Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Howard Ulman
The Associated Press
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The duck boat Jake Peavy rode in during the World Series parade is at his ranch in Alabama. The bushy beard David Ross grew as the Boston Red Sox kept winning is gone.
Infielder Xander Bogaerts, the former Sea Dog who could be the Red Sox shortstop this season, fields a grounder during an early workout Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Associated Press
Nice memories, for sure, but the champions are preparing for a new season.
“It’s critical that we get back to the mindset of first day of spring training last year and not Game 6 of the World Series,” Manager John Farrell said Saturday. “Last year is over and done.”
Pitchers and catchers were due to report to spring training Saturday, two days before their first formal workout. Many position players already were there, three days before their official reporting date.
The Red Sox obtained Peavy last July 30 from the Chicago White Sox. He went 4-1 with Boston in the regular season and lost his only World Series start. But he left with a strange souvenir when he bought the duck boat that he said was used in Europe during World War II and became part of an amphibious fleet now used for tours of Boston and the Charles River.
“I have had a lot of problems trying to find somebody to do the paint scheme the way we wanted it,” Peavy said Saturday. “It’s going to have to go to Texas to get the paint scheme that we want on it but it’s going to be a fine piece of art, a piece of memorabilia when it does get finished.”
The boat will have the team’s championship logo, pictures of the World Series trophy, a “Boston Strong” logo and photos of him, teammate Jon Lester and their families taken of them riding on it during the parade.
A.J. Pierzynski, signed to a one-year contract to replace catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, played with Peavy in Chicago.
“I’m just mad he didn’t invite me for a ride,” Pierzynski said with a smile, “but, no, it doesn’t surprise me one bit. Knowing Jake, he’s probably running tours out of his back yard on that thing.”
Peavy hopes to conduct summer camps when he retires, and “this is going to be a neat piece to have down there, to take tours in,” he said.
“A lot of people thought it was an impulse buy, which it was not.
“It is funny, every now and then waking up and walking out and going to look at this thing, but I took it to the store a few times.”
Ross, a backup catcher with six teams, wasn’t as easily noticed when he went to the store, not without his long beard.
“I was ready to get back to being normal a little bit and be able to go to the grocery store and buy groceries and get out of there in like 30 minutes rather than two hours,” he said. “Thanksgiving night I took it off.”
Jonny Gomes’ flowing beard also is gone, although Mike Napoli plans to keep his.
But the beards are so last year, just like the team’s accomplishments. And players keep reminding each other of that.
“It’s 2014,” Peavy said. “We haven’t done anything and, obviously, some teams in our division got awfully better.”
Like the New York Yankees.