Notes: Migraines no laughing matter
Papelbon was forced to miss games last year due to pain
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Leaving his uniform jersey behind at City of Palms Park wasn't about to keep Jonathan Papelbon from making his Grapefruit League debut on Saturday.
When you have been battling severe migraine headaches that keep you off the mound, leaving a shirt behind is a minor inconvenience.
So with his No. 58 back at his locker, Papelbon donned Manny Ramirez's No. 24 and hit the hill.
"I could feel the dreadlocks flowing," laughed Papelbon, who chose Ramirez's jersey over the "Wild Thing" option of No. 99, which was also available. "I just forgot my jersey and sure enough, they seem to always have an extra Manny jersey laying around here due to the circumstances. It looked better than 99."
The migraines that he started to deal with last year, however, are no laughing matter. The headaches have been diagnosed as a side effect from grinding his jaw during his sleep.
"The migraines started getting worse last year," he said. "It's a way I release my stress at night when I'm sleeping and I don't know it. That's what I've been diagnosed with and that's what the doctors say. Hopefully, I can get a mouthpiece that helps."
He acknowledged on Saturday that he had to tell manager Terry Francona on at least two occasions last year that he was unavailable because of the pain.
"When I get them, they pretty much take me out of the game. They're bad," he said. "There were times where I would go and I would think I'd be able to pitch, and I really couldn't. When I get them, they basically shut me down. I couldn't open my eyes. I had a lot of drugs in me and I was feeling good, and then I'd start doing athletic stuff, it started kicking back in."
Papelbon was looking back in form Saturday. After allowing a leadoff single to Joe Mauer in the fourth, he struck out Delmon Young swinging and got Justin Morneau to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, ending his Grapefruit League debut on a high note.
Early bird special: Gates will open at 9:30 ET on Monday morning at City of Palms Park as the Red Sox play a "B" game against the Twins. There will be no admission for the 10 a.m. game, which will also feature Jason Varitek catching and Sean Casey at first base.
"'Tek will catch and we'll get Casey a few at-bats at first so he doesn't have to make that trip," said manager Terry Francona, who will travel to Jupiter, Fla., as the Red Sox regulars take on the Marlins. "We'll take [Jacoby] Ellsbury and [Dustin] Pedroia, maybe [Kevin] Youkilis. We'll let some guys go over and play."
Kyle Snyder will start in Jupiter against Marlins.
Searching for answers: Non-roster invitee Dan Kolb saw his first action Friday night in Boston's 8-3 win vs. the Twins. Kolb allowed a hit and a walk but also got three groundouts and escaped the eighth inning without allowing a run. Kolb, a longshot to make the Red Sox's bullpen, is trying to rediscover the form that helped him save 39 games in 2004 and earn an All-Star berth. Since then, he has just 16 saves in three seasons with Atlanta, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.
"I saw him in Texas," said Francona, who was the bench coach with the Rangers in 2002. "He was a closer-type guy. Then again in Milwaukee and then he went to Atlanta, and really started struggling and had a tough time. Sometimes you get put in a situation where you go non-roster to a place and if you don't have a great spring, all of a sudden you see yourself kind of battling. And sometimes guys like that aren't ready, because they're veterans, to show how good they can pitch in the first week of camp."
Thanks for nothing: The highlight of Francona's pregame chat with reporters came in the third-base dugout at City of Palms Park before the team left for Hammond Stadium. Francona proudly played a congratulatory message from Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame broadcaster and good friend Marty Brennaman, who called the manager last week after news broke of Francona's three-year contract extension. Brennaman, known for his frank and sometimes painfully honest style on the air, left a colorful voicemail questioning the wisdom of Red Sox ownership for signing Francona to the deal. Boston's manager and Brennaman have had a close friendship since Francona played for the Reds in 1987.
Up next: The Red Sox play their first home game of the Grapefruit League season when they conclude a three-game weekend series with the Twins on Sunday. Tim Wakefield makes his first start in the 1:05 p.m. ET contest at City of Palms Park. Clay Buchholz, Hideki Okajima and Javier Lopez are also scheduled to pitch.
Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.