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Spring things: Sox 'D' getting an 'A'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Let's go around the horn with some notes and observations from yesterday’s Red Sox-Dodgers contest.

The real deal in the field
The Sox defense was sharp yesterday against the Dodgers. In the top of the third, Wakefield was effective in holding baserunner Antonio Perez close to first, twice throwing over and forcing Perez to dive back to the bag. The Sox sniffed out a steal in the same sequence, pitching out when Perez took off for second. Doug Mirabelli threw him out easily.

In the fifth, Jason Repko smashed a Bronson Arroyo pitch into left field for the Dodgers’ first hit of the game, but was thrown out at second on a great relay from the Sox. Manny Ramirez, fresh off a homer the inning before, fielded the ball on a hop in shallow left, flipped it to Edgar Renteria, who got it to Mark Bellhorn to nail Repko by four feet.

Big hand for Manny on that one.

And in the sixth, Trot Nixon reached his glove over the right field wall to rob what would have been a home run from Olmedo Saenz.

Dodger blues
The sky was no longer crying here yesterday, but Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox pitchers who followed him had every right to weep after their strong performances were wasted against the Dodgers. The spotty Sox offense was limited to just a Manny Ramirez towering home run in the 2-1 loss at City of Palms Park.

If you got up to grab a quick $5.75 beer, you may have missed the single by Trot Nixon in the second, the long ball by Manny in the fourth, or the Hanley Ramirez single in the ninth. That was it for hits.

Fort Myers fueled by greed?
I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on with tickets down here. In one ear, I listened to local play-by-play guy Dave Moulton telling his audience that unlike other games to date, you could not get a ticket yesterday.

Meanwhile, in my other ear, I could hear the ticket takers at the City of Palms gates yelling, “Does anyone need any free tickets? We’ve got free tickets here!”, much to the chagrin of the half dozen scalpers trying to move their ducats for 20-50 percent less than face value.

Methinks the Fort Myers not-so-faithful grabbed all the early-bird tickets they could get their hands on in January, thinking Fort Myers would be converted to Fort Knox and the price of their seats would rise along with gasoline. However, most of the resellers are left holding their extras by game time.

Boston fans that really want to see the games overpaid online for standing room. Meanwhile, rows of great seats in the lower perimeter are going unfilled as the ushers are cracking down on anyone looking for seating without the proper paperwork.   Continued...

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