Red Sox not worried about repeat

But the place where the Red Sox finish, Farrell said, will depend, as it inevitably does, on how well the pitching staff performs. The most encouraging development of the spring, he said, is that none of the pitchers who carried such a taxing load deep into October last season appeared any worse for wear this spring.

And that begins with left-hander Jon Lester, who will make his fourth consecutive Opening Day start Monday against the Orioles.

"Strong from the outset," Farrell said. "What was interesting to look for, with really all of our guys who pitched so deep into last fall was how they were going to bounce back physically and what kind of stuff they were going to bring.

"There haven't been any lingering issues. Whether it's [Lester], Lackey, [Jake] Peavy, Koji, Taz [ Junichi Tazawa], every guy has done a great job in the offseason from a physical standpoint.

"Jon has come to the mound with powerful stuff. His command has been almost midseason [form] in a few outings. We're looking forward to that continuing, and he's setting the tone for the first time through the rotation tomorrow."

On Tuesday, the Red Sox will visit the White House, where they are to be honored for the third time in 10 years. Friday, they become lords of the rings, again. Their T-shirts read "Turn the F------ Page." Can they?

"We recognize the reminders of last year," Farrell said. "We should enjoy those and experience them to the fullest. But yesterday doesn't filter into today. Today is our primary focus. We have history with that approach. Today is our beacon and focal point.

"That's the same message, and that is what our identity has become. Everything is for today, and there's relentlessness to our preparation and how we compete."

Repeat as champs? The Red Sox will be content to win today. And see where that takes them.

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