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Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 20, 2011 08:47 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. Today is the worst day of spring training for the hitters.

It's live batting practice time. So for the first time since last season, the hitters will be swinging at pitches thrown by major league pitchers. Even the best guys can look pretty bad.

The pitchers have been working out for a week or so and most of them have thrown at least twice off the mound. The hitters have had one official workout and swung at pitches thrown over the plate by a coach.

This would be like you or me driving to work for a few weeks then entering the Indy 500. It's driving, but it's not driving.

The veteran players usually take a lot of pitches, tracking the ball with their eyes to get used to the speed and the break. Younger players will take some big swings, trying to impress the coaches.

Check back later for a report. Among the players taking their hacks will be Carl Crawford, Ryan Kalish, David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis.

It's also Photo Day. The players wear their white home uniforms and pose for photos from all manner of publications, web sites, baseball card companies, etc. Every team does it to accommodate every request at once.

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