Good afternoon from Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers:
A quiet Sunday before the big spring training matchup between Curt Schilling and Cy Young winner Johan Santana. Here are a few notes from the early part of the day:
Early morning at the Sox complex was quiet. Julio Lugo displayed a new black T-Shirt which starts off with “Manny being Manny” on the back and then listing six or seven of Manny’s statistical accomplishments in the game.
A group of Japanese reporters were around Dice-K’s locker this morning as the right-hander engaged them in a few words.
Over at Hammond Stadium, Terry Francona discussed a number of topics in his pre-game chat in the Sox dugout. Francona appears adamant about going with 12 pitchers to start the season. He also discussed the tough outings of Joel Pineiro and Manny Delcarmen, hoping to see better outings out of both next time.
We’re told Nomar Garciaparra is making the trip to Fort Myers from Vero Beach to play against the Sox tomorrow.
Twins GM Terry Ryan is in the press box. He’s excited to watch Sidney Ponson face Jon Lester in a “B” at Hammond Stadium tomorrow. Ponson’s visa problems are cleared up. He’s gone through 16 months of rehab in Aruba for alcohol abuse. “He’s been terrific since he’s been with us,” said Ryan. “I’m anxious to see him pitch. He’s 30 years old. We might get lucky and we need it because we have a few openings in our rotation.”
Schilling could go as many as four innings today. He’ll be followed by Javier Lopez and Travis Hughes.
Wily Mo Pena-LF