FORT MYERS, Fla. (CBS) — The Red Sox stepped out at the minor league training complex in Fort Myers, Fla. Saturday for the first full squad workout. And if you listen to the team and its management, they’re more than ready to win this year’s World Series.
Owners Larry Lucchino, John Henry and Tom Werner, now in their tenth year as owners, say this team has “tremendous potential.” Noting that there are 16 players on the team who have All Star Game experience, the trio said this off season was “tremendous” and the atmosphere is positive and encouraging.
Manager Terry Francona added it’s nice to get everyone together and see the club establish its personality. “We won’t know how we’re going to finish, nor should we worry about October right now. We need to work hard every day,” he said.
Last year the Sox lost too many games, and didn’t capitalize on chances to win late, the manager told reporters. He’s hopeful that this year will be different.
So are the players.
HOPING FOR CHANGE
Marco Scutaro told players that “if everyone stays healthy, they’ll have a pretty good chance of being in the playoffs and the World Series.”
He wasn’t the only one saying that.
Tim Wakefield thinks this team has a good chance of winning the World Series.
“I was disappointed last year. I’m looking forward to this year,” he said. “I love this rotation. It’s one of the best rotations in baseball right now.”
Wakefield said he is working harder than he ever has, but in a different way. His role is currently undefined, adding he “worked his butt off” to stay in the best shape he could.
WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche reports from Florida.
Last year’s injuries are still haunting the team, and the players hope not to see a season like last.
The owners noted in the past eight years, the team has made the post-season six times, and when they missed it in 2006 and 2010 there were “incredible” injuries.
David “Big Papi” Ortiz said that he “prays to God that the injuries stay away.”
Scutaro said he played most of last season hurt, first with his arm, then with his shoulder.
Francona said he knows Josh Beckett wasn’t happy with last year and he’s hoping to change it. And John Lackey, Francona said, showed up to camp about 10 pounds lighter.
At the end of last season JD Drew encountered some pain in his hamstring, and it was bothersome during the off season. But he says it’s feeling better now.
Perhaps it was something the rest of the team wishes it could have said last season, but Saturday Jed Lowrie told reporters “It feels good to feel healthy.” Lowrie went on to say he had a productive off season for the first time in two or three years.
He said he intends on focusing on shortstop this season, but knows that he may be shifted into other positions. “I’ll take as many reps as I can at other positions,” he said.
OFF SEASON MOVES
All of the moves the front office made in the off season seem to have inspired a lot of the players on the field.
Clay Buchholz says having three closers in the bull pen along with strong starting pitchers bodes well for the team. “Sitting in the training room it’s like watching an All Star team walk around in there. So many have post-season experience.”
Now, as Dustin Pedroia puts it, they just have to “play their butts off.”