Outfielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts both noted when speaking to reporters that things weren’t all fun and games for a team that went 93-69 and won a division title in 2017.
“I think [there was] just tension in the locker room as far as if things were down,” Betts said. “We could have had more fun. Through the rough times, I think those are the times when we could have had a little more fun instead of being down so much.”
Added Bogaerts: “I mean, we all know. We all know what was going on. I don’t think I really want to get into details. The quicker we move on is the better for all of us.
“We had a lot of stuff going on last year, to be honest. We all live and learn. We can’t just sit back and keep reminding ourselves about the past. That’s not something we want to do.”
The Red Sox made a change at manager during the offseason, relieving Farrell of his duties and bringing in Alex Cora to head the club. During the 2017 campaign, the Red Sox were involved in several controversies, including a beanball war with the Baltimore Orioles centered around Manny Machado, multiple verbal outbursts from ace pitcher David Price — one at a reporter and another at Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, now a television analyst — and a trainer being caught relaying stolen signs to players via a smartwatch.
For his part, Price admitted earlier this week that he made mistakes last season.
“I could’ve handled it better last year, absolutely. But I didn’t, and I’ve moved on,” Price told reporters at the team’s spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla. “I feel like I’ve always been one to lead with my actions, and I didn’t do that very well last year. I know that and understand that, and I look forward to getting back and being that faucet and not being a drain.”
Betts is also looking forward to a clean slate heading into the 2018 season.
“I’m going to approach things a little differently as far as, if I’m not playing well or if we’re losing or whatnot, I can do my best to try and find a way to get everybody back happy, smiling, exciting and going to play,” Betts said. “I think everybody knows that wasn’t always in play [last year].”