PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Jonny Gomes has fond memories in his time as a Tampa Bay Ray in 2008.
Gomes who has been on three divisional winners in five years said, “There’s always a bond that develops with players on teams that win. That was the case here. It’s a great organization. You follow how Joe (Maddon) and Andrew (Friedman) do things and you’re going to be OK.”
Gomes said while the Rays wind up lose players because certain players overperform, “They always have five guys ready to pout in their place. That’s the great thing about this organization.”
Gomes doesn’t know whether the Rays made a bid to get him back. He is batting cleanup for the Red Sox today and seemed quite proud.
“Yeah, batting cleanup for the Boston Red Sox. No big deal right?” he said.
Bench coach Torey Lovullo is managing the Sox here.
Alfredo Aceves was slated to start and go two innings followed by one inning from Daniel Bard. Aceves will be leaving for Phoenix on Saturday where he will join Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic. After the batting practice incident where he was lobbing his throws into the hitter, Aceves has been in a good mood.
He was playful before his start today, making fun of this reporter’s receding hairline and recommending that a shaved head would be a better look.
Aceves also talked about the need for the Red Sox to play more small ball this season in an effort to manufacture more runs.
In other news, Lovullo expects John Farrell to handle potential booing by Jays fans in Dunedin, and then during the regular season in Toronto, just fine.
He said the guy who will “bring the roof down” in Toronto is third base coach Brian Butterfield who was a popular figure in Toronto and one who some thought should have replaced Farrell as the manager.