Boston-New York Rivalry Heats Up And Other Red Sox Spring Training Notes

Larry Lucchino, David OrtizFORT MYERS, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox are just two days into spring training, yet their rivalry with the New York Yankees already has picked up steam.

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino spoke with reporters at JetBlue Park on Friday, during which he addressed several topics, including the different philosophies of the Red Sox and Yankees. Lucchino’s comments drew the ire of Yankees president Randy Levine, who has exchanged pleasantries with the Red Sox president in previous years.

The Lucchino/Levine verbal squabble was just a taste of Friday’s spring training happenings, though. Below are some notes from Red Sox spring training on Friday, in case you were off doing other things.

-Lucchino described the Red Sox (who are focused on player development and more reserved spending) and Yankees (who spent nearly half a billion dollars in free agency over the offseason) as “very different animals.”

“I’m proud of that difference,” Lucchino said. “I always cringe when people lump us together.”

It wasn’t long before Levine fired back at Yankees camp.

“I feel bad for Larry. He constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees,” Levine said. “But I can understand why, because under his and Bobby Valentine’s plan two years ago, the Red Sox were in last place.”

-Lucchino also said he hopes David Ortiz finishes his career with the Red Sox. The club plans to meet with Jon Lester this spring about a potential contract extension, according to Lucchino.

-Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is expected to retire after the 2014 season. Lucchino said he thinks Selig still could change his mind, and that he doesn’t expect to make a run at the position if Selig does retire.

-Chris Capuano, who reportedly signed with the Red Sox on Thursday, was not in camp Friday. The left-hander is expected to arrive and take a physical Saturday, according to manager John Farrell.

Farrell said Capuano likely will begin the season in the bullpen, giving Boston a third left-hander alongside Craig Breslow and Andrew Miller.

-Drake Britton, who essentially is competing for the same role as Capuano (lefty swingman), said he’s not discouraged at all by the move. The 24-year-old, who is unsure whether he’ll be used as a starter or reliever this season, said he’s focusing on his own game.

-Rubby De La Rosa’s role still is undefined, although it’s likely he’ll land in Triple-A Pawtucket to begin the year.

“Long term with Rubby, we have not closed the door on one role or the other,” Farrell said. “Because when you grade out his stuff, he projects as a starter. We’re not limiting his role at this point.”

-The Red Sox held their first live batting practice sessions of spring training. Farrell said the emphasis was on the pitchers throwing multiple pitches for strikes.

Check out some of the live BP sessions at the links below.

Felix Doubront vs. Dustin Pedroia/Mike Napoli
Henry Owens vs. Jonny Gomes/Will Middlebrooks
Noe Ramirez vs. David Ortiz

-Dan Butler caught Owens’ session, but David Ross said he’s been impressed by the young left-hander this spring.

“That kid’s going to pitch at the major league level if he’€™s healthy,” Ross said. “It’€™s just going to take some time. He needs to refine some things because you want him to come up and have success.”

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

Photo via Twitter/BGlobeSports

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