Dustin Pedroia’s energy extends well beyond the diamond.
David Ross recently told The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo that several players from last year’s Red Sox team have remained in touch throughout the offseason via text messages. Pedroia apparently went one step further, leaving a voice mail that has Ross extremely excited for the 2014 season.
“It was such a special group of guys,” Ross told Cafardo about the 2013 Red Sox. “We have a line of texting going on all winter, and this team is fired up to get back out there. [Dustin] Pedroia sent me a voice mail the other day that got me completely fired up for the upcoming year. I can’t wait to get to spring training and start it all over again. And I know the guys, texting back and forth, feel the same way.”
Maintaining a loose clubhouse atmosphere in the pressure-packed Boston baseball market is difficult, as one mistake can open up a huge can of worms. But Ross said last year’s bunch was well-prepared for an intense playoff run by the time October rolled around, largely because of the experience the club gained in the months leading up to it.
“I think what really prepared us for the postseason last year was the regular season,” Ross told Cafardo. “We knew in that environment in Boston that when we lost a game, we were going to come under scrutiny, and we were going to be asked tough questions every day. So by the time the postseason came along, we were ready for that stage, because it was no tougher for us than the regular season.”
The 2013 Red Sox had tremendous team chemistry, and Ross’ text message anecdote suggests that the same could be true in 2014. In fact, it might be even more important for the team to stick together this season, as the Red Sox clearly will have a target on their backs as the defending World Series champions.
“The funny thing is, everywhere I go, people are so excited about what we did and want to keep talking about it and talking about it,” Ross said. “But for us, again, just going by the conversations and the texting with the guys, we’re already looking ahead, because what’s done is done. And we all know we’re going to get questions about last year all the time. People are going to be looking at us very closely for signs that we’re not the same as last year.”
The Red Sox’ first full-squad workout down in Fort Myers is scheduled for Feb. 20. One can only imagine how many text messages will be exchanged or how many fiery Pedroia voice mails will be left before then.