Sox prevail over Bucs, 5-3

The Red Sox beat the Pirates 5-3 today in a Spring Training game. I don’t know about “sharp”, but Daisuke Matsuzaka was satisfactory over three innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks, and the offense mustered 10 hits, including the first extra base hit for Manny Ramirez, a double off of Pirates starter Phil Dumatrait. 21-year old Argenis Diaz turned in a 3-hit game, Sean Casey doubled in a two-hit effort, and Mike Lowell narrowly missed his 2nd HR of the preseason.

Jonathan Papelbon threw a perfect 4th inning, but the bullpen on the whole gave up four walks, which isn’t encouraging. It was good to see Craig Hansen throw an inning scoreless, even if he did walk a man.

Speaking of Paps, he came out yesterday talking about his contract. He’s not pleased with the number that’s been put out there by Sox management, thought to be around $600k for 2008. Look, I understand that as a young star player, you want to have the nice things all the veterans have, and you need to take care of not only your family, but all your relatives and friends too. Fine. But voices like Cole Hamels and Prince Fielder need to stop yapping to the press and talk to their union that negotiated this arrangement. Everyone agrees, they are worth way more than what they’re getting. But they aren’t the first to be “wronged” by this process, and they won’t be the last. You’re still making more than all of us for playing a game you love. Just play ball, guys.

I also think it’s kind of silly for these guys to be whining over $100k now, when they will all sign outlandish contracts in a year to 4 years. These guys will all have their payday, as long as they do what they’re supposed to do and do what they can to stay healthy.

It seems the Sox have been exploring a multi-year deal with Papelbon, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, as a pre-arbitration third-year player, Papelbon has no negotiating power, and the Sox could technically simply extend him at his $425k salary from 2007. He’s looking at Ryan Howard‘s $900k from last year, while others are looking at players like Bobby Jenks, who renewed for $525k this year. I don’t think Paps is going to turn it into an issue or anything, but I just hope that he can keep his head straight heading into this season.


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