A Quiet Start To Red Sox Spring Training...Terry Francona's Thoughts
The most exciting event for Red Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona so far down in Fort Myers was his hole in one yesterday at the golf course. He had witnesses, too! Good for him...maybe that's a good sign of things to come. Tito did have a few things to say that are baseball related. First up are his thoughts about Big Papi David Ortiz. My comments will follow...
"Some guys have laid some eyes on him in the Dominican Republic and he looks tremendous," Francona said. "I'm excited to see David because that would be great news for us."
How about third baseman Mikey Lowell?
"(He's been on ) a little bit of a slower program at the beginning of camp. I don't think that's earth-shattering. Again, the idea is to get him ready for Opening Day. That's a pretty legit timetable. It doesn't have to be that day or the day before. The idea is to get him back, and once he's back, getting playing consistently like he can, so I don't like to put an artificial date on it. I think he'll be fine, Francona said."
Tito also mentioned the already infamous Manny Ramirez book that I wrote about yesterday. Just scroll down if you missed it. Here are his comments...
"I was asked last night about it and I saw some excerpts," Francona said. "In what little I did see, it sounded like the book shouldn't have been in the non-fiction area of Barnes & Noble. My recollection of some of that isn't anywhere close to his. And that's disappointing. And I think it was obvious over the years we bent over backwards to be fair not just with Manny, but with all of our players," he said, "while at the same time having them understand that they need to be accountable for their actions . . . I don't apologize for anything that happened. I thought we did the best we could."
I guess the best wasn't good enough for "Sir" Manny. What a douche. Lastly, here are Tito's thoughts about the resigning of team captain Jason Varitek...
"Sometimes the business side drags out a little bit, and thankfully I don't have to be a big part of that business. But to have him back is great. It certainly makes our job a lot easier, and there are a lot pitchers that are probably thrilled that he's back. And again, I don't think he has to hit .300 for us to be successful. But I do think that there's going to be somewhat of a bounce-back year. But regardless, I think we've proven that if he doesn't hit, we can win, and if he does hit, that makes us a little bit of a special team."
OK, here are some of MY thoughts, if you wish. If not, just skip to the next paragraph. Firstly, we need a Big Papi with pop in his bat, and that means a healthy and sound wrist. I sure hope he is doing well. The 2-3-4-5 spots in the Red Sox lineup are crucial to the team's future success. That's Pedey, Papi, Youk and Lowell. And speaking of Mike Lowell, we all have to hope he will be (or is) pain-free in the hip area. I can only imagine how painful any injury like that could be. Ouch. We need ya, Mike. Tito's comments about 'Tek were right on the money. He doesn't have to hit .300...frankly, I think he's unable to do that. But with a .275 average and his reassuring presence behing the plate, we'll be fine for 2009. By this time next year, however, the Red Sox will have already signed, one way or another, a younger catcher, a guy who can hit AND catch...at the same time. We can only hope. One last tidbit from my brain. The Boston Red Sox pitching staff is as solid, starters to bullpen, as any in all of MLB baseball. Good pitching beats good hitting, as the saying goes. A healthy Beckett will make all the difference in the world. Dominate, Josh Baseball.
Well, that was fun...writing this post, I mean. Click on the title to be linked to the SI Red Sox homepage, where you can go anywhere you want with a single click. Have a great Friday the thirteenth. Leave a comment if you'd like...I'll repond to it. As always, BE WELL. Aloha. Shalom. L'chaim (to life). Hello. Goodbye. See ya.