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Pre-game notes from Fenway Park

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 26, 2011 04:22 PM

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Panic not, good people. Jacoby Ellsbury is just getting a day off after a long night of baseball. Terry Francona said he planned to give several of his regulars time off in the coming days with Carl Crawford probably getting tomorrow off.

Be it Dustin Pedroia in June or Kevin Youkilis earlier this month, days off have usually coincided with players getting really hot.

Given the humid weather of late and the busy schedule (the Sox are in the middle of playing 20 games in 20 days), giving your regular players occasional days off just makes sense.

As to other matters:

Kevin Youkilis will get today off to rest his sore hamstring (the result of a base-running mishap in the sixth inning last night) and could play tomorrow.

J.D. Drew is officially going in the disabled list today with what is being termed a shoulder impingement. Drew Sutton is here from Pawtucket.

John Lackey volunteered to pitch last night if the game went longer. But it was Randy Williams do or die. The Sox were not going to use Alfredo Aceves after he had gone 2.2 innings the day before.

Francona on the trade deadline: "I like our team." But he also acknowledged that Theo Epstein will be looking for upgrades. Here's how you know Francona has job security: He endorsed the idea of holding onto the best prospects and protecting the future. Most managers live for the present.

Clay Buchholz could throw off the mound again tomorrow. He will talk things over with the medical people today before starting what Francona termed "an aggressive" approach to his return.

Bobby Jenks is not making any progress.

Jed Lowrie is making "slow but steady" progress and is taking soft toss.

The Sox are skipping BP today after the late night.

ESPN's Dick Vitale Tweeted that he will be at Fenway tonight. Awesome, baby.

Whether you like Dickie V's on-air style is up to you. But his enthusiasm for the sport he covers is legit and the man is tireless in raising money for cancer research. He's a good man.

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