It’s a cold January morning, and I am sitting at my computer thinking of my team in newly pressed and cleaned uniforms on a sunny, warm field in Florida. A new season will begin soon for baseball, and specifically for the Boston Red Sox. Many new faces will be at the full squad workout on February 24th down in the Fort Myers training facility this year, and they will be welcomed by fans with great enthusiasm and also with great scrutiny. Welcome to Boston sports Mr. Cameron, Mr. Hall, Mr. Beltre, and Mr. Lackey.
Gone are several Red Sox players from the 2009 Roster too. Thank you for your service Mr. Smoltz, Mr. Penny, Mr. Saito, Mr. Bay, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Wagner, Mr. Masterson (weep) Mr. Kotchman, Mr. Lugo and Mr. Baldelli. (Will not mention the fiasco with 3B Mike Lowell/Texas Rangers)
Welcome back to our hometown crew: Mr. Beckett, Mr. Lester, Mr. Matsuzaka, Mr. Wakefield, Mr. Buchholz, Mr. Ramirez, Mr. Bard Mr. DelCarmen, Mr. Okajima, Mr. Papelbon, Mr. Martinez, Mr. Varitek, Mr. Youkilis, Mr. Pedroia, Mr. Lowell, Mr. Drew, Mr. Ellsbury and Mr. Ortiz. It will be a pleasure to watch you all begin your training regimen under Mr. Francona’s watchful eye.
This is about the time that the players start to get “antsy” to get out there, and from what I see and hear, the coaches and media have similar feelings on the approaching days ahead.
Soon it will be Truck Day (February 12th), then it will be the reporting date for pitchers & catchers, the meetings, and training begins on February 20th, Full-Squad training begins on February 24th. then (& before) the sports media will converge for press conferences,etc. and photo day, practice games, then the Spring Training Games begin !! City Of Palms Park will be alive with spectators, players, media…and that annoying guy who sells hot dogs while shouting up and down the stands like a crazed banshee. The fun begins shortly after with the Mayor’s Cup competition with cross-town “rivals” the Minnesota Twins, and the silly green uniforms worn on St.Patrick’s Day (& Earth Day at Fenway), but this year there will be no Spring Training games with MLB rivals the New York Yankees. We must save that intensity for Opening Day at Fenway Park in Beantown with a 3-game series beginning on April 4th (Sunday at 8pm). Take lots of photos if you’re going down to Fort Myers to watch the Sox play….I want to see them when you get back (and I hear they’re building a new ballpark down in Lee County for our boys).
Almost everywhere you go down in lovely Fort Myers – you will see fellow New Englanders hungry for baseball and the warm Florida sunshine. Stop into Stevie Tomatoes’ Sports Page or the Hideaway Bar and hang-out with the hometown crowd if you get homesick.
As the start to Spring Training get closer and closer by the day, I look forward to seeing more and more baseball talk on TV, as well as Facebook and Twitter….the anticipation is mounting! Glad to have you all back boys, now get in those cages and hit those balls…
– fenway fruitgirl 2010 (below: my dugout server lady and my bodyguard/security guy)*