Most notably, Ortiz was back after another DR embarrassment (gotta love those Dutch, though) and Mike Lowell had his second game of the spring (and his first in the field). Both players, sensing perhaps that Sox fans were being a little too realistic about what the offense can and can't do this season, decided it was time for some inflated expectations. Lowell knocked the third pitch he saw from Chien Ming Wang over the left field fence, then later in the game Ortiz flashed some of the old power in putting one out of right. Both players seemed to be swinging the bat well, and yes, I'll admit that four or five times before going to bed last night I mentally went through each spot in the Sox lineup and when I gauged the strength, I was thinking of Lowell and Ortiz in 2007 form. So what? It could be great.
Tim Wakefield got knocked around a bit, as did Wang. Both are looking to bounce back off some injury concerns and find their places in newly-deep rotations. Wang could be key for the Yankees this season. When healthy, he's been one of the more consistent and unheralded pitchers in baseball. Not a particularly exciting ace, but when you throw his 18 wins, low ERA, quick pitching double play ball into the 3rd or 4th spot in the rotation, you've got a lot of depth, and a good variety of pitching. So far this spring, he's looked a little tentative, but the Yankees are expecting big things.
One final note on the injury bounce back. Mike Lowell sounded thoughtful and positive on his first game in the field since departing in the 2008 postseason. "I didn't really think about my hip much playing on the field, so that's what I want to do. I don't want to be thinking, 'If it's hit this way, I've got to do this.' I don't want to compensate or do anything different." So far, so good for Lowell. The Nation is waiting with bated breath.