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Spring Training Report from the Amigos

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#1 Mike F

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:52 PM

Feb. 19 – 22

Because of the relatively light activity at the Jet Blue practice fields, we have consolidated all notes from the above four dates.

In general the days start, as always, with the 5S, Standing; Scratching; Spitting; Stretching and Swearing. Sunday and Monday left much to be wished for after these basic exercises. A handful of minor leaguers took some BP. As no one was numbered or had a name showing, it was guess who this is.

Tuesday picked up after 5S. There were “real” PFP (pitcher fielding practice) and PBP (pitcher bunting practice). Wow, really working on fundamentals with Goose Gregson coaching on each one-hopper or underhand toss, compliments, criticisms and suggestions.

Rich Hill looked a little foreign at Sacrifice Bunting drills, but improved after a while, but he was quite proficient at Stengel’s “Butcher Boy drills” (fake bunt, slap hit, IIRC currently called a Slash Play.) FWIW he was with Dice-K who excelled at both exercises.

Odd bits and pieces: Still Fat Matt Albers was working in a group with Less Fat Carlos Silva and Mark Melanson who was assigned Bill Lee’s #37. Interestingly Andrew Bailey is wearing #40 and Jesse Carlson has been seen in #58. WOW that didn’t take long did it. BTW a story is going around that the Sox called Nomar about assigning his #5 to Nick Punto. Apparently Nomar knows Nick from Arizona and was pleased to give his blessings. I wonder if they called him when #5 was assigned to Rocco Baldelli.

Wednesday the Amigos were watching some early BP from, ta da, Ellsbury, Pedey, Youk and Papi.

Obviously line drives were shooting all over the field. Papi walked toward us and was heavily complimented on his “very” trimmed down physique. He proudly, with that big Island Smile, told us that it was a special diet. BUT he cautioned if I don’t start hitting soon I’m going back to fried chicken.

While Pedey is hitting and roping a savage liner in front of any Fenway LFer, some guy behind us yells, “Hey, that’s Dustin Pedroia!!!” Much laughter and Papi follows with an exaggerated stare at the hit and turns around and starts moving his hand closer and closer to the ground. He stopped as the laughter cascaded and made the “sshhh” sign as Pedy glanced over.

In a later group Jose Iglesias and Will Middlebrooks perhaps the future left side of the Sox infield. Jose was hitting some liners but far too many routine grounders. He appears to be able to bunt. Giff is humping for “Joe Church @ SS”. He may not post much but I am hearing this refrain every time anyone mentions 2012 Sox SS. A binky is a binky but an obsession….. Middlebrooks showed some impressive power. He gave no signs of ‘ramping it up’ for BP but was ringing balls deep and often.

The next set was A-Gon, Sweeney, Punto and Juan Carlos Linares. Adrian looks in mid-season form.

Line drives wherever the ball was pitched. Sweeney made good contact as did Punto. J.C. as he is being called here showed the same stroke as last spring. If he can stay healthy he might be a valuable piece in the late summer.

Cheri called us over to watch young Jose take infield under the watchful eye of Manager Valentine.

Bobby V, as he is being called around The Fort, not to be confused with Jimmy Valvano’s brother ESPN talk show host Bobby V or a 60’s singer Bobby Vee, was constantly coaching the kid. As Gregson was doing with the pitchers good or bad he gave him a compliment or a tip. Nick Punto replaced the kid and showed very competent moves. He wasn’t anywhere as smooth as the kid but he got the job done.

We decided it was too hot, 91F and too long in the sun so the Amigos took off for the Giffin’s home. Cheri will post some ST pix before the night is over.

I’ll be at a Sarasota Bridge Tournament starting Thursday but I’m sure Cheri will keep everyone up to date on the haps through the weekend.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that troubles you.

It’s what you know that ain’t so.” Will Rogers (sometime before he died)

#2 ookami7m

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:05 PM

And so the spring is now official. Great to see the Amigos back in action

#3 taxmancometh

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:21 PM

Thanks Mike! These updates remind me that winter is almost over and that baseball is just around the corner.

#4 Lefty on the Mound

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:29 PM

The first robin of spring has got nothing on Mike F. Thanks for the report, Mike. Keep 'em coming!

#5 Savin Hillbilly

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:15 PM

Like a drink of cold water on the hottest day of summer, that is.

#6 TheYellowDart5

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:22 PM

Nick Punto getting No. 5 makes me want to punch God.

#7 Ramon AC

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:38 PM

Just wonderful. Thank you Mike.

#8 ToeKneeArmAss

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:40 PM

This is so satisfying it makes me want to have a cigarette. Thanks Mike.

#9 shoebox91

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:42 PM

I am strangely pumped for this season. Thanks for getting it started Mike.

#10 teddywingman

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:56 PM

thanks Mike F! Please keep em coming.

#11 Snodgrass'Muff

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:58 AM

Spring is here at last...

#12 amh03

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:19 AM

Ah...my favorite part of Spring Training...thanks Amigos!!

#13 someoneanywhere

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:53 AM

Nick Punto getting No. 5 makes me want to punch God.

No no brother. This is Lent. God gets to punch you.

#14 Clemente38

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:18 AM

Great to hear your voice Mike. Remy is lucky you have no desire for his job, as your commentary brings the details and humor that we all love. Though you do have some extra easy material to pull from with the Amigos as your fodder.

Keep those pics coming Cheri, where is the trimmed down Papi and the not as short as you Pedey?

As you can see, we love these reports.

Edit: Apologies to BSL, I hadn't checked the pic threads - nice job with the photos of Papi and Pedey.

Edited by Clemente38, 23 February 2012 - 09:19 AM.

#15 pk1627

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:25 AM

I'm with Giff. Joe Church it is. Welcome to Boston kid and hit the damn ball every so often.

#16 sittingstill

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:17 AM

Ah...my favorite part of Spring Training...thanks Amigos!!


BTW Linares asked to be called "J.C." last year, before he got hurt and it became largely irrelevant for a while.

#17 NJ Fan

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:53 AM

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano...the groundhog was wrong: spring is here!

#18 EastCoasterOutWest

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:06 AM

Now I'm excited for the season.

#19 trekfan55

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 04:56 PM

When do the games start?

After what seems to be the longest offseason I can remember, I am so thrilled to get new baseball news! thanks guys!

#20 Barbara

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:01 PM

Gracias mis amigos!

Posted Image

Edited by Barbara, 23 February 2012 - 10:02 PM.

#21 biollante

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:31 AM

As I look outside today at one of the few days of snow this winter, I get to enjoy reading Mike F.'s report, reminding me that sun and spring are heading north.

#22 The Boomer

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:43 PM

Mike, Cheri and David:

You are my surrogates year after year in Florida. We have spring like weather here in Virginia too (just today) and college baseball is already started. Our city is finally getting back to normal after all the Huguely hoopla. I say every year that it's only a matter of time before I make it there. Thanks for all your great reports.

#23 Pumpsie

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:15 PM


Gracias, Amigos!