FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox ownership group was in camp Saturday to take part in a team-wide meeting. It marks their 10th spring training as a trio, and while expectations are always high, there is a little something different to it this time around.
“There is a sense of confidence, a sense of optimism, a sense of what can be,” said president and CEO Larry Lucchino. “You can feel it when you walk into camp and talk to the individual players. The meeting today had that feel as well.”
Indeed it did. The ownership group was given a standing ovation by the players, a strong indication of the appreciation for the efforts made to improve the club this offseason. It was an unparalleled act that speaks to the promise of 2011.
Now, it’s just a matter of putting it all together.
“What we are on paper needs to translate into results,” principal owner John Henry said. “This is the first day of that translation.”
As Lucchino, Henry and chairman Tom Werner spoke, the team they had assembled worked out on the surrounding fields at the player development complex. It was the first full-squad workout and everyone was healthy and accounted for.
Health, of course, will be key to making that translation to which Henry alludes. That said, the organization was not content to let the players who were hurt last year simply return to form and hope it didn’t happen again. It wanted to get deeper and more talented.
There was still a sting left over from 2010.
“We were focusing on the needs we had. We finished in third place last year. We kept reminding ourselves we were in third place last year and things had to be done,” Lucchino said. “There was both a need and an opportunity to do things by trade or free agency.”
In that statement, Lucchino is referring specifically to Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the two big names landed via those routes. Crawford sought out the power trio after the meeting to thank them for bringing him aboard.
Lucchino added that there will be money available if and when the team needs to make a move at the trading deadline. With the vibe in camp right now being so positive, that’s almost hard to imagine.