Clay Buchholz, Red Sox Make Light Of ‘Ace’ Talk With Funny T-Shirts

The Boston Red Sox’s starting rotation debuted some new threads Thursday at JetBlue Park.

Most of the talk surrounding Boston’s rotation this spring has centered on the unit’s absence of an “ace,” which Clay Buchholz saw as an opportunity to lighten the mood in the Red Sox’s clubhouse. The right-hander purchased T-shirts for each member of the rotation — him, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Joe Kelly and Justin Masterson — that poke fun at the big question hanging over the staff’s head.

The light blue sleeveless shirts say “He’s the ace” on the front and feature each pitcher’s name and number on the back. A gray shirt reserved for the day’s starting pitcher says “I’m the ace.” (Joe Kelly, who is starting Thursday against the Minnesota Twins, rocked the gray shirt on Day 1.)

The message coincides with a response frequently used throughout the offseason and this spring by Boston’s quintet of starting pitchers: The Red Sox’s “ace” is whoever takes the ball on a given night.

“It’s just something to keep the guys loose,” Buchholz told reporters in Fort Myers. “Obviously, the comments surrounding our staff and what we’ve got going on, it’s always been based on, ‘You have a bunch of No. 3 and 4 guys, you don’t have a No. 1 or 2 guy.’ It shows the guys there’s no pressure on anybody. Just go out and pitch.”

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

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