The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 12, 2013

Back to business on the diamond

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“You just don’t get an opportunity to own something like the Boston Red Sox. As long as we can do it, the three of us are committed to being here,” Henry told reporters, while acknowledging team president Larry Lucchino and chairman Tom Werner. “These thoughts that we’re somehow selling, those are just not true.”

With a new manager, John Farrell, replacing Bobby Valentine after one disastrous 69-93 season, Henry likes Boston’s chances.

“I would say, especially in comparison to last year, I should be optimistic,” Henry said.

In Kissimmee, Fla., the Houston Astros began their first day in the bruising AL West. One of the most inexperienced teams in baseball will wear fiery orange practice hats and jerseys that evoke the orange rainbow stripes of a better time for an organization that lost over 100 games each of the past two seasons.

“We’ve talked about change throughout the organization, from the time (owner) Jim Crane has taken over the ball club and all the hires he has made,” first-year manager Bo Porter said. “This year (the uniform change) kind of sets the tone because they visually see things have changed. And when you realize that things have changed, you first realize that they’re never going to be the same.

Also hoping for a clean start, Bartolo Colon is back with the Oakland Athletics after serving a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test. He had little to say crossing a damp practice field in Phoenix after a 90-minute exam but he’s excited to be with a team that won the AL West in thrilling fashion last year, rallying over the final 10 games to grab the title from the Texas Rangers.

Manager Bob Melvin isn’t worried about Colon getting right back in the flow with his teammates.

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