Extra Bases

First full day is out of the way for Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox have finished up their first full-squad workout of the spring. The rain held off, there were plenty of fans here and nobody got hurt. As workouts go, that is a resounding success.

A few updates:

* Mike Lowell (right thumb) did his throwing and defensive work on the field but hit in the cage. He is taking cuts at balls off a tee and will soon graduate to regular batting practice.

* Daisuke Matsuzaka (back) played catch for the third straight day and felt fine. He’ll push it back to 120 feet tomorrow. That will be one step closer to getting back on the mound.

* The relievers will throw live batting practice tomorrow and demonstrate how far ahead of the hitters they are. Jonathan Papelbon will throw, having recovered from the sore back that bothered him earlier in the week.

* It was good to see Joe Castiglione today as he arrived at camp.

* The Sox met for 45 minutes before the workout. The ownership group (John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino) addressed the team along with Theo Epstein and Terry Francona. For the benefit of the new players, members of the staff were introduced and reminders were given about procedures.

Francona tried to keep his speech short and to the point.

“I’m shorter than most because there’s a long list of people who need to be introduced,” he said. “Things need to be said. I wait until the end and hopefully I don’t talk very long. But at the same time I hope it’s a consistent message. What we expect as a team. I care about it a lot. But I care enough where I won’t want to sit there for a half hour talking at them. But there are things that need to be said on the first day.”


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