SARASOTA, Fla. -- Where is Strother Martin when the Red Sox need him?
Not that the prison warden in “Cool Hand Luke” would have any more luck with Alfredo Aceves than the Red Sox do.
Here’s the deal: When the provisional rosters came out for the World Baseball Classic, Aceves was listed on Team Mexico. When he came to camp, he expressed his intentions of pitching for Mexico. He’d skipped doing so in 2009 when he was with the Yankees, saying it was more important to win a job for the Bombers. The Red Sox said they expected Aceves to start for Mexico; Aceves said he’d do whatever asked.
Five days ago, however, the finalized rosters were announced, and Aceves was no longer listed on Team Mexico’s roster, a fact missed by the crack Boston media, present company included. And the Sox media notes continued to list Aceves as a WBC participant.
The Sox brass took note, however, and assumed that Aceves would be here for the duration of camp. Manager John Farrell said he even spoke with Aceves about it.
Publicly, however, Aceves said he was still planning to pitch for Mexico. “Maybe he made a call,’’ Farrell said. Aceves spoke about playing in the WBC as recently as Monday, after pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte.
But before Wednesday night’s game against the Orioles, Farrell said the Sox had been notified that Aceves had been added earlier in the day to Mexico’s roster. Which means he will be pitching for Mexico -- just as he’d planned all along.
Understand? Obviously, neither did we.
Aceves still is scheduled to pitch for the Red Sox on Saturday, then will leave for Mexico’s training camp in Arizona on Sunday.
“Now whether he pitches or plays first, or hits …’’ said Farrell, not bothering to finish his thought.