ST. PETERSBURG – Terry Francona doesn’t expect Manny Ramirez to play this weekend. Ramirez was in the Sox clubhouse walking around and doing his work, but there’s no sign he’ll play anytime soon. Francona said he thought Ramirez was doing really well until he tried running in Toronto on Monday. The manager didn’t seem to have an idea of when Ramirez would return.
Francona was sick all of Thursday. He didn’t know if he had food poisoning.
Francona also had no answer as to whether the team would celebrate clinching a playoff spot sometime this weekend. Francona said he would need to ask somebody about protocol.
David Ortiz gave Francona thumbs up on playing tonight in a morning conversation he had with him. Ortiz’s knee evidently felt well enough to go.
Hideki Okajima is in the middle of his strengthening program. Francona anticipates he could be back in a game by next Thursday.
The rotation is pretty much set for the rest of the season. Unless there’s a change, don’t expect any more starts for Clay Buchholz. Could the kid be a big part of the end of the bullpen in the playoffs? Francona said he knew how Buchholz would be used but wasn’t willing to share.