Friday, March 6

Day One: ITM's Arrival

ITM landed in Fort Myers right at noon, then proceeded to wait in line for a rental car for an hour. That rental car company shall remain anonymous, however let's just say it was in our "Budget".

We arrived at the City of Palms Park in the 4th inning, Beckett had already thrown another strong outing, 3 hits over 3 innings with 2 K's. Julio Lugo started at short and had 2 hits, improving his spring training average to .417. I would never throw a lot of weight behind spring training numbers but it's encouraging to see Lugo hit the ball, it's looking like he'll be the starting short stop and Lowrie will be the utility guy, especially with Lowell's initial health question marks.

Jeff Bailey cranked a two-run tater that almost killed a few laid back fans in the right field deck. Depending on the injury situation this season there's a chance Baily sees some playing time with the big club.
JD Drew started and played, throwing it our face. I love to rip him, however I'm happy if he's healthy.

This is my first time down in Fort Myers, so far I am impressed. The stadium has the feeling of the Fenway area. Lot's of fans dressed in Sox gear, the beers are flowing, and Sweet Caroline plays in the middle of the 8th inning. I'm less excited about that.

Not that it matters, but the Sox won 5-3. We're off to Port Charlotte tomorrow where the Tampa Bay Rays call home. We have seats in row 2 behind the Rays' dugout, hopefully we'll get some good pictures and a word with a player or coach.

Of course we were talking baseball with anyone who would listen, and we were lucky enough to strike up a conversation with a penitential engineer for the new Red Sox spring training stadium. While nothing is set in stone, Red Sox management is reportedly trying to replicate many of Fenway's features in the new stadium, including the same exact field dimensions. The new stadium is expected to hold about 10,000 fans, or about 2,500 more than the current complex. We were also told to expect a street comparable to lansdowne street with many restaurants and bars. Should be interesting to watch unfold.

Off to dinner to meet with the ITM Gal and her friend, yes they are crashing ITM weekend....but just for one night. Cheers.


Tim Murphy said...

FYI, it's my first time here, not Vicino's. Post defaulted to him.

Anonymous said...

Pretty cool that they're using the same field dimensions. Def makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Nice work fellas. Impressive posting while on "vacation" and just after leaving the bar a few moments ago...or should I say running out of the place...story for another day.

I am wondering if Sox fever is still running high in Ft Myers or if it has died down a bit. Last I went with Mr. Sox himself in 2005, you know who I mean, it was madness down there. Alittle too busy - I remember the days of Winter Haven, empty seats, could talk to the players ....although those days are long gone - is it still more hype than true fans down there?? Maybe it just me but its way to "Hot" right now just to be a Sox fan.

Celts - huge win and....

the picture on the dugout is hilarious...look like a couple of 12 year olds....blackberry in hand of course

DVicino said...

Indeed a huge win for the Celts, a statement win against King James without KG and a hurting Rondo. ITM took in the game at a questionable bar or two, but we'll keep those stories in our back pockets for a while.

Anyways, good question in regards to the overall atmosphere down here. It's a topic we plan to post on after taking it all in. Don't want to rush to judgement after seeing just half of one game. We certainly already have some opinions on that topic though, (big surprise), we'll post on it once they are either confirmed or denied.

I haven't been down here since joining Mr. Sox in 2002, which is something i'll never forget. It'll be difficult to compare however since excitement was not yet at the levels of 2004 and beyond.

More to come...

Joe Murph said...

Hell of a trip, fellas. Gotta love the dugout picture.

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