A Sunday morning meeting with the manager can be at times uneventful unless there is a roster move being made or some other pressing news. Today was really no different. Roy Corcoran was throwing a bullpen session and Ryan Rowland-Smith felt good after throwing yesterday.
So what do you talk about? Well, Yuni of course. To be clear, I'm tired of beating the horse on this but if other people throw the first swing, who am I not to get a few cheap shots in it.
It's now been two games since Yuni was sat down in Texas for two straight games. And obviously it's too early to tell if manager Don Wakamatsu's message was delivered. But there are some hints.
In his first game back, Yuni tied a career high (yes a career high) with two walks in a game. He also took 10 straight pitches at one point. He's also hit a home run and a few other balls hard. Let's be clear, did he look like Kevin Youkilis working the count? No. But it was an improvement - not that it was hard to do after his recent run.
So what does Wakamatsu think? Well, he's not exactly ready to call the change permanent.
"I think you have to look at the match-ups too," he said. "Lester's command wasn't as good the day before yesterday which helped in that. But what has impressed me is that yesterday, he did some lay off some pitches in his at-bats."
Wakamatsu knows it a process and it won't happen overnight
"It's just getting him to understand what on-base percentage really means and getting him to put it above batting average," he said. "So I don't know. Obviously he got the message, so we'll see how me moves forward. The fact that he realizes that he has to change because of lack of playing time sends a message."
If Yuni needs an example, he only needs to look across the field. Though Youkilis - dubbed "the Greek God of Walks" in Moneyball - isn't playing, the Red Sox as a team have an approach that Wakamatsu would like to see from his team.
"How much of it is physical and how much is it mental?" Wakamatsu said. "We've talked about that from the beginning of spring training about playing the game with more intelligence. When you have guys like Youkilis and Pedroia it does set the tone."
So since we talked about Yuni with Wak, a few reporters were able to corral him and translator Fernando Alcala to ask him a few questions.
The first was to ask about trying to be more patient.
"I'm giving it a try and seeing how it works out," Betancourt said. "It's still to early tell, but up until now I've been seeing better pitches."
He's giving it a try? Hmm. And the two-day break?
"You just take them as off days and get a chance to recharge and come back stronger," he said.
I asked him if he thought it was a punishment for his approach and he said, "I don't know."
As for seeing better results from the new approach, he seemed to be indifferent.
"I'm going to try it for now, but it's still early," he said. "I don't know how long it's going to take. But it is what's best for the team."
When asked if having Ronny Cedeno on the team, and being a viable option to push him out of playing time, influenced his thinking, Betancourt downplayed it.
"You just have to focus on what you can control and help the team win," he said. "You can't worry about what the other things are, you have to take care of your own business."
As for the conversation with Wakamatsu about his approach, Yuni said it was simple.
"It wasn't a matter of them telling me not to swing, it was them telling me to be more selective in the zone," he said.
I wonder how may times he's heard that before.
And finally the best, question from Gregg Bell of the AP, who asked Yuni if he ever took 10 pitches in a row like he did on Friday?
Yuni smiled, chuckled, shook his head and said, "No, nunca."
Red Sox (22-15)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Jason Bay LF
Mike Lowell 3B
JD Drew RF
Rocco Baldelli DH
Jeff Bailey 1B
Jason Varitek C
Nick Green SS
Justin Masterson P