February 22

Major League Notebook: Red Sox, Yankees officials trading barbs

The Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino views the big-spending New York Yankees and his more frugal team as “very different animals.”

The Red Sox won the World Series last year after signing several key players to short-term deals.

The Yankees spent this offseason giving out expensive, long-term contracts in hopes of catching their rivals.

“We’re very different animals. I’m proud of that difference,” Lucchino said Friday after Boston’s spring training workout. “I always cringe when people lump us together. Other baseball teams sometimes do that. They are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankee style of high-priced, long-term free agents.

“And I can’t say I wish them well. But I think that we have taken a different approach.”

After finishing in last place in the AL East in 2012, Bobby Valentine’s only year as manager, the Red Sox signed Shane Victorino for three years, Jonny Gomes for two and Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew for one.

Under new manager John Farrell, who had been general manager Ben Cherington’s choice in 2012 while Lucchino preferred Valentine, Boston won its third championship in 10 years.

Lucchino’s remarks Friday were much milder than when he called the Yankees the “Evil Empire” several years ago.

“I feel bad for Larry,” Yankees president Randy Levine responded. “He constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees.

“But I can understand why. Two years ago, under his and Bobby Valentine’s plan, the Red Sox were a last-place team.”

“Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job in winning the World Series last year, but I’m confident that (general manager Brian Cashman, manager Joe Girardi) and our players are ready to compete with a great Red Sox team to a win a world championship.”

YANKEES: Masahiro Tanaka impressed Austin Romine when the Japanese star threw batting practice for the first time with the New York Yankees.

The right-hander threw 25 pitches Friday morning at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, facing five batters for five pitches each.

Romine, tracking the ball in the batter’s box without swinging, watched five pitches go by and marveled. At one point, Romine turned around and asked catcher Brian McCann what pitch Tanaka had thrown. Turns out it was his famous splitter.

“I’ve never seen the ball move like that before,” Romine said.

Tanaka had thrown three bullpen sessions since arriving the United States after agreeing to a $155 million, seven-year contract.

GIANTS: Pitcher Tim Lincecum and his former San Francisco landlord have agreed to a $100,000 judgment in Lincecum’s favor, ending a long legal dispute that began with allegations he left a townhouse in 2010 a wreck.

The Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents Lincecum, released a statement Thursday announcing the settlement.

Mindy Freile filed a lawsuit in October 2011 seeking $350,000 in damages against Lincecum.

BLUE JAYS: Toronto claimed pitcher Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.

Infielder Brent Morel was designated for assignment.

The 25-year-old Hendriks went 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA in 10 games last season with Minnesota. The right-hander from Australia is 2-13 with a 6.06 ERA in three season with the Twins.

TIGERS: After two years of trying to outslug the rest of the American League, the Detroit Tigers are taking a new approach.

Gone are Prince Fielder and Jhonny Peralta, replaced by left fielder Rajai Davis and second baseman Ian Kinsler, who are expected to help give the Tigers speed on the bases like they haven’t had in decades.

Davis’ 45 stolen bases last season was 10 more than the entire Tigers team combined.

Jim Leyland, who retired after eight years as Detroit’s manager, didn’t believe in running much, but new manager Brad Ausmus is ready to roll. Besides Davis, he has speedy Austin Jackson in center field, veteran Torii Hunter in right, and Kinsler and shortstop Jose Iglesias can also run.

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