The Red Sox opened the 2013 season in a big way with an 8-2 victory against the Yankees yesterday. But, something stood out that we haven't witnessed in awhile...passion.
“Obviously there are two options right there,” Gomes said. “But coming in, the back side of the plate was wide open, so I just went with the little sweep slide and got it.”
Ellsbury is no stranger to those kind of hustle plays — he has stolen home and scored from second on a passed ball, after all — but he couldn’t believe this one.
“Oh, it fired me up. Fired me up,” Ellsbury said emphatically. “When the inning was over, I came in and saw him in the video room looking at it, and I gave him a high five.”
So what does this have to do with leadership and clubhouse culture and chemistry and all of those other buzzwords fans are probably a little sick of? Gomes explained.
“When you break it all down, that’s an extra run for the team, and it’s an extra RBI for my teammate,” Gomes said. “When we have each other’s backs like that, when we go the extra 90 feet for our teammates, that kind of stuff becomes contagious, and we’re putting pressure on the defense. Granted, it was one run, one RBI, but a lot more goes into that.”
Herald: Play Gomes a long way
Gomes hustling to score the Red Sox eighth run in the ninth inning yesterday seemed to be a major takeaway in their 8-2 Opening Day victory over the Yankees. It's a play that certainly has Red Sox Nation stirring.
It's no coincidence that Gomes has recently been a part of playoff teams in Oakland, Cinncinatti, and Tampa Bay. This is the exact kind of veteran that teams in need of a character overhaul are looking for.
Gomes aside, Opening Day could not have gone better for the Red Sox image. You had Jackie Bradley Jr's tremendous catch at the wall, Lester showing his ace side, Pedroia being Pedroia, and Uehara's stellar five-pitch performance to name a few. Let's not forget beating up Yankees' ace C.C. Sabathia; that never hurts.
Did we see a fist pump at all these past few years? (Cody Ross's walk-off HR against the White Sox is the only thing that comes to mind.) How about a smile? A grin? Didn't think so.
Character will carry the 2013 Red Sox. Gone are the divas who jog out grounders. Gone are the overpaid, comfortable veterans who like to get by and just get paid. I promise you, this will be a fun year to watch this team.
If this passion continues to build, Gomes's famous Opening Day fist pump will be remembered as a sweet kick-off to the season by many.
But then again, it's just one game...right?
Rest of the links- Herald: Happy beginnings | Herald: GM promotes Bradley | Herald: Iglesias grabs some spotlight | Herald: Major leaguer indeed | Globe: Red Sox nearly flawless on Opening Day | Globe: Jon Lester finally gets an Opening Day win | Globe: Jackie Bradley’s Red Sox debut was a show-stopper | Globe: Andrew Bailey comes up big for Red Sox in seventh | WEEI.com: Will Middlebrooks wasn’t going to let 102-degree fever sideline him | CSNNE.com: Sox bullpen looks like real deal | ESPNBoston.com: Red Sox make most of clean slate | ESPNBoston.com: Red Sox bullish on their pen