FORT MYERS, Fla. — There are a number of spring training days you star on the calendar. There's the day pitchers and catchers report, there's the first Grapefruit League game and then there's the last game before heading off to start the season.
Then there is today, the first full-squad workout.
It's a fun day usually. The clubhouse is full of people and the manager holds a big meeting beforehand, laying out his goals for spring training and the season. The owners are usually around and they might say a few words, too.
The trainer, the public relations guy, the people in community relations, everybody gives their spiel to the players.
Once that is over, the team takes the field and there is action everywhere. Pitchers pitch, catchers catch and hitters hit. Every field has something going on. The veteran players ease their way into it and the prospects hustle like it's Game 7 of the World Series.
David Ortiz has been in big league camps since 1997. For guys like Jackie Bradley, Deven Marrero and Xander Bogaerts, this is their first.
Spring training is fun, although it does get boring near the end. For writers, it's a chance to see different players and work on stories without worrying about examining wins and losses. Plus you sleep in the same bed every night, albeit in a rented condo. Once the season starts you're traveling around and life becomes hectic.
Just know this much about spring training: It's largely a mirage. Players who look great could actually be terrible. Players who look awful can become All-Stars. Teams that seem invincible could start 1-10. The aim is to stay healthy, get physically prepared and perhaps audition some players. Don't get too caught up in the results or the statistics.
A reader emailed Thursday asking how the Red Sox look. They're playing catch and taking batting practice, they look great. But so do 29 other teams at this point.
Hope you're enjoying the coverage so far. If you have any story ideas, please e-mail me. Trust me, I'll be looking for some in a few weeks.
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