Family an Important Part of Red Sox Team Culture

Family an Important Part of Red Sox Team Culture Fenway Park is rife with familiar scenes. From the red seats (green in the bleachers and blue under the overhang, of course) to the Green Monster to the retired numbers looming over the right-field grandstands, there are plenty of reminders of what makes Fenway a unique environment.

The 2010 season also has brought on another familiar scene — that of David Ortiz and Victor Martinez's young sons taking over the clubhouse with raucous wrestling matches, the kind little boys can carry on forever.

Every once in a while, a break is required when Martinez's boy is called into manager Terry Francona's office for a "scolding," part of the family-first routine that Francona allows. In fact, he finds it rather necessary.

Francona received much of his grooming while following his father through major league clubhouses when he was a boy, and Tito Francona played for nine different teams in 15 years in the bigs. The younger Francona knows the merits of allowing such interactions to occur, contrary to the tight ships run in other major league clubhouses.

It's not uncommon to see the Red Sox' charter plane to other cities filled with significant others and babies. Several players have welcomed their first child into the world in the past year or so, and allowing those bonds to build during a season is paramount in Francona's world.

Playing careers can be short, anyway. Familial bonds last forever.

The rules around the Red Sox do not necessarily change depending on the team's fortune, or lack thereof. After a three-game sweep in Baltimore earlier this year, the flight home was filled with families enjoying each other's company. Martinez's and Ortiz's boys' latest bout took place during the sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox earlier this month.

And the rules set forth by Major League Baseball, which restrict clubhouse access to certain degrees, don't mean much when morale and a sense of belonging are at stake.

"I guess when I see Victor's kid or David's, if we bend the rules sometimes, I really don't care," Francona added.

The skipper also will take little Victor into his office to tell him he is benched for that night's game. It's all in good fun and all part of a family atmosphere at Fenway.

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