With all apologies to Jid, your reporter will give his impressions on his first visit ever to Jet Blue Park in sunny 85 degrees FM. Stopped at Denny's for a "Grand Slam" which delayed arrival. Rushed out to back fields to see lots of work on pitchers' fielding drills (which have been going on all week according to papers and maybe a special point of emphasis this year). Butterfield, a good Maine boy, hitting grounders right at mound, throws to first; bunts to 3rd side, throws to 3rd, bunts in front of home, hard charge, catch in glove (surprise to me), throw underhand to catcher. Watched all young pitchers as starters were throwing further out. OK I don't know who Celestino is but wow, is he tall. De La Rosa looks sort of fat to me. Webster and Britton fumbled a couple of times. Owens is also very tall and Barnes looks very crisp on drills. Infrequently Butterfield would stop a player as he completed his throw, pull him off a few feet, and talk quietly, point a little with his bat. He did the same running the base running drills.
OK, only one guy in the park was wearing a suit--John Henry with a black umbrella. When he walked up to the cage to watch bp, he got a hand from the crowd. One other guy got a hand whenever he walked by--Big Papi.
In the running drills which went on for some time, they all looked good to me with the exception of Carp who looked slower and a little awkward. Sometimes Butterfield would tell them to slow down but he was particular "how" they did it. Once he squatted close to 1st with his finger pointing at the very corner and told them to push off exactly there one by one. Gomes looked especially good to me, really put himself into it.
Batting next. Middie, Bogie, Sizemore all tall, Middie looks especially big and strong. Papi slim, the best I've ever seen him. Bogie looks strong too. This was the first full squad practice, but as they phased through several times they started looking better, hitting line drives. The two guys who got oohs and ahhs today were Naps and Bogie who started hitting big looping drives deep in the outfield. Bogie hit almost everything to right center. Gomes didn't hit the ball deep but had a very live bat, lots of noise, and he literally jumped into the cage each time, looking like he wanted to kick a little...Maybe this is why guys love him.
Pedey went first every time, the Captain? He and Sizemore did everything easily. Butterfield talked more to Sizemore than the others.
Sorry if this is boring, hope everyone got something of interest. The park is beautiful and Jid will be there to take over next week. Critter