Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Ortiz said Sunday when he ran the bases the day before, for only the second time this spring, he felt some stiffness in the tendon. “I got a little worried yesterday,’’ Ortiz said, “and the doctor told me that’s the way it’s going to be at the beginning, because that muscle, that foot, I haven’t been doing strong activity like that. I didn’t run the whole offseason, so they said, ‘You’re just breaking things down [calcification]. That’s why it’s sore, but it will go away.’’ Ortiz said the foot felt “fine” this morning, but while he hoped to play in a game by the end of this week, it would be his call. “I’m looking forward to [playing],’’ he said, “but it’s not what they say, it’s what it is. I don’t want to go out there without being ready and having a setback.’’
ESPNBoston | Ortiz: Doc said heel soreness to be expected
Later in the piece Ortiz compliments one of the medical staff, which I think is the first positive thing said about them since 2003.
Let's play a little what-if. What if Ortiz has another setback and isn't ready for opening day? Now, most people aren't projecting much for this team anyway, but it seems reasonable to expect them to be around .500. Without Ortiz? We're going to have a middle of the order with Jonny Gomes and Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino. Oof.
Obviously, the most important thing is to get the most games out of Papi that we can. And if that means slowly bringing him back, even starting the year on the DL for a couple of weeks, then so be it. What we can't afford -- for this team's short-term viability and watchability -- is for Ortiz to be out for a long stretch.
On page 2, everybody loves Ryan Dempster.
“A good day of pounding the right part of the strike zone,” Dempster said. “Got ahead of most of the hitters, and just tied to execute pitches.” Catcher David Ross was pleased with Dempster’s performance. “He looked good,” Ross said. “Fastball was good. Location was really on for this early. He’s further along than I would say most guys are for this point. Threw the ball really well. His slider was really sharp, good split-finger changeup. I thought he threw really good. Obviously a lot of first-pitch strikes. I always judge it on first-pitch strikes. We’re trying to get ahead of hitters, and early on in spring training the location’s really good but he was pumping in there to a lot. Yeah I thought he threw the ball really well.”
CSNNE | Dempster lights out in three innings vs. Yankees
I'm not expecting anything other than a few laughs from Dempster. It's just hard for me to imagine him being successful at Fenway in the AL East after playing in the NL Central for a hundred years. I hope I'm proven wrong.
Also, can we relax on the phrase "lights out"? A) It's spring training, and B) isn't it being used way out of context at this point? Lights out is supposed to mean that somebody is so good that the game is over, turn out the lights. (Right?) To me, it basically applies to elite closers and that's it.
ESPNBoston | Takeaways: Yanks 5, Sox 2, Dempster on | Napoli says first homer 'feels good' | Yankees 5, Red Sox 2 | CSNNE | Sox cancel Ortiz's baserunning drill due to soreness | Staying loose next on list for Ortiz | Globe | Red Sox make cuts | David Ortiz may run today | Game report: Yankees 5, Red Sox 2 | Herald | Yankees' problems pile up | Ryan Dempster gets 1st taste of Red Sox vs. Yankees | David Ortiz' long layoffs causes big worry