the lineup but with the understanding that he will speak up if he feels any pain.
• Went over and said hello to Johnny Damon in the Cleveland clubhouse. He's not too happy with his .171 /.190/.244 line so far in 10 games but said he feels great physically. Johnny is 270 hits away from 3,000 at age 38.
I hope he gets there, just to see the debate about his Hall of Fame credentials.
• The Indians made a bunch of moves before the game. They recalled RHP Zach McAllister, tonight's starter. They purchased the contract of infielder Jose Lopez. They placed righthander Josh Tomlin on the disabled list. Infielder Jason Donald was optioned to Triple A Columbus and outfielder Nick Weglarz was designated to make room for Lopez on the 40-man roster.
• Then there's this: The Indians were watching "Major League" in the clubhouse before batting practice. Thankfully the Red Sox were not watching "Fever Pitch."