J.D. Drew knows better than most the differences between baseball on both U.S. coasts.
The former Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder explained Wednesday during his appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM why the experience of playing in Boston differs vastly from doing so in L.A. Drew believes the historic attitudes of the teams’ fans, combined with the architecture of their respective ballparks are primary reasons for the differences.
“The stands (at Dodger Stadium) sit a little further away from the field, so maybe it doesn’t feel quite as on top of you,” Drew said. “Fenway Park … you’ve got the Green Monster sitting there on top of you, you’ve got the fans in your back pocket it seems like.
“Baseball in the Northeast is very intense. It always has been. The Southern California atmosphere might be a little more laid back during the season, but certainly when postseaosn starts it changes, and those fans are just as passionate.
Drew played for the Dodgers between 2004 and 2006 before joining the Red Sox that winter as a free agent. He helped Boston win the World Series in 2007, his first season with the Red Sox, and spent four more years with the team before retiring from baseball in 2011.
Now 42, Drew says two types of players exist with respect to Boston.
“There is an edge, and the intensity (in Boston) … some people can survive in it, and some people have to fold up and go somewhere else.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports