The Red Sox Are Coming – Mark Langill

The Boston Red Sox make their only Spring Training visit to Dodgertown on Thursday. There are familiar faces on both sides of the field as the 2006 Dodgers feature several former Red Sox, including infielders Nomar Garciaparra (1996-2004), Bill Mueller (2003-05), pitcher Derek Lowe (1997-2004) and non-roster pitcher Aaron Sele (1993-97).

First-year Dodger manager Grady Little piloted the Red Sox in 2002 and 2003, posting a combined 188-136 regular season record. Dodger bench coach Dave Jauss spent the last three seasons as an advance scout for the Red Sox also served with Boston as a director of player development; minor league field coordinator; and as first base coach from 1997-99 when Grady Little was the bench coach.

The Red Sox spring roster features former Dodger infielder Alex Cora (1998-2004), relief pitcher Rudy Seanez (1994-95) and catcher Ken Huckaby (1996-97).

Boston coaches Ron Jackson and Brad Mills are former Dodger minor league instructors. And best wishes for a speedy recovery to Dave Wallace, the Red Sox pitching coach who served many roles in the Dodger organization, including pitching coach (1995-97) and interim general manager (2001). Wallace is currently recovering from surgery relating to an infection in his right hip.

Also in attendance this week at Dodgertown is Devil Rays scout Stan Williams, a right-hander pitcher for the Dodgers from 1958-62 and who also served as Boston’s pitching coach in 1975 and 1976. Williams reported to Dodgertown for the first time as a player in 1955 at age 18. Two years later, he joined the Major League camp and on his first day was invited to dinner by Dodgers Carl Erskine and Duke Snider. When he returned to Dodgertown that night, Williams wrote 17 letters to friends and family, telling the story of how two veterans had taken a rookie under their wing.

One of the most popular topics of conversation has been the World Baseball Classic, especially at the dinner table tonight following the day’s activities. The international flavor of the tournament allows the discussions to range from the strength of the current Cuban team compared to its past Olympic squads; the 11-inning thriller between Panama and Cuba; and the stunning 8-6 victory by Canada over the United States.

Thursday’s game and next Monday’s game against Boston will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Pacific time in Los Angeles on KFWB. The live broadcast will be carried on MLB.com and affiliates.

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