FORT MYERS -- Have to apologize to everyone for abandoning you all yesterday, but somehow the blog got lost in protecting my laptop from the torrential downpours, watching Daisuke Matsuzaka's 77-pitch bullpen, and writing my stories. Let's just say a press box with no walls and sideways rain don't really make a good combination when you're trying to cover a game (or blog, for that matter).
As for today, we're here in sunny (hopefully) Fort Myers where the Red Sox are taking on the Reds. There's quite a bit of green in the stands, and will be on the field as well. The Sox will be donning their green St. Patrick's Day uniforms for the game, in which Jonathan Papelbon gets the start. While Alex Gonzalez didn't make the trip, there are a couple of old friends who did, including Mark Bellhorn and Scott Hatteberg.
The only big news of the morning session with manager Terry Francona was that Mike Timlin has been able to throw again. He played catch yesterday from about 90 feet, off flat ground, and will do the same again today, perhaps extending the distance to 100 feet. Timlin said he hoped to throw off a mound in three to four days, though Francona termed that timetable "aggressive." That still doesn't mean that Timlin will necessarily be ready to start the season, but it is a positive sign in his recovery.
Francona also mentioned that in all likelihood Jon Lester, who threw in a minor league game yesterday, will not begin the season in extended spring training. Since he almost certainly won't start the season with the Red Sox, he'll end up on one of their minor league clubs, probably in Pawtucket.