BOSTON -- Phil Mickelson was swinging lefty, as he always does on the golf course, but this time, the professional golfer had a baseball bat in his hand.
The winner of four major PGA championships, Mickelson had the thrill of taking batting practice at Fenway Park before Thursday night's Red Sox-Yankees game.
"To be at Fenway Park and take BP is a really cool experience," Mickelson said. "I'm very appreciative that the organization let me do this. This is a lot of fun."
Duncan Webb, the player development programs coordinator for the Red Sox, threw to Mickelson, who hit one ball to the warning track in center field.
Mickelson threw the ceremonial first pitch to Tim Wakefield, who is probably the best golfer of all the Red Sox players.
"I grew up playing [baseball] like most people did," Mickelson said. "It's fun for us when the [PGA] Tour is in town here and the Sox are in the pennant race to come to a ballgame here at Fenway. There's nothing more exciting than when the Sox are having a great year and getting ready for the playoffs."
Mickelson is in town for the Deutsche Bank Classic, which is being played in Norton, Mass.
"These guys are very impressive," Mickelson said of the Red Sox. "I love what I do, but it's fun to be able to get a taste of another sport like this, it's really exciting."
Jackson excited to jump into pennant race
BOSTON -- Conor Jackson went from playing out the string to entering a pennant race in an instant. Now, the question is how much playing time he will get with his new team, the Boston Red Sox.
"Whatever they need," Jackson said. "It's probably going to be a bat off the bench against left-handers. Whatever my role is going to be, I'm going to be ready for it and prepared."
Jackson was acquired from the Oakland Athletics late Wednesday night -- just as his former team was wrapping up a 16-inning loss in Cleveland -- for Minor League pitcher Jason Rice.
"Right-handed-hitting bat," said manager Terry Francona. "[He] can play right field, left field, probably the corner positions in the infield if needed. How he's going to be used, I really don't know, or how extensively, we don't know.
"I just think talking to [general manager] Theo [Epstein], the chance to get a bat that can maybe impact, especially against left-handed pitching, if something were to happen in September, say, to [Darnell McDonald], and we don't have somebody, that's not good. How we fit both of them in, some of it is probably going to be determined by how they swing the bat. There's no getting around it. How you figure that out and how you let a guy get hot enough where they can swing the bat will be our challenge, and we'll work on that."
As he joined his new teammates, Jackson didn't seem to be worried about any of that. Instead, he arrived just in time for the finale of a three-game series against the Yankees.
"A lot of them," Jackson said. "A lot of them are streaming through my head. It's exciting. I'm coming from a team that was 15 games out to a team that's in the middle of a pennant race and playing in the AL East and probably one of the friendliest fan parks in the game."
Jackson was not shy about expressing his optimism about the Red Sox.
"Best team in baseball, hands down," Jackson said.
However, Jackson was also the first to admit he is hardly having his best season. In 102 games, he is hitting .249 with four homers and 38 RBIs.
"You know, a little sporadic playing time here and there, but it's something I have to be accustomed to if I want to have some longevity in this game," said Jackson. "I think that's going to be my role here. I'm going to be prepared. Preparation is pretty much the only thing I can do right now."
Jackson wasn't in the lineup on Thursday against righty A.J. Burnett. He could get a chance this weekend, as the Sox face two lefties -- Derek Holland on Friday and Matt Harrison on Sunday.
Drew setback could keep him out another week
BOSTON -- All right fielder J.D. Drew needed was to have a smooth Minor League rehab assignment and he could have been in the Red Sox's lineup for Thursday night's finale of a three-game series against the Yankees.
But in yet another example of the type of frustration Drew has experienced, the jammed right middle finger he experienced during Tuesday's contest at Rochester could keep him out another week.
"I'm hoping that's all it is," said Drew, who had two fingers taped together on Thursday. "Realistically, it's just a matter of when I start swinging, and I don't really feel it and it's not really taxing that area. I think that's when we go back to start taking full hacks and getting ready to play again."
The night Drew got hurt, he had three hits for Triple-A Pawtucket.
"Well, in my second at-bat, I swung at a fastball middle-in and I just fouled it off, and somehow or another, when I finished my swing, my bottom hand slipped off the bat and got my finger up against the knob of the bat and I guess just kind of bent it back and sprained it pretty good," Drew said.
"There's a small sliver of bone [that] kind of pulled off of the ligament. I don't know what they call it, but you can see there's a bone, and I guess when I torqued it, it kind of pulled that off. But one of the doctors said that's kind of a good thing, kind of promotes healing in that area versus just having ligament damage. It's real sore the last couple days. I think the soreness probably will start calming down, and starting tomorrow, treatment will start picking up, try to get range of motion and make a determination when we start going back hitting again."
Doubront aims to help out down stretch
BOSTON -- When the season started, the Red Sox felt Felix Doubront could develop into a key part of their pitching staff. But the lefty developed elbow problems in Spring Training, and it limited his progress.
Now, however, Doubront will get another chance. On the day rosters were expanded, Doubront was promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket.
"A couple injuries [are] in the past," Doubront said. "Now I feel a lot better and stronger. My arm is great. Everything's fine now."
Doubront pitched 18 times for Pawtucket this season, 16 of them starts. He went 2-5 with a 4.22 ERA.
He will give the Red Sox another arm out of the bullpen down the stretch.
"Four months ago, I started with all the injuries, and I was pretty much frustrated," Doubront said. "But I handled it. I kept working, I never stopped working. I'm strong in my legs and my core. Now I'm in great shape to help the team."
Manager Terry Francona appreciated the job Doubront did last time, whether it was in spot starts or the bullpen.
"He's kind of a unique young guy -- another one of our young guys we kind of have learned to rely on and we won't hesitate to use him," Francona said.
Remy, Castiglione on Frick Award ballot
BOSTON -- Two frequently heard voices of Red Sox baseball are among the 75 eligible broadcasters for this year's Ford C. Frick Award.
Jerry Remy has been calling Sox games for NESN since 1988, and is affectionately known as the Rem Dog throughout Red Sox Nation. The Massachusetts native lived a dream when he played for Boston from 1978-84, and he has become even more popular in his current role.
The other Sox nominee is Joe Castiglione, who has been a radio broadcaster for the club since 1983. Castiglione called the final out of both the 2004 and '07 World Series.
Online voting concludes Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. ET. The top three fan selections will appear on the final 10-name ballot for the award, from which the winner is selected by a 20-member electorate. The winner will be announced at baseball's Winter Meetings in Dallas in December.
The Ford C. Frick Award has been presented annually since 1978 for excellence in baseball broadcasting, and is given to an active or retired broadcaster with a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network or a combination of the two.
In 2011, Tom Cheek (who led with 11,661 votes), Bill King and Jacques Doucet earned spots on the final Frick Award ballot via fan voting, now in its ninth year.