BOSTON – Ten days until Pitchers & Catchers report.
Tomorrow, Monday, February 3 at Noon marks the date and time for the annual send-off ceremony for the Red Sox equipment truck’s departure from Fenway Park for its 1,480-mile trip to the club’s Spring Training home in Lee County, Florida.
The equipment truck, which will depart from Fenway Park on Van Ness Street, will be led by a flat-bed truck carrying Wally the Green Monster, his sister Tessie, and Fenway Ambassadors who will be tossing soft Red Sox baseballs to fans. It will mark the 24th straight year that Milford native Al Hartz will drive the 53-foot truck, which will carry an assortment of baseball equipment and supplies, including:
- 20,400 baseballs
- 1,100 bats
- 200 batting gloves
- 200 batting helmets
- 320 Batting Practice tops
- 160 white game jerseys
- 300 pairs of pants
- 400 t-shirts
- 400 pairs of socks
- 20 cases of bubble gum
- 60 cases of sunflower seeds
The celebration of Truck Day has been a Red Sox tradition since 2003 signaling the unofficial start of Spring Training. Sox pitchers and catchers report for duty on February 12 and the full squad will be at Little Fenway on February 17th.
The 2020 Red Sox official Spring Training game schedule begins on Friday, February 21 with a seven-inning game against the Northeastern University Huskies at 1:05 p.m. Boston’s first Grapefruit League game will take place at home at JetBlue Park on Saturday, February 22, against the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 p.m.
Here Now, The Notes: Corey Robinson, son of NBA superstar and Dream Team center David Robinson begins a career as reporter and digital correspondent for NBC Sports and is starting this week on the network’s coverage of Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Robinson will contribute to coverage of sports across the NBC Sports portfolio on linear, digital and social platforms. … Dikembe Mutombo will be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame on February 8th. … Seven first time all-stars were named to the NBA All-Star teams as reserves on Thursday and they joined first-timers in ATL’s Trae Young and Dallas’ Luca Doncic as All-Stars for a total of nine newcomers. … It’s a sign of the times and a new regime of NBA stars, namely TOR’s Pascal Siakam, MIA’s Bam Adebayo, New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, IND’s Domantas Sabonis, and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.
Will the Boston Bruins ever return home to TD Garden? … The club was last home on January 21st when they defeated the Vegas Knights 3-2. Since that home date, there’s been the NHL All-Star Weekend break along with the Bs in-season sabbatical, then a two-game roadie to Winnipeg and Minnesota before returning to The Hub on Causeway for this Tuesday night’s tilt vs the Vancouver Canucks. … Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick confirmed Friday that he’ll return for the 2020 season, his 16th in the NFL. Appearing on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo,” he said that he pondered retirement but is coming back with the blessing of his wife and seven children. … General manager Chris Grier said last week that he expected the 37-year-old Fitzpatrick would be on the team in 2020. … The Dolphins started the 2019 season 0-7 under first-year coach Brian Flores but finished 5-11. The progress encouraged Fitzpatrick.
Diamond Dust:The Houston Astros named Dusty Baker as manager this past Wednesday to replace A.J. Hinch, who was fired in the wake of the team’s sign-stealing scandal. … According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the deal is for one year and includes a team option for 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed. … Hinch was fired earlier this month after an MLB investigation found the team stole signs electronically in 2017. General manager Jeff Luhnow also was let go, and the Astros now will look to hire his successor. … All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson announced his retirement on Friday. … He spent 16 years in the major leagues, playing for seven teams, including the Detroit Tigers and both the New York Mets and Yankees. … “As I close out this wonderful chapter in my life and step away from my days on the field, I know that my role in this game is only just getting started,” Granderson, 38, said in a statement posted to Twitter. … Granderson broke into his career with Detroit in 2004 and played there through the 2009 season. In 2007, he hit a career-best .302 and led the major leagues with 23 triples. … His best season was with the Yankees was 2011, when he led the major leagues with 136 runs scored and an American League-leading 119 RBIs, both career highs. He posted back-to-back 40 home run seasons, blasting 41 in 2011 and 43 the following season. … He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 2009, 2011 and 2012. … The San Francisco Giants and veteran infielder Pablo Sandoval agreed on a minor league contract, MLB Network reported Wednesday. The new deal is worth $2 million plus $750,000 in incentives, according to the report. … The 33-year-old Sandoval is recovering from Tommy John surgery that will delay the start of his season. He underwent the procedure in September to repair damage in his right (throwing) elbow. … Sandoval reportedly has been bothered by bone chips in the elbow since 2013. … Sandoval, who plays third base and first base, batted .268 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 108 games last season. He matched the franchise record with 18 pinch hits. He had only one at-bat after Aug. 9, 2019, solely to give him a final appearance under retiring manager Bruce Bochy. … Sandoval was part of three World Series title clubs (2010, 2012, 2014) in his first tenure with San Francisco from 2008-14. The two-time All-Star was MVP of the 2012 World Series when San Francisco swept the Detroit Tigers. … He joined the Boston Red Sox as a free agent on a five-year, $95 million deal prior to the 2015 campaign. But his play didn’t match expectations, and the Red Sox designated him for assignment midway through the 2017 season. He returned to the Giants organization a short time later. … Overall, Sandoval has a .280 career average with 148 homers and 622 RBIs in 1,277 games since reaching the majors in 2008.
This Jest In: Harry and Meghan reached out to the Mariners, Padres, Rockies, Rays, Rangers and Brewers for advice on living life without a title. … And, we can NOT confirm that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was the one who left Derek Jeter off the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
Digital Sports Desk posts a once-a-week Sunday Notes column, entitled: “While We’re Young Ideas.” It’s a throwback of sorts to the days when sportswriting and the baseball beat were the best jobs in the entire sports industry, maybe the entire world. One of those sportswriters was named Dick Young and he wrote “Young Ideas” with a “Diamond Dust” section for notes and quotes. … We welcome feedback and suggestions (psst, they call ’em pitches) for mentions within “While We’re Young Ideas” or Digital Sports Desk. Please follow and encourage (at least) another person or two to plug into (@DigSportsDesk) (@WhileYoungIdeas) and (@terrylyons).