TAMPA, Fla. — Managers do not get caught up in the results of spring training games. If the starting pitcher gets his work in successfully, it’s a good day. Everything else is gravy.
But Terry Francona enjoyed watching Jose Iglesias, Oscar Tejeda, Juan Carlos Linares and some of the other prospects in tonight’s 5-3 victory against the Yankees.
Iglesias was on base three times, scored a run and made several nice plays in the field. Tejeda was 2 for 2 with a two-run triple and made a great play to end the game. Linares, who seems to mash everything near the plate, was 2 for 2 with an RBI and two runs scored.
“I’ll take a two-hour bus ride to watch those young kids do what they did,” Francona said. “Linares, the game that Iggy played at short, Tejeda. That was worth the bus ride.”
Iglesias — or “Iggy” — really stood out. On a night when the Yankees had pretty much their best lineup, there was a record crowd of 11,325 in the stands and he was going against his idol, Derek Jeter, the kid looked comfortable.
“You get in this atmosphere, I think he enjoyed himself immensely playing,” Francona said. “I think it’s a good learning process for him.”
At one point, Francona said, young catcher Luis Exposito said he felt like pinching himself as he called pitches to guys like Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
So that’s it for tonight. Huge crowd, Richard Gere for the first pitch, three TV networks. What a zoo. Regular spring training returns tomorrow. The Sox have a split-squad doubleheader. One game in Sarasota against Baltimore and one in Fort Myers against the Marlins.
Check back then for all the coverage. Thanks for reading today.
(Photo above is of Josh Reddick)