|Josh Beckett, beginning his quest to improve on a subpar 2010 campaign, works in the first inning last night. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)|
Francona really steps into one
He ends feud of Jenks, Guillen
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Stepping in to halt the war of words between his new reliever and the pitcher’s former manager, Red Sox manager Terry Francona yesterday declared a cease-fire between Bobby Jenks and bombastic White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen.
Jenks left Chicago to sign a two-year, $12 million deal with the Red Sox in December, expressing his displeasure with his former manager and how he handled the bullpen. Guillen eventually returned fire, and Saturday he told reporters at the White Sox’ spring training site in Arizona, “We don’t miss him. Ask 30 guys out there. By the way, I was asking for his number to talk to him about it, and nobody has his number.’’
“That’s over,’’ Francona said yesterday. The Red Sox manager indicated he had spoken with Jenks and that he also sent messages “back and forth’’ to Guillen through White Sox third base coach Joey Cora.
“Just making sure that it goes away,’’ Francona said. “It doesn’t need to happen. I don’t care if they [don’t] like each other. But Bobby’s a Red Sox and we need to move on, so I think he understands that.’’
Approached in the clubhouse at City of Palms Park before last night’s game against the Twins at Hammond Stadium, Jenks indicated he was prepared to move on.
“At this point, yeah, I’m tired of it,’’ he said. “I’m a Red Sox now and I just want to move on. Whether he has anything else to say, that’s up to him.
“I’ve got to get ready for the season and get ready for a championship year.’’
Start for Beckett Looking to redeem himself for a subpar 2010, in which a back injury limited him to just six wins in 21 starts, Josh Beckett made his first appearance of the spring last night, absorbing the loss in an 8-4 setback against the Twins.
He threw two innings (23 pitches, 15 strikes) and gave up one earned run on back-to-back hits in the second inning: a double by Chris Parmalee and an RBI triple by Jason Repko.
“I felt like I was rushing a little bit, but there were some positives, though,’’ Beckett said. “I got some ground balls, which means you’re keeping the ball down, so it was good.’’
Before the game, Francona said he’s noted that Beckett has a more “determined’’ attitude. “He was just focused on the things he knows he needs to,’’ the manager said.
“Health’s a big thing and we’re trying to build up and it’s very hard right now with small sample sizes to get positive or negative feedback,’’ said Beckett, whose next appearance will be Thursday afternoon against the Phillies at City of Palms Park.
“The second inning, obviously, wasn’t as good as the first, but the first inning was not as good as maybe as it appeared. There were some things in the first inning that I needed to work on that I maybe got away with.’’
Okajima struggles While Clay Buchholz got through his two-inning stint cleanly (18 pitches, 12 strikes), the same could not be said of the man Buchholz handed the baton, Hideki Okajima, who had two strikeouts but gave up four runs on five hits, including a three-run pinch-hit triple by Joe Benson that broke it open in the fifth . . . Mike Cameron went 1 for 3 with a stolen base, which excited the manager. “Cam ran hard, his stride looked good,’’ Francona said. “He looks free and easy moving around.’’ . . . The Sox had nine hits, including a pair of leadoff homers by Lars Anderson in the eighth and Mark Wagner in the ninth . . . Former Sox farmhand Jeff Bailey went deep in the sixth on a solo shot off Dan Wheeler . . . Twins outfielder Brian Dinkelman, who reached on an error by second baseman Oscar Tejada, later was thrown out at home on a relay from left fielder Daniel Nava to shortstop Jose Iglesias to Wagner.
Reyes gets in work Dennys Reyes, who arrived at 3 a.m. Saturday after clearing up a visa issue in Mexico, got his first work of the spring, throwing 32 pitches in a side session. “Felt great,’’ he said. Francona said pitching coach Curt Young “was really pleased with how game-ready he looks. He had no qualms about letting him face hitters [tomorrow].’’ . . . Left fielder Carl Crawford was back from Houston and was expected to be in the lineup for the first time in this afternoon’s game against the Twins . . . The Sox played the first of three consecutive Mayor’s Cup games against the Twins, whom they will face five times this spring. The Sox, who have won the Mayor’s Cup the last four years, brought the trophy with them last night and displayed it on their bench.
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.