Jonathan Papelbon says his slider has returned. "This is the most confident I've felt about a breaking pitch. I'm going to throw it as much as my split." Daniel Bard: "I don't know if he's gripping it different, but it's got depth, it's late. It looks like a plus pitch the way he's throwing it right now."
Adrian Gonzalez may take some BP in the cage tomorrow. Terry Francona: "His progression is way farther along then I think we thought it would be." AG: "Everything is going better than I could have expected."
The Red Sox play the Phillies at 1 PM today (Bobby Jenks will see his first action of the spring) and head to Tampa to battle the Yankees on Friday night (Clay Buchholz / Bartolo Colon).
David Ortiz is calling Alfredo Aceves and Dennys Reyes the "Mexican Mafia". (In a semi-related story, Joakim Soria would like everyone to stop referring to him as "the Mexicutioner".)
About a month ago, Larry Granillo (of Wezen-Ball*) figured out which which Cubs game Ferris Bueller went to. Now B-Ref attempts to figure out which game was featured in The Town. (We watched this movie last week and the question crossed my mind, but there did not seem to be much identifying information. Turns out there was quite a bit.)
* In January 2010, Larry attempted to calculate Charlie Brown's career stats (JoS link)
SoSHer Tokyo Sox posted some interesting stuff w/r/t Daisuke Matsuzaka:
I caught an interview with Daisuke on NHK last night. Standard pre-season stuff, somewhat fluffy, but he was very candid; in talking about last year he seemed contrite and said "I'm the one that created that situation", without really expanding on it any further. He said during camp so far he is re-focusing on his fastball, and feels that his other pitches will follow from there if he gets a good handle on the fastball. Also said he hasn't had a season yet in MLB of which he is really proud, and wants to make this the year, yada yada.
Many of these types of interviews end with the interviewer handing the player a blank piece of cardboard and a marker, and asking them to write something about their feelings for the upcoming year. Typically guys write 1 or 2 Japanese characters, for "Effort" or "Championship" or something like that, standard b.s. ...but Daisuke wrote "To pitch at least 200 innings, and to win 15-20 games".
Who the hell knows what'll happen when the season starts, but watching the interview definitely raised my expectations of him for 2011.