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Monday, February 22, 2010
Quick hits: Terry Francona

By Gordon Edes

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Six quick hits from Terry Francona, who spent part of his morning introducing himself to some of the new players in camp, including Adrian Beltre and Bill Hall, and exchanging loud greetings with familiar returnees, like David Ortiz:

1. Daisuke rolls: Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 25 tosses at 60 feet, another at 90. “Aggressive, felt good, we’ll do the same tomorrow. Everybody involved was very encouraged. What we’d hoped for. More importantly, what he hoped for.’’

Francona didn’t place a timetable on when Matsuzaka, who has a mild back strain, will throw off the mound. "I wouldn’t be surprised if he came fast, just because of all the work he’s done up to this point.’’

2. In praise of Papi: Francona gave thumbs up to the condition in which Ortiz reported.

“Real good,’’ he said. “We’d heard that all year, but it was sure nice to lay your eyes on him and see for (yourself). Yeah, he looks trim and he looks strong and he looks ready to go.’’

3. Live ammo: Pitchers will begin to throw live batting practice on Thursday. Position players have their conditioning testing Tuesday and first full workout on Wednesday.

4. Yo, Adrian: Francona offered his first impressions of Beltre.

“First time I’ve gotten a chance to say hello to him. When you’re on the other side and you see him making those plays that aggravate you, when he’s on your team, just looking forward to getting to know him and have him be one of us.’’

5. Pending arrivals: Marco Scutaro and Mike Lowell had not yet reported before the end of the morning workout. J.D. Drew was here, but preferred to stay in.

6. Run silent, run deep: With the addition of Mike Cameron and Bill Hall, Franccona said he expects this team to improve its base-running efficiency -- going first to third, scoring from second on a single.

“My first year here I thought we were atrocious,’’ he said.