Boston 000 130 031 - 8 11 1Derek Lowe believes that "it's a hundred percent clear" the Red Sox will not sign him before Opening Day and judging from what he termed an unacceptable offer two weeks ago, he will likely become a free agent at the end of this season. "From a positive side, they've made it easy. ... All indications are that we may not talk until the end of the year."
Toronto 600 031 03x - 13 17 1
Nomar is still in pain. Neither Garciaparra nor Bill Mueller will go to Atlanta for exhibition games this Friday and Saturday. Some reports say Mueller will be ready on Sunday and others say he is questionable. ... Boston will start the season with Pokey Reese at shortstop and Mark Bellhorn at second. David Ortiz will bat cleanup.
Pedro Martinez said he doesn't intend to speak with the media following his final spring start against Toronto today. He indicated he was insulted by reporters questioning his fastball velocity -- but he will speak after his Opening Day start. ... Trot Nixon is off to the University of Miami Spine Institute for an intensive two-week rehab program. ... Alex Speier takes a close look at Jason Varitek.
Idiots Abound: Newsday's Steve Zipay was in Boston yesterday, and after listening to sports radio for a few hours, he thinks he found the pulse of Red Sox Nation. We're "worried about the Boston offense and beyond that, the 2005 season" and "the sense of approaching dread remains."
Following up on an article in last weekend's Globe, Bruce Allen correctly notes that it's not Red Sox fans who will be lost when the team finally wins it all, it will be the media. "They will have no more 'curse' angle and story to fall back on and write about. ... [That] gravy train will have left the station. While Red Sox fans are celebrating and enjoying the thrill of victory, Shaughnessy, Littlefield and co-horts will be wondering what in the world are they going to write about now."