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Major Leagues: Red Sox continue long road trip

Associated Press
LOS ANGELES ó Some road trip for the Red Sox.
“Japan, the United States and Canada. I guess they really want to see what we’re made of,” Boston’s Sean Casey said with a smile.
After playing two exhibitions against teams in Japan and then opening the regular season by splitting two games against Oakland in Tokyo, the defending World Series champion Red Sox are back in America for a while.
They will play three exhibition games against Los Angeles, including Saturday night’s “throwback” matchup at the Dodgers’ former home in the Coliseum, before heading to Oakland to reopen the regular season against the Athletics in a two-game set. Then it’s on to Toronto for a weekend series.
Before an optional workout at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, J.D. Drew noted that it will be many miles and quite a few more days before the Red Sox finally play their April 8 home opener.
“It’s a long ways back to Boston, but we’ll eventually make it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s something you want to script every year, but I guess you do the best with what you’re dealt.”
Amid all the travel and demands on their time, manager Terry Francona has been trying to handle business as usual ó getting the team ready for the season, and having a routine during a period that’s hardly been routine.
Sitting in the visitors’ dugout at Dodger Stadium, Francona said he and the players felt OK despite their flight across the international date line the previous day.
“You hear all the war stories, but I don’t want us to talk ourselves into being tired,” he said.
The game at the Coliseum also won’t be the average exhibition. With a crowd of 115,000 expected, the Red Sox are going to have to arrive well before the start contest, and probably won’t get out of there until relatively late.
Francona indicated that he would prefer not to use his regulars in the game, but that he will.
“We’re trying to get ready for the season,” he said. “But it’s for a good cause (proceeds go to charity) and it’ll be a neat experience, so we’ll try to handle it appropriately. For me, that would be the one night I probably wouldn’t play our guys.
“You’ve got Friday night, Sunday day. I would probably play very few guys. Out of respect for what’s happening, we’ll probably get them out there at least for a little while. If it was strictly getting ready for the season, I wouldn’t play a lot of guys.”

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