Here’s how the Sox plan to attack the Pirates this afternoon:
1. Julio Lugo, SS
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. J.D. Drew, RF
5. Jason Varitek, C
6. Jeff Bailey, 1B
7. Paul McAnulty, LF
8. Nick Green, 3B
9. Chip Ambres, CF
-Jon Lester, SP
Ian Snell is pitching for Pittsburgh.
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Jonathan Papelbon and Brad Penny each threw 40 pitches worth of live batting practice this morning. There was a slight change in Papelbon’s schedule — Terry Francona said earlier he would pitch Tuesday, but he’s actually going to throw his first live inning of the spring Sunday. Penny will make a start March 5 against the Puerto Rico World Baseball Classic team.
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While David Ortiz was walking into the dugout today, an older woman, surrounded by kids with baseballs and pens, leaned over the top of the dugout and rolled an oddly shaped object with a Red Sox logo on it.
“David!” she shouted. “Will you sign my coconut?”
“It’s a coconut! It’s for the nursing home!”
Ortiz shrugged, shook his head, and signed the coconut, which, again, somehow had a small Red Sox logo affixed to it. Ortiz muttered something that could not be understood and smiled broadly as he walked back to the clubhouse. That, apparently, was the first coconut he had ever autographed.
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Jason Bay received a nice reception from the Pittsburgh media. Bay, of course, played with the Pirates for five years before he was traded last summer. Bay spoke highly of the Pirates organization and discussed the realities of competing in such a small market.
Here’s some bonus Bay trivia picked up while flipping through the media guide: Bay is one of seven active players to hit at least 20 home runs in each of their first five seasons. The others are Chipper Jones, Lance Berkman, Scott Rolen, Albert Pujols, Todd Helton, and (cue Darth Vader music) Mark Teixeira.