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Red Sox Notebook, Feb. 22: David Ortiz's Arrival, Jose Iglesias Competing And Roy Oswalt

Even thought the first official team workout isn't until Saturday of this week, every player of the current Boston Red Sox roster has reported to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida as of Tuesday afternoon.

The last player to report to camp today was a somewhat disgruntled David Ortiz, who has had several contract battles this offseason with Red Sox management. Last week, the two struck a deal on a one-year deal worth a little over $14 million to avoid arbitration. At one point this offseason, Ortiz thought that he may have to find a new home.

"I'm not going to lie to you -- at one point I thought I was done here,'' he said.

"The front office was caught up in a lot of things ... and at one point I guess I thought I wasn't a priority here. That's the way it looked to me.''

Like many times before with other players, the media asked Ortiz about the infamous September collapse that saw the Red Sox fall from being a sure playoff bet. Ortiz, like many of his peers, says he's mindful of last year and just trying to focus on this year.

"There were a lot of games that we let go,'' he said. "I was very disappointed. But let's move on. There's nothing we can do about it now. Just pull yourself together and do some damage this year.''

"Turn the page, man. We don't need no more negativity. We don't need no more confrontation.''


With the Red Sox starting shortstop position a revolving door since the departure of Nomar Garciaparra, there is once again open competition for the position again this year.

Following the Marco Scutaro trade, veterans Mike Aviles and Nick Punto as well as former top prospect Jose Iglesias are among those fighting for the spot. At such a young age, Iglesias would be overjoyed if he ends up winning the job out of Spring Training.

"Of course I would like to," the 22-year-old said Wednesday. "Even if I'm not starting, I'm going to play hard. I'm going to play at 100 percent no matter where I play."

While there's no denying the 22 year old is a defensive wizard at shortstop, he's still got work to do at the plate. He hit just .235 in the minors last year at the plate. Because of it, he seems like a bit of a longshot to win the job.

"I'm just focused on saying positive all season long and try to be healthy every single day and be consistent at the plate," he said. "I want to be more disciplined."

As for the man who will decide whether he's ready or not, manager Bobby Valentine has been very impressed with what he's seeing out of Iglesias in the field. He even is buying into the comparisons of Iglesias and Rey Ordonez, a defensively gifted but offensively challenged shortstop he had when he was with the Mets.

"My first impression is that he can catch it," Valentine said. "I bet he can throw it after he catches it, too. He has an interesting exchange. A lot of people will make the comparison, and I did see similarities to Rey Ordonez in play/glove action. Initially, it looked like he had more range than Rey."


This is a subject I think every Boston sports writer/blogger that covers the Red Sox is really getting tired of. However, we heard late Wednesday night that a resolution may be coming soon.

ESPN's Jim Bowden is reporting the Oswalt could make a decision as early as Thursday, which could be mean good news for the starting pitcher seeking Red Sox. Even though they don't have the room in either their payroll or roster like Boston does, the Cardinals, Rangers and Reds remain possibilities. Boston however seems like the best fit for Roy, but he doesn't seem to think so.

If the Sox were able to add Oswalt, that would be bad news for guys like Vicente Padilla, Carlos Silva, Aaron Cook, Ross Ohlendorf and Alfredo Aceves if they wanted to win a starting gig. With the top four virtually locked in (Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Oswalt) Daniel Bard would appear to be the clear favorite to take the fifth starter spot, leaving the other guys fighting for bullpen spots.

All quotes used in this notebook are courtesy of ESPN Boston