When Tim Wakefield announced his retirement a few weeks ago, the Red Sox clubhouse was saddened by his loss but joyful for his future endeavors in life.
A similar, maybe even more pronounced, feeling seems to have overtaking the Boston locker room in the days leading up to catcher Jason Varitek's official retirement from baseball.
While the Red Sox roster continues to gel as a unit this spring, the loss of Varitek and Wakfield has taken a considerable toll on some players within the organization. Josh Beckett, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and others have expressed their feelings over the news of the captain's retirement and the apparent changing atmosphere with the team so far this spring.
Meanwhile, new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has begun stirring up plenty of news on his own. Valentine started the team's second full week of spring training with some choice comments about the rival New York Yankees, even taking jabs at both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in the process.
The new manager's straight-shooting style has gotten plenty of attention as of late and is sure to add even more fuel to a rivalry, already bubbling with bad blood.
NESN.com Red Sox beat writer Didier Morais is down in Fort Myers covering all the action from Red Sox camp and has the latest on the team's progress, from lingering injuries to the development of young talent right before his eyes. He caught up with NESN's own Luke Hughes and the two discussed a variety of topics, including Varitek's retirement, Valentine's Yankee hatred, Carl Crawford's wrist and even the addition of two more Wild Card teams to the MLB playoffs.
Take a listen to this week's Red Sox podcast from Fort Myers or download it in the player below.