AL East Notes: Red Sox, Yankees, Maddon

Links from the AL East before some of the division's top pitchers – Josh Beckett, C.C. Sabathia and Ricky Romero – start for their respective teams…

  • Red Sox owner John Henry told John Tomase of the Boston Herald that chatter about GM Theo Epstein and the Cubs shows "how highly regarded Theo is by the media and baseball in general.”
  • Prospective free agent David Ortiz tells Yahoo’s Jeff Passan that his ability to tune criticism out helps him perform on the field. “I’m not a five-tool player. I may be a two-tool player. But one of them tools is this one right here,” he said, pointing to his head.
  • Bartolo Colon has slowed down, so the Yankees figure to rely on Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova more than ever, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.
  • MLB players consider Joe Maddon of the Rays the manager they'd most like to play for, according to a recent Sports Illustrated poll. Red Sox manager Terry Francona placed second in the poll and Yankees manager Joe Girardi placed seventh. Having a popular manager in place no doubt helps teams trying to attract free agents or sign players to long-term extensions.

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