Some early morning news from the Fort …
MLB union chief Donald Fehr and his entourage arrived here this morning and began a scheduled three-hour session with Sox players at 9 a.m. It’s the routine spring training session, where Sox players are brought up to date on union matters and the state of negotiations toward a new CBA. The Sox also have to figure out who their new player rep is with Johnny Damon departing for the Yankees. Trot Nixon, Tim Wakefield, Curt Schilling and Mark Loretta are candidates.
The union meeting with Fehr lasted about 90 minutes. Fehr left the minor league facility at about 10:30 a.m. “We went over all the material we needed to go over,” Fehr said. Fehr said that he could not divulge all of the items that came under discussion, particularly concerning a new CBA, which expires at the end of the year. “All I can tell you is that we have a new collective bargaining agreement to discuss at some point.”
Fehr was asked whether the Sox had decided upon a player rep. “I don’t know but Mark Loretta is there and he’s involved with us on a larger scale anyway. But you’ve got a bunch of guys — Wakefield, Schilling, Beckett — who have done it on a regular basis in the past. David Ortiz acts as a player rep half the time as well.”
Also on the scene is Dana Levangie, who will be the team’s new advance scout, an important job in the organization. Levangie’s reports will be used to get ready for the next opponent throughout the season. He has served as the Sox bullpen catcher and scout. He replaces Dave Jauss, who became Grady Little’s bench coach with the Dodgers.
Anticipating an early arrival from Manny Ramirez? Didn’t happen. There was a buzz around the camp that Manny was already in town, but no official confirmation of that. Manny’s personal friend Ino Guerrero said Manny might show “today or tomorrow.” There was still no official word on whether Manny would stay with the team or join Team Dominican for the World Baseball Classic.
Very quiet otherwise. Hitting coach Ron Jackson was in the cages working with young hitters while the vets were meeting.
Players were scheduled to start their workouts sometime before noon.