Here is a some news out of the Boston Red Sox spring training from Sunday and Monday.

New Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo arrived to camp on Monday, a day ahead of schedule. The official reporting day for Sox position players was Tuesday (Collective Bargaining Agreement states the latest a player can arrive is March 1st). If you’d like to listen to what Lugo had to say to the media, you can listen below.[coolplayer width=”200″ height=”50″ autoplay=”0″ loop=”0″ charset=”GBK” download=”1″ mediatype=””]
Julio Lugo Interview

When asked about Manny Ramirez arriving to camp on March 1st, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he was not going to say anything. He hadn’t talked to Manny and wasn’t going to speculate on anything. Smart move Francona. It’s best to have the facts before making a comment.

The following pitchers threw in the bullpen on Monday: Manny Delcarmen, Julian Tavarez, Brendan Donnelly, Joel Piñiero, J.C. Romero, Runelvys Hernandez, Craig Breslow, Craig Hansen, and Javier Lopez. All but Timlin and Tavarez were heard popping the mitts of the catchers.

Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell arrived to camp on Monday as well. Youk was seen sporting a goatee with a bald head. It will be interesting to me how Lowell responds after being mentioned in the trade rumors with the Colorado Rockies about Todd Helton.

Covelli “Coco” Crisp, who was bald last season, showed up to camp on Monday sporting an afro. No word on whether he is using jerry curl. If you were ever wondering how Coco got his nickname, check out what he said.

My grandmother called me “Co” for short. My real name is Covelli, and then once my sister and my god brother got a whiff of the cereal Cocoa Krispies, they started calling me that and making fun of me. My nickname started as a big joke and I didn’t like it at first. But then it started catching on and everyone started calling me Coco so I got used to it. It resurfaced again in Double-A when they put it on the scoreboard and now I like it. I’ve just adopted it as my nickname. It helps me stick out in the crowd. When I go on the road people love to say the name. It’s also easier to pronounce than Covelli.

If you were wondering where Coco played Double-A, it was in New Haven for the New Haven Ravens where I used to work. It was given to him by my friend, Sam Rubin, who was the scoreboard operator and webmaster. Sam has written two books, ‘Yale Football‘ and ‘Baseball in New Haven‘, and currently works for Yale Athletics.

Francona said on Sunday that Mike Timlin would be included in the closer race and could be the closer when the team leaves Ft. Myers if the role hasn’t been decided. Only Jonathan Papelbon (35 saves) and the recently retired Keith Foulke (47 saves) have saved more games than in Timlin’s time (25 saves) with the Red Sox.

Theo Epstein was on the WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan show on Tuesday and talked about many things. One of the things he addressed was the Curt Schilling contract situation. This is what he had to say about it:

“I have little doubt in my mind that if Curt wants to pitch in ’08 that he’s going to be a member of the Boston Red Sox.

As far as the timing of the deal, or the nature of the deal, that remains to be seen,” Epstein said. “He’s sort of at the point in his career where, as an organization, we’ve been slower to commit guaranteed money in the future. We tend to like guys to kind of prove it at that age but, you know, we’re talking and I’m sure there will be an amicable resolution one way or the other.”

To listen to the whole interview, click on the link.

[coolplayer width=”200″ height=”50″ autoplay=”0″ loop=”0″ charset=”GBK” download=”1″ mediatype=””]
Theo Interview on Dennis & Callahan

Newly re-signed Wily Mo Peña arrived at camp on Tuesday a little late. The reason being he went to the stadium where they will play their games and not the minor league camp. I guess $1.875 million isn’t enough money to get the right information or directions to where your supposed to be.

Read more Red Sox news after the jump.

Okajima and Matsuzaka in the bullpenDaisuke Matsuzaka threw another bullpen today in front of Red Sox principal owner, John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and some folks from Roush-Fenway Racing including Jack Roush himself. This was the first time they have seen him pitch in person. No word on when Matsuzaka will be making NASCAR debut.

Papelbon, Tim Wakefield, Josh Beckett, Schilling, and Hideki Okajima also all threw in the bullpen on Tuesday. They all threw mostly off-speed pitches during their throwing sessions.

Henry and Werner met with the media on Tuesday as well. Listen to their press conference below.

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Henry and Werner Press Conference

Francona said that Crisp’s injured finger is still giving him trouble but Crisp says he is able to bat from both sides of the plate. I really hope that he stays healthy this season. With him batting second behind Lugo, we are gonna need a healthy Crisp.

Tavarez had this to say when he was asked about whether he wanted to be starting or pitching out the ‘pen.

“If you ask me, I’d rather be a starter but it’s not up to me,” he said. “If it happens, I’ll be happy. I’m not going to hope somebody gets hurt, so they will make the decision to make me a starter, or have somebody get hurt. I’m here to do whatever they want me to do.”

I like Tavarez’s attitude. In case he didn’t know, we have a pretty solid starting rotation (Schilling, Beckett, Matsuzaka, Papelbon and Wakefield, with Lester in there as well) right now. It’s exactly what the Sox need. Another team player.

Only Manny, J.D. Drew and David Ortiz are missing from spring training right now. Alex Cora was expected to arrive later Tuesday or Wednesday. Really nice Mr Drew. Way to make an impression on the fans of Red Sox Nation. Is this something we should expect of you all season?

Information from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald was used.

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