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Jenks throws again ... and other notes

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 28, 2011 12:04 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. A few pre-game notes for you:

Bobby Jenks threw to hitters again and is slated to pitch in Thursday's game against the Phillies.

Adrian Gonzalez took 25 swings off a tee and 35 flips. He's progressing as hoped.

The team had an 8:30 a.m. meeting scheduled today with MLB's alumni group. They never showed up. The Sox were not too thrilled with that.

I asked Terry Francona whether Hideki Okajima was in competition with the other lefties in camp for a job. His response was interesting.

"I think he's competing with himself. That's a better way to put it," the manager said. "We need Oki to be a good pitcher. He's kind of competing with himself. We've all seen what he can do when he's right and how he can help that bullpen. That's how I look at it."

But he made it clear that Okijima has to earn his way.

"Ive been around here long enough to know Theo (Epstein). If he thinks somebody can help us, he's not afraid to make it work," Francona said.

Okajima has a major league deal, which could help keep him on the roster. But he also has minor-league options remaining.

"When we look at building our team, we look at depth, also, If you lose a guy that's a roster guy, a guy that you could send down, then 10 days into the season and somebody gets hurts and you don't have anybody you can call up. We take that into consideration," Francona said.

UPDATE, 9:23 p.m.: Just noticed that Alex Speier of WEEI.com has excellent info on Okajima's status.

Francona is excited to see Carl Crawford in uniform. "I told him today, 'I (expletive) hated you. Now I love you.' There's not much not to get excited about."

David Ortiz said he had a dream last week that he scored 12 points for the Celtics in a game against the Heat. "I played 22 minutes," Big Papi said. "I looked at the clock." Asked whether he had any dunks, Ortiz laughed. "Oh, (expletive) yeah," he said.

Ortiz said he played a lot of hoop when he was a kid.

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