Weather watchers

The focus at Fenway Park remains on the weather. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before the game that the weather won’t be a distraction for the Sox. “We’re here. We’ll play if we can. If we can’t we won’t,” he said.

Several Sox players were caught sneaking a peek at the weather reports on the local news in the clubhouse. The latest report Francona got before meeting with the media indicated that the heavier rain would hold off until 9 p.m.

  • Coco Crisp was not at the ballpark. He is still dealing with an illness that is unrelated to the broken knuckle on his left index finger. Francona said due to team rules he couldn’t reveal any more information about Crisp’s condition. He said the same goes for the mystery surrounding Curt Schilling’s impromptu and much-publicized trip to a New York-area hospital prior to yesterday’s game.

    “Whether I agree with the rule or not it is a rule and you have to abide by it,” said Francona. The Sox skipper did acknowledge that Crisp’s illness is a setback, but said that the center fielder’s “finger is doing great.” When Crisp does come back, Francona said he wouldn’t hesitate to spell him with Wily Mo Pena, based on Pena’s emergence in Crisp’s absence. He said Pena’s play may also allow him to give Manny Ramirez a day off when needed. “Because of the way Wily Mo has played we can do that,” said Francona.

  • The weather could wreak havoc with the rehabs of pitchers David Riske and David Wells. Riske pitched 2/3 of an inning in Triple A Pawtucket on Wednesday night and was scheduled to pitch again for the PawSox tomorrow. Wells, who is battling a balky right knee, was down to throw a simulated game tomorrow, but the wet weather has put that in jeopardy as well.

    Tonight’s lineups:

    Red Sox
    1. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
    2. Mark Loretta, 2B
    3. David Ortiz, DH
    4. Manny Ramirez, LF
    5. Trot Nixon, RF
    6. Jason Varitek, C
    7. Mike Lowell, 3B
    8. Wily Mo Pena, CF
    9. Alex Gonzalez, SS

    P — Matt Clement

    Texas Rangers
    1. Gary Matthews Jr., CF
    2. Michael Young, SS
    3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
    4. Phil Nevin, DH
    5. Hank Blalock, 3B
    6. Kevin Mench, RF
    7. Brad Wilkerson, LF
    8. Mark DeRosa, 2B
    9. Rod Barajas, C

    P — Kameron Loe

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