The pitchers and catchers for the Boston Red Sox reported to Ft. Myers over last weekend and held their initial work out at JetBlue practice complex on Tuesday.
It is reported that the rest of their roster followed to arrive that same afternoon. Youk was there taking batting practice and also took some private fielding practice on a separate diamond. There were other young, fresh faces only too happy to work out and get the bats out again.
The first ‘official practice’ and work out is scheduled for this coming Saturday and begins at 9:00 a.m. sharp at the complex; the open house begins at 11:30 a.m.
This will be the first chance to see Ortiz on the field this season and this fan is glad to see him return. David Ortiz is simply a well-rounded athlete and human being, really. He can serve as proof that holding a positive and fresh outlook can achieve many things.
When asked about last season as well as the off-season, Ortiz had this to say:
“I’m not going to lie to you — at one point I thought I was done here.”
“The front office was caught up in a lot of things … and at one point I guess I thought I wasn’t a priority here. That’s the way it looked to me.”
Ortiz, like many of his peers, says he’s mindful of last year and just trying to focus on this year–as the local spins out piece after piece about the team’s decline of late season last and the situation within the organization…as they see it.
“There were a lot of games that we let go,” he said. “I was very disappointed. But let’s move on. There’s nothing we can do about it now. Just pull yourself together and do some damage this year.”
“Turn the page, man. We don’t need no more negativity. We don’t need no more confrontation.”
This photographer spent the day at JetBlue Park during the team’s pitcher/catcher workout and all I can report is that there is a great, light and positive vibe around that team and practice complex–which is what they need to carry on into this season.
Players smiling, joking together while waiting their turn in drill lines; coaches with big grins–Bobby Valentine gave me few good smiles in the lense. He is the most jovial (but stern) baseball coach I can recall witnessing since maybe Don Zimmer or Tommy Lasorda (when they were both not popping a vein in dismay…on occasion) and personally that just made the team’s return feel more solid. The lines of communication are definitely ‘open’ as Valentine visited every work out field to observe and offer some ideas to his new squad of coaches and players. Also it ‘feels’ like a lot more than new mortar, drywall and a fresh coat of paint; so here’s to a new page and full steam ahead Sox Nation.
This team’s solid practice performance and positive, light attitudes…much like that of David Ortiz, made this fan feel that things are at least back upon the ‘right’ track for a successful season. Keep in mind, Sox Nation, that this is a newly formed team and organization. They do hold the potential to have a long summer and fall run–if they buckle down, battle hard and remain focused upon the issue at hand…the game of baseball; played well, in a team fashion and within a mind frame to take it as far as they possibly can.
So welcome back to the entire Red Sox Nation, and all the best in the coming season. Let’s get that ‘dirty WAH-da’ flowing again and give us the show they all predicted last season–show them you still have it! GO SOX!!
Saturday, Feb. 25 – Opening of JetBlue Park at Fenway South – Public Open House The Lee County Board of Commissioners and the Boston Red Sox will host a grand opening celebration on Saturday, February 25 beginning at 11:30 a.m. where they will officially open JetBlue Park at Fenway South, the team’s new 106-acre Spring Training and Player Development Complex in Lee County.
The grand opening ceremony will be followed by an Open House, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., open to all fans and visitors. During the Open House, fans will have an opportunity to walk freely around JetBlue Park and enjoy concessions and entertainment on Fenway South Drive – a street festival reminiscent of Yawkey Way in Boston. Much like at Fenway Park in Boston, the street will have entertainment including, face painting, magicians, stilt walkers, a bounce house, obstacle course, and other games for children.
JetBlue Park at Fenway South: 11581 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33913
First game of Red Sox spring rotation: Saturday, March 03, 2012 @ 2:35 p.m. – facing the Northeastern Huskies for the first spring training game at JetBlue Park for 2012.
Any questions or if you would like a CD of these slides and more available, email Kelly directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org