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Francona: 'It was a good day'

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  February 18, 2009 12:40 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Terry Francona was thrilled with the way the first full workout went this morning.

"It was a good day," said Francona. "It was good day with everyone. You could see a great energy level. Very enthusiastic and very professional and it was appreciated.

"The idea now is keep that going everyday."

Francona offered a favorable report on Mike Lowell, who is coming after offseason hip surgery.

"Mike did good. What we did with Mikey was instead of coming out and stretching with the team he stretches early and goes to the cage and that coincides with when we start taking ground balls. He goes over and takes a limited number of ground balls then does his agility work.

"We continue to monitor him daily," Francona added. "The idea is not to go backwards. When you get here you can't simulate being on the field and being on your feet. So we want to keep an eye on him. And keep him going in the right direction. Mags [hitting coach Dave Magadan] said it didn't look like he was favoring anything."

Francona said he held a team meeting this morning in which he stressed all of the normal things - - team, winning, and working hard.

"We got a chance to meet with the guys this morning. Got to see guys we've gone through a lot of things with. We've got some new faces and I think everybody felt great. I know it's the first day, but a lot of energy out there," Francona said.

Francona also spoke about Jonathan Papelbon and how he'll continue with the same managed routine in how the closer is used.

"We will never pitch Pap unless we feel we should," Francona said. "I think we stay by the letter of the law . . . the rewards are too great and we owe it to him, also. He got a little overused. In return, we ask him to work hard and prepare as much as he can to pitch as much as we need him."

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