Manager Bobby Valentine #25 of the Boston Red Sox gives a thumbs up against the New York Yankees during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at JetBlue Park on March 22, 2012 in Fort Myers, Florida.

There are a few different story lines that emerged from the 4-4 tie that Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees played at JetBlue Park last night.

First, it is thought that Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront are the final three candidates for the final two spots in the starting rotation. Secondly, Bobby Valentine is pissed at Joe Girardi for pulling his squad off the field after the end of the 9th with the score tied.

With regards to my first point, while those three are considered to be the “finalists” for the rotation spots, Aaron Cook is trying to make Valentine’s decision about those rotation spots all the much harder.

The one thing Cook doesn’t have in his favor is the fact that he probably won’t be ready for Opening Day. However, he wouldn’t be needed until the Red Sox have to put their 5th starter on the mound.

Cook put up four solid innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two. The sinkerballer had good command of the strikezone and the main thing was he was getting ahead of the hitters early in the count. Those runs he allowed were his first of spring training in 9 1/3 innings. He’s averaging just 12 pitches per inning.

If Cook can build up his arm strength by the end of the spring training slate in just under two weeks, it is quite possible that he could emerge as the 5th starter. At the latest, the Red Sox will have until May 1st to put him in the big leagues as he has an opt-out clause in his contract. Of course, the Red Sox could always work something out with Cook for him not to opt-out at that time.

Normally during spring training games, you rarely ever see extra innings because some teams don’t have enough pitching for the day. Usually though, they may play one extra inning and then call it a day.

But after the 9th inning of last night’s tie, the Yankees skipper pulled his squad off the field and got back on the bus to Tampa. The main reason why this pissed off Valentine was the fact that he warmed up Clayton Mortensen for the 10th. Had he known that the two teams weren’t going to play the 10th, he wouldn’t have warmed Mortensen up.

Sure it’s spring training and maybe Valentine shouldn’t be upset. But I understand why he is.

Mortensen is trying to make the team after coming over in the Marco Scutaro trade. As we wind down here in spring training, innings are precious and not too many guys will get as many innings, especially in the bullpen. Hence Valentine’s displeasure with Girardi.

It will be interesting to see if this carries over to the rivalry during the season. Knowing what we know about Valentine, the odds are it will.

To see today’s lineups for the game against the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota as well as the overnight and morning links from the media, please click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

After tying the Yankees 4-4 last night, the Red Sox make the trip up I-75 to Sarasota to take on the Orioles.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on the MLB Network. There is no radio coverage of the game in Red Sox Nation.

Here are today’s lineups:

Boston Red Sox Baltimore Orioles
1. Nick Punto 3B 1. Nolan Reimold LF
2. Jose Iglesias SS 2. Nick Johnson 1B
3. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 3. Nick Markakis RF
4. Darnell McDonald CF 4. Adam Jones CF
5. Josh Kroeger RF 5. Matt Wieters C
6. Lars Anderson 1B 6. Mark Reynolds 3B
7. Jason Repko LF 7. Wilson Betemit DH
8. Nate Spears 2B 8. Steven Tolleson 2B
9. Mauro Gomez DH 9. Robert Andino SS
Clay Buchholz SP Jason Hammel SP

Buchholz will be followed by RHP Mark Melancon, RHP Matt Albers and LHP Justin Thomas.

Hammel will be followed by RHP Brad Bergesen, RHP Armando Galarraga, RHP Kevin Gregg and LHP Zach Phillips.


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Francona makes call [Boston Globe]

Bard could be losing grip on starting spot [Boston Globe]

Valentine blasts Girardi [Boston Globe]

Carl Crawford looks to Jacoby Ellsbury for inspiration [Boston Herald]

Terry Francona ‘still trying to stop bleeding’ [Boston Herald]

Rude exit by Yanks [Boston Herald]

Curtis Granderson: Bard, Aceves will be tough in any role [Clubhouse Insider]

Bobby Jenks arrested on DUI charges (updated) [Clubhouse Insider]

Padilla now vying for bullpen spot; more pitching decisions on deck? [Clubhouse Insider]

Cook: ‘Anything can happen’ [CSN New England]

Valentine: Sox, Yankees ending ‘not very courteous’ [CSN New England]

Francona speaks out on Red Sox ownership [CSN New England]

Pedroia ‘fine’ after being hit by pitch in forearm [CSN New England]

Jenks arrested on charges of DUI [CSN New England]

Valentine informs Padilla he’ll be used as reliever [CSN New England]

Valentine still doesn’t ‘get’ Yanks decision to call game [CSN New England]

X-rays negative for Pedroia; forearm bruise [ESPN Boston]

Bobby Valentine irked with Joe Girardi for calling tie game [ESPN Boston]

Padilla in pen; 4 starters left for 2 spots [ESPN Boston]

Padilla in pen; 4 starters left for 2 spots [ESPN Boston]

Pedroia ready to play after being hit [Extra Bases]

Bobby Jenks arrested on DUI charge [Extra Bases]

Dell making NESN debut on Saturday [Extra Bases]

Aaron Cook looking to give Red Sox ‘a hard decision’ [Full Count]

Bobby Valentine: Yankees ‘not very courteous’ for walking off field in tie [Full Count]

Friday morning with Bobby Valentine: Red Sox pitching staff gets closer to definition [Full Count]

Red Sox pitcher Clayton Mortensen ‘pissed’ at ‘damn Yankees’ [Full Count]

Bobby Valentine Meets With ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host Pat Sajak Prior to Red Sox-Orioles Game (Photo) []

Red Sox Reliever Bobby Jenks Arrested For DUI Friday Morning, Posts Bail For His Release []

Cook making his case for the Red Sox rotation [Projo Sox Blog]

Valentine calls Girardi’s decision to end game “not very courteous” [Projo Sox Blog]

Top prospect Bogaerts has swing beyond his years [Projo Sox Blog]

Fighting for a roster spot, Repko executes fundamentals [Projo Sox Blog]

Vicente Padilla now a reliever; four starters left for two spots [Projo Sox Blog]

Bittersweet reunion as Tito broadcasts Sox []

Pitch bruises Pedroia’s arm; X-rays negative []

Cutting game short, Girardi riles Valentine []

Carl Crawford’s new look on life (and the Red Sox) []

Scouting Scratch: Three down []

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New EnglandESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, and WEEI websites.

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Photo credits: Getty Images