MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Boston Red Sox

Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has been named Boston’s most indispensable player by MLB.com.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY notes and quotes with the baseball season starting this week in Japan:

• Confused by all the Patriots’ moves? I am. But repeating what’s been said here recently – it shall all work out. Somehow, some way, it really is in Bill you trust.

• The Red Sox’ loud loss to the Yankees Friday made them 0-9-1 in the previous 10 games and 6-13 on the spring. It probably doesn’t matter, but winning a lot in the spring can carry over. Last year’s team, Alex Cora‘s first as a manager, won 14 of its last 15 spring games and then opened the season 18-2 en route to 119 wins and the championship.

• The three-game losing streak (0-2-1) the Bruins took into Saturday night’s game saw them allow 15 goals (including one empty-netter) — after a stretch of yielding 38 goals in the 19-game unbeaten streak.

• The $1 million to prize money going to the winner of the Home Run Derby would have almost doubled Aaron Judge’s rookie salary. He hurt his shoulder in that Derby and sat it out last year. Now, set to make $684,300 this season, he says he still won’t go. “It’s important to win baseball games, not the Home Run Derby,” he told YES Network’s Jack Curry.

• After asking for and receiving his release from the Patriots, Adrian Clayborn tweeted, “Thank you @Patriots for my time with the organization. I gained so much respect for how you do things and win championships. It’s done the right way through hard work. Thank you for granting my release. I’m ready for this next chapter.”

• Great to see Jerry Remy back in the booth Friday after an off-season cancer bout. When the topic of players’ winter vacations came up, Remy was asked about his, saying, “Mass General. Highly recommended.”

• Have times changed in sports? LeBron James sat out Friday night because of … get this, “load management.”

• From Chris Chavez of Sports Illustrated: “The BAA announces Joan Benoit Samuelson will run the Boston Marathon to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her 1979 win. She won that race wearing her Bowdoin College top & Red Sox hat. ‘My goal is to run within 40 minutes of my time 40 years ago, which would be sub-3:15:35.’”

• The Seattle Mariners are making a mistake skipping over Felix Hernandez for both the opener in Japan and the first game back on the mainland, against the Red Sox. That is a rebuilding team and he should have been given that honor, despite his declining skills.

• The three-batter minimum, set to be imposed on the players in 2020, is now apparently open to question after the players said they wouldn’t file a grievance. The players think situational relievers will lose their jobs. By the way, I don’t like the three-batter thing.

• This week’s “Jim Lonborg Danger Award” again goes to Tom Brady, who is planning on testing the toughest ski jump in Montana. He Instagramed: “If you french fry when you’re supposed to pizza, you’re gonna have a bad time! Trust me!!!”

• MLB Network’s Chris Russo doesn’t see the Red Sox having a championship hangover, calling the Sox, “a lunch pail team.”

• Oh, the pitch clock. It’s not slated to be used any time in this basic agreement, which has three years to run.

• Has baseball changed? David Cone, broadcasting the Sox-Yankees game Friday, points out there were 557 pitchers used in games in 1998, and 799 last season.

• Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was at Pirates camp the other day. His son Dino, a two-way football recruit, is going to Maryland as a DB/WR.

• Milestone night in the NHL the other night. Carey Price became Montreal’s all-time winningest goalie on the same night Alex Ovechkin registered his 1,200th point and fellow Russian Evgeni Malkin his 1,000th. From the NHL after: “The top-scoring Russians: Alex Ovechkin — 1,200; Sergei Fedorov — 1,179; Alexander Mogilny — 1,032; Alex Kovalev — 1,029; Evgeni Malkin — 1,000.”

• With Luis Severino out until May, the Yankees are considering free agent Gio Gonzalez. They would also be a great candidate to use an “opener” and throw their loaded bullpen out there for a game once a week.

Kareem Hunt will make his debut for the Browns in Game 9 after getting an eight-game suspension for shoving and kicking a woman. Now, his former teammate, Tyreek Hill, is being investigated for battery on his 3-year-old son.

• Celtics voice Tommy Heinsohn got so frustrated with the officiating Thursday night that he said, “It’s a good thing I’m not sitting in that bench. I’d be out of this game already.”

• Cardinals manager Mike Shildt wants a change to the whole DH thing – but it’s the opposite of what is being proposed. “I’m looking forward to the American League adopting the National League rules,” he said. “That would be so fun. I’m going to start a petition for that...Just a better game — plus our pitchers can hit.”

• Vancouver’s Tyler Motte, having gone 17 games without a point, scored two goals in 19 seconds against the Rangers the other night.

• Some gems before Saturday’s game from Celts stat maven Dick Lipe: “Celtics are 14-0 when (Gordon) Hayward shoots 55 percent or better, something he did three times on the recent west coast road trip. They are 20-2 when he’s at .500 or better, and 18-23 when he’s under .500; over the last two months, since Jan. 16, (Al) Horford has averaged 15 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting .564. The only other player who has achieved all those marks during that span is Giannis (Antetokounmpo) (28.3, 12.8, 5.9, .584); and (Kyrie) Irving, after a 31-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist triple-double Thursday, has 12 games this season with 25+ points and 10+ assists. The only Celtic with more was (John) Havlicek with 13 in 1970-71.”

• New Pats DT Mike Pennel leaves the Jets after posting impressive analytics last season. From Henry McKenna of Patriots Wire: “Playing behind a deep group of defensive linemen with the New York Jets, Pennel got 32 percent of defensive snaps at nose tackle. Still, he was the most efficient player among the defensive interior players on his team, playing even better than former sixth-overall pick Leonard Williams, according to Pro Football Focus.”

