Extra Bases

Drills and comments

Clearly today wasn’t an easy day for everybody. An obviously drained Manny Delcarmen indicated that the players weren’t exactly taking it easy with the conditioning drills, making them do shuttle runs and shuffle drills with cones and medicine ball throws. He looked over at some of the other young pitchers, and said with a smile, “Everybody can’t stand up.” While they all did manage to stand up, and get their gear together, and head out of the clubhouse, some of the pitchers did look a little tired in their return to baseball after the offseason — Delcarmen seemed happy he wouldn’t be throwing tomorrow, as it’s mostly just the starters.

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Jason Varitek’s press availability ran mostly to his return from an injury-marred season (though he refused to use them as excuses) and his communication with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Varitek said he hasn’t tried to learn any Japanese, and wasn’t planning on it, unless it became crucial for communication on the mound. He watched Matsuzaka, as he did with other pitchers, on tape that pitching coach John Farrell sent. But, he said, it’s difficult to see and understand the movement on the ball from that angle. As for his own health, he said his elbow — the one he broke — is as good as it has been in a number of years, enabling to workout without limitations in the offseason.

Francona, in his press talk, discussed those three-on-one meetings, added his impression of the Curt Schilling contract negotiation — saying it will never affect him on the mound — and the fitness of Dustin Pedroia (looked good, noticeably different).

That’s about all for me from here. Tomorrow should be interesting, with many of the pitchers — Matsuzaka, Josh Beckett, Hideki Okajima, Tim Wakefield, Curt Schilling, Abe Alvarez, Jonathan Papelbon, Kason Gabbard, Jon Lester, Kyle Snyder, Travis Hughes, Bryan Corey, Devern Hansack, and David Pauley — throwing.

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For now, have an excellent Saturday night. We’ll see you back here again tomorrow.

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