Spring is here!
It’s here — pitchers and catchers are officially in the house here in Fort Myers. That includes the injured Curt Schilling, who chose not to meet with the media today.
Manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein did hold their annual state of the spring address. First baseman Kevin Youkilis is the first member of the starting nine to report. Catcher Jason Varitek is merely required to be in Fort Myers today, but doesn’t have to report until tomorrow.
Jonathan Papelbon was the first player to address the mass media and he didn’t disappoint.
Are the Red Sox the team to beat? "I think so. If we’re not the team to beat, I’d like to know who is. I think that, like I said before, our No. 1 thing is to stay healthy. If we do that, i don’t know who can really compete with us, from a top to bottom scale. It’s a good situation to be in, that’s for sure."
Papelbon is no content with one ring. "My whole goal now is to keep this ball rolling and just kind of pick up where we left off."
Did Papelbon’s dog really eat the World Series-winning baseball? "He’s an old Mississippi reporter, he’s not like you guys and just move on. He kept plugging on this ball. I finally just told him, look my dog ate it. What do you want me to do with it? If you believe it, you believe it. If you don’t, you don’t. What can I say?"
A reporter told Papelbon that it sounded like the dog ate his homework. "Exactly, exactly."