Friday March 26, 2010 | 09:13 AM

Dustin Pedroia is not in today's lineup, even though manager Terry Francona said Thursday that he expected Pedroia to play today.

Naturally, reporters gathered around Pedroia's locker to get the story. Pedroia slightly injured his wrist on Tuesday. Was the injury worse than we all thought?

"It's not wrist-related," Perdoia said, trying too hard to keep a straight face. "I was benched.

"He (manager Terry Francona) benched me because I said he looks like Corrado Soprano."

Finallly, the Pedroia smile broke through, although he was not happy about playing. The training staff wanted Pedroia to sit out today.

"They said I needed one more day. I don't know why," Pedroia said. "I'm fine.

"But it's spring training. If this was the season and he didn't play me ... it would get ugly."

As for Saturday's game in Sarasota, "I'll be there with bells on," Pedroia said.

Now maybe Pedroia has a point - not about playing but about Francona looking like Corrado Soprano, the character played by Dominic Chianese.

You can always count on Pedroia for a laugh. As the players filed into the clubhouse this morning, well before their 1 p.m. game with the Blue Jays, Pedroia called over to shortstop Marco Scutaro, formerly of Toronto.

"Hey Marco," Pedroia called over, his face stern. "Remember what side you're on today."

As for today's lineup, Scutaro is leading off, followed by Bill Hall (LF), Mike Lowell (3B), Kevin Youkilis (1B), David Ortiz (DH), J.D. Drew (RF), Jason Varitek (C), Tug Hulett (2B), Josh Reddick (CF) and Jon Lester on the mound.

One bit of news: It appears that reliever Brian Shouse has been let go. His locker is packed and he was shaking hands with players in the clubhouse. We will find out more from Francona in a few minutes.

In a previous blog I referred to today's On Baseball column without giving a link to it. So now I have.

And I'll leave you (for now) with a photo of a younger Pedroia during his prospect days (note the No. 77).



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.

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