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Open House

Saturday, February 28, 2015 – JetBlue Park, Ft. Myers

Spring Training Workout and Open House

Saturday was a much busier day at Red Sox camp.  Although the players got a late start due to internal meetings, a larger than normal crowd was on hand, many drawn in by an open house at JetBlue Park.  During the workout, we got to watch one of my favorite spring drills, in which the players practice sliding on long black mats (see video below).  We also got to see more live B.P. and some impressive batting practice clouts by the big stars.  As practice wound down, I got autographs from Joe Kelly, new reliever Alexi Ogando, top prospect Henry Owens, bench coach Torey Lovullo, and minor league players Matt Barnes, Noe Ramirez, Felipe Paulino, Travis Shaw, and Humberto Quintero.  Then we went into the ballpark for the open house, where we got to go up on JetBlue’s version of the Green Monster, walk on the actual grass (not just the warning track), and sit in the dugout.

Big Papi's son D'Angelo and Koji Uehara's son Kaz joined the team as they stretched out before practice. D'Angelo stuck around and shagged flies with the other players while Papi took batting practice..

Big Papi's son D'Angelo and Koji Uehara's son Kaz joined the team as they stretched out before practice. D'Angelo stuck around and shagged flies with the other players while Papi took batting practice.

Craig Breslow and the other pitchers did some long-tossing at the start of practice.

Craig Breslow and the other pitchers did some long-tossing at the start of practice.

One of the silliest drills, and therefore my favorite, is when they practice sliding. Here, Garin Cecchini takes his turn on the mat. Players have to change out of their cleats and into sneakers, and then change back afterward.

One of the silliest drills, and therefore my favorite, is when they practice sliding. Here, Garin Cecchini takes his turn on the mat. Players have to change out of their cleats and into sneakers, and then change back afterward.

In the video below, Pablo Sandoval, Xander Bogaerts, and Dustin Pedroia work to perfect the art of the slide:

Joe Kelly threw live B.P. to Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli. After practice he signed autographs for quite a while.

Joe Kelly threw live B.P. to Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli. After practice he signed autographs for quite a while.

Catchrs have the most grueling schedules. Not only do they have to catch batting practice on the field and side sessions in the bullpens, they have to take their own turns at batting practice too. Christian Vazquez has been one of the last players to come in at the end of practice every day, and has been making time to sign for fans too.

Catchers have the most grueling spring schedules. Not only do they have to catch batting practice on the field and side sessions in the bullpens, they have to take their own turns at batting practice too. Christian Vazquez has been one of the last players to come in at the end of practice every day, and has been making time to sign for fans too.

Today was my first chance to see new reliever Robbie Ross, Jr.  He threw live B.P. to Allen Craig and Christian Vazquez.

Today was my first chance to see new reliever Robbie Ross, Jr. He threw live B.P. to Allen Craig and Christian Vazquez.

I finally got a good picture of Jason Varitek, who's been watching practice all week and working with the catchers as a special instructor.

I finally got a decent picture of Jason Varitek, who's been watching practice all week and working with the catchers as a special instructor.

Once again, Big Papi knocked a bunch of towering blasts over the fences during batting practice. (The short ones merely cleared the outfield fence. The long ones bounced off the roof of the batting cages beyond the field.

Once again, Big Papi knocked a bunch of towering blasts over the fences during batting practice. (The short ones merely cleared the outfield fence. The long ones bounced off the roof of the batting cages beyond the field.)

Rusney Castillo is easy to recognize with his unique hairdo.

Rusney Castillo is easy to recognize with his unique hairdo.

After practice we went into the ballpark itself. This is the view from the Green Monster (which is technically six feet higher than Fenway's). Afterward, we got to walk on the outfield grass, not just the warning track like I have at other events. We also got to sit in the dugout and talk on the bullpen phone.

After practice we went into the ballpark itself. This is the view from the Green Monster (which is technically six feet higher than Fenway's). Afterward, we got to walk on the outfield grass, not just the warning track like I have at other events. We also got to sit in the dugout and talk on the bullpen phone.

One Response to “Open House”

  1. Diary of a RedSoxDiehard » Wrapping Up - March 2nd, 2016

    [...] It’s pretty much the silliest drill I’ve ever seen at spring training, topping even the sliding drill and parachute run.  (But it got me thinking – shouldn’t they have a drill where the [...]

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