While awaiting the Red Sox doubleheader with the college kids next Saturday, here are some random thoughts … on leftovers from last year’s September drama, a “demanding” new manager, players to watch, and even a little college baseball trivia.

• The apologies and “sort-of” apologies for last September’s clubhouse behavior took place last week, as the pitchers reported to Fort Myers. Josh Beckett said there were “lapses in judgement,” which is about as close to a mea culpa as Beckett is capable.

Beckett again seemed more incensed that the the beer-and-chicken stories were leaked, a clear violation of the sanctity-of-the-clubhouse code. Beckett said “there’s also some ill feelings toward some people.” Does he know who the “Deep Throat” was? Is that person (or people) still here? Is another problem brewing?

• Got a kick out of stories about new manager Bobby Valentine and his stricter rules, like pitchers working harder on their fielding defense. There is also the expectation that players run hard to first base on ground balls. Can you imagine?

Hard to picture Manny Ramirez playing for Valentine.

• A week into the Red Sox spring training and I have yet to hear anyone talking about winning 100 games.

• When Valentine spoke of the doubleheader against the college teams next Saturday, he got one team wrong. Valentine correctly identified Boston College, but spoke of Boston University instead of Northeastern. BU does not have a team. But the Terriers once did. Travis question: Can you name four New England schools that have dropped baseball in the last 16 years? My list is at the end of the column (email me if you think of others).

• Shortstop Jose Iglesias seems to be someone who thrives in the spotlight. The Red Sox may give him a shot with the big club this April, assuming they have the patience they showed Dustin Pedroia, who batted .187 in April of 2007.

• Former Sea Dogs left-hander Hunter Jones is back with the Red Sox organization. Jones, 28, a lefty who pitched in Portland in 2007 and ’08, reached the majors in 2009 for 11 games. He was traded to the Marlins in the Jeremy Hermida deal. Injured during the 2010 season, Jones underwent Tommy John surgery and was eventually released. He spent last year rehabbing.

• The more I read about 19-year-old prospect Xander Bogaerts, the more I think about Hanley Ramirez, and wonder. Ramirez was a heavily-touted prospect when he was 19 after he batted .371 in Lowell. But Ramirez became a problem child the next year, disciplined twice for his behavior. Bogaerts, who hit 16 home runs in Greenville last year, is said to have a strong work ethic. With a mature head on his shoulders, Bogaerts might even get a taste of Double-A before the season is over.

• Could the Portland Sea Dogs be including bus trips to Canada in the future? According to the Ottawa Citizen last week, the city council there approved $5.7-million in improvements for its baseball stadium, to prepare for “a team in the Eastern League that could begin play in Ottawa in 2013.”

The Ottawa newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, said the team likely to move to Ottawa is the Binghamton Mets. Binghamton had the worst attendance in the Eastern League last year, averaging 3,167 fans.

There is further speculation that the Toronto Blue Jays would want to move its Double-A team to Ottawa, even though the Blue Jays have a nice thing going in Manchester, N.H. But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.

• The Binghamton Mets, by the way, have a new manager, Pedro Lopez, after Wally Backman was promoted to Triple-A.

• The four New England schools to have dropped baseball, that I know of, are Boston University (dropped in 1996), New Hampshire (1997), Providence College (1999) and Vermont (2009).

 

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