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Random Friday morning notes from the Red Sox clubhouse

03.02.12 at 10:14 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Upon first entering the clubhouse Friday morning, onlookers were greeted with three pieces of paper on the bulletin board next to the entrance doors.

The first one read: ‘Happy Texas Independence Day, 3/2/1876.’ Below the announcement was list of players of players who hailed from Texas — Scott Atchison, Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Kelly Shoppach, Josh Beckett, Daniel Bard, Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz, Matt Albers, Drake Britton. There was some controversy, however, with Atchison pointing out that Bard was simply born in Houston, and shouldn’t be lumped in with the others. We’ll get the bottom of that later …

Also on the board were the two lineups for Saturday’s games, against Northeastern and Boston College, respectively.

Against the Huskies the Red Sox‘ batting order will look thusly: Iglesias SS, Ellsbury CF, Pedroia 2B, Gonzalez 1B, Saltalamacchai C, McDonald DH, Sweeney RF, Ross LF, Middlebrooks 3B, Lester P.

In going against the Eagles, the Sox will send out the following: Aviles SS, Lin CF, Youkilis 3B, Ortiz 1B, Punto 2B, Lavarnway C, Kroeger RF, Hassan DH, Repko LF, Doubront P.

- Speaking of Jose Iglesias (sort of), after making a couple of great running catches in the ‘B Game’ Thursday, it was asked of him what he felt the greatest defensive play he ever made was. After much reflection (“I don’t know. I’ve made a lot of them,” the confident young shortstop said), Iglesias identified a play he made while playing in the Arizona Fall League in which he went back on a pop up, ended up diving head-first toward the outfield fence and made the catch (see Jim Edmonds). Looking for witnesses. Another thing we’ll get to the bottom of later …

Another aspect of Iglesias’ performance Thursday that was notable was the shortstop’s ability to draw a walk after falling down 0-2, a feat he said he didn’t accomplish all of last season. “I just want to be more patient,” he said. “I’m getting better.”

- Asked newcomer Chris Carpenter when the first time he ever hit 100 mph.

“It was my first year being converted to a reliever,” he said. “After the game somebody came in and told me. I really had no idea. I knew I was throwing a little harder out of the pen, but I had no idea how hard.”

Carpenter’s velocity first jumped up after going through Tommy John surgery — taking advantage of the year of focusing on fitness — and then reached another level when he was moved from starter to reliever.

“I noticed just in one inning stints feeling like I’m throwing a little harder than just in a six or seven inning game,” he said of the transformation.

“It’s not one of those things you think about, but when they told me it opened up my eyes a little bit. Still, throwing guys don’t get guys out.”

As for the great radar gun controversy, first hatched by Jonathan Papelbon when he passionately passed along that radar gun readings in stadiums should be banned because they only help the hitters, Carpenter tends to agree with the former Red Sox closer. “No,” when asked if he liked the practice. “If I’m not pitching I do, but if I’m pitching I don’t like them.”

- Here are two things you probably don’t care about but I’m going to pass along anyway: 1. Nick Punto used to make Justin Morneau a smoothie consisting of Mountain Dew and cherry Slush before every game; 2. Darnell McDonald first got his hair put into braids prior to the 2010 after playing in the Mexican Winter League and meeting some Rastafarians. It takes an hour to execute the braids, which are to be tweaked in the coming days. Before that he had shaved his head for the previous 10 years. (He said there is no need to not wash your hair to get the texture right, and such an idea is a myth. … There goes my excuse.)

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