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A Spring In My Step

Friday, February 27, 2015 – JetBlue Park, Ft. Myers

Spring Training Workout

On Friday we arrived early before the players took the field.  We knew it was going to be a shortened practice when we heard the players were leaving early to go to their yearly charity golf tournament.  That meant no live B.P., but we got to see plenty of other drills, including pitchers’ fielding practice, infield practice, and baserunning drills.  Then in batting practice, we watched as Big Papi smoked ball after ball out of the park and over the roof of the batting cages behind the field.  I picked up three new autographs – Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ben Cherington on a photo of me with the 2013 World Series trophy, and Derek Lowe, who’s back in town to talk about becoming a special instructor, on a photo of Fenway.

Hanley Ramirez was all smiles.

Hanley Ramirez was all smiles.

Some of the players have overcome a lot of hurdles to be here. (Sorry, I can't resist a good pun.)

Some of the players have overcome a lot of hurdles to be here. (Sorry, I can't resist a good pun.)

Mike Napoli fields a ball at first base as Big Papi waits his turn.

Mike Napoli fields a ball at first base as Big Papi waits his turn.

A picture of Dustin Pedroia, because it's a day of the week ending in "Y".

A picture of Dustin Pedroia, because it's a day of the week ending in "y".

Pablo Sandoval takes batting practice.

Pablo Sandoval takes batting practice.

Xander Bogaerts watches an early round of batting practice.

Xander Bogaerts watches an early round of batting practice.

Shane Victorino batted from the left, which was a good sign. Last year his injuries prompted him to stop switch-hitting and bat exclusively from the right. If he can stay healthy this year, then every little thing is gonna be alright.

Shane Victorino batted from the left, which was a good sign. Last year his injuries prompted him to stop switch-hitting and bat exclusively from the right. If he can stay healthy this year, then every little thing is gonna be alright.

John Farrell took the mound during a baserunning drill.  He was actually just miming throwing the ball.  A coach was hitting fungoes from behind the plate, and then the players practiced running the bases according to the game situations that third base coach Brian Butterfield shouted out.

John Farrell took the mound during a baserunning drill. He was actually just miming throwing the ball. A coach was hitting fungoes from behind the plate, and then the players practiced running the bases according to the game situations that third base coach Brian Butterfield shouted out.

Brock Holt's sunglasses reflect baseballs and sharpies as he signed autographs after practice again.

Brock Holt's sunglasses reflected baseballs and sharpies as he signed autographs after practice again.

It was a pleasant surprise to see old friend Derek Lowe at the ballpark. He's looking to become a special instructor to work with young pitchers. He joked with us that he didn't believe it when we told him we had been at Fenway for his no-hitter in 2002, because everyone always tells him that. (But we really were!)

It was a pleasant surprise to see '04 World Champion Derek Lowe at the ballpark. He's looking to become a special instructor to work with young pitchers. He joked with us that he didn't believe it when we told him we had been at Fenway for his no-hitter in 2002, because everyone always tells him that. (But we really were!)

The sun never broke through, so the temps never got out of the low 60’s.  But at least it didn’t rain, which meant an afternoon trip to Ft. Myers Beach for this family of native New Englanders.  We pretty much had the place to ourselves, and it was nice to look at fine white sand as far as the eye can see, as opposed to that other white stuff that’s covering everything back home.

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