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What’s new with the Red Sox: Monday

02.23.10 at 3:14 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Nothing fancy, just the facts. Here is what transpired with the Boston Red Sox under the partly-cloudy skies of spring training Monday.

- David Ortiz opened his press conference with perhaps the most definitive opening statement any player could muster.

“You’ve got to see me naked,” he said. Good times.

As for the rest of the always-entertaining re-introduction to Ortiz, much of it centered around the theme of disrespect, and the slugger’s quest to prove his naysayers wrong.

“I think people give up on me too early, too fast, start talking about age and all that kind of stuff,” Ortiz said. “You listen to it for a minute, it was the same people who were clapping for you a year before and saying good things about you. Mind change that quick, I don’t believe in that but it’s a one-minute thing. That’s the way I see it. I’m strong enough to deal with that and put that in the past.”

Oh, and there was also more talk about his physical shape (with a bit of Menudo banter mixed in: “It’s just something that it’s pretty much part of the game when people worry about your body shape. I’m not going to look like Ricky Martin right now,” Ortiz admitted. “I’m going to be the same guy. I might get stronger, I might try to stay away from injuries. I ain’t going to look any different. I wish I could look like Ricky Martin.”

For the video of Ortiz’ presser click here. For Alex Speier’s look at the uncertain future that he is facing, click here.

Daisuke Matsuzaka talks after a pain-free throwing session. - Daisuke Matsuzaka said after throwing 25 tosses from 60 and 90 feet, respectively, that he had no pain in his back and his schedule should be pushed back no further than a week.

“The plan for now is for me to throw every day,” Matsuzaka said through translator Masa Hoshino. “It’s not like the time I went on the D.L. last year when it was a shoulder issue where we did incorporate some rest. This time being a back issue I really couldn’t get into my natural delivery, but I felt I was able to do that today. I was able to focus on that, work on that, and I think that was the biggest thing for me today.” It should also be noted that Matsuzaka has lowered his body fat about seven percent, from 24 to 17 percent. It is very close to what he was upon his initial arrival in 2007.

To read more about how Matsuzaka’s throwing session went, click here.

- Mike Cameron is old (comparatively speaking) and excited (again, comparatively speaking). Which led Alex Speier to write paragraphs like this:

And yet Cameron, upon his somewhat “adventurous” arrival to the Red Sox’ minor league training facility (after mistakenly showing up a couple miles up the road at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers), sounded as if the opportunity to enter the Boston clubhouse represented something of a fountain of youth. (And yes: Ponce de Leon made his way around Southwest Florida, thus earning the title of ninth most influential person in the history of the region, according to the Fort Myers News-Press.) Cameron flashed his trademark high wattage smile in suggesting that he felt energized by his new team.

“I almost feel like a rookie feeling coming here,” Cameron said, “because of what’s been accomplished already, the caliber of team in place and me stepping in and not putting the burden of trying to mess that up.”

To read more of what Cameron had to say click here.

- More than anybody, Jose Iglesias wanted to be around Dustin Pedroia. Monday he got a big ol’ heap of the second baseman, which was just find with the first-year pro from Cuba.

For more on Iglesias’ admiration of Pedroia, click here.

- Adrian Beltre can field. His former teammate in Seattle Billy Hall says so: ‘I’ve never seen him make a play look tough,” Hall said. “Maybe that’s why he’s never on SportsCenter.”

Speaking of Beltre, he confirmed that the idea of possibly playing shortstop with the Red Sox when the team made a play for the then-free agent after the 2004 season wasn’t a selling point. He also reiterated that making the choice of turning down Oakland’s three-year deal in order to head to the Sox was the right decision.

“It wasn’t tough at all,” Beltre said. “It was a decision that a player sometimes has to make. Thank God that I’m financially good and set. It’s good to come to a team that has a really high expectation and has a really good chance to go to the World Series. I haven’t been in this situation a lot before. I’ve been on teams that have been good but not good enough to even get into the playoffs. It’s something that I consider myself taking a little risk to put a ring on my finger.”

For more of what Beltre had to say during his first day in a Red Sox uniform click here.

- All of the position players reported with the exception of shortstop Marco Scutaro, who is expected to make an appearance Tuesday. Third baseman Mike Lowell dropped off his equipment at the complex early in the afternoon.

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO

- Lowell’s press conference figures to be the highlight of the day. To get a preview of what the third baseman will say click here for what he relayed to WEEI.com last week regarding his situation.

Here’s a preview:

“I don’t view this as a major challenge,” Lowell explained. “If I’m healthy and teams out there think I can play every day, there’s going to be a team that wants me to play. If that’s beneficial to the Red Sox, I don’t think any of this is contingent on whether it’s beneficial to me. It doesn’t matter. I have no say. But if it’s beneficial to the Red Sox, then yeah, they’d make the move. And then you’d go wherever they send you. That’s the thing. I can’t say, ‘Hey, I want to leave,’ or, ‘Hey, I want to stay.’

“It doesn’t matter what I think or say. The only time I had that decision was after the World Series when I was a free agent. That’s the only time that I had the say. After that, you’re a product of the industry. I’m not sour about that. I’m cool with it. If you told me that I’d get traded and then they’d take away my contract, then I might have a much bigger issue with the way things are going.”

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