Extra Bases

A few notes from Ft. Myers

The Sox beat the rain and got a workout in at City of Palms Park. A few updates for you:

* Jason Varitek took part in defensive drills and then a long session of batting practice. He is tentatively listed to make the trip across the state to play against the Cardinals tomorrow. Is he planning to play? “I don’t know yet,” said Varitek, who missed five days due to his father’s illness. “We’ll see.”

Varitek said he felt good physically.

* Mike Lowell hopes to play in his first game on Monday. “I’m feeling better,” he said. “I’d like to take some more batting practice to really test it. But everything is positive.” Lowell is coming back from surgery on his right thumb.


“It’s a lot better than it was when I got here,” he said. “I feel pretty good.”

Terry Francona has said Lowell would likely be the DH for a game or two before he got in the field. “I have no idea what the plans are,” Lowell said. “But I’m getting closer.”

Once Lowell starts playing, the Red Sox will get a much better idea of where he stands, both in terms of his ability to play off the bench or be traded.

* There is an intrasquad game scheduled at the minor league complex on Saturday morning. Casey Kelly, Kris Johnson Robert Manuel and Kyle Weiland will make the trip down Edison Ave. for the game. Kelly is scheduled to pitch three innings.


Two other things:

* I’m writing this from the press box at City of Palms Park and every 15 minutes or so, a group of people come through who are taking a free tour of the place. The folks are incredibly nice and meeting them is fun. Anybody who would take a tour of an empty minor-league ballpark is OK by me.

* Meanwhile, those who hate the Yankees might enjoy this story about the destruction of old Yankee Stadium.


There’s even a blog out there called Demolition of Yankee Stadium.

Say what you will of the Yankees, but anybody who ever visited the old ballpark in the Bronx knows what a great place it was to see a game. The upper deck seats were on top of the field and you could see every inch of the field from almost every seat. Like Fenway, it was a real ballpark, not a shopping mall with a field in the middle.


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