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Big Boy Pants

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring Training Workouts - Ft. Myers

Going in to the JetBlue Park/Fenway South complex for the first time each year is like New Year’s Day for me.  It’s finally a chance to see the boys of summer, and in a whole lot warmer setting than the actual Opening Day game at Fenway will be.  So today I was happy to see them put on their big boy pants and work out.

No, really.  As we waited for the players to come out and stretch, I wondered why there was a basket of uniform pants and a row of sneakers set up on the agility field.  After the usual stretching exercises, the major league position players stayed on that field to practice sliding.  In the past, we’ve seen them do this drill on strips of black plastic that look like Slip ‘N Slides.  This time they slid on the grass, wearing sneakers instead of cleats, and with the option of putting a second pair of pants on over their uniform pants, as one coach explained, “so you won’t mess up your game pants.”

Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi are among those getting into costume for a sliding drill.

Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi are among those getting into costume for a sliding drill.

To see the wardrobe change and the drill in all its glorious splendor, see the video below.


Mookie Betts takes off his sliding pants at the end of the drill.

Mookie Betts takes off his sliding pants at the end of the drill.

After that, it was a typical Spring Training workout.  There was some throwing and infield practice, followed by live B.P. where pitchers throw to their teammates, then regular batting practice to round out the day.  Following are some of my favorite pictures from the day.

Hanley Ramirez's son joined in the morning stretch.

Hanley Ramirez's son joined in the morning stretch.

Dustin Pedroia doing his thing during fielding practice.

Dustin Pedroia doing his thing during fielding practice.

Chris Sale threw live B.P. to Chris Young and Junior Lake.

Chris Sale threw live B.P. to Chris Young and Junior Lake. He was followed on the Field 3 mound by Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and Brandon Workman.

Third baseman Rafael Devers is one of the top prospects in the organization. The 20-year-old made it as far as High-A Salem last season and projects to open the year in Double-A.

Third baseman Rafael Devers is one of the top prospects in the organization. The 20-year-old made it as far as High-A Salem last season and projects to open the year in Double-A.

Pablo Sandoval and outfielder Junior Lake share a smile.

Pablo Sandoval and outfielder Junior Lake share a smile.

Sandy Leon and the other catchers were kept busy, warming up the pitchers, catching the live B.P. sessions, and then getting in some batting practice of their own.

Sandy Leon and the other catchers were kept busy, warming up the pitchers, catching the live B.P. sessions, and then getting in some batting practice of their own.

Mookie and JBJ wait their turn in batting practice.

Mookie and JBJ wait their turn in batting practice.

At the end of practice I got autographs from Blake Swihart, Deven Marrero, Sam Travis, Dan Butler, Steve Selsky, Jordan Procyshen, and hitting coach Chili Davis as they came off the field.  After leaving, we stopped for a treat at Norman Love Artisan Gelato just down the street from the ballpark, and then spent the afternoon at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota.

It was a perfect beach day in Sarasota.

It was a perfect day for a siesta in Sarasota.

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