CAP CANA, Dominican Republic — A few notes for you:
• Adrian Beltre is from the Dominican but lives full-time in the Los Angeles area and flew here today because he wanted to support David Ortiz.
“It was fun to play with those guys last season. It was hard for me at first because I was used to Seattle. I was there for five years,” he said. “But they were great. When David called me, I came.”
Belre was careful with his words. But I got the impression that while he wants to stay in Boston, he doesn’t think he’s going to get as many years as he wants. Oakland has made him a significant offer and my guess — and this is just a guess — is that he’ll give the Red Sox a chance to match before he goes.
Signing Beltre to a long-term deal would mean not chasing Adrian Gonzalez or another first baseman down the road. Sox look more committed to an outfielder.
• Daniel Bard, not wearing a scruffy beard, is here with his wife. He is thrilled with Jason Varitek being back.
“I know as a pitcher I love when he’s behind the plate. It’s a comfortable feeling,” Bard said. “Having him is like having another pitching coach with everything he knows. A lot of guys are going to be very happy to hear this.”
• Darnell McDonald is here with his wife as well and reported his surgically repaired thumb is feeling good. He’ll be ready well before spring training.
D-Mac is a good guy and it’s interesting to see how well he has fit in with the Sox given he joined the team last year after spending 13 years in the minors with other organizations. That David would invite him here is evidence of that.
• Big Papi knows how to throw a party. Bill Russell walked into the reception tonight, bringing all the star power any gathering needs. Mr. Russell looked good and engaged in a long conversation with Jim Rice.
By the way, when Jim Rice shakes your hand, it stays shook for several minutes. He’s my pick for the long drive contest on Saturday.
• Luis Tiant is here. El Tiante was rocking a tropical shirt with a big cigar tucked in the pocket.
• This event benefits the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, a charity that helps sick children here in the Dominican Republic and back in Massachusetts. David raises money for the CEDIMAT Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.
Dr. Peter Slavin, the president of MGH, is here. That speaks to the kind of work David is doing.
Papi is auctioning off some terrific items and experiences for his charity.
Check it out on his web site.
There are fielding lessons from Dustin Pedroia, a chance spend time with David during batting practice and tickets to assorted Red Sox games and events. There are vacations, sporting events in other cities, a chance to hang out with Bobby Orr or to meet Jim Rice.
You can even throw out the first pitch at Fenway for a game next season.
So if you’re looking for a unique gift or have charity in your heart, it will aid a good cause.
Thanks for reading today. We’ll have more tomorrow