Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Clubhouse camaraderie... even on days off

Every time I say I couldn't love the 2013 Red Sox any more, they make me reconsider. Even after a disappointing stretch where they went 3-4 against the lowly Astros and the surprising Royals, I can't wait to tune in to tonight's game in Toronto.

The Sox left Kansas City on Sunday night, and spent the off day yesterday in Toronto. Certainly no one could blame the players if they took the day to relax away from baseball, before gearing up for tonight.

Of course, relaxing away from baseball is a foreign concept to Dustin Pedroia, and it seems he found some cohorts to take to Rogers Centre with him for yesterday's Blue Jays/A's game.

Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Pedroia scored seats behind home plate to watch the Blue Jays take a 5-1 beatdown at the hands of the A's. Doubtless the trio spent most of the game looking for an edge in the upcoming three-game set against Toronto.

Photo via @Alleycat17
I love everything about this photo. I love that Gomes and Salty seemingly made an effort to remain unrecognized, with a hat and sunglasses. I love that Pedroia - by far the most recognizable of the three - made no such effort. I love that they're basically wearing matching outfits. I even love whatever strange hair situation Salty was dealing with.

Mostly I love that on an off day, they not only chose to spend their time with teammates, but decided to spend it scoping out the competition... because world-class scouting and video departments can only do so much.

It wasn't all seriousness for nine innings, as Gomes and Salty enjoyed some ballpark food late in the game - no official word on Pedroia's dietary choices.

Photo via @Alleycat17
There's obviously nothing wrong with players who take an off day and spend it with their families, or by themselves. But there's something special about a team that truly enjoys each other's company enough to seek one another out when they don't have to.

The word "intangibles" gets thrown around a lot in sports, just like the phrase "clubhouse chemistry," and both things are useless when teams don't have the talent to back them up. The 2013 Red Sox have that talent. They have intangibles, and chemistry, and the greatest collection of beards since the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century.

I have to stop saying that I couldn't love this team any more, because they just keep proving me wrong.

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