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Papi hits first homer, ready to start season

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The ball soared into the bullpen in right-center and David Ortiz posed for a second and watched. Then he did one of his signature bat flips, going into his first home run trot since Game 2 of last year's World Series.

In truth, the Red Sox slugger is ready for the season to start.

"Spring Training, it's fun the first couple of weeks. After that, we get here earlier, we work out pretty much all day and at some point it starts catching up with you, especially old guys like me," laughed Ortiz.

After being kept out of Spring Training last year as he recovered from a right Achilles injury, the grind of getting ready for the season has felt a little monotonous for the slugger.

"Now my body's used to not having Spring Training so I'm fighting through it right now to get used to it," Ortiz said.

He is used to rounding the bases after a home run.

"I hit it good, but this is a time for seeing pitches and timing and stuff like that," said Ortiz. "You put a good swing on the ball, it's going, but who cares, you know what I'm saying? Right now I just want to see how a pitcher's approaching me."

Ortiz didn't hit the longest home run in Monday's game. That honor belonged to cleanup man Mike Napoli, who ripped one high and deep to left-center and over everything.

"Damn, that's him, man," said Ortiz. "He's a beast. He hit a moonshot."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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