It may be tough for some players to make the transition to Boston, where it's a big-market, no-nonsense franchise with a fan base that knows the game a little too well for some players' comfort.
So when new Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre arrived to Fort Myers, David Ortiz and Victor Martinez wanted to make his first memory a comforting one — they welcomed their new slugger with a hug.
“Yeah, that makes it easier,” Beltre told WEEI.com. “I played against this team a lot and they’re a bunch of great guys. So I feel really comfortable here because I know everyone is trying to be on the same page and be a class act.”
But after the fuzzy feelings were released and Beltre made his rounds throughout the locker room to meet his new mates, he began to get down to business.
“[I'm] really excited,” he said. “First time I’ve actually put the uniform on is today. I’m excited to be part of the Boston Red Sox and hopefully contribute to a really good season.
"Thank God that I’m financially good and set," he added. "It’s good to come to a team that has a really high expectation and has a really good chance to go to the World Series. I haven’t been in this situation a lot before. I’ve been on teams that have been good but not good enough to even get into the playoffs. It’s something that I consider myself taking a little risk to put a ring on my finger.”
Beltre is hoping to take advantage of Fenway's short porch after years of offensive torment in the vast Safeco Field. However, Beltre has struggled at the Fens as a visitor, posting a .179 career average in 16 games.
“That’s something we’re going to have to find out,” Beltre said. “Hopefully, Boston can be good to me. There’s no doubt, when you talk about dimensions of the stadium, it’s way better than it was [in Seattle], so hopefully that can [work] in my advantage.”
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