Welcome to Fort Myers, early edition.
There might not be too many players here yet -- notables were Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen, and Josh Beckett -- but your dedicated Globe writers are here to provide you with news and notes throughout the day.
Players started to trickle in at the minor league complex around 7:30 a.m., by which time about 15 members of the media had arrived to stake out the parking lot, including only a couple of Japanese reporters. Papelbon made his appearance, his first of the spring, at the complex at 7:55 a.m., with Lenny DiNardo following soon after at 8. It was just sprinkling at that point, though the weather degenerated into cold and rainy (yes, I know you all have little sympathy).
Perhaps all that Japanese media was huddled at the airport, awaiting the arrival of Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose plane is scheduled to land in Tampa at 6:30 p.m. tonight. No need to track this plane, though you can be assured most of the Japanese media has that on their computer screens.
Meanwhile Papelbon and Lester both held court with the assorted media in attendance, and we'll be bringing you some of their comments -- in particular Papelbon's thoughts on his contract status and his best recipe for duck -- in the coming hours.
Keep checking back here at Extra Bases, because the baseball team here in Fort Myers (currently Gordon Edes and myself) will be bringing you the latest and greatest on the Red Sox. Enjoy.