FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Word of advice to anyone coming to the Red Sox spring training facility: Beware the speed trap a mile or two before you get to the ballpark.
Sox manager Bobby Valentine mentioned that the local constabulary made numerous stops over the weekend, including a number of folks employed by the Boston Red Sox baseball club. So far, he said, only warnings have been issued.
Bobby V. has nothing to worry about himself. The American League East has another bicycle-riding manager, joining Joe Maddon of the Rays. Valentine mentioned in a casual conversation with reporters yesterday that he's biking to work every day, leaving while it's still dark and arriving in time to watch the sun come up over Fenway South. He goes a roundabout way, so it may be close to 10 miles. It's something he has done, he said, for years.
You can expect days that run longer than in previous years here for the players. In recent years, players typically came off the field around noon or so. Valentine said there will be a "snack" break around 11:45 or so, but then the guys will go back out to the fields. He estimates that work will generally wrap up around 2:30 or so, but don't be surprised if some guys are on the field even longer for extra work.
Valentine also mentioned how pleased he was at how many players have shown up to camp even before the official start, reminding observers that the large contingent working out Sunday was doing so on a voluntary basis. One difference between this and other camps, he said, is that it will be "shag free.'' He doesn't want guys standing around, or wasting time picking up balls.