Between the player’s charity golf tournament on Monday and the late start on Tuesday because of Media Day, we don’t have a lot of news.
After the usual 5 Ses the squad broke up into groups for some “Pitching Practice”. This means the pitchers throw from the mound to hitters who don’t swing. Aceves started off with Pedey. At the same time runners would start from 1st and as the pitcher went to home take off for 2nd. Another runner goes to 1st and they both take off. Same thing over and over as the runner arriving at 3rd retires to the back of the runner’s line. Part way through the exercise Bobby V called out a situation. While this is going on, two little brothers about 5 and 3 are seated next to me. The younger wants to get by his brother who impedes his progress. The little guy cries out and some leather-lung hollers, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
I think I saw the real Mike Aviles at the cage. He didn’t acknowledge any callers out. Maybe he was the ersatz Mike Aviles.
Wed, the ML infielders plus Iglesias and Ciriaco were taking infield. This year 4 of the infielders are in 2 groups, one near home on the 3rd base side and the other similarly placed on the 1st base side. One player soft tosses a ball to his partner who hits grounders. Same thing on the other side. Twice as many grounders for everyone. After a bit 4 players come in and hit as the original hitter/tossers go to take infield. Bobby V swings by and observes for a time and as the hitters swap places with 4 infielders he is clapping his hand and shouting, “Aren’t they great? Give these guys a big hand.” Which the 50 or so watchers do. It seemed like being in the Astrodome about 40 years ago when the scoreboard would read “CHEER” or “CLAP” and everyone would.
Later we watched Melancon and Duckworth threw pitching practice to Iglesias, Middlebrooks, McDonald and Sweeney. Melanson looked like he was throwing very hard with some movement. Perhaps this is the beginning of the New Nasty Boys.
Later watched Iglesias take private infield on Fenway South. Batter hit a popup over his (Jose) head.
As a joke Iglesias threw his glove at the ball and spun around and took off, making a back to the plate catch with his bare hands. (Bobby V wasn’t there at that moment.
The Sox1st 5 hitters from the lineup were taking bunting practice. After several miserable results by Papi, Pedey calls over to him, “Give it up, Papi, you aren’t ever going to get it.” Not true as Papi then proceeded to lay a couple in a row down the 3rd base line. Decent sacrifice bunts or more realistically clean singles against the shift.
A little later Pedey walked over by a supine Youk and asked if he were taking a “nutritional break”.
Was sitting next to a retired Catholic priest. He related a story from his past with the Sox. After a Sunday Mass, he was greeting parishioners as a Dad and 7 year old son approached. “Father” the Dad said, “My son has a question for you.” The priest greeted the boy and bent to hear the question. “Do you know Kevin Youkilis?” asked the boy. “Sadly not” replied the priest. “I know several members of the Red Sox but not Kevin.” “But you said you did this morning” protested the boy. The boy’s dad explained that 4 times during the sermon the priest had “Eucharist” and that’s where the boy has heard it.
Because of the B game at Hammond later today there were considerably less players at the complex.
Basically the starting infield with both Aviles and Punto on hand. The infield practice was basically picking grounders and throwing. There was a concentration on balls to the left side with throws to 2nd base to start a DP.
We watched A-Gon, Youk and Papi take BP. Today A-Gon practiced exactly as Manny would, 1st two trips = Timing line drives back up the middle, everything within 20 feet of 2nd base. Later he sprayed the ball wherever it was pitched. Not many Loong drives, just bullets.
Youk was roping liners around, not a lot of deep balls. He did rope a shot to left that barely missed a traversing golf cart by a couple of feet. That drew some cheers.
Papi was Papi. He started cranking up after his 1st round and was powering shots out to both right and to left center. Much noise from the 100 or so spectators. I was thinking that yesterday he was bunting for a base hit against the shift and today hitting it over the shift’s head. Truly a man for all seasons.
Some fan notes:
Our favorite Cheri got after a guy standing in front several of us in the bleachers. She asked him to move, please and got a smart answer. Cheri hopped out of the stands and fetched an usher. The guy left before the usher got there.
A 350+pounder with a big METS tee was walking by with the proverbial 3 or 4 bats in a bag over his shoulder and a gym bag stuffed with baseballs, bitterly complaining that players had signed for kids and ignored him. It’s getting so a Mets Fan can’t make a living on E-Bay anymore.
We’ll all be at JBP tomorrow with a wrap-up. I’ll be doing the NU game and Giff and Cheri the BU game. After that Fox in Sox and Felix Mantilla’s lurker brother will be in for the week so two more sets of eyes will contribute.
Make Iraq our 51st state, send over the IRS and get some of our billions back.