FORT MYERS, Fla. — Bobby Valentine always expects his players to bust it. The new manager of the Boston Red Sox also wants his team to bus it this spring.

When the Red Sox play exhibitions on the road, Valentine says the players will take the team bus. It’s common around the majors for stars to drive themselves to spring training road games, mostly to get a fast start home after they’re pulled early.

“I think guys drove to the ballpark when we played away (in previous springs),” Valentine said Monday. “We’re not going to do that anymore.”

“Buses. Yeah, buses. Unless there’s an exception, someone has to pick their wife up at the airport along the way. There’s always exceptions to rules. The manager and coaches will drive and at times there might be a player there because at times there might be a ‘B’ game that I’m going to watch and the bus leaves early.”

The Red Sox are coming off a season in which a late collapse cost them a playoff spot. Valentine has been trying to add games and innings to get enough time to evaluate everyone.

Left fielder Carl Crawford was an early arrival among the pitchers and catchers. Despite having surgery on his left wrist in January, Crawford looked fine to Valentine.

Crawford had a disappointing first season with the Red Sox last year and was a target of some of Valentine’s pointed criticism as an analyst for ESPN. The manager, though, is not concerned about any lingering discomfort.

“I think it’s cleared up,” Valentine said. “And if it’s not, I don’t think it’s a big deal anyway.”


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