Tony La Russa drives in a straighter line than the Red Sox.
In August, Theo Epstein stood on the field at Fenway Park making excuses that he couldn’t have a payroll like the uber team Yankees. Two months later they were spending money wildly to get Daisuke Matsuzaka, Julio Lugo and J.D. Drew.
Then we heard that the best thing for Jonathan Pabelbon’s sore shoulder was to start. Terry Francona swore at the start of spring training that he would never use him to close. It has to be about protecting the kid’s future, he said.
Now Pabelbon is the closer again. The party line out of Fort Myers is that he asked to close. Oh, well that makes perfect sense. I’m sure the medical reasons will just go away. Perhaps Manny will ask to play shortstop.
From the standpoint of the Yankees, the interesting part of this is that Julian Tavarez is the new No. 5 starter. Now the Red Sox have a glaring need for Roger Clemens.
The Rocket continues to say he won’t decide until May. But behind the scenes you have to believe the recruiting process is well underway. The presence of Andy Pettitte gives the Yankees an edge. But with Roger, anything is possible.
March 22 and everything one rival does impacts the other. The games begin before the games begin.