The Globes’ Gordon Edes collects the quotes from Boston’s 2nd bench clearer in as many days.
”What do you mean, ‘regret’?” Tavarez said when asked if he was sorry he hit Gathright with a blow to the jaw in the eighth inning of a 12-11 win over the Devil Rays, adding another line to the rap sheet of scrums between these clubs. ”I wish I don’t have to [throw a punch], because I’m not here to fight, you know. Little things happen in baseball, you know. No big deal.”
Incensed at what Gathright’s teammate, Carl Crawford, called a sucker punch, delivered with Gathright on one knee and trying to push away TavÃ¡rez’s left leg that was planted on his right forearm (”I can show you the marks,” said Gathright, who did just that for reporters), the D-Rays expect that baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson will view the incident with more gravity than TavÃ¡rez did.
”I think that may require a suspension, absolutely,” said Joe Maddon, the Tampa Bay manager who is replacing Lou Piniella, accused by Curt Schilling last season of fomenting some of the bad blood between the teams. ”That kind of action cannot be tolerated, and I don’t want any of our guys ever doing anything like that, I know that.”
The Journal News’ John Delcos does his best to determine which relievers are making the Mets’ big league roster and who will find themselves bound for Norfolk.
Duaner Sanchez and Jorge Julio seem certain to work the eighth and seventh innings, respectively, as the bridge to Billy Wagner. Bradford figures to be the situational right-hander, which would account for four relievers.
Should Randolph carry 11 pitchers, he’s looking at two more relievers. One of them probably will be a lefty, either Royce Ring or Darren Oliver.
If Randolph takes 12 pitchers north, he could conceivably take both left-handers and another reliever.
Who would it be? Yusaku Iriki? Pedro Feliciano? Heath Bell? Juan Perez? Perhaps a veteran such as Jose Lima, who could be a swing guy and work as both a starter and a reliever.
It won’t be Mitch Wylie, a Rule 5 pick who yesterday opted to become a free agent rather than accept a minor-league assignment.
The wild card is Aaron Heilman, who would go to the bullpen if Brian Bannister makes the roster as the fifth starter, which is the only way he would stick, Randolph said.
“I haven’t heard anything,” Bannister said, giving the four-word greeting that serves as hello for him these days.
Today against the Marlins at Jupiter, Heilman will make his final spring start, which could help Randolph make his decision.
“Aaron changes everything,” Ring said. “If he’s in the bullpen, everybody will be juggled, and they would probably only take one lefty.”