Lets play ball

And so, with a lack of interest in the World Cup - barring, of course, my ranking in the office Super League standings - I turn back to baseball and the Red Sox.

Down in Ft. Myers, Curt Schilling had a good outing in a 3-2 win over the Orioles, Jason Veritek hit his first homer of spring training, and Jonathan Papelbon will return as closer for the coming season. Schilling tossing hard in seven innings, in his most extended start of the spring, is a great sign for the Sox.

Varitek, who turns 35 on April 11, ended an 0-for-17 drought and has stated that he wants to go back to a more simplified approach that helped him rise to All-Star status in both 2003 and 2005. More power to him.

Remember, Papelbon suffered a serious shoulder subluxation last September, and at the end of last season, the Sox announced that he'd be best suited, at least in the short term, to go back to starting. Thankfully, he's progressed faster with his conditioning program than the club expected.

And then there's the highly rated Japanese import, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who's every mov e at the Sox camp has been captured by the media, local and Japanese. When this kid made his spring training debut last month, he was greeted by screaming young fans, along with 200 reporters and photographers watching each pitch. If he's as good as he's hyped up to be, Boston have a great shot at making the playoffs.

The Sox are currently 11-10-2 in the Grapefruit League. Eight days remain till opening day. Go Sox!


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