Fort Myers, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Less than four months after hoisting the World Series trophy, the Boston Red Sox have started training camp Saturday with pitchers and catchers officially reporting to JetBlue Park.
The Red Sox are hoping to become baseball’s first repeat champion since the New York Yankees in 1998 to 2000.
“It’s a new year,” said veteran starter Jake Peavy, entering his first full season with the Red Sox. “That’s been a slogan of ours in the text messages we’ve been exchanging with the guys. ‘Hey, let’s turn the page. It’s a new year.”
“It’s 2014 and we haven’t done anything.’ Obviously, some teams in our division have gotten better. We feel like we have a good team, and we’re looking forward to hopefully doing the exact same we did in 2013,” he added.
While the Red Sox enjoy coming back as champions, catcher David Ross promised not to get carried away with it.
“Well, when you first show up, it’s nice to reminisce for a second, but honestly, as players, we have to turn the page,” said Ross. “Everybody wants to talk about last year, but mentally we have to prepare for this season coming up.”
Unlike last year at this time, when nobody knew quite what to expect, there is great excitement surrounding manager John Farrell’s team entering 2014.
“There’s 29 other teams that are trying to do the same thing that we are, and that’s to prepare for a championship season,” Farrell said. “We respect everyone that we play against. I don’t think we’re focused on the end result.”
The Red Sox have six potential starters vying for five spots while Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts will try to find their spot in the everyday lineup.
“Yeah, it’s different going into it knowing you are competing for a spot,” said Bradley. “Last year I came into it just here trying to learn and seeing what I could get out of it.”
The Red Sox also newcomers in former Indians star Grady Sizemore, A.J. Pierzynski and Edward Mujica.
Pitchers and catchers will have their first formal workout Monday. Position players are due to camp the following day.
The first full-squad workout is on Thursday, an event that is typically preceded by a team meeting that will include a speech from Farrell.
The Red Sox have their first game action on Feb. 27 — a college doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College. The Grapefruit League opener is the next day at home against the Twins.
The regular season opens on March 31 at Camden Yards against the Orioles.