Game On

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m happy to see a baseball game today. Enough cutoff and relay drills. Enough side sessions. Enough over-hyped batting practice sessions.

Tonight, we get to see how Schilling looks. We get to see what kind of player Lugo is. We get to see Big Papi take some hacks.

Just got done with pre-game session with Francona. No huge news. The one tidbit of information is that Jon Lester will make his first game appearance of the Spring in a "B" game against Minor Leaguers on Monday. Obviously it will be great to see Jon back out there for the first time since his cancer diagnosis.

Is everyone revved up for tonight? I understand the game is being televised back in Boston. On the  events the game is not being televised, I’ll try to fill the blog with more game-related info. Sound good?

And by the way, I’ve recovered nicely from getting hit in the back by a Japanese pitcher during media batting practice yesterday. The guy who hit me is a very nice man and was very apologetic. I’m just glad the first pitch he threw me didn’t hit me in the head as I feared it was going to.

I learned a couple of interesting things about Dice-K today. The first is that he’s almost obsessed with Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball. As Wakefield threw BP today, Matsuzaka peered in from behind the catcher. Matsuzaka, threw his interpreter, said that the knuckleball had a little more velocity than he suspected. There’s no truth to the rumor that Dice-K is going to toss aside his image as a power pitcher and convert to a knuckleballer.

The other interesting thing about Matsuzaka is that he wears socks with finger-like holes for each toe. These are called tabi socks, and are fairly traditional for Japanese baseball players.

More later.

Ian.

20 Comments

Ian, did you make contact with the ball on any of the pitches, or did the ball just make contact with you? :) I agree with you. I am excited about tonight. It’s been a long wait since last October. I’m already longing for opening day. I’ll be in Ft.Myers on Sunday as a spectator, and then I’ll be back for a couple feature assignments in mid-March. I can’t wait to be watching baseball again. Good news about Jon Lester. Hopefully, Timlin and Hansen aren’t too dinged up.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

Spring training game is better than no game. Baseball is back!!!! Besides I want to see how fat Schilling really is, instead of just reading about it in the tabloids!!!

Hey it’s game on (so far). We’ve been experiencing nasty weather today on the southeast coast of the Sunshine state, and it moved in from the southwest. I hope all the bad stuff has moved out. We had a tornado and hail at around 2pm today. I wonder, will the game be on MLB.COM tonight?? If so, my husband starts becmoning a BASEBALL WIDOW earlier this year than last!!, and my RedSox Compulsive Disorder becomes active again!! Even my urge to blog is becoming greater and greater.
Ian, will you be at the game on Tuesday VS the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium?? I have 4 tickets so I’ll be there cheering on our SOX. Do your sons ever get to attend the games when you’re working? that would be a great childhood memory in my opinion..

Ian, Glad to hear you are none the worse for taking one for the team. I am going to keep track of tonights game via computer and then tomorrow will be in Dunedin to watch the Sox play the Blue Jays, and get my first look at JD Drew. Dunedin in next city over from Clearwater Beach where I reside so the drive will be 15 minutes or so, and then in my glory. It has been a long time since watching these guys, I’m excited in anticipation of the upcoming season.
Brad

I just read that Clemens is only interested in the Yanks, Sox, and Astros IF he decides to play. When will he start the season, WHEN and IF he decides to play; May, June, Early July?? I know he’s been a great pitcher in previous seasons and for the Sox. He is a Definite Hall of Famer. But do we want a pitcher who may well be all but done,as far as years played, coming in for an absolute TON O MONEY dictating when he’ll start the season and WHEN and HOW he’ll show up for a game? It seems to me that this might draw some animosity from guys who have given their all and more for the Sox. What do y’all think??? There are an awful lot and whens and hows involved in all of this…..

I’m a little tired of Clemens. First he retires then he un-retires. Then he may pitch and may not. Says he’ll see how he feels. Can’t he tell how he feels? Talk about your overblown ego and sense of entitlement, oy! It would be better if he just went away. Roger, you’ve had a great career, go out with some dignity while you still can.

I don’t have any great yearning to see Clemens back in a Sox uniform, but I would not be upset at all if it happened. Looking at last year’s stats, he’s still got some great pitching in him. His ERA (2.30) was one of the best in the majors for the months he actually pitched, if I am correctly informed. I’m not sure if he went past the sixth inning in too many games, but that’s not a big deal in this day and age.

Given the pitching the Sox have right now, I could take him or leave him.

Knowing both the luck of the Red Sox and baseball today, I doubt any of you will be complaining if Clemens chooses to join Boston in June because there is a good chance one of our top 5 will be injured.

With that being said, in a perfect world Clemens would follow the money to the Yankees and finally have his age catch up with him, allowing the Sox giving him a couple good beatings in front of the home crowd at Fenway.

This might sound kind of harsh but don’t forget that we showed him the proper respect in the 2003 ALCS when he walked off the mound. So why does he have to keep saying he’s retiring and then continually coming out of retirement? I say enough is enough and he is being a bit of an attention hog. Just take your place as one of the greats and call it a career Roger.

I agree about Clemens, Arnie. Unless the Sox are ravaged by injuries again and need a dependable starter, I think they should not sign Clemens. He needs to either spend the entire season with a team, or retire.

By the way, we had a live blog of the game at Sox and Pinstripes. It was great to finally see baseball again. Donnelly looked impressive, as did Pedroia, Ellsbury and Murphy. Tavarez and Runelvys Hernandez looked terrible. Another EZ-brother repeat?

Jeff

http://www. soxandpinstripes.com

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

jeez Ian u seem to be getting beaten up since you got to florida. First your sick, now your getting hit with pitches, get away from that dark cloud!

Hey, random question for Ian or anyone else in the know.

Does anyone know when State of the Redsox.com Nation will be havign episodes again?

As someone who doesn’t live in New England and thus doesn’t get NESN its pretty much on of the few purely Red Sox baseball programs I ever get to watch… So anyone know?

//Knowing both the luck of the Red Sox and baseball today, I doubt any of you will be complaining if Clemens chooses to join Boston in June because there is a good chance one of our top 5 will be injured.//

If someone gets hurt, call up Lester from Pawtucket.

Clemens can go **** eggs.

Clemens with the team in case of injuries ? If he can play rightfield and hit 5th, it could be a good idea for him to stick around. Otherwise, thanks but no.

Why is Dice-K’s game not televised? I was really looking forward to seeing him play!

Dice-K’s start is tomorrow against Boston College. I heard NESN will show his pitching stint ( and only that ). They’ll leave when he leaves.

Beckett brillians vs huskies is a little misleading. It is more like he bullied college kids, if he wasn’t brilliant you would have to be very worried at any stage of spring training.

The most important part of these appearances in early spring training games is for pitchers to get accustomed to a routine again. Results aren’t that important the first half of spring training. Once opening day nears, how they perform is more critical.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

More the reason “brilliant” is such a ridiculous adjective for that headline.

Look for Josh Beckett to dominate in 2007. He has commented that he has learned he cannot get away with trying to overpower big league hitters. Last year Beckett bullheadedly threw fast ball after fast ball. He gave up the most homers in the Sox rotation. It is because he did not use his bender and his change enough. He has a tight breaking curve but did not use it that much in 06. And he almost never threw a change. 2007 is different. He admits the problem and has been working on both pitches. Beckett is a true power pitcher…..getting into the high 90′s. If he becomes confident with those other two pitches in 07 he is going to be dominant. Let’s hope.

Just imagine if Dice-K picked up Wake’s knuckleball…that almost-obsession could lead to that. :)

That simply scares me, hehe.

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