It was a classic spring-training moment: Bronson Arroyo, in T-shirt and uniform pants, propped up against a palm tree in the parking lot with guitar in hand, singing "C is for Cookie," the Sesame Street song, for a little mini-feature that will appear tonight on Red Sox This Week (10 o'clock, Channel 38, then after sports final on Channel 4).
Arroyo couldn't have been a better sport about the whole thing. He spent time with the TV technical folks, listening to the original version by Cookie Monster, and fiddled around until he found the right key. Then he was the one who suggested that they shoot the scene with him sitting against the palm tree, and sang the song as if he was recording it for his CD. If there is anyone who has figured out how to enjoy being a Sox player and continue to be as natural as they come, it's Bronson. It's no accident he signed an extension for less than market value. The guy just isn't hung up on some of the same things other guys are.
There was quite the downpour this morning, but it was brief and the guys wound up working out outside after all. The rains kept the crowds down ... when the players came out on the field, the only people there to greet them were the security guys. The players wore full uniforms because it was Photo Day, which is how fans were alerted to the fact that newcomer Dustan Mohr is wearing No. 18, last worn by Johnny Damon. "I heard some stuff,'' Mohr said. "But I'm used it. In San Francisco, I wore No. 22, which was worn by both Jack Clark and Will Clark. Biggest difference between Mohr and JD: Mohr has a shaven head.
Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Tim Wakefield were among the pitchers who threw their first live BP sessions today. Tito Francona didn't even watch Beckett, which is one way the manager has of not making a big deal of spring-training appearances. David Ortiz was one of the guys who faced Lester, the rookie left-hander, and came away impressed.
"You saw me drop my bat, didn't you?'' Ortiz said, referring to one breaking ball Lester threw him that caused him to lose his grip on his stick and say, jokingly, "Don't do that to me.''
Papi also roared a greeting to Coco Crisp in the clubhouse after the workout, saying, "Coco, where have you been?'' With no Kevin Millar around chirping, the Sox clubhouse has been a much quieter place.
The guy in a Sox cap getting the most double-takes today was Scott Carson, who was here with his wife, Liz. Carson, an investment analyst for Liberty Mutual, is a dead ringer for Curt Schilling -- a younger, considerably slimmer Curt Schilling. "I would never say that,'' Tito Francona cracked when introduced to Carson.
And you were looking for hard news today? No such luck. Oh -- it's eight days and counting on The Silence of David Wells. He told Bob Holtzman of ESPN when asked if he'd do an interview, "After Manny." Which, of course, could mean never, unless you really believe Manny plans to do a media session when he arrives.