FORT MYERS, Fla. — At 8 a.m., Donald Fehr met with the Red Sox for an annual Players Association meeting. Fehr bolted pretty much immediately after the meeting and did not speak with reporters. Can’t imagine why he wouldn’t want to talk.
(EDIT: This probably wasn’t a very fair representation. Fehr was actually never asked to speak with reporters, so it’s not as if he ran from a pack of writers. He did his meeting and then he left.)
The Red Sox are currently practicing catching pop ups to the infield and shallow outfield that may cause players to collide. Bench coach Brad Mills is running the drill. Before it started, he had to tell the people running the loudspeakers to cut the music. Basically, it’s a lot of players yelling “I got it!” and testing the efficacy of sweet-looking sunglasses. (“Performance eyewear” is a popular term in that industry.)
The Red Sox play the Pirates today at 1:05 p.m. We’ll get our first live spring look at, in order, pitchers Jon Lester, Takashi Saito, Hideki Okajima and Wes Littleton. The Red Sox will get their first look at Brandon Moss since they traded him at last year’s deadline in the deal that brought Jason Bay to the Sox and shipped Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers.
Terry Francona is tackling the challenge of figuring out how much to tune up guys headed for the World Baseball Classic. He said players will leave Sunday. Dustin Pedroia will play today and not travel tomorrow, while Kevin Youkilis will not play today and travel tomorrow. Francona also thought it was important for Angel Chavez, an infielder from Panama, to play and get some reps in.
“I think we have a little bit of a responsibility to play them,” Francona said. “Just trying to let them play enough where they’re comfortable. I know they need to try and play nine innings, but I can’t see that being in their best interesting, throwing them out there to play nine innings on Feb. 25. That just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Mike Lowell update: Nothing new with his program. “A couple days ago, he ran 75, 80 percent,” Francona said. “Actually, he did pretty good. That won’t change for a while. He’s trying to do a little more. Take groundballs, maybe a little longer. A little bit more throwing. It’s trying to increase not just the intensity of the workouts, but stretch him out, too, time-wise.” Lowell has been “hitting a bunch,” Francona said, “and that’s not been an issue at all. There’s no favor or anything.” There is no serious timetable for Lowell to see some game action, but “when he’s ready to play, we’ll play him,” Francona said.