Carl Crawford is back in the Sox’ lineup tonight

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Carl Crawford is set to make his 2012 debut tonight. He’ll be in the Sox’ lineup against the White Sox.  For his part, Bobby Valentine is keeping expectations low:

“I’m not expecting any immediate impact,” said Valentine. “I’m just expecting one of nine, a guy who can go out there and be a contributor. I’ve never been around Carl in a game situation and I hope that whatever he needs is provided him from his surroundings and I hope he’s healthy. I think if he’s healthy, he’ll do fine.”

Yeah, well, apart from needing Tommy John surgery I guess he’s healthy, but we shall see.

Seems like the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty telling for the Red Sox. For the first time they have an outfield that resembles that which the front office intended.  And despite all of the turmoil of the season thus far, they have managed to keep within striking distance.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: