Back on March 18, my final day in Surprise:
It’s back to Texas now, with my thoughts momentarily fixed on what Feliz does tomorrow and how it impacts the biggest decision this team has to make over the next two weeks, but more generally trained on the first week in April, when the Rangers host the Red Sox – in the unfamiliar position of being the Hunted. It kinda fired me up to see that Boston manager Terry Francona told reporters this week, regarding his decision to slot Josh Beckett fourth in his rotation after Opening Day assignments the last two years: “I just think watching the way last year unfolded, we want him to get off to a good start. We’ll pitch him in [our second series,] in Cleveland. I think that’s a good place for him to start.”
I’m not used to the idea that other teams, especially formidable ones like Boston, might actually be game-planning around Texas, rather than the other way around. But I like it. I like it very much.
The Rangers have now won 15 of their last 21 against the Red Sox, whose writers are focused squarely on Boston’s bad play these first two days, following a bad spring training. But there’s more to it than substandard work out of the visitors. The manager over there was giving the reigning AL champs (who had their own sluggish camp) a little credit a couple weeks ago. You can bet he is right now, too.
Matt Harrison against Clay Buchholz today. The Red Sox try to stave off the sweep in a series that already belongs to Texas. Josh Beckett will watch again from the dugout, slotted after Boston’s day off to go Tuesday in Cleveland, where the Sox want to get him off to a good start, pitted against Indians starter Josh Tomlin.
No day off for Texas tomorrow, and regardless of what happens this afternoon, the lack of an off-day before Seattle arrives is feeling pretty good.
Hey there, John.