This past week I've been down in sunny Florida visiting family. Renting a car and making the 4 hour drive from Daytona Beach to Fort Myers was a no brainer. As fun as Bike Week is, baseball trumps all.
Being spring training, I was not expecting to see the line ups we saw. At both games, starters like - Betts, Pedoria, Ramirez, Sandoval, Napoli, Bogaerts, and even Ortiz - made an appearance. Obviously mid-way during these games, we saw them replaced with their minor league counter-parts but being able to see a MLB starting line up two games in a row at a couple spring training games was an added bonus.
Betts made an unbelievable diving catch to start the game versus the Yankees. They got up early but couldn't maintain their lead, losing 5-3. Betts made another great catch to start the game against the Pirates. Napoli was the only one to get them on the board, blasting two huge bombs over the monster. Again however, they couldn't manage to win, losing 5-2.
Sitting in the Green Monster was a great time, meeting all kinds of great people who have made the trip down to watch their Sox play was rewarding.
If you haven't had a chance to go down to Fenway South, I highly reccomend it. They make the experience awesome, giving it the same feeling you have walking up and down Yawkey way, before a game at Fenway.
Not only did the people make it enjoyable but the staff down there were amazing. Everyone is all smiles, just to see their Red Sox play.
Being from Canada, we got asked lots about the snow. Boston got hit hard this year but a photo of what I deal with every winter seemed to cheer them up.
The fan experience was easily a 12/10. Being able to walk around the training diamonds and watch their young prospects was awesome. We got to watch Moncada take ground balls and see all the vultures surround him for autographs. We watched their 2013 1st round pick (7th overall) Trey Ball fan 6 guys no problem - give this kid patience, hope he has a turnaround season.
We were able to walk everywhere, watch everything and even got a wave back from GM Ben Cherington while he was walking around the facility.
The two hot days involved lots of over priced beer and merchandise but the overwhelming presence of great fans and staff out-weighed that. Watching Nap crush two homers and Betts make some beauty catches topped it off. A couple of wins would have been nice, but I'd rather them save those for the regular season.
If you havn't had a chance to go down and enjoy the experience, notch it down on your list of to-do's. Just make sure to bring some cash, cuz the beer isn't cheap.
By Connor Yourth @Dropper63