Wade Boggs showed yesterday that two days off were well-spent.
Boggs, who skipped road games against the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, came back against the Blue Jays and went 2-for-3 in the Boston Red Sox's 9-5 loss to Toronto at Dunedin, Fla., improving his average from .136 to .200.
Boggs singled his first two times up against Jimmy Key and said it was good to face a pitcher he knew well.
"These lefties from the National League, you don't know how they're throwing. And righties, too," he said. "They can get you into bad habits because you get out on your front side. That's what I was doing, not staying back."
He said yesterday's performance compared with his previous seven games was "like night and day out there." But Boggs also continued to maintain he's not a good spring training hitter.
"That's why early on in my career I'd get real worried in spring training, and say, 'My God, what's going on.' Now I don't worry at all. I just want to get to where my mechanics are sound."
* RED SOX: Players and coaches went about the business of baseball yesterday, after being told that little would change after the death last month of majority owner Jean R. Yawkey.
Yawkey's will, filed Friday in a Boston probate court, left her two-thirds control of the club and the JRY Corp. in the hands of John Harrington, her longtime adviser.
ZTC Harrington's letter was just an attempt to show that nothing had changed in the operations of the Red Sox, said a team official, who asked not to be identified.
"JRY Corp. has no present plans to change its manner of operating and will continue to work with Haywood Sullivan, as the other general partner, as it has for many years," Harrington said in his letter, distributed Friday. But he also said a sale would happen sometime in the future.
"Over the long term, however, it will likely be consistent with the desires of all concerned for the Yawkey Red Sox interests to be sold, assuming of course that a fair price can be obtained," Harrington said, adding that there would be periodic updates on any actions that might be taken.
The Yawkey family had owned the team for nearly 59 years. Tom Yawkey purchased the Red Sox in 1933, and operated the team until his death in 1976.
* YANKEES: History suggests New York made a wise investment in paying Danny Tartabull $25.5 million for the next five years.
With the Royals last season, Tartabull led the American League with a .593 slugging average. The last player to lead the AL in that category and then change teams was Reggie Jackson with the Orioles in 1976.
Jackson signed as a free agent with the Yankees before the 1977 season and helped New York win consecutive World Series titles.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge of helping make the Yankees winners again," Tartabull said. "The Braves and Twins proved last year a team can turn things around fast with just a few moves."