Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, left, congratulates Jason Bay on his home run in the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, April 2, 2009.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Are you a person who hates Mondays? Normally most people hate Mondays but this Monday will be an exciting time in this part of the country. Yes I hope the UConn Huskies men’s basketball team will be playing for the NCAA title but more importantly, this upcoming Monday signifies the start of the season for the Boston Red Sox.

That’s right folks, opening day is right around the corner as the Red Sox finished up the Grapefruit League portion of their schedule with a 7-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. The loss to the Twins didn’t matter though as the Red Sox had already clinched their third straight Mayor’s Cup.

Brad Penny made the start for the Red Sox and after the game proclaimed himself ready for his start on April 12th which is the first day the Sox will need a 5th starter. He went 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 3 and hitting 96 on the radar gun.

Mike Lowell and Jed Lowrie led the offensive charge with 2 hits each with Lowrie adding an RBI. Jason Bay added a 2-run home run.

Spring training isn’t quite over yet as the Red Sox head to Queens tonight to take on the New York Mets at Citi Field. It will be the first MLB game and just second game played there. Jon Lester will get the start for the Red Sox and be opposed by Livan Hernandez. Manny Delcarmen, Takashi Saito, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon are also schedule to pitch for the Red Sox.

The good news is that there is television coverage of the game tonight as NESN and SNY will have the game at 6:10 PM. And for those in the Boston area, the game will also be broadcast on WRKO.

The Sox will bring 36 players to the Friday/Saturday series with the Mets. The non-roster players making the trip will be catchers Dusty Brown and Mark Wagner, infielders Lars Anderson, Angel Chavez, Nick Green, Gil Velazquez and Ryan Khoury, outfielders Zach Daeges and Josh Reddick, and pitchers Daniel Bard, Marcus McBeth and Chris Province.

John Smoltz, Tim Wakefield, George Kottaras and Clay Buchholz will be staying back in Ft. Myers while the team is New York. Smoltz will throw a side session tomorrow before heading to Boston while Wakefield will throw in a minor league game on Saturday with Kottaras catching him. Buchholz is scheduled to make a minor league start on Sunday.

Penny optimistic heading to April 12 [Full Count]

The spring in Pedroia’s swing [Extra Bases]

Full speed ahead for healthy Brad Penny [Boston Herald]

No moves in store [Boston Herald]

Pedroia says longer spring training helped him find his timing [Providence Journal]

Red Sox say they’re not interested in adding late cuts from other teams — for now [Providence Journal]

Lucchino: Fenway is good for next 40 to 50 years [Providence Journal]

Solid effort earns Penny a first start [Providence Journal]

Spring break comes to an end []

Fenway ready to play ball [Extra Bases]

Curt Schilling Transcript [Full Count]

100 random things about the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees [Boston Globe]

Fenway Park ’09 improvements [Boston Globe]

Don Orsillo’s decapitated bobblehead previews the 2009 Red Sox [Wicked Good Sports]

‘Die-hard’ Red Sox fan on U.S. tour [Summit Daily News]

Opening day memories [Don Orsillo –]

The good and bad of spring training 2009 [Tom Caron –]

UFC president Dana White: A Red Sox fan with an edge [Red Sox Monster]