FORT MYERS, Fla. – I’m currently watching the sun rise over the right-field bleachers here at lovely City of Palms Park. It’s a little before 8 a.m. and I’m one of the only dedicated scribes in the pressbox — the only Jays writer here at the moment.
Normally, I wouldn’t be at the yard until around 9 or 10ish for a noon spring game like this, but I had to act as chauffeur for MLB.com’s Red Sox beat guy Ian Browne, since he has some flight to Japan or something after the game and had to turn in his rental car yesterday.
Since he had to be here at around 7:30 this morning, I volunteered to give him a ride and now I’m just killing time in the pressbox. I crashed at Brownie’s pad last night after dining with the enemy. Some Boston writers, myself, Brownie and MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier (Twins writer and member of the Michigan State Mafia — a former classmate of mine, at that) got together at a killer Mexican joint in town.
My "shameless plug" is for Brownie’s new book: Dice-K — The First Season of the Red Sox $100 Million Man. Why the plug? Well, because if it’s written by Browne, it’s sure to be a good read, and because the man was kind enough to present me with my very own autographed copy when I arrived at his place last night.
First and foremost, though, I think it’s only fair for me to point out that his introduction in the book, detailing Matsuzaka’s reaction after a poor showing in an October 15 outing against the Indians in the ALCS last year, was based around the hard work of yours truly, who was down in the trenches of the Jacobs Field clubhouse that night.
When I flipped open to the dedication page, I was hoping for a "To Jordan Bastian. Without his intrepid reporting during the 2007 playoffs, this book would not have been possible." Alas, no such luck. Ah, well. I mean, Brownie WAS there that night at Fenway and DID sort of do some of his own legwork for the book. Maybe next time…
The Jays haven’t arrived here yet and probably won’t for another hour or so. So no lineups just yet. Casey Janssen was set to undergo surgery on his right shoulder either today or yesterday — we’ll find out about that today. Most of the "A" squad should be here for today’s game, but Shaun Marcum will be back in Dunedin starting in a Minor League tilt. Gotta keep him hidden.