These are busy times at the KFC franchise on Palm Beach Avenue in Fort Myers, Florida. Boston Red Sox pitcher and catchers are on their way to spring training in the town and coming soon behind them will be the team's position players. The restaurant is hiring new staffers and training them up in preparation for the coming rush.
"Late February through the end of the March is by far our busiest time," said KFC franchise manager Dale Dedmond. "And it's all thanks to the lazy, gluttonous pig-men of the Boston Red Sox who love our food so much."
Fort Myers has three KFC franchises, but the Palm Beach Avenue location gets the only boost in sales because "the players are obviously too lazy to go to any other KFC than the one that is the absolute closest, which is luckily mine," says Dedmond. "They roll up on their Rascal scooters and we just hand buckets of fried chicken to them out the door and off they go, bones trailing behind them."
Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett says he is excited about the start of the season.
"In the offseason, I feel a little guilty if I spend all day eating fried chicken and drinking beer," he said. "I'm a highly paid, professional athlete. My body is my temple. But during the season, I can balance out all of those calories because I do 10 minutes of jogging each day and about 90 minutes of pitching every fifth day. So now that spring training is starting, I'm going back to eating 12 extra crispy drumsticks for breakfast."
New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says he is hoping to get his players to eat better this season.
"I won't be able to instantly get them on quinoa salads," he said. "But by September I'm hoping they're at least eating more Rotisserie Style than Extra Crispy."
Ed's Beer Warehouse, which is down the street from the team's training facility, has already installed the customary kegs the Red Sox have at each base in the spring.