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In Florida, It's All in Good Fun

Wednesday, March 30, 2005; Page D04

Boston's pitcher threw a ball behind Alex Rodriguez and no one got upset.

It's only spring training and a matchup between the Red Sox and New York Yankees doesn't necessarily add to the teams' rivalry.

New York's Alex Rodriguez avoids one high and tight from Boston's John Halama. But it's only spring training. (Kathy Willens -- AP)

Rodriguez scrambled out of the way of the first-inning pitch by John Halama, who pitched three innings in Boston's 7-2 victory yesterday in Tampa.

"We're great friends," Rodriguez said of Halama. "I just laughed."

Halama, who played with Rodriguez in Seattle, said he was trying to throw the pitch inside but it broke too much.

"I try not to laugh out [on the mound] because I want to try to get him out," Halama said, "but after it was over I came into the dugout and I laughed about it."

It wasn't as peaceful last July 24 when Rodriguez was hit by a pitch by Boston's Bronson Arroyo at Fenway Park. Rodriguez stared and yelled at Arroyo as he started walking toward first base. Catcher Jason Varitek then pushed Rodriguez and the dugouts and bullpens emptied.

There were other differences between the exhibition game, played five days before Boston travels to Yankee Stadium on Opening Day Sunday, and a meaningful matchup.

-- From News Services

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