Peep Show

Updated: March 5, 2004, 7:44 AM ET
By Jim Baker

American League

Boston Red Sox: Boston's new manager Terry Francona has made his first decision of camp. He is going to switch Nomar Garciaparra to cleanup, swapping him out of the three with Manny Ramirez. Both men were ticketed elsewhere at one point this offseason until the deal with Texas for Alex Rodriguez fell through. Now they will resume their duties as the heart and soul of the Red Sox vaunted attack. ``If these guys hit the way they're supposed to, it may lead to more run production,'' Francona told Jeff Horrigan of the Boston Herald. "I don't think we're trying to reinvent the game. It just made sense to me.'' Horrigan also reports that Rodriguez will, in fact, be on the Yankees traveling squad for Sunday's game against Boston in Fort Myers. In an interesting experiment, the Sox will be starting outfielder David McCarty on the mound tonight against Northeastern University. McCarty, 34, has never pitched as a professional.

Minnesota Twins: When last we saw Jose Offerman in a major league uniform, he was playing four different positions for the 2002 Mariners. He spent last year in the independent Atlantic League and now, at 35, wants back into the majors. The Twins are giving him a shot reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. According to general manager Terry Ryan: "His hands look good and his actions look good and his physical appearance is excellent. It's a win-win situation. If he makes the team he brings a lot of experience, which is what you're looking for." Offerman parlayed a big year with the Royals in 1998 into a lucrative contract with the Red Sox. He never came close to his high water mark and was eventually sold to Seattle in 2002 where the fade continued. Offerman believes he got a raw deal from the Expos last spring when they cut him on the last day of camp and left him with no options other than the indy league gig. "Over here, they treat me with respect," Offerman said of the Twins. "Now, the rest I have to do myself."

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at