Red Sox: Third Annual Winter Weekend Recap
January 20-22nd marked the dates for the Boston Red Sox annual “Winter Weekend” experience. Fans have the chance to receive autographs, view new Red Sox merchandise, and hear players outlooks on the upcoming season.
Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, CT was the host venue for the third annual Winter Weekend event. There fans had the chance to experience the most interactive event the Red Sox will host all season (pitching booth, breakfast with Wally and Tessie, chance to see World Series trophies, etc). Additionally, we got to meet some of the Red Sox new faces and reunite with some of those from the past.
The biggest news had to come from the pitching department, in regards to who will be on the mound on Opening Day. The Red Sox newest “deuce” pitcher Chris Sale, told Jen McCaffrey of MassLive “If I had to pick, which my opinion means absolutely nothing, but I think out of respect you’ve got to go with Rick Porcello. He was the best pitcher in the league last year.” Porcello was the American League Cy Young Winner and posted a 3.15 ERA with a 22-4 record in 2016.
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David Price also talked with NESN’s Tom Caron in a one-on-one interview. Price claimed, “We have all five pitchers that are capable of going out there and dominating the lineups”. Price struggled with his control during his first season in Boston. He also struggled with racial slurs coming from the sidelines. Price is more “focused on the positives” and hopes he can join Porcello and Sale in the Red Sox quest for three twenty-win pitchers. There is surely a great deal of optimism coming from the Red Sox pitchers heading into 2017.
The cast of “Win, Dance, Repeat” also had big news coming from Winter Weekend. With both Jackie Bradley Jr. and rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi announcing number changes. Fresh off of his breakout season, Bradley changed his number to 19. Famously worn by another Red Sox center fielder, the great Fred Lynn. Bradley announced his big news through Boston’s own Hotel Commonwealth and their twitter. NESN quoted Bradley saying that he feels like this Red Sox team is “close-knit” and it feels like he has a family.
Andrew Benintendi will now wear number 16 and has also spent the offseason bulking up. Benintendi told Christopher Smith of Mass Live “Obviously staying healthy’s the main thing. I think that by adding some weight and staying mobile and flexible that overall that it will help in the long run.” Benintendi is looking to make a huge impact in both aspects of the game during his first full season as the Red Sox left-fielder.
Red Sox first-baseman Mitch Moreland spoke on behalf of David Ortiz saying “There’s no replacing him.” Moreland was acquired over the offseason to cover the bag, while Hanley Ramirez will take over at DH. Moreland had a solid 2016 season hitting 22 home runs and 60 RBI. In addition, Red Sox Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez made headlines at the Winter Weekend, claiming that he won’t believe that Ortiz is retired until this season is completely over. Red Sox president Sam Kennedy is discussing Ortiz’ potential in broadcasting.
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This Winter Weekend did a great job displaying the future faces that will highlight Boston’s baseball side of its sports media. It also answered a lot of questions regarding internal decision making that happened over the offseason. The competition from teams like Cleveland, the Rangers, the Orioles, and the Astros will challenge the Sox chances of winning an American League pennant. We should remain confident as the Red Sox are looking to do so themselves. “Truck Day” is the next fan friendly event on our calendars.