For the Red Sox, Thursday's nine-inning scrimmage against the Twins nonetheless gave them a bit of a soft launch into their exhibition season, particularly for two pitchers trying to transition from relief to the starting rotation.
Jason Varitek, long defined by his leadership and toughness, will announce his retirement tonight at a news conference at 5:30 p.m ET, making him that rare player in this era who spent his entire career with one team.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine stands corrected on Derek Jeter's flip play from the 2001 American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. After conferring with Gary Tuck, his catching instructor who used to work with the Yankees, Valentine retracted his assertion that Jeter and the Yankees couldn't have practiced such a play.
Throwing a baseball used to just be part of life for Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish. But after a 2011 filled with health woes -- some of which trickled into the offseason -- it was exciting for Kalish to be able to throw on Wednesday.
The Red Sox will have some actual competition on Thursday, when they make the short trip to Hammond Stadium to play the Twins in a "B" game.
Tommy Harper reflects back on racial turmoil in Boston
Jeter stands by 'flip play' in response to Valentine
But for a classic prospects-for-veteran trade that turned out to be incredibly one-sided, Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe might never have been cornerstones of the 21st-century Red Sox resurgence.
Red Sox-Yankees seldom has been merely fastballs and splitters, home runs and heroes. What we won't and can't know until the weekend of April 20 is whether the annual animus has been defused by changes in high-profile personnel since the end of last season.
Valentine doesn't buy Jeter's legendary 'flip' play
Jarrod Saltalamacchia knew there was something special about Jason Varitek long before they became teammates.
Right up until word finally broke that Jason Varitek would formally announce his retirement on Thursday, his teammates half-expected they would walk into the clubhouse one morning to find the captain strapping on the gear for one more season.
Catcher Jason Varitek, the captain of the Red Sox and a pillar of two World Series winning teams, will announce his retirement on Tuesday, according to The Boston Globe.
When the 2011 season finally ended, Carl Crawford was emotionally drained and physically spent. "I can't even describe how bad last year was," he said. "Going through failure for the first time, it was hard to deal with."
What does former Red Sox manager Terry Francona think of successor Bobby Valentine's decision to ban alcohol in Boston's clubhouse for the 2012 season?
The Red Sox have put their pitching plans in motion for the first set of exhibition games, and lefty ace Jon Lester will be first out of the gate in Saturday's college doubleheader when he pitches against Northeastern University at 2:35 p.m. ET.
Yes, that was 283-game winner Jim Kaat providing some instruction to Red Sox pitchers during Monday's workout.
The Red Sox are more than 1,000 miles away, but they had a small problem at home on Monday. A local Boston CBS affiliate reported that fire crews put out a small blaze at Fenway Park on Monday morning, which reportedly caused around $30,000 in damages.
Unlike the Red Sox, who were wildly inconsistent in 2011, Jacoby Ellsbury was a steady machine at the top of Boston's batting order and in center field.
Prior to the first full-squad workout, the Red Sox always have a lengthy clubhouse meeting in which representative from ownership and the front office address the group, as well as the manager. This time around, David Ortiz added another element by making a speech.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced to his team on Saturday that he will ban alcohol in the clubhouse this season.
Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino downplayed the significance of the annual team meeting that takes place every spring before the first full-squad workout.
Red Sox owner John Henry said Saturday morning that he plans on apologizing to Carl Crawford for saying in a radio interview that he initially opposed the signing that brought the left fielder to Boston.
Just call Bobby V a 'Green' Sox
Two days after being handed over to the Red Sox as compensation for the departed Theo Epstein, hard-throwing righty Chris Carpenter arrived at JetBlue Park.