Francona arrives early to work

Francona arrives early to work

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona, a creature of habit, likes to get to the ballpark in the morning, even for night games. But it didn't take him long to realize that 11 a.m. ET was overly ambitious for Sunday night's 8:09 p.m. season-opening matchup against the Yankees.

"I got here way too early today," said Francona, who officially started his seventh season as Boston's manager. "There's only so much you can do. Yeah, the feeling is always the same. There's a lot of excitement, a lot of anxiety, and then when you start at 8:09, that anxiety builds up. I'll be excited for all the first-pitch stuff and all the pageantry and everything. I'll be more excited or happier when we get into the grind of playing baseball."

He had visions of getting in a workout, but Francona was perhaps a little too excited to focus on that.

"Yeah, it was a mistake," Francona said. "I was going to exercise. [Instead], I just ate twice."

But he didn't spend the whole day in his office. With the sun shining on a day that felt more like midsummer than early spring, Francona soaked it in for just a bit.

"I walked outside today, because I didn't have anything else to do," Francona said. "The field looked great, the stadium looked great. It's a nice feeling. We probably caught a huge break. I think everyone was ready for 8 o'clock tonight to be bundled up, but it will be a nice night."

Indeed, it was 67 degrees at first pitch.