Ken Huckaby has spent the past week at the Carl Barger Baseball Complex in Viera, catching the knuckleballer: "I decided to come down a little bit early and get a feel for what it's going to be like to catch him."
Wakefield: "It's nice to have a catcher who knows my mechanics, too. ... He's almost identical to Doug [Mirabelli] as far as his hands are concerned, and he's really easy to throw to."
Terry Francona sees the bright side in some Sox vets playing in the World Baseball Classic (March 3-20): "We could be missing two shortstops (Alex Gonzalez and Alex Cora), so that means we’ll now get the chance to see a kid like (Dustin) Pedroia play more, and guys like (Brandon) Moss and David Murphy play the outfield and get extra at-bats."
Al Nipper will serve as pitching coach in camp while Dave Wallace recovers from a hip infection.
The front office is being tight-lipped about any possible talks or meetings regarding the return of Roger Clemens. (A Boston.com poll is about 70/30 in favor of the Texas Con Man's return.)
Stan Grossfeld of the Globe has an article on how new construction in Fenway Park area may affect wind patterns in the ballpark. John Giangregorio of D'Agostino, Izzo and Quirk, chief architects of the ongoing renovations at the park:
We had a wind study done by an independent consultant. I think you'll find that there might be slightly fewer balls that are going to find their way those last few feet over the fence or over the Green Monster. I think somebody like Ortiz is not going to like that.Janet Marie Smith, the Red Sox' senior vice president for planning and development:
If I had to worry about the winds, it would be the concern with the [17-story] Trilogy project down the street. It's going to impact the wind. That is the direction [southwest] of the prevailing winds in spring and summer. ... If the winds change, it won't be anything we've done, it will be having a taller building [nearby]. If it were any closer, we'd be really concerned about it. It's probably just on the cusp.Alex Gonzalez hit .409 and led Venezuela to its first Caribbean World Series title since 1989. ... Save a few hits for Boston, okay?