Of shuttle runs and conditioning drills

FORT MYERS, Fla. — You can be sure that all the pitchers and catchers under contract to the Red Sox are more than happy that today is over. Manny Delcarmen, in fact, was parading around with ice packs on both of his knees after the conditioning drills that the team ran this morning.

Kevin Youkilis

(Jim Davis / Globe Staff)

Asked if any of his players had, um, lost their lunches, manager Terry Francona said, “Not out in the open. [There] may be some remnants later.”


But I’m here to report that John Smoltz was tearing it up in the shuttle runs, winning his group each time.


“It’s going to be fun to watch him go through our camp,” Francona said. “You saw him out there doing the shuttle. That’s impressive. That’s not easy to do — I don’t care how old you are — and I think it sends a great message to the other pitchers, which we appreciate.”

The only player who didn’t participate in the drills was Tim Wakefield. The knuckleballer threw off a mound that was apparently too steep the other day, and “felt it in his rear end,” according to Francona. Wakefield isn’t limited in any other way — he’s still OK to throw — but the team felt it made sense to hold him out of the conditioning drills today.

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