DETROIT -- Friday afternoon's game against the Red Sox will be Boston's home opener, kicking off the 100th season of Major League baseball at Fenway Park.
"That's cool, it's very cool," manager Joe Maddon said. "In our country we don't have enough old stuff to celebrate its 100th anniversary. I think it's great. It's a baseball situation. Good for them. Obviously, it's an iconic park. And I do love it. I think it's a great place to play, and I'm looking forward to it."
Designated hitter Luke Scott has a different opinion, saying, "As a baseball player, going there to work, it's a dump."
"I mean, it's old. It does have a great feel and nostalgia, but at the end of the day, I'd rather be at a good facility where I can get my work in. A place where I can go hit in the cage. Where I have space and it's a little more comfortable to come to work.
"You're packed in like sardines there. It's hard to get your work in. ... You have to go to their weight room if you want to lift. From a fan's perspective, it's probably pretty cool to go see a game at a historic park. But from a player's point of view, it's not a place where you want to go to work."
The Red Sox have not gone to the postseason the past two seasons. and last year's team gained some notoriety after it was revealed that some players were eating and drinking beer in the clubhouse when the team's season collapsed on the final day.
When asked what kind of reception he thought the Red Sox would receive from their fans on Friday in light of how the 2011 campaign ended, Maddon said, "They're going to be very supportive. I think so. Listen, these guys have won two World Series in less than 10 years. That's highly significant. I believe the Red Sox fans are great fans, and they understand baseball and baseball tradition and history. I would anticipate and believe that they're going to show up support their team tomorrow."
"The Red Sox fans will be out there to support their team," Scott said. "They support their team through thick and thin. They have a good fan base, and they come out and support them."
Scott doesn't think the fans should boo Friday night starter Josh Beckett, either, even though he was among the players drinking and eating.
"Josh Beckett's done a great job for that organization, won a lot of big games for them," Scott said. "I think that wouldn't be right. That's just my opinion. [I'm] curious to see what happens."
Hellickson not concussed, will make next start
DETROIT -- Jeremy Hellickson appeared fine on Thursday, one day after being hit in the head with a batting practice home run while throwing in the visitors' bullpen at Comerica Park.
A shot off the bat of former Ray Delmon Young nailed Hellickson near his left eyebrow. Hellickson was examined at Harper University Hospital and returned to the team before Wednesday's game was finished.
"I feel fine," Hellickson said. "I don't think it did anything."
No traces of the incident could be seen on Hellickson's face. He passed one final test on Thursday after telling reporters, "I don't have a concussion," and has the green light to make his next scheduled start, on Saturday against the Red Sox.
"He's looking pretty normal, speaking normal," said manager Joe Maddon.
Maddon's comments prompted the question: What is normal for Hellckson?
Maddon smiled at the query about the understated Iowan, who never seems to get too excited about anything.
"He came downstairs today and he was very quiet," Maddon said. "He didn't give me the double fist or the double finger point, or he didn't drop a 'Hey, Shooter' on me. So he was kind of normal."
Luke Scott (tightness in left hamstring) is feeling better and hopes to play on Friday in Boston against the Red Sox.
"It's possible, it's possible, we'll see," manager Joe Maddon said. "I'll find out where he's at. I guess he had a good day yesterday swinging the bat. [Head athletic trainer] Ronnie [Porterfield] felt good about it, so there's a possibility he might play tomorrow."
B.J. Upton (lower back) played the second game of his rehab assignment with Class A Charlotte on Wednesday, going 0-for-2 with a walk and playing six innings in center field in the Stone Crabs' 6-4 loss. He is not expected to play on Thursday night, but he will on Friday.
Justin Verlander held the Rays to one hit and no runs through eight innings on Wednesday before Tampa Bay exploded for four runs in the ninth inning to win, 4-2. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rays became the first team in 22 years to beat a pitcher who had shut them out on one hit or fewer through eight innings. The last time it happened was on May 10, 1989, when Seattle's Mark Langston took a two-run lead and a no-hitter into the ninth inning before the Blue Jays beat him with three runs in the ninth.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.