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Papi's on the way

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  March 19, 2006 10:56 AM

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David Ortiz is wasting no time getting back to Fort Myers after the Dominican was eliminated by Cuba in the WBC. Tito Francona said Ortiz caught a redeye in San Diego and was due back here this morning. He's not expected at the ballpark today, but you never know. Francona said Papi plans to take some BP tomorrow (an off-day for the big club) against bench coach Brad Mills. "He told me, 'I gotta get ABs,' and that's pretty cool. That sometimes gets lost in the shuffle with the general public, how much they care, how responsible, especially the good ones, are about getting where they need to be."

Francona took the regulars to the back field this morning to work on rundown plays and other fundamentals. Good news is, no one got hurt. Remember when Jeff Frye blew out his knee in a rundown drill?

David Wells will start Tuesday against Tampa Bay here. Francona confirmed that he has told Wells his first regular season start will probably come April 12 at home against Toronto.

Francona all but conceded that Josh Bard has the inside track on the backup catcher job catching Tim Wakefield. He said that Ken Huckaby may not get a crack at catching Wake the rest of the camp, because the start of the season is only two weeks away. "Is that fair? Probably not,'' he said. Bard is scheduled to catch Wake here this afternoon. Huckaby went with Curt Schilling to Sarasota for a Triple-A game.

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