• The White Sox sent prized prospect Eloy Jimenez to the minors leagues, likely for a few weeks for contractual reasons – and Astros righty Collin McHugh wasn’t happy. He tweeted: “Wishing Eloy the best of luck as he goes to AAA to work on...defense? baserunning? creating excess value for a $1.5 billion franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in a decade? bunting?”

• Gotta love the name, but Durbin Feltman has really been opening eyes at Red Sox camp. “I want to make it to the big leagues as fast as possible,” Feltman, drafted last June out of TCU, where he was a closer, said Thursday. “I wanted to make it last year, and I want to make it this year. I definitely don’t shy away from that. That’s my expectation, to make it as fast as I can.”

• Part-time baseball player Russell Wilson joined the Yankees for his annual spring visit. Manager Aaron Boone loves having the winning QB around his players.

• Kyrie Irving reacted to the Russell Westbrook incident with a fan in Utah this week. The fan allegedly made a racist comment and then was banned from the arena). “It happens so often,” Irving said after Thursday’s triple double (the second of his career) in the win over Sacramento. “It just most of the time doesn’t get documented. I think this was the first time it actually got caught on camera, that you caught a player responding like that on camera.”

Westbrook said the fan told him to “get down on (his) knees like (he) used to,” leading to Westbrook threatening the fan and his wife. During last year’s playoffs, a fan called Westbrook “boy,” and Westbrook snapped back, “Don’t call me boy.” That fan has also been banned.

• Kudos to Jazz owner Gail Miller, who said after this latest incident, “I am extremely disappointed that one of our quote ‘fans’ conducted himself in such a way as to offend not only a guest in our arena, but also me personally, my family, our organization, the community, our players and you, as the best fans in the NBA. This should never happen. We are not a racist community. We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings. ... We have a code of conduct in this arena. It will be strictly enforced.”

• Giants GM Dave Gettleman‘s Wikipedia page was hacked after he traded Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland, which has become a sanctuary of sorts for troubled players. According to Larry Brown Sports, “The edits called Gettleman a ‘clown’ and the ‘most hated man in New York’ following the trade.” By the way, OBJ apparently saw the money Antonio Brown got and wants HIS deal boosted (according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network).

Jacob deGrom won the NL Cy Young last year, and the Mets were 14-18 in his 32 starts.

Le’Veon Bell, now a J-E-T Jet, Jet, Jet, on sitting out last season: “The decision I made... I don’t regret anything that happened. Who can I say if I played on a franchise tag, if I do get hurt, do I sit here with the NY Jets with a beautiful deal?”

• Old friends in new places: Tommy Layne is with his hometown Cardinals, Ryan Lavarnway with the Yankees.

Trey Flowers felt like he was going home when he signed with Detroit and Matt Patricia. “He kind of taught me a lot of things, developed me, I developed through his system and things, so he’s just a great guy to work for,” Flowers said at his introductory media session. “Obviously, he demands high standards of excellence from his players and when you get somebody that can challenge you like that, day in and day out for you to continue to get better, them are the type of guys you want to play for cause they’re expecting highly of you and they want you to be a success.”

• Teams are playing four-man outfields against Bryce Harper. Says AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell. “He can bunt on me...But I don’t think they pay Bryce Harper to bunt. He wants to hit the ball far. So let’s put an extra guy out there and make him think about why are they doing this, and I think that messes with him a little more.”

• We love our mock drafts, and the one I saw recently was done after proposed trades. 247Sports had the Patriots trading up to the 19th pick and taking Alabama TE Irv Smith Jr. “The career of tight end Rob Gronkowski is likely coming to an end and the tight end position is important to quarterback Tom Brady. New England trade linebacker Dont’a Hightower to the Titans in addition to the No. 32 overall selection and a fourth round pick for the No. 19 overall selection. Alabama’s Irv Smith is the second tight end off the board. New England hit the SEC in the first round last year with Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel.”

• Schedule problem: the Mets finish their opening road trip at with a 6 p.m. game at Miami and then have their home opener the next afternoon.

• The ever-troubled Sheldon Richardson, now also with the Browns, says, “I have a daughter now. I can’t be going 150 on the highway anymore.’’

Matt Wieters said he signed with the Cardinals, “because I had no other offers.”

• This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Mookie Betts was tabbed as the Red Sox’ most indispensable player by MLB.com. The piece read: “The Red Sox are going to have some gut- (and wallet-) wrenching decisions to be made in the next couple years as the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Jackie Bradley Jr. and potentially J.D. Martinez (who has an opt-out after this year) reach free agency. But none of those potential departures would reshape the roster quite as much as Betts (a free agent after 2020) bolting. They can’t let it happen.”

Anthony Barr said he “got sick” after agreeing with the Jets before returning to the Vikings. “I wanted to remain a Viking. And we were able to figure it out,” he said. “So I made a commitment to my heart, to myself, to my team and I’m happy to be back here.”

• Finally, the Texas Rangers are selling a two-pound chicken tender, loaded with fries, in its own carrying case, for $27.50. Tweeted column pal Jon Couture: “Completely defeating the point of a chicken tender, which is supposed to be a) crispy on the outside, and b) able to be eaten with your hands. Texas, man. GET IT TOGETHER.”

Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is shalinmike@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @mscotshay.