SARASOTA — Red Sox manager Terry Francona defended general manager Theo Epstein on Sunday from criticism by Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
In the April edition of Men's Journal magazine, Showalter took a shot at the GM: "I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll."
"I got asked that the other day and I hadn't seen it. I got it third-hand, and I kind of joked about it a little bit. Then I read it and actually I was kind of aggravated a little bit," Francona told the Boston Globe. "I don't think that's anybody's place. That's my boss. I was actually kind of aggravated a little bit. It's not the end of the world, but I thought he shouldn't have done it."
Francona told the Globe he was surprised by the comments. "I can't say I sat there and thought about it a lot. But I didn't see any reason to do that," he said.
Showalter also told the magazine, "That's why I like whipping their butt. It's great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, 'How the hell are they beating us?' "
Said Francona: "I don't remember them beating us that much. Maybe it was a different schedule."
The Orioles finished 9-9 against Boston last season, 3-3 after Showalter was hired.
"Way to go," Francona said sarcastically.
In the interview with Men's Journal, Showalter also was critical of Derek Jeter, saying the Yankees shortstop constantly jumps back from balls just off the plate.
"I've never heard someone make a big deal out of how someone takes inside pitches," Jeter told ESPN. "So after I figure out this stride thing (in my swing), I'll work on how I take pitches."
ESPN research showed that Jeter had more inside strikes called against him than the major-league average.
"You hear that, Buck?" Jeter replied. "There you go. So pass that along to Buck."
PARTING SHOT: The Cubs released right-hander Carlos Silva one day after being told he would not make the opening-day roster. They didn't mince words, either, in responding to the veteran pitcher's criticisms of pitching coach Mark Riggins and the organization.
"Obviously we're dealing with a man at this stage of his career who's not willing to face the facts," general manager Jim Hendry told ESPN. "What he's done for the last few years in his career, except for a two-month period, is way below major-league standards. And he seems to have the continual problem (of) blaming everybody but himself."
NATIONALS-BREWERS TRADE: Washington traded outfielder Nyjer Morgan to Milwaukee for minor-league infielder Cutter Dykstra and cash. Morgan became expendable once it became clear that Rick Ankiel and Jerry Hairston would platoon in centerfield. Dykstra is the son of former major-leaguer Lenny Dykstra. He played third base for Class A Wisconsin last season, where he hit .312 with a .416 on-base percentage.
A'S: Right-hander Brandon McCarthy was named the No. 5 starter. McCarthy did not make a start in the majors last season because of a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade.
CARDINALS: Leftfielder Matt Holliday was scratched because of a sore right big toe and is day to day.
DODGERS: Right-hander Ramon Troncoso was reassigned to minor-league camp, leaving right-hander Lance Cormier, a former Ray, and left-hander Scott Elbert to compete for the final bullpen spot.
REDS: Left-hander Dontrelle Willis and outfielder Jeremy Hermida were reassigned to minor-league camp.