Monday March 25, 2013 | 10:04 AM

SARASOTA, Fla. — Greetings from the west coast of Florida. Here today to watch the Orioles and Red Sox play at 1 p.m. Interested to see Sox catcher Christian Vazquez (plug for Tuesday’s column) and, of course, any news on Portland’s Ryan Flaherty with the Orioles.

The Baltimore Sun had a story Sunday about the Flaherty.

Before the game, the Press Herald and I are conducting an online chat, starting at noon. See our website ( for details.

Today’s column looks at Maine native Brian Butterfield, the Red Sox new third base coach. For complete disclosure, Butterfield’s nephew Jack and my son Aidan are Little League teammates. But Butterfield said that didn’t qualify me for some of his free tickets to Fenway. He will have enough people getting in touch with him about that.

Butterfield, if you have never met him, is a wonderful man, as is new first base coach Arnie Beyeler, who used to manage in Portland (sounds like a good idea for a column. How about Wednesday’s paper?)

Today’s notebook begins with Jackie Bradley Jr. passing another test, on his way to the big leagues.

As always, the tweets will be coming often today - @ClearTheBases And don’t forget the live chat.

About this Blog

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

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court

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