Fans cheer during a rally at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon. (AP Photo)
The big Rally Monday is going on in Fenway Park right now, with Terry Francona, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Jason Bay speaking to a crowd that covered about three sections in the seating behind the home dugout. It's breaking up now, and soon (at 5 p.m.) the Sox bus will be pulling out of the park to head to the airport to go to Anaheim, Calif.
That being said, Francona spoke today at a press conference. There wasn't much news -- no rosters or major updates on Josh Beckett -- but he did provide some insight into the team as it leaves for the ALDS.
The only roster hints being given out were that virtually everyone up in September is heading out to Anaheim. Those who are not, and will not be on the ALDS roster, are Devern Hansack, David Pauley, and David Aardsma. Those three are going to Ft. Myers to the instructional league. Pauley and Hansack will be stretched out into starters, and Aardsma will pitch out of the bullpen. (That has to be a disappointment for Aardsma, who has not pitched well of late, but who has been with the team much of the season.) Chris Smith and George Kottaras were sent home. The rest of the September roster -- including Chris Carter, Jeff Bailey, Jonathan Van Every, and Gil Velazquez among them -- are going to California.
Though Mike Lowell did not take any ground balls -- the Sox were not allowed to, given the state of the infield -- he did well today. He took batting practice, as did J.D. Drew at the optional workout.
"Hitting is not really the problem," Francona said of Lowell. "In fact, I think he said that's really the easy part. It's some of the lateral movement and I don't know if it's start or stopping -- somewhat stopping, change of direction, things like that while he's rotating -- but he did have a pretty good day."
More questions are expected to be answered tomorrow, when Lowell has a full workout. The Sox should get closer to having the roster finalized tomorrow as well.
Beckett was actually in the clubhouse yesterday, but declined to speak. Jon Lester will talk tomorrow in Anaheim, declining to speak both last night and this afternoon. Drew was not in the clubhouse during the media access period.