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The move for Boof was no goof

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 3, 2010 08:32 PM

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The Red Sox have always liked Boof Bonser, taking notice of his stuff when he pitched for the Twins.

"Coming out of Minnesota a lot of times, we'd play a series and you're talking about what guys do against you and his name always came up," Terry Francona said.

When Bonser was designated for assignment by Minnesota in December, the Sox made a trade for him that attracted little attention at the time. Bonser had not pitched in the majors in 2009 following shoulder surgery and in 2008 had been sent to the bullpen.

But he's healthy now and looked strong tonight against BC in his one inning.

"I thought he was good," Francona said. "Looking at a guy who had the problems he's had physically and to look at his clean arm action, I think is phenomenal. It really jumps out at you. It was really an encouraging inning."

Francona thinks maybe the Red Sox have something in the affable righthander.

"If this works, we've got a guy who knows what he's doing with some power to that fastball," the manager said.

Said Bonser: "It went great. Iím glad its over. Itís the first spring training game in pretty much two years. People say itís a college team. To me a college team wants to beat your brains in more than a regular team. It actually feels normal like Iím healthy again, like I had no problems. Itís fun, I take a lot out of it."

Bonser will pitch two innings on Sunday against the Orioles in Sarasota.

The one physical issue he has is a blister on his index finger. Bonser is using Superglue to seal it up and it doesn't bother him. Josh Beckett, who once had a nagging blister issue, has given Bonser some advice.

The other development tonight was that Jose Iglesias hit the ball hard twice, once for a three-run double and then with a line drive to second. The shortstop has made a big impact on camp with his glove and personality already. The big hit in the fourth inning added to the fun he is having.

"I was excited to play in my first game and to get my first hit," Iglesias said via interpreter Alex Ochoa. "I was happy I swung the bat good."

Iglesias, who signed last summer after leaving Cuba, said playing his first game for the Sox was a dream come true. "I still have to work hard and get better every day," he said. "That's what I'm here for."

Iglesias enjoys bantering with reporters in English, but uses Ochoa to help him in interviews. I asked him if he would conduct his first all-English interview by the end of spring training.

"Maybe," he said with a big smile. "Maybe."

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Sox pitching on the day: 14 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 19 strikeouts against the college kids. Things will get a little more serious and a lot more competitive against the Twins tomorrow night.

It'll be Josh Beckett starting against Nick Blackburn. Check back tomorrow.


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