MINNEAPOLIS - On Sunday, a New York tabloid reported that there was a “very ugly scene’’ between Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles and manager Bobby Valentine during spring training.
On Monday, Aviles and Valentine denied anything happened.
Citing a source, the Daily News wrote there was a “near player revolt’’ the first week of spring training when Valentine “got all over’’ Aviles during infield drills. Bill Madden described Red Sox players as confronting Valentine “with outrage’’ and that the manager apologized to Aviles.
“That happened? Not that I know of,’’ Aviles said before the Red Sox played the Twins. “It was all news to me, I’ll tell you that much. I don’t know where that’s coming from. I don’t know anything about it.’’
Said Valentine: “I just heard about it. It goes from the sublime to ridiculous, doesn’t it around here? Those New York writers. If we’re going to do a full disclosure, which we better do that, at the team party that I threw, I spilled a Coke on one of the player’s wives and I apologized.’’
Aviles worked out the entire first week with Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis. Pedroia and Gonzalez said there was no incident.
“What?’’ Pedroia said. “Seriously? That didn’t happen.’’
Aviles has started all but one game this season, drawing only praise from Valentine.
The Daily News had four reporters at Fenway Park over the weekend. None, Aviles said, asked him about the supposed incident.
Lars Anderson was back with the Red Sox, having been called up from Pawtucket when Jason Repko was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left shoulder.
The 24-year-old Anderson was hitting .255 with six extra-base hits and eight RBIs in 15 games for Pawtucket. A first baseman through his career, he has played four games in left field this season.
“I felt good running around out there. Some games I had more action than others,’’ he said. “But every game was full of opportunities to learn.’’
Anderson’s main goal in the outfield is to keep the ball in front of him.
“In the infield, you can be pretty aggressive and dive for a ball,’’ he said. “In the infield, it’s going to be a single or a double. There’s no downside to diving. In the outfield, it could turn into a triple. When I’m playing, I’m trying to keep singles singles and doubles doubles and try and make the routine play.’’
Valentine spoke to Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler, who told him Anderson has yet to be challenged on a ball.
“He’s made routine plays. I think I can put him out there,’’ Valentine said. “I only saw him one game in spring training, maybe two. I was relatively comfortable.’’
Once a hot prospect, Anderson became somewhat superfluous when the Sox traded for Gonzalez. Playing left field could increase his trade value.
Former Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe had his 2004 World Series ring stolen from his home in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Lee County Sheriff’s office is investigating the theft of the ring along with a trophy, jewelry, women’s shoes, and purses.
The value of the stolen items was estimated at $90,000, according to a report in the Fort Myers News-Press.
Lowe, 38, is with the Indians this season. He played for the Sox from 1997-2004. Lowe was 3-0 in four postseason starts in 2004, winning the clinching game in each round of the playoffs.
Daisuke Matsuzaka went four innings and threw 58 pitches in an injury rehabilitation start for Single A Salem Monday.
The righthander allowed three runs on six hits (two home runs) with three strikeouts and no walks.
Matsuzaka, who is attempting to come back from Tommy John surgery, had a rocky start and finished strong.
Matsuzaka needed 27 pitches to get through the first inning, giving up a leadoff homer, a double, and an RBI single.
But he retired nine of the last 11 batters he faced, including the final five of them in a row.
NESN analyst Jerry Remy missed the game because of illness. Former Twins player Roy Smalley filled in . . . Jacoby Ellsbury has better range of motion in his partially dislocated right shoulder, according to Valentine. Ellsbury joined the team on the trip to continue his work with the trainers . . . Look for Kelly Shoppach to catch Josh Beckett Tuesday. Shoppach has caught Beckett’s last two starts and Beckett has pitched well . . . Carl Crawford was 0 for 3 as the DH in an extended spring training game in Fort Myers . . . Lefthander Andrew Miller, who is on a rehab assignment with Pawtucket, pitched a perfect seventh inning to get the save in the first game of a doubleheader. He struck out two.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com.