Red Sox begin working on roster
BOSTON -- The Red Sox won't officially announce anything yet about the 25 players they will carry on their playoff roster, but manager Terry Francona said they have begun telling a few players considered on the bubble about their status.
Outfielders Brian Anderson and Joey Gathright have each been told they will accompany the club to Anaheim for the American League Division Series against the Angels, but that does not mean they will be on the active 25-man roster.
Likewise, Rocco Baldelli and Green have not been told anything yet. Francona said some players will also report to the club's spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., in order to remain in shape in case they are needed. Others, likely players called up in September, who will not be used in October will head home, Francona said.
Clubs are allowed to travel with more than 25 players, keeping a few reserves with them in case of a serious injury. Clubs can deactivate a player during a postseason series, but that player is then ineligible to participate in the ensuing series.
"Pretty much we told guys where they're going and why,'' Francona said.
The possibility exists that some players who have been with the Red Sox for all or most of the season may not be on the postseason roster. Late season additions like catcher Victor Martinez and Billy Wagner will be on the playoff roster, meaning those are two spots that cannot go to players who have been here more time.
LOWELL OK, SORT OF: One night after he fouled a ball hard off his left ankle, Mike Lowell was listed as the Red Sox designated hitter for Friday's game against Cleveland. It was an injury that required X-rays to be taken as a precautionary measure.
The X-rays were negative but Lowell still sported a visibly swollen ankle area that he describe as "still tender" before Friday night's game and said he will wear a protective shin guard during his at-bats for the rest of this season and into the playoffs.
"I always say I'm going to wear it and like an idiot I never do,'' Lowell said. "I think I'll probably wear one for the rest of my career because this always happens.''
FENWAY NOW NO. 1: With the Yankees moving into the "new" Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park moved into first place among current major league stadiums hosting postseason games, according to baseball historian Bill Arnold.
The Red Sox have played 67 postseason games at Fenway. Dodger Stadium and the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum are next at 51 among active venues, but the Dodgers will add to that total since they have qualified for the playoffs. The "old" Yankee Stadium hosted a major league-record 161 postseason games, including 100 World Series games, another major league record.
SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES: Former Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez, traded to Boston on July 31st, stopped by Indians manager Eric Wedge's office after Thursday night's games for a quick chat. About two hours later, he finally left. "We reminisced mostly,'' Wedge said. "He told us how the Boston people have made him feel real comfortable, how (Jason) Varitek has really helped him a lot. I'm very happy for the success he's having over there.''
QUICK HITS: The more middle infielder Nick Green works out the more it looks like his season is over. "It's disappointing to him,'' Francona said. "If he's able to get into a game here at the end I'd be surprised. & Chris Woodward, a likely candidate to be on the Sox's postseason roster as a backup middle infielder, was with his wife for the birth of their new baby. He is scheduled to return to the club this weekend.