Moyer one for the ages

Williams was asked if he's concerned about the new TV contracts.

"Only because we don't have (one),'' he said.

Keeping it simple: Unlike the White Sox's Adam Dunn, the Rangers' Michael Young successfully moved from the field to designated-hitter duties last season. It helped that he got frequent time in the field, especially at first base, but Young believes one key for his strong season was treating DH just like it was third base.

"I considered it to be another position,'' Young said. "A lot of times guys are asked to make preemptive adjustments. What are you going to do now that you're a DH? I'm not going to do anything. I'm going to play baseball."

Young says he spends most of his time in the dugout, as if he were playing defensively.

"(People asked), 'Are you going to ride the bike? Are you going to run?' (I asked), 'Do I have to do those things?' I'm going to stay in the dugout and watch the game.

"I didn't want to let my mind wander too much. I wanted my mind to be in the flow of the game. I wanted to watch our pitchers pitch and watch their pitchers pitch. I wanted to make sure I was mentally in the game as much as if I was playing third, second, short or first.''

No fair: When Justin Verlander struck out seven Red Sox on opening day, he got four called third strikes on his curveball. It's a devastating pitch when combined with his high-90s fastball.

"Verlander is just like Nolan (Ryan),'' Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline said. "He throws so hard that you can never look for his curve. His curve is really outstanding.''

The first batter Verlander faced was center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who finished second to him in MVP voting. Ellsbury said he had considered that coincidence this spring but "it's not something you think about when you're in the box.'' Hope not.

No regrets: Carlos Alvarez was recalled from his elected position as Miami-Dade County mayor largely because of his support for Marlins Park. Unlike Carlos Gimenez, who succeeded him, he was in attendance at Wednesday's debut of the $645 million facility Commissioner Bud Selig says saved the franchise.

"It has been a long road, as you well know, but it's something I believe in,'' Alvarez said. "(This) is a dream come true. (This) is a day I feel extremely proud of.''

Before Alvarez threw his support toward the Marlins, owner Jeffrey Loria was playing the Bob Irsay card, saying he might have to move to Las Vegas or elsewhere. Selig said this was no hollow threat and the franchise was doomed without some public participation to build the stadium.

Funding was accomplished largely through taxes on tourists.

"Five years from now you won't be able to find anyone who was against this,'' Selig said.

The last word: "Psychologists say having a fish tank helps you relax and not stress. I have a big fish tank in Venezuela.'' — the Marlins' Carlos Zambrano on how the two 450-gallon aquariums behind home plate are his favorite feature of Marlins Park.

progers@tribune.com

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