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Sox win Opener Over Twins

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Matt ClementGood news everybody:

Not only did the Sox debut in their first spring training game yesterday, but they also won 4-1. Do you know what that means?

Nine game winning streak.

And that's basically all it means because you can't really judge anyone's performance yesterday due to the small sample size.

Matt Clement started the game and found himself throwing too many pitches, too early.

"The adrenaline got going a little early and I got guys on base," Clement said afterwards. "The first time out there, you're moving around about 300 mph when you haven't pitched in about seven months."

The only other notable performances are Shawn Wooten's home run and Denny Tomori's terrible 9th inning where he surrendered two runs to cut the lead to one. Jay Payton, Jason Varitek, David McCarty and Wooten scored the runs for the Sox.

My respect for Red Sox manager Terry Francona went up a little more after I read this article in the Herald by Jeff Horrigan, noting that Francona has stopped chewing tobacco.

What is odd about Francona's use of chewing tobacco is that he never did it during the off-season. But as soon as the season would start, the chewing of tobacco would start. Also, Francona rarely used it during his playing days -- just when he became a manager in the minors in 1992.

John Sickels, former ESPN columnist of "Down on the Farm" and colleauge of mine here at SportsBLOGS (, has written an article at Baseball Analysts about his encounters with Bill James, who he worked for from 1993-1996.

It's a great article about how his father bought him a 1983 Baseball Abstract for a bus ride home when he was 15, and quickly became in love with the writing of James. Then, in 1993, after his wife asked him what he wanted to do during the summer (because his teaching assistantship didn't occur over the summer), he replied saying he'd love to work with James. And then ... well, read the article.

While I am talking about Sickels, I should mention that he comes out with the top 20 Boston Red Sox prospects tomorrow at