Sox partake in first full-squad workout
Manager Francona among those to address team Wednesday
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The buzz that accompanied the first full-squad workout of Spring Training was not lost on Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who soaked in a productive morning while watching his team began the unification process for 2009.
"It was a good day," Francona said. "As many firsts as there are, the pitchers and catchers and things like that, this is your first true day on the field with everybody together and you can see the energy level that comes with it. We had a real good day. We got a lot done. Everyone was very enthusiastic and very professional. And it's appreciated. Now the idea is to just keep that going every day until we [start the exhibition season]."
The day started with a meeting, as Francona addressed the entire team at 8:30 a.m. ET.
"We got a chance to meet this morning and you see everybody -- a lot of guys you've gone through a lot of things with," Francona said. "There's some new faces there. It's exciting. And then you get to get out on the field. I think everybody feels it. We had good energy today. Again, I know it's the first day, but it's still a fun day."
The Red Sox were also represented in the meeting by the ownership trio of John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino, in addition to general manager Theo Epstein and members of his staff.
"We just introduced ourselves to the team," Lucchino said. "There are a number of new players there. We said a few general things about our appreciation for the effort that was made last year and our hopes for this season. It was Tito's meeting. We were just there to introduce ourselves and to say a few things."
Then it was time for the players to take the field.
"It was good to get underway," said Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. "It's exciting. It's a good start to a new season."
Third baseman Mike Lowell, coming off right hip surgery, participated in parts of the workout. As Francona explained it, Lowell will be on a modified program as he continues his rehab with an eye toward being in the lineup on Opening Day.
"What we did with Mikey was instead of coming out and stretching with the team, he stretches early, he goes to the cage with [hitting coach Dave Magadan], and that about coincides with when we start going to take ground balls," said Francona. "And then he goes over and takes a limited amount of ground balls and then leaves and comes back and does some of his agility work over here and then takes it in."
Though players work out year-round in this era, the full range of baseball activities still takes a day or two to get used to.
"Any time you start out the new year and you start taking ground balls, no matter what you do in the offseason, until you get out there, your body's not used to it," said Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie. "I'm sure I'll be a little sore after today, but we'll get right back into it."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.