Big Papi back in the saddle; Lowell playing third
Not sure what happened to Julio Lugo, but he left the game with some sort of right knee injury. This after a half inning of defense.
Speaking of defense, Mike Lowell has made a successful return to third base. Not only did he start a 5-4-3 double play in the first, but he just pummeled a towering home run to left.
David Ortiz is back in the No. 3 hole for the Sox tonight after his surprisingly abbreviated trip to the World Baseball Classic. And, oh by the way, he unloaded for his first homer of the spring, a drive into the RF seats to cap a seven-run second inning off Chien-Ming Wang.
Are the folks back in the Dominican still shocked at two straight losses to the Netherlands? Ortiz couldn’t even believe the question. Of course they are shocked!
“What do you
think? It’s only been a few days,” Ortiz said.
For folks in the Dominican Republic, the World Baseball Classic is not just some exhibition showcase event, it is a matter of national baseball pride. So yes, the loss to a team that hardly any Major Leaguers was extremely tough to swallow.
As much as folks in the Dominican value the event, Ortiz has a feeling that he won’t be participating in the 2013 Classic, at which time he’ll be 37 years old.
“I’d have to think
about it but I don’t think I will,” Ortiz said. “That’s going to be another four years and by
that time, I don’t think I’m going to be thinking about that anymore. I’ve
already done it twice so people won’t complain about it back home. I’ve done it
already. I’ll just have somebody do it.”
In a candid moment in front of his locker, Ortiz said that it is easier to get in a routine and get prepared for a season in Spring Training camp rather than at the Classic.
“In my situation,
coming back here gives you a better chance to get ready than being out there
every day,” Ortiz said. “You don’t get to play every day, and on top of that, there are places
you go where you don’t have that much time to get our work in.
“One way or
another, that kind of affects you. The first time [in 2006, you had more time at the
field and things like that. I’m the kind of guy, I’ve got to do some extra
stuff to get ready. I’m pretty sure that all the guys are pretty much the same
“It’s not like I wanted
us to lose, but we already lost so …
“I’m happy to be
back and get ready,” Ortiz said.
George Kottaras is catching Tim Wakefield, but I still think Josh Bard is the heavy favorite to win that job.
Great to see NESN’s Jerry Remy back in the booth tonight. Terry Francona gave Remy a big, enthusiastic hug when he spotted him in the dugout during pre-game. This was Remy’s first game of Spring Training.
Remy returned to Fort Myers with his usual humor, telling his audience on NESN, “I would have been here sooner, but i had visa issues back in massachusetts and i couldn’t leave.”
Beautiful, absolute gorgeous night at City of Palms! I wish all of you were here.
There are some great matchups on tap at the World Baseball Classic this weekend.
Team USA is playing Puerto Rico on Saturday night in Miami. The upstart Netherlands plays Venezuela at 1 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon. Dice-K takes the ball for Japan on Sunday against Cuba in a 4 p.m. ET tilt.