Mention “Truck Day” to any Red Sox fan and you’re bound to get a reaction.

The optimist might wax poetic about a fresh start, a clean slate and an eventual march toward World Series glory. The pessimist might roll their eyes or (if they’re having a bad morning) say you’re crazy, either because the event itself involves standing in the cold while people load baseball equipment or because they’re upset with the state of the Red Sox.

Whatever the case, it’s OK to feel something.

No Matchup Found

Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.

Story continues below advertisement

Hope. Joy. Excitement.

Doubt. Anger. Frustration.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

All are acceptable. It’s part of the fan experience. The lows make you appreciate the highs, and the highs make you loathe the lows. And while the buzz (or lack thereof, depending on the year) around Truck Day isn’t any more predictive of the upcoming season than Punxsutawney Phil seeing (or not seeing) his shadow on Groundhog Day, it nevertheless draws attention to the endless possibilities facing Boston.

The Red Sox are coming off a quietly noisy offseason, if that makes any sense.

Story continues below advertisement

They didn’t make the big on-field splash. No free-agent deal for Shohei Ohtani or Yoshinobu Yamamoto. No trade for Juan Soto or Corbin Burnes. Sure, they could change course and sign someone like Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery — two free agents still available as of Monday afternoon — but so far, Boston’s winter maneuvering included signing Lucas Giolito, acquiring Tyler O’Neill and flipping Chris Sale for Vaughn Grissom, while also shipping Alex Verdugo to the New York Yankees and losing Justin Turner and James Paxton via the open market. Basically, marginal improvements, if anything.

That said, the Red Sox did hire a new chief baseball officer in Craig Breslow, which inherently is a franchise-altering decision. Plus, Theo Epstein is back in the family, last week joining Fenway Sports Group as senior advisor. Those developments are significant for Boston’s long-term future — even more so than going out and landing a bona fide ace.

Add everything up, and it’s difficult to slap expectations on the 2024 Red Sox, especially after a 2023 season in which they showed glimmers of hope before ultimately finishing in last place in the American League East.

Story continues below advertisement

Skeptical? It’s warranted. Bullish? That’s defensible, too.

Which brings us back to Truck Day, the beginning of the 1,480-mile trip from Fenway Park in Boston to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.

On Monday, a jaw-dropping amount of precious cargo was loaded into the Red Sox’s equipment truck, driven annually to the club’s spring training complex by Milford, Mass., native Al Hartz. More importantly, fans in the region received their first real taste of the 2024 season, for better or worse.

Baseball is coming. Spring is coming. Opening Day is coming.

Story continues below advertisement

And it’s OK to feel something about that.

Featured image via Tom Gorman/The Patriot Ledger via USA TODAY Sports Images