FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Good morning from the Fort, where the clouds have lifted and the sun is shining brightly, which should make things a little warmer than they have been for the past couple days. Joe Maddon’s Rays come to town later Monday afternoon for a game against the Sox.
On the pressbox TV is the Korea-Australia game in the WBC, courtesy of pressbox attendant Brian Mullen, and as WBZ’s Jonny Miller said, “You can throw out the record books when these two teams meet.’’
On the subject of the WBC, clubhouse manager Tom McLaughlin came up with a nice touch, draping the lockers of Boston's WBC participants with the flags of their respective nations. Tommy thought ahead, and ordered flags on-line from the Netherlands (Xander Bogaerts), USA (Shane Victorino), Puerto Rico (Jose De La Torre), and Mexico (Alfredo Aceves, Oscar Villareal). The flags all fit the cubicles perfectly, and McLaughlin researched protocol to make sure he draped the flags properly (Stars always the top left-hand corner, even when the USA flag is hung vertically).
Left-hander Felix Doubront is scheduled to make his first start for the Red Sox this spring, while Jeremy Hellickson is scheduled to go for the Rays. Highly recommended for your Monday morning reading is this story by my good friend Marc Topkin in the Tampa Bay Times about a remarkable young man, Chris Archer, the young pitcher expected to be part of the rotation in the wake of the trade of James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals.
Speaking of young pitchers, one major-league scout told me Sunday morning that Allen Webster, one of the two pitchers the Sox acquired from the Dodgers last August, had the best stuff of any pitcher in camp. That’s huge praise. The only question that needs answering by Webster, in the scout’s opinion, is how he handles the adversity that inevitably comes.
The other young pitcher who came in that deal, Rubby De La Rosa, turned 24 today.
You never know how it’s going to go with young pitching, but when you have three arms like Webster, De La Rosa and Matt Barnes closing in on big-league opportunities, the future looks promising.
And finally, a blast from the past: When Brian and I stopped at Starbucks this morning, we encountered former Sox left-hander Mike Myers, the inspiration for the Sons of Mike Myers, a private consortium of rabid Sox fans back in New England. Myers was a left-handed reliever who pitched for the Sox in 2004 and 2005. Besides being Mike Timlin’s next-door neighbor in Colorado, Myers works for the Major League Players Association. The union leadership is here to meet with the Sox this morning as part of their annual spring tour.