Sheffield predicts horrific season for A-Rod
Plus other news from Spring Training

A few years back Gary Sheffield swore he would never join the New York Yankees. Seeing as he did, it is therefore okay to assume he means the opposite of whatever he says. With that in mind, Sheffield had the following to say yesterday before playing his old buddies on the Yankees.

“Alex is going to have the best year he’s had since he’s been here''

Therefore, using the 'Sheffield reverse logic theory' we can assume A-Rod is going to bat about .267 with 24 home runs and 87 runs batted in. You heard it first here.

Staying with the Hanky Pankys, How about their version of Matsuzaka, Kei Igawa's debut? Schadenfreude is the lowest form of humour but, I had to giggle none the less at his inability to challenge the hitters. The Japanese left-hander allowed two runs, two hits and three walks yesterday in New York’s 6-5 win against the Detroit Tigers in Tampa. He looked basically afraid to throw strikes, picking away outside the zone.

He doesn't look anything to be worried about as a Sox fan, and for Hanky Panky fans he certainly does not appear to be the answer to their rotation worries.

Watching Josh Beckett's apparent maturation this Spring is heartening. Against LA yesterday, Beckett allowed only the three hits in three innings and had two strikeouts. One of those K's was on a sharp looking curve that dropped over the plate for a called third strike, one that looked just like those 2003 curve balls Beckett dropped on the Hanky Pankys in the World Series. Hopefully his reemergence continues all Spring and into the season proper.

Also at the Dodgers game, it is still, to this day, a little odd seeing Nomar wearing Dodger blue. Garciaparra was around, hugging everything that moved (well, Carl Yastrzemski anyway) and the former Red Sox all star said "It's great to see everybody, there are a lot of memories here for me."

Same goes for the fans Nommie.

Unless you have been trekking the North Pole this week you will know the Lion hearted Jon Lester started yesterday for the Sox in a B game that also featured raging drunk, semi professional boxer Sidney Ponson starting for the Twins. What a paradox, a guy trying to come back after a life threatening illness and then, in the slightly intoxicated corner, a guy trying to come back after punching a judge on a beach in Jamaica, amongst other indiscretions.

Lester needed only eight pitches to get through his workload unscathed. It was great to see the Red Sox management and front office all turn up to check the kid out, everyone from Tito to Theo was there.

Oh apparently some dude called Daisuke Matsuzaka starts today. No clue who that is but hopefully he's no Robinson Checo.