Saturday, December 7, 2013
If you haven't seen the lineup yet, Carl Crawford is leading off ... followed by Pedroia, Gonzalez, Youkilis, Ortiz, Drew, Saltalamacchia, Ellsbury and Scutaro.
And if you haven't head, lefty Dennys Reyes has been designated for assignment. Lefty Felix Doubront has been activated.
Before the game, Crawford and Francona talked about the moves.
Carl Crawford said he was "excited" about the home opener. Looking forward to getting out there and feeling that energy that you guys always have here."
About hitting lead-off: "We’re trying to find something, trying to get in a groove. Whatever he wants to try, we’re all for it.
"I’m comfortable as long as I’m in the lineup."
Terry Francona said he realizes Reyes did not get much of a chance with the Red Sox.
"Obviously a pretty short look. Hard to have a lefty, when you have one lefty, that wasn’t throwing the ball over the plate ... I know it was a short leash with Denny's but we need to try and win some games."
"We love Doubront. He wasn’t ready to pitch when we left. Getting Felix here, we’re very excited about.
About moving Ellsbury down, and Crawford to lead-off:
"I said all along that when (Ellsbury) is swinging good, I really want him hitting lead-off. He’s not been swinging terribly good, but a lot of guys haven’t.
"It’s more not so much a demotion, but I wanted to get Adrian (Gonzalez) up into the three hole so he hits in the first inning. And that was the best way to do it.
"Talking to Carl on the plane last night. Obviously we’re trying to settle into some things … I asked how do you feel about it. He said, “I’ll do anything you want. I thought he meant it.
"I don’t want him to go up there trying to be somebody who is taking pitches. I want him to be himself and create some havoc."
On today's home opener:
"Home openers are so cool. I’d be lying a little bit if I said we’re not too happy where we’re at. That takes a little bit of fun out of some of the pageantry.
"Things like home opening day are more fun when you feel like you’re on a roll.
"We’ve been outplayed by both teams we’ve played so far, offensively and defensively. That shows in our record."
Meanwhile, the coffee is flowing (the second cup tastes as good as the first) and we're about 90 minutes away from the opening ceremonies.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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