Red Sox-Yankees Opening Day game postponed until Friday due to inclement weather

Thursday’s Opening Day contest between the Red Sox and Yankees has been postponed until Friday due to forecasted inclement weather, the team announced earlier Wednesday morning.

Rather than kick off the 2022 season at Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon, the Red Sox and Yankees will instead play their first regular season game of the year on Friday.

Gates will open at 11:00 a.m. eastern time and pregame festivities will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on NESN, YES Network, and MLB Network.

Nathan Eovaldi is slated to make his third consecutive Opening Day start for Boston. He will be opposed by fellow right-hander Gerrit Cole for New York. The forecast in the Bronx looks more promising on Friday than it does on Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday was originally supposed to be an off-day for the Red Sox, but they will now play three games in three days to begin their season. Following the conclusion of Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees, the Sox will head to Detroit for a three-game set against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Next Thursday represents another scheduled off-day for the Red Sox. They will then host the Twins in their home opener at Fenway Park on Friday, April 15 to kick off Patriots’ Day weekend.

(Picture of Yankee Stadium: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

6 additional Red Sox games cancelled due to MLB lockout

The start of the 2022 Major League Baseball season has once again been delayed due to the ongoing owner-imposed lockout.

Eight days after cancelling each clubs’ first two series of the year, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Wednesday that two additional series have been removed from the league schedule. This means that Opening Day will be postponed until April 14 at the earliest.

“We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans,” Manfred said in a statement released by the league. “I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans. We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”

After negotiations fell through in Jupiter, Fla. last week, MLB and the players association re-convened in New York City this week in hopes of reaching agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Due to a number of on- and off-the-field issues, though, it does not appear as if a new deal will be reached anytime soon, hence the move by MLB to cancel more games.

The ongoing work stoppage began on December 2 when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired and the owners locked out the players as a result. It is now in its 97th day.

For the Red Sox, this means that the first 12 games of the 2022 campaign have been axed from their schedule. Boston previously lost out on a six-game homestand against the Rays and Orioles to open the season and now lose out on a six-game road trip that included stops in Detroit and the Bronx.

So, in other words, the soonest the Sox’ regular season can begin is April 15 (Jackie Robinson Day)in the first of four against the Twins at Fenway Park on Patriots’ Day weekend. They have a scheduled off day on April 14.

With that being said, there is no guarantee that those games or the ones that come immediately after will take place. That all depends on how ongoing negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA go.

On that note, here is how the MLBPA responded to Wednesday’s series of events:

(Picture of Fenway Park: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox to take on Orioles in 2022 MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport

The Red Sox will take on the Orioles in the 2022 MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa. next summer, Major League Baseball announced on Sunday evening.

The 2022 Little League Classic, which will take place at Bowman Field (the home of the MLB Draft League’s Williamsport Crosscutters) and be centered around the Little League World Series, will serve as the finale of a three-game weekend series between the Sox and O’s that will begin at Camden Yards on Friday, August 19 before moving over to Williamsport on the night of Sunday, August 21.

Boston and Baltimore were originally slated to become the first two American League clubs to face off in the Little League Classic last summer, but that wound up getting cancelled along with the 2020 Little League World Series on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of that cancellation, the Angels and Indians will become the first American League teams to play one another in the fourth installment of the Little League Classic on Sunday night, though the Red Sox and Orioles will get their chance next year.

Originally beginning in 2017 with the Pittsburgh Pirates hosting the St. Louis Cardinals, the Little League Classic has become a hallmark event on the league’s calendar that “reinforces MLB’s commitment to youth baseball and its young fans throughout the world” while also being “part of a larger initiative that launched five years ago with the introduction of MLB’s signature Play Ball initiative,” per MLB.com.

While the 2022 Little League Classic is still nearly a full year away, it should be interesting to see how the Red Sox and Orioles make alterations to their uniforms for that particular contest. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Bowman Field: Elsa/Getty Images)

Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Richards to start first two games of spring for Red Sox

After announcing on NESN Wednesday night that Nathan Eovaldi would be starting the Red Sox’ Grapefruit League opener against the Twins on Sunday, manager Alex Cora provided more details on what went into that decision earlier on Friday.

“It’s just the progression,” Cora said when speaking with reporters via Zoom. “It’s his turn to pitch on Sunday. Obviously, there’s a thought process, but it’s his turn to pitch. That’s it.”

