Mayor’s day; lunch with Dice-K

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s all on the line tonight for the coveted Mayor’s Cup. The Red Sox will play the Twins for the fifth and final time of spring training 2007 and the Sox (2-1-1 thus far vs. the Twins) need only a win or tie in order to regain the trophy, which symbolizes spring supremacy in this sleepy town.

All kidding aside, it almost looks as if the teams are taking the game seriously. The Sox bus doesn’t leave City of Palms Park for Hammond Stadium until 4 p.m., but Terry Francona had already sent over a lineup and it looks like Boston’s Opening Day lineup. Manny Ramirez is back after two days off with a sore throat and the rest of the Sox starters will accompany him.


The pitching matchup looks like Opening Day: Curt Schilling vs. Johan Santana.

Unfortunately Torii Hunter is not scheduled to play for the Twins. He was hit in the head by a Kyle Lohse pitch in a night game on March 2 and believes the lights at Hammond are inferior. He has vowed never to play another night game in this park and Jason Tyner will get the start in center for the Twins tonight.

In a completely related note, Daisuke Matsuzaka and reliever Hideki Okajima had lunch today with 10 members of the New England media at the Colonial Country Club. The most animated moment of the 90-minute session came when Daisuke became animated while he was talking about the Pedro Martinez-Don Zimmer throw-down in the 2003 playoffs. The rookie righty accidentally banged his right forearm into the table in front of him while he was talking about the playoff moment. Check out tomorrow’s column for a complete rundown of the unusual session.

The tab was $268.73 and was picked up by the Red Sox (which would make the Globe’s contribution approximately $46). Sorry to be so late with this post, but Red Sox publicist John Blake insisted, ‘‘No blogging during lunch.’’

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