Live from Fort Myers
Yes, I am officially here. It is time to start another season, my seventh covering the Red Sox. I got down mid-afternoon yesterday and went grocery shopping and unpacked and admired the warm weather. A good first day.
Today, it was time to get to work. The interesting story today was Craig Hansen speaking to the media about his sleep apnea problem, which he took care of this winter with surgery. Hansen was noticeably more outgoing with the media than he had been in past years, and frankly, he just seemed like a different person.
I think you will see a much more energized pitcher this year. Hansen estimates that he was getting about two real hours of sleep a night with the apnea, and that his friends told him he was snoring like "a 500-pound fat man".
Pitching coach John Farrell feels that Hansen will be a key part of this spring for the Red Sox.
Manny Delcarmen and Javy Lopez were a couple of other notables who worked out for the first time today. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima took the field for the third straight day.
Incidentally, Dice-K has integrated an Americanized approach to his training this year, throwing a football. You see Major League pitchers do that all the time, but Matsuzaka didn’t do it last year. He told the Japanese media that he sometimes throws spirals, but it’s a work in progress. Matsuzaka also has a mullet that would make Kevin Millar proud.
Ace Josh Beckett is also in the house, but hasn’t met with the media yet. That will probably occur in the next couple of days.
John Farrell said that in light of Schilling’s injury, the obvious top two candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation are Clay Buchholz and Julian Tavarez.
I’ll be back with more updates on Wednesday, when manager Terry Francona is expected to address the media for the first time this spring.
Talk to you later,