Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Someone Will Wear 47. No One Will Wear 21.

Pete Abraham had a column at Extra Bases the other day about the numbers the new Red Sox players and coaches will be wearing in Spring Training. Here's the list:

Coaches
Bobby Valentine 25
Bob McClure 22
Alex Ochoa 36
Jerry Royster 43

New 40-man roster players
Nick Punto 5
Cody Ross 7
Kelly Shoppach 10
Ryan Sweeney 12
Mark Melancon 37
Andrew Bailey 40
Clayton Mortensen 59
Will Middlebrooks 83
Che-Hsuan Lin 85
Drake Britton 87

New non-roster pitchers
Jesse Carlson 58
Aaron Cook 35
Justin Germano 50
Will Inman 79
Doug Mathis 70
Ross Ohlendorf 47
Vicente Padilla 44
Carlos Silva 23
Chorye Spoone 80
Justin Thomas 78
Alex Wilson 89

New non-roster position players
Dan Butler 81
Pedro Ciriaco 77
Alex Hassan 82
Mauro Gomez 72
Josh Kroeger 73
Jason Repko 16
Max St. Pierre 75

Two things struck me about this. They are giving Ross Ohlendorf number 47. You remember the last guy to wear 47 on the Sox, don't you? Somebody named Terry Francona. (I guess they couldn't wait even one year to give it out.)

And still NO ONE wearing 21. I know the Red Sox haven't officially retired the number, and have wanted to give it out. (I remember Jonathan Papelbon saying he was offered the number, but turned down the opportunity. And I also see that the Sox wasted no time giving out his 58 to Jesse Carlson.) Is there still that much respect for Roger Clemens from current players?

The number of the best Red Sox manager in my lifetime is given out as soon as he's left the premises (and to a marginal pitcher at best), but no one has worn 21 since The Texas Con Man, one of the most despised figures in Boston sports history, left.

What's wrong with this picture?

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