Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daiske Goes Live...Beltre On Boston

Daisuke Matsuzaka will throw to live hitters for the first time this spring at 11:30 a.m. in the back field directly behind City of Palms Park. Barring any unexpected complications, he will be ready for the opening of the 2010 season. I'd wager he might be the sixth starter at first, behind Wakefield and Buchholz, but I know this. There will be one disappointed pitcher currently vying for a spot in that too-deep sextet. 6 into 5...hmmm. Only the Shadow knows. A mystery...with an eventual answer.

The Red Sox game was rained out yesterday so the scheduled starter, Clay Buchholz, will take the hill today. He'll be vying for a spot to pitch every five days. I hope he makes it, WITH Tim Wakefield. Yes, I know the Sox are paying Matsuzaka top bucks but in my heart I want to see Timmy every five days and be able to watch Buchholz continue to evolve into a first-rate American League hurler. He will, too. I just know it.

Lastly, Adrian Beltre, third baseman supreme, spoke out on a few subjects. First, the Boston pitching staff...

“You face Beckett, you face Lester, I hated facing Wakefield, I couldn’t even touch him,” Beltre said. “It’s not only how they pitch you, but the kind of pitcher that you face. Most of the time we face these guys it’s the kind of guy we face every time, Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, those guys really give me a hard time. I’m not going to be facing this pitching staff, which is a plus, and playing with a team that has a really good chance to win. The fact that we’re going to go to a ballpark that’s sold out every day, it gives you a little bit of a edge. Every day it feels like you’re playing for something.”

You are, Adrian, you'll be playing for EVERYTHING. Here's Beltre on the Fenway Park playing field conditions...

“It’s not the best, but it’s been better the last couple of years,” Beltre said. “I haven’t seen it this year yet, so I can’t comment on it now. I hope to learn the first couple of weeks to see how it’s going to play.

Adrian has nothing to worry about. The infield problems have been fixed (mostly) and with his defensive prowess, the Fenway Faithful and all of Red Sox Nation will see a third base defense unparalleled in Boston history, cup or no cup. Yes folks, Beltre does not wear a protective cup. I wrote a post about exactly that a week to ten days ago. Scroll down or page down and you'll find it.

Have a great Saturday and a wonderful weekend. Here in north cental Connecticut, we're going to get wet. Bigtime. Rain and high winds will start this afternoon. Hey, it's the weekend. That's OK. If you wish, click on this post's title for more Red Sox coverage and if you didn't have a chance, click on the title of my yesterday post for a terrific 42 picture retrospective of Nomar. You'll enjoy it. Thanks and as always, BE WELL.

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