Well, they do now.
The job description for the Methuen native isn't hard to decipher: Perch yourself at the end of Edison Avenue, just on the outskirts of the Red Sox players' parking lot, and monitor the comings and goings. But as the man his co-workers call "Frenchy" discovered upon arriving in the wee hours of yesterday morning, thanks to the presence of Daisuke Matsuzaka, normalcy doesn't exist here anymore.
As early as 6:30 a.m., more than 50 members of the Japanese media straddled the street associated with both City of Palms Park (the site of Red Sox home spring training games) and Boston's minor league facility (where workouts are held until March rolls around).
Four hours later, Frechette was gone, giving up his ring-side seat to the Barnum and Bailey of spring training baseball. But none of the Far East media horde had budged, unwilling to yield their potential bird's-eye view of Matsuzaka.
Something else hadn't gone anywhere either - the crazy climate which promises to follow these Red Sox wherever they go this season.
Relief pitcher Javier Lopez was one of the few newcomers to the scene yesterday, reacquainting himself with the town he left four years ago during his last spring training stint with the Red Sox.
"A lot has changed," said the side-winding lefty. "I'm going to have to get used to this."
The Red Sox had more spring training media credential requests from Japan (130) than there are actual residents of Japanese descent living in the entire Lee County (125). Lopez was right, things have changed, although whether anybody will get used to them remains to be seen.
In almost a fraternity-like initiation to his old haunts, Lopez has found himself in the belly of the beast thanks to the placement of his locker. The makeshift cubicle resides directly across from Matsuzaka and all that comes with the 26-year-old right-hander.
"I know how to say, 'Good morning' - 'Ohayo,'" Lopez said proudly. "I better start learning something else, though, in case I see him in the afternoon."
But as out of the ordinary as the scene was yesterday - helped by the 20-foot by 20-foot Funai Electric tent, which will host all interview sessions involving the Japanese media - the atmosphere took on a pre-hurricane, batten-down-the-hatches vibe.
Some interesting participants were found on the other side of the gates which separated Matsuzaka's followers and actual baseball-playing attendees.
Reliever Craig Hansen held court, echoing the sentiments of Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell by vaguely describing his improved mechanics. His bullpen mate Manny Delcarmen cruised through, as did their former pen partner Jonathan Papelbon.
Perhaps the most telling sign of the times was watching starter Josh Beckett step on and off one of the many pitching mounds with hardly a whisper. A year ago, this was the player wearing the media's bull's-eye. That, of course, is now the property of Matsuzaka.
It's a dynamic Beckett clearly doesn't mind, especially on days like yesterday when he had to fight off a stomach virus to attend the Daytona Beach announcement of the Red Sox partnership with NASCAR's Roush Racing. (And Beckett thought last year was a little different.)
It's almost as if the story lines of these Red Sox weigh down the actual meat and potatoes of what counts. Few took notice of top pitching prospect Clay Buchholz, who spoke of calling his father this offseason to tell him that he met Peter Gammons and the Hall of Fame reporter actually knew Buchholz's name. And other non-tradeable commodities, such as Daniel Bard, Bryce Cox and Mike Bowden, also anonymously sifted through the Matsuzaka-induced haze.
With the glare deflected elsewhere, Josh Papelbon, the younger brother of Jonathan who pitched his way into prospect status last year in Lowell, chose to give his cleats a good cleaning right next to a collection of media types. As the gregarious reliever (sound familiar?) chiseled the dirt off his shoes, he took a moment to reflect on his first spring training.
"I was fishing the other day at our complex by myself and I hauled in a six-pound bass," said Papelbon, who is saving rent by staying with his brother. "Usually I go with somebody, but nobody was there, so I just held that thing out, admiring it. All of a sudden, I look down and there's a crocodile about eight feet away staring right at me. I bolted on out of there. I guess I could have stayed around and that would have been a good story for you guys."
Save yourself, Josh. We've got plenty.
Rob Bradford covers the Red Sox for Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company. E-mail him at email@example.com.