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Looking back at six weeks of spring training

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 2, 2012 09:45 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox will pack up and leave JetBlue Park after Monday afternoon's game against the Nationals.

There's a game against the Nationals in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. Then it's off to Detroit for a workout at Comerica Park Wednesday before Opening Day Thursday.

As camp breaks, let's break down the last six weeks, Clint Eastwood style:

THE GOOD

• Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek gracefully retired during individual ceremonies at JetBlue Park.

• Cody Ross looks like a bargain, having collected six home runs and 16 RBIs. He also has played strong defense.

• Young catcher Ryan Lavarnway continued to make strong strides and could be a factor later on in the season.

• David Ortiz arrived in excellent shape and dropped more weight during camp. He's even running hard to first.

• Young lefty Felix Doubront, out of shape and oft-injured a year ago, earned a spot in the rotation with a series of stellar outings.

• New manager Bobby Valentine has connected with the team well and when compared to last spring, the Sox have played a cleaner, more energetic brand of baseball.

• Mike Aviles cracked eight doubles and played solid defense to earn the starting shortstop nod.

• Dustin Pedroia is completely over the foot fracture that restricted him at times last season.

• New pitching coach Bob McClure has the respect of the staff and is a clear upgrade over Curt Young.

• New JetBlue Park sold out for every game and received widespread acclaim.

THE BAD

• Carl Crawford initially seemed to be making a quick comeback from wrist surgery then suffered a setback that knocked him out of action for 10 days. He has yet to appear in a game and could be out until May.

• New closer Andrew Bailey suffered an injured thumb that is expected to land him on the disabled list to start the season.

• Kevin Youkilis (36 ABs), Jacoby Ellsbury (52 ABs), and Adrian Gonzalez (40 ABs) have yet to hit a home run.

• Somehow the replica Green Monster at JetBlue Park ended up three feet taller than the real thing.

• Twenty-two-year-old Jose Iglesias did not make a particularly strong run at winning the shortstop position, going 5 for 25 with one extra-base hit.

• Daniel Bard posted a 6.57 ERA over 24 2/3 innings but was awarded a spot in the rotation based on potential.

• Quirky righthander Alfredo Aceves seemed angry all spring, a condition unlikely to improve given that he did not make it into the rotation.

• Valentine tweaked the Yankees for no good reason, saying they should have played extra innings on March 22 because reliever Clayton Mortensen, who had no chance to make the team, was trying to make the team. Mortensen was demoted the next day.

THE UGLY

• Instead of getting the "significant compensation" they believed the Cubs had agreed to in October, the Sox ended up receiving only Chris Carpenter, a reliever with a good fastball and poor control. He then needed surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow and will be out 6-8 weeks.

• Reliever Bobby Jenks, already on the disabled list because of a back injury, was arrested for DUI after allegedly hitting two cars in the parking lot of a Fort Myers strip club. For medical reasons, Jenks may not play this season.

• Carlos Silva was released early in camp, having arrived with a sore shoulder.

•The Sox are likely to open the season with an astonishing nine players on the disabled list.

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