Eovaldi, who turned 31 earlier this month, said over the weekend that he feels good as he prepares to embark upon his third full season with Boston.

The veteran right-hander is coming off a truncated 2020 campaign in which he posted a 3.72 ERA and 3.87 FIP over just nine starts and 48 1/3 innings pitched on account of being hampered with a right calf strain in August.

Arm-wise, though, Eovaldi is holding up just fine, and he figures to open the 2021 season as Boston’s No. 2 starter.

And not that it means much, but last spring, the Texas native put together eight scoreless innings while scattering just four hits and one walk to go along with 12 strikeouts over three Grapefruit League outings.

Cora has yet to reveal his starting lineup for Sunday’s contest against Minnesota, but he did say that Rafael Devers will play third, Enrique Hernandez will play short, Christian Arroyo will play second, Bobby Dalbec will play first, and Christian Vazquez will catch.

The starting outfield for that day has yet to be determined.

Following Eovaldi in the Sox’ early spring rotation will be fellow right-hander Garrett Richards, who gets the nod to start against the Braves and make his Red Sox debut at JetBlue Park on Monday.

“Stuff-wise, for me, he was one of the best in the league,” Cora recently said of Richards’ 2020 season — in which he produced a 4.03 ERA over 14 outings (10 starts) and 51 1/3 innings of work — with the Padres. “He’s been hurt, but what I saw last year with the Padres was eye-opening. I’m glad that he’s with us. This is a guy that when we talked to him during the offseason, he feels that there’s more. For how veteran he is and his age, he hasn’t wasted too many bullets, right? Because he’s been hurt.”

Assuming he stays healthy this spring, the 32-year-old Richards figures to open the season as Boston’s No. 3 starter behind Eovaldi.

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo notes that “Cora has been impressed with how far along both Eovaldi and Richards are” so far this spring.

“Every year is something different, and medical-wise, we mapped it out,” said the Sox skipper. “It’s not that we’re going to rush these guys into pitching eight innings right away, but they’re in a good spot.”

Sunday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Twins will not be televised, but Monday’s game against the Braves will be on NESN.

As a matter of fact, here is a full list of all the Red Sox’ spring training games NESN will be broadcasting in March.

In total, the Sox are slated to play 29 Grapefruit League games against the Braves, Orioles, Pirates, Rays, and Twins between February 28 and March 30.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox release revised Grapefruit League schedule

The Red Sox were originally slated to open Grapefruit League play against the Pirates on February 27, but their spring training schedule has since been revised.

Per a team release, the Sox will now kick off their slate of exhibition games on February 28 against the Twins at Hammond Stadium, and instead of playing just about every other Grapefruit League team, they will only be playing the Twins, Braves, Orioles, Pirates and Rays.

That being the case because all five of those teams’ spring training complexes are located within close proximity to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, and “to reflect the recommendations suggested by medical experts and infectious disease specialists, Major League Baseball has regionalized the matchups between teams to limit travel.”

By the time spring training comes to an end in late March, the Red Sox will have hopefully played 29 games in a span of 31 days, though the rules for those games will be quite relaxed as part of MLB’s health and safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, games between February 27 and March 13 can be played as five- or seven-inning games, as long as the managers agree, while games on or after March 4 will be scheduled as nine innings but managers can agree to shorten them to seven if they so choose.

In total, Boston is scheduled to play 15 of its Grapefruit League contests at JetBlue Park and 14 of them on the road in Bradenton, Fort Myers, North Port, Port Charlotte, and Sarasota.

The team plans on having fans in the stands for home games, though only at a limited capacity to allow for proper social distancing measures. From the aforementioned release:

“The Red Sox will implement appropriate physical distancing and safety protocols that would allow fans to return in a limited capacity for 2021 Spring Training exhibition games by operating JetBlue Park at approximately 24 percent of its normal capacity. All tickets will be sold in physically distanced ‘pods’ comprised primarily of 2-4 seats that will allow for at least six feet between groups. Season Ticket Holders will be offered the first opportunity to attend exhibition games and additional tickets may go on sale to the general public depending on availability. All day games at JetBlue Park will start at 1:05 p.m., and all night games will start at 6:05 p.m.”

For the Red Sox’ full 2021 spring training and regular season schedule, click here.

(Picture of JetBlue Park: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)