Baseball fans rejoice!
The NFL season may be over, but the “boys of summer” are preparing for another competitive season.
Last Wednesday, Red Sox Nation celebrated “truck day,” as the team’s equipment truck heads down to Fort Myers, Florida transporting 20,400 baseballs,1,100 bats, and over 60 cases of sunflower seeds. This annual event, which started in 2003, officially kicks off the new baseball season.
Pitchers and catchers, the team has announced, will report to Spring Training Feb. 18, while the the first full team workout is scheduled for Feb. 24 at JetBlue Park.
Fans are particularly excited to watch offseason signings Craig Kimbrel and David Price, who are both regarded as some of the best pitchers in the league. The Sox camp will also feature promising young pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez, who hopes he can learn from the experienced David Price.
In an interview with NESN.com Rodríguez says, “Having Price here, for me, it’s going to be pretty good because he can teach me how to pitch as— lefty we have almost the same mechanics.”
Last year, the Sox starting pitchers struggled to find consistency. Many Sox fans blamed the pitching staff for the disappointing 2015 season, but are hopeful that this year’s pitching will be much improved.
“I can’t wait to see Eduardo Rodríguez play with the Sox,” says baseball fan Jared Heller ’19. “I am also excited for spring training because that is where fresh talent from the MLB shines and shows that they mean business.”
At a spring training game in 2014, Red Sox fan Gabe Bryan ’19 recalls that he “got to see a lot of young up and coming players, such as Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., before they were stars.” Spring training games, Bryan adds, have an uncanny ability to forecast a team’s strengths and weaknesses in the regular season.
The Red Sox spring season will debut Feb. 29 with an exhibition doubleheader against against two NCAA teams, Boston College and Northeastern University. Then, on March 2, the Red Sox will face off against the Minnesota Twins in their first game in the Grapefruit League, the American League’s spring training counterpart.