The Red Sox did their part for the Jimmy Fund this morning. Long-time Jimmy Fund “play-lady” Lisa Scherber was in town for a second straight day with 29 patients and their families. The kids hung out behind the left field fence after batting practice and got autographs and took photographs with several Red Sox players. Among those who came back to see the kids were Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Mike Lowell, Doug Mirabelli, Tim Wakefield, Coco Crisp and Curt Schilling.
The Sox sent pitchers Mike Burns and Devern Hansack down before the game and now have 36 players. Eleven more must go before opening day one week from today in Kansas City.
The first pitch of the game between the Marlins and Red Sox featured a matchup between Josh Beckett and Hanley Ramirez — the key players in the infamous Sox-Marlins deal when Theo Epstein was gone in November of 2005. Ramirez, NL rookie of the year in 2006, lined the first pitch into center for single. A Marlins executive at the game said Ramirez will wind up batting in the third spot for the Marlins. Dan Uggla followed Ramirez’ single with a grounder which should have been a doubleplay, but Julio Lugo made a bad throw on the relay and committed his third error of the spring. Kevin Youkilis booted a routine grounder later in the inning.
The Sox dedicated Field 5 at the minor league complex to Felix Maldonado, now in his 44th year with the organization … Dice-K pitches tomorrow in Sarasota (ESPN, again) against the Reds and officials at Ed Smith Stadium are bracing for an onslaught from the Boston media … Jon Lester and Julian Tavarez will pitch against minor leaguers tomorrow.