OAKLAND, Calif. — Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes went to Seattle’s Pike Place Market on Tuesday for lunch and picked up a bouquet of wildflowers on their way out to give to third base coach Brian Butterfield as a joke.
Butterfield put the flowers in the dugout and the Sox won that night. The same thing happened on Wednesday and Thursday.
Rather than risk angering the baseball gods, the players decided to bring the flowers with them to Oakland. Rookie Jose Iglesias was put in charge of keeping the flowers in water and transporting them on the bus and to the team charter.
Iglesias then had to keep the flowers in his room and bring them to Oakland Coliseum. The Sox won again on Friday, giving the flowers a 4-0 record.
The flowers are now in an empty bubblegum canister and still very much alive thanks to Iglesias, whose quick hands apparently include a green thumb.
It's the latest example of the Red Sox having some fun as a group, a running story since the start of spring training.
But there's also some subtle team building being done, too. Iglesias is having a wildly successful season and putting him in charge of a bouquet of flowers is a way to remind him that he's still a rookie and has to keep earning his way.
Don't forget, Iglesias was benched in Pawtucket earlier this season after he was demoted and sulked about it. But since he returned to the Red Sox, any traces of a bad attitude have vanished.
Is because of something like having to carry some flowers around? Probably not directly. But little things like that help make a team. No metric can tell you how many wins that's worth. But the Red Sox certainly believe it has more than a little to do with them being 58-37.