March 11, 2006

Bard Catches Wake; Foulke Ready; Coco Hitting .615

Josh Bard caught Tim Wakefield in a game for the first time yesterday. Both players seemed pleased.

I'm comfortable with him back there - I threw some balls in the dirt he did a good job of blocking.
Every pitch is going to be a learning experience. ... There are pitches where I still don't know how I can catch it. With those pitches I need to get something, my arm, my face, my shoulder, whatever, to keep it in front of me. ... The biggest thing has been getting a better angle. Sometimes when he throws it high, your glove gets in your face, and you kind of lose yourself. ... Toward the end I started to feel more comfortable about when to get down and block it and when to pick it. It's coming.
Keith Foulke says he will be ready for Opening Day:
There's no doubt in my mind. I'm stronger now than I have been in four years. April 3 is a lifetime away. ... The big hurdle was after my last injections. Me being able to squat down and pick up my son with no pain, that's a big hurdle. ... If I had to go into the season tomorrow [without pitching in a spring game], I'd be fine with that.
David Murphy, a first-round pick in 2003, hit two homers and drove in five runs on Friday as the Red Sox beat the Phillies. ... Coco Crisp had two more hits, improving his spring average to .615. ... Manny Ramirez played his first game in left field and went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Sean McAdam on Gabe Kapler. ... The Rangers, Mets, Cubs and Marlins have shown interest in Tony Graffanino. ... Francona was pretty clear that Jonathan Papelbon will begin the season in Boston.

Back in 1992, Francona and his predecessor roomed together for about a month. Tito: "I coached for [Gump] in the Fall League. First year in the Fall League, I was his third-base coach for the Grand Canyon Rafters."

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