AL Franchise Notes: Twins Fans Jeer Verlander's Early Exit
In Detroit, Drew Sharp notes there were "more than a few jeers from the Target Field crowd" when Tigers P Justin Verlander "didn't return for the bottom of the sixth inning" against the Twins in yesterday's season opener. They came from Twins' fans "apparently upset that Verlander was finished even though he had blanked their team." It "didn't matter that the Twins were unsuccessful against him." They still wanted to "see as much of Verlander as possible because he has become one of the handful of appointment-viewing superstars on the road" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/2).
RED TEAM GO: In Boston, Scott Lauber writes the Red Sox "returned yesterday to start anew," and the "contrast was undeniable." The Red Sox "left us talking about baseball -- just baseball -- once again after 19 months of daily off-the-field drama, a managerial merry-go-round and enough negativity to bring down even Dr. Phil." After yesterday there "wasn't any discussion of pitchers feasting on beer and chicken during games." Former manager Bobby Valentine was "across town, working his new job as a pregame Mets television analyst rather than turning the Red Sox into reality TV" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/2).
CHANNELING RICKY VAUGHN? In Ohio, Brandon Hannahs notes expectations "usually are tempered" for the Indians. But this offseason, "out of nowhere," Owner Larry Dolan "decided to open his checkbook." The results have "given fans hope." Indians CF Michael Bourn, RF Nick Swisher and 3B Mark Reynolds bring "bona-fide talent to the roster," and manager Terry Francona is "a proven winner in the dugout." Management is "showing the fanbase they are trying to win" (ZANESVILLE TIMES RECORDER, 4/2).