In the news:
Red Sox expect sellout streak at Fenway Park to end in April
Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said he thinks the team's sellout streak at Fenway Park will end in April, a month shy of 10 years...
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said he thinks the team's sellout streak at Fenway Park will end in April, a month shy of 10 years of a packed ballpark.
Lucchino said Thursday at Red Sox spring training the 793-game streak, which began May 15, 2003, could be snapped possibly as early as the second game of the season — April 10 against the Orioles.
Lucchino also defended Boston's method of counting attendance — tickets distributed.
"We didn't gerrymander a new definition (of sellout)," he said. "We took the definition that was in place and had been in place 10, 20 years before us and was commonplace among many clubs in baseball."
The Red Sox finished last in the AL East last year with a record of 69-93 and have not made the playoffs since 2009.
League set to be
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly looks at closer Brandon League and sees power and unpredictability.
"He's kind of the effectively wild guy," Mattingly said.
League was acquired from the Mariners last July and decided to stay in Los Angeles, agreeing in October to a $22.5 million, three-year contract.
Originally slotted as a middle reliever, he took over as closer when Kenley Jansen was sidelined between Aug. 27 and Sept. 20 due to an irregular heartbeat.
League was 6 for 6 in save chances with the Dodgers, going 2-1 with a 2.30 earned-run average after the trade.
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and Ken Howell — then the bullpen coach and now assistant pitching coach — worked to restore the location of League's sinker and its power.
"Kenny and Rick made a simple adjustment," Mattingly said. "But I think part of the adjustment was a change of scenery for the guy."
League became a first-time All-Star in 2011 when he had 37 saves. But the Mariners dropped him as closer in late May last year after a succession of erratic outings.
Pujols in rehab mode
with repaired knee
TEMPE, Ariz. — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols hopes to begin agility drills and light running in a couple of days to test his surgically repaired right knee.
Pujols underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee in October, what he considered a minor cleanup procedure, but said he will ease into spring training with the hopes of being fully healthy for opening day.
"It was just regular rehab," Pujols said. "Everyone knows that a week after the season needed to have a little cleanup to my right knee. You saw how I played the last six or seven weeks of the season. I was in a lot of pain. Everything's good. I rehabbed really well. Coming down to spring training is going to be a little bit different than last year where I was kind of doing everything. Right now, I'm kind of easing into it. My goal is to be ready for opening day."
He said he will get his at-bats in some Cactus League games as soon as his knee can handle it. There's no reason to overdo things in mid-February with the season still almost two months away, he said.
• The St. Louis Cardinals announced a three-year contract extension for general manager John Mozeliak and exercised the 2014 option for manager Mike Matheny.
• Oakland Athletics closer Grant Balfour had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. Balfour hopes to return for the start of the season.
• The Colorado Rockies acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named and cash considerations.
|814||Portland Trail Blazers||1977-95|
|793||Boston Red Sox||2003-present|
|Source: The Sports Market|