I've noticed a bit of a pattern to the Sox news this Spring Training; it seems like each player either does one day of press meetings during camp, or something similar, because each day the focus of news stories, videos and other commentary seems to be on one particular player or another.
Take the day that the news was all about Mike Lowell and what a good, non-whining guy he is. Or the day that was all about Beckett's contract.
Yesterday, apparently, was Jacoby Ellsbury day. Two videos have made the rounds, one from Nike and one on RedSox.com, both of which showed Ellsbury performing feats of athletic prowess in fetching UnderArmour.That he has so many different "tools", as they say -- speed, agility, strength -- is impressive in itself, but the effect of Jacoby running will always be the most startling -- even after a couple of seasons watching him speed around the basepaths, he moves faster than my eyes anticipate. There's another story that's made the rounds this spring of Ellsbury outrunning a deer. Sounds like a tall tale to me, but he's fast enough that I'm sure the story will persist.
Then there was another video of a trip around the bases with Jacoby. NESN showed an edited version on Red Sox Spring Break on Saturday, but the full version is worth watching. Ellsbury goes through and demonstrates everything from the "muscle memory" that helps him take the same precise lead off first base, the crucial 'crossover' step as he takes that lead, to the way he senses and watches the fielders around him at each base.
Yesterday I couldn't find it, but now it appears there's video of the other player featured as a sidebar in yesterday's buzz about Jacoby: Josh Beckett, throwing three hitless innings in his start vs. St. Louis.
Well. Hardly the same gratuitous eye-candy treatment Ellsbury got -- these highlights show precisely one pitch from Beckett. It's a good one, but I need more. There's been a surprising dearth of Beckett video so far, sadly.
In fact, much more of the video is dedicated to David Ortiz rumbling around the bases on a Josh Reddick triple to right center. As usual whenever Papi runs the bases, even in Spring Training, you hold your breath -- especially when he slides into home in the end.
Speaking of Reddick, CSNNE's Joe Haggerty has Tweeted some high praise for the youngster from camp:
Today, even Old Man Wakefield was looking like a spring chicken -- two hits, 22 of 30 pitches for strikes.
It's a wonderful time of year. The more seasons I watch, the more I've come to appreciate Spring Training -- bright and hopeful, full of every possibility, before the bumps and pulls and strains and grind of the season, before the division standings and the pennant race, when you start to fantasize about Lackey, Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Wakefield, and hell, Matsuzaka too, putting in monster years, when you can picture Reddick lacing hits off the wall in right like he did today consistently, against major league pitching, when you picture Jacoby Ellsbury flying, a white streak, toward a steal of home again, as if that happens every week instead of just once in a lifetime.