Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“When I saw the whole team together, I thought, ‘We’re going to surprise a lot of people.’ That was my first thought,” said [Pedro] Martinez, who dropped by Yankee Stadium yesterday in part to fulfill his role as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington. “I don’t expect them to be the frontline team, but at the same time, I thought the team had enough good talent, if we stay healthy, to actually surprise a lot of people. That’s what’s happening right now.”
Martinez spent considerable time around the Red Sox during spring training, specifically to work with the pitchers. The Sox great was struck by the commitment of the starters, noting that Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront arrived in Fort Myers well before the mandatory reporting date.
And as spring training evolved, Martinez began to see the personality of the team take shape.
“I keep saying, ‘We’re not big names, we’re not the super team, but we’re gamers,’ ” he said. “That’s what we have — a whole bunch of gamers. And the gamers come out to play every single day.”
Herald - Red Sox Notebook: Pedro the prophet
If you go back to our Ted's Army predictions this past Spring, all of us except Scott predicted that Boston would eclipse 84 wins. At the time, expectations were pretty low for this team. Those were bold predictions. Everybody except Scott and I predicted the Sox would make the playoffs. To his credit, Tucker pretty much nailed it: "...character will carry this team. We’ll see a lot of come from behind wins..."
Red Sox fans talking about how great their team is isn't exactly Earth-shattering. Red Sox employee Pedro Martinez (special assistant TO the General Manger) trying to sell optimism in the spring isn't mind-blowing either. But I think we all saw something in this team early on that made us think that if they could remain healthy, and got a few breaks, we had a legit contender on our hands.
What I think we mostly saw was that this year's team wasn't last year's team. The 2012 Boston Red Sox lose that game last night, and the one the night before. It's still hard to understand why that team underachieved so badly, but none of that matters now.
October is a long ways away still, and I'm not comparing this team's squad with the one we saw in 2004, but they have very similar attitudes. What has already been an incredibly fun season is about to get a whole lot better.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Red Sox bats stage Bronx revival | Mike Napoli slam highlights another winning show | Buckley: These Sox enjoying last laugh | Globe - Red Sox torment Yankees again | Napoli, Victorino rally Red Sox past Yankees 12-8 | WEEI - Change coming for Doubront after struggles? | Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino key another memorable win for Red Sox | CSNNE - Uehara continues to shut out batters