I think what we want to do for the first couple of weeks ... is not overuse and not underuse, hopefully, anybody. I think we feel pretty comfortable that we could pretty much go to anybody, depending on what the situation is -- how early [in the game it is], who's up, who's coming up. I think it gives a few different options. The biggest thing is be consistent with the usage of guys, especially in the first couple of weeks. ...Manny Delcarmen:
Since I've been here, our relievers know, with the game on the line, there are going to be guys that have deserved or earned that right. But sometimes that comes earlier in the game. Sometimes the game is won in the seventh. And it seems kind of silly not to use somebody because you're waiting until the eighth, so we don't do that.
Obviously everybody here wants to be the setup guy, wants to come in and be that guy. ... We've got so many power arms – we've got Masterson, Ramon, the experience of Saito, Okajima, anybody can go over and take that role. Whoever has the hot hand, throwing the ball well, is going to step up and be that setup guy, but I think everybody can set up right now.Tito has liked what he's seen from Ramon "Nomar" Ramirez:
His velocity has ticked up the last couple of weeks. He's got an interesting mix. That slider-changeup (combo) is hard. They're actually both the same miles per hour, but they seem to give hitters fits.Jason Varitek is 2-for-12 (.167) through three games; both his hits have been home runs. That mirrors what he did during spring training, where he hit a weak .216 (with a pathetic .241 OBP), but five of his 11 hits sailed over the fence. Despite the five dongs, Varitek scored only six runs in Florida. The idea that Tek's work on his left-handed swing has been paying off remains questionable.
Tim Wakefield talks about the first few games of his Red Sox career:
It's all a blur to me now. I was 3-0 after three starts in about 10 days. That last one, I gave up the lead in the 10th and then Troy O'Leary won it with a two-run homer. I ran off like 10 in a row. Everyone was talking Cy Young. It was really cool.Let's see: Wakefield was 3-0 after three starts in nine days. He beat the Angels on May 27, came back on two days rest (May 30) to beat Oakland 1-0. On June 4, he pitched 10 innings against Seattle. That game -- his first appearance at Fenway Park -- was scoreless after nine and a HBP and Wakefield's throwing error helped Anaheim to grab a 1-0 lead in the 10th. In the home half, Bill Hasselman singled with one out and O'Leary banged a dong to win the game. Wakefield did win ten decisions in a row (going from 4-1 to 14-1).
Minors: Junichi Tazawa allowed only one run and four hits over five innings, and collected seven strikeouts, but Portland (AA) lost its season opener 3-0 to Connecticut. ... Pawtucket beat Buffalo 6-4 in its opener, as Daniel Bard threw two perfect innings with four strikeouts in his AAA debut.