The Red Sox improved to 3-0-1 this spring with Tuesday’s Grapefruit League win over the Marlins, led by encouraging contributions from first baseman Triston Casas (2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI) and newcomer Corey Kluber, who logged two scoreless innings in his Boston debut. But the story of Tuesday night’s game wasn’t the Red Sox offense, or even their pitching. Instead, it was a rogue cat who made a surprise cameo during Ceddanne Rafaela’s at-bat in the seventh inning, sprinting across the field and into the stands at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, nearly taking out NESN sideline reporter Tom Caron in the process.
“I think it went to get a beer before they close off last call here,” TC quipped, laughing off his brush with an invited guest. “We’re good.”
Caron’s look of abject terror, fearing for his life as the feline intruder passed him on his way to the upper concourse, drew plenty of ribbing from color analyst Kevin Youkilis, who rightfully teased him for his cowardice in the face of a 10-pound house cat. “TC’s acting like that was a lion coming at him,” joked Youk, who will see an expanded role this year following Dennis Ecklersley’s retirement after 20 seasons in the NESN broadcast booth.
Though he didn’t pitch, Tuesday gave the Red Sox a chance to catch up with old friend Matt Barnes, now of the Marlins. The former All-Star insists he doesn’t harbor any ill will toward the Red Sox, though his comments would suggest he’s no fan of Chaim Bloom, who designated him for assignment less than two years after signing him to a lucrative extension.