Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Today's takeaways: Day 2 is injury free
By Gordon Edes
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Takeaways from Camp Farrell, Day Two:
* Any time someone doesn’t limp off the field or get hauled away on a golf cart in camp is a good day, so the Red Sox made progress from Day One, when Clay Buchholz left with a mild hamstring strain. Not only were there no casualties, manager John Farrell said Buchholz checked out well and threw on flat ground Wednesday.
* Everyone is here except the Flyin’ Hawaiian, Shane Victorino, but we don’t think it’s an issue with Hawaiian Air. Physicals for the position players are scheduled for Thursday, and we’ll see your two pineapples and raise you 10 that he’ll be here then. Farrell mentioned that Jacoby Ellsbury hasn’t been on the field yet, though ESPN Boston’s Joe McDonald spotted him the day before doing some agility work.
* Much of what Jon Lester says will probably fall on deaf ears until he improves on last season’s 9-14 record and 4.82 ERA; he understands that. Still, the left-hander delivered a pretty forceful message here Wednesday, taking on responsibility for his performance and talking about some of the things that need changing, like his mound demeanor. He also had an impressive bullpen session, Farrell said, paired up with newcomer David Ross. Wonder if that’s a preview of coming attractions.
Lester also showed a sense of humor. Asked by WBZ’s Jonny Miller to explain all that went wrong last year, Lester said: “How much time do you have, Jonny?’’
Miller, raising his recorder: “I have 137 more hours.’’
Lester: “You might need to get a new tape.’’
* The best show in camp promises again to be the acrobatics of Jose Iglesias at shortstop. The hands just are other-worldly. Offensively, Joe McDonald reports that Iglesias appears to have shortened his stroke and is doing a better job of barreling up the ball. Personally, I’m looking forward to watching Jackie Bradley Jr. throw. Strong-armed outfielders have been in short supply around here in recent years.
* It was painful to see Ryan Kalish standing in front of his locker, his right arm in a sling after another surgery. He’s had operations on both shoulders and his neck, and he’s looking at another lost season. He doesn’t turn 25 until March 28, so you can’t yet write off his future, but who didn’t expect him to be a fixture in the Sox outfield by now?
* New closer Joel Hanrahan mentioned that the franchise history is one of the things that he finds special about playing in Boston, so I asked him if he’d ever heard of Dick Radatz. Granted, that was a question more fitting an AP History class, seeing as we’re talking 50 years ago, and Hanrahan admitted he’d never heard of the Monster. I filled him in, then mentioned he was one of the bigger Sox relievers since Radatz. “No way,’’ he said. “What about this guy (pointing to the locker of Andrew Miller)? He’s 7-foot-7.’’
* At first glance, Stephen Drew does not bear a strong facial resemblance to older brother J.D. Drew. Hopes are that neither will his hamstrings.
* As I was walking back to the press box after the workout, David Ortiz stepped out of the team’s weight room bearing two Hummer-sized dumbbells. “Hey, Gordon,’’ he shouted. “These are my PEDs. Take that, [expletive].’’
Trust me. From Ortiz, his parting word was an expression of endearment.
* Didn’t realize it until I paused to read the framed newspaper clipping hanging in the press box that the losing pitcher in David Morehead’s 1965 no-hitter was Luis Tiant, then pitching for Cleveland. “Yeah, no one was at the game,’’ El Tiante said. “He pitched a great game. He’s a good guy. I saw him not long ago at a clinic in Connecticut.’’
Tiant said he had two no-hitters pitched against him. The other, he said, was by Nolan Ryan. I’m going to have to get back to Looie on that one. I looked up Ryan’s seven no-no’s, and none of them was against Tiant.
* The Sox have started up a Twitter feed in Japanese, under the supervision of media relations liaison Mikio Yoshimura. “First day, we got 5,000 followers,’’ said Yoshimura, citing the interest in new reliever Koji Uehara.
The Sox, by the way, have a new media relations director: Kevin Gregg, who comes to Boston via Philadelphia, where he worked for both the Phillies and the Sixers. Gregg’s baseball roots run deep; his late father was umpire Eric Gregg.
* The last word belongs to John Farrell, talking about the “mental skills” classes that team psychologist Bob Tewksbury is conducting before each workout.
“Personally, I’m a huge believer in the mental side of the game,’’ Farrell said. “We spend so much time on the field. We spend so much time in the weight room. And yet sometimes what’s neglected most is what goes on up here [points to his head]. When we have a resource such as Tewks, to not use it, to not incorporate it more, we’re not giving the players everything they can take advantage of. His role has been expanded, he’ll be with us about 85 days this year and more of those on the road.
“Every player has needs. And in some cases, this is one of those.’’
I asked Farrell jokingly whether he was taking attendance.
“You’d be surprised at some of the guys who are the most engaged,’’ he said. “Alfredo Aceves has been sitting in the first row, front and center.’’