Sox Head South

Posted February 23, 2016 by Ross Wyszomierski in Downtown Boston
The smell of baseball is in the air.

That glorious time is here, the time that ushers in the change of a season, warmer weather and one of America’s greatest pastimes. Sox baseball is back! Well, sort of.

Unfortunately, we are still a little over a month away from the Red Sox taking the field at Fenway on a spring afternoon to start the 2016 baseball season. Those peanuts, hotdogs, cold brews and the vendors on Yawkey Way will just have to wait a little bit longer.

Today all Red Sox players reported for spring training to JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. Pitchers and catchers had reported on February 18th, but now with the full squad in attendance, you can officially say baseball is getting back in the swing of things.

The team will look to rebound from a disappointing 2015 season, finishing in last place in the American League East Division with a 78-84 record, and there is plenty to be excited about in 2016.

The biggest move of the offseason came when the Sox signed left-handed starting pitcher David Price for $217 million to be the ace of the starting rotation. On the back end of the bullpen, Boston acquired reliable righty Craig Kimbrel in a trade from the San Diego Padres to take over the closer position.

With arrival of new faces, comes the departure of familiar ones. Left handers Wade Miley and Rich Hill depart from the starting rotation, along with relievers Alexi Ogando, Jonathan Aro and Craig Breslow.

Hanley Ramirez, who played in the outfield last year for the Sox, will look to make the transition to first base this season. Familiar faces Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts and Pablo Sandoval round out the infield. And who can forget the man himself, Big Papi.

The first game of spring training for the Red Sox will be a double header and will actually be against some hometown teams. On February 29th, the Boston College Eagles and the Northeastern University Huskies head south to face their major league big brother at 1:05 p.m. Their first game of the Grapefruit League will be on March 2nd, at 1:05 p.m. vs. the Minnesota Twins.

If you can’t get away from the cold this March to see the Sox in action in sunny Florida, don’t worry. Here are just a few places you can catch some innings on your lunch break or after work.

Sidebar on Bromfield Street in Downtown Boston is a great local tavern that offers a relaxed sports bar vibe. With very reasonable priced drinks, burgers, wings, pizza and numerous televisions, this spot will satisfy your appetite, thirst and baseball fix.

At the Beantown Pub on Tremont Street you can order an exclusive Sam Adams Brick Red that is only offered on the Freedom Trail. Enjoy a lobster roll, a bowl of clam chowder or the Paul Revere sandwich (pastrami and corned beef on reuben) while cheering on the Sox.

Battery Park Bar and Lounge on Batterymarch Street is a chic sports bar in the Financial District. With 16 beers on tap, an extensive wine and drink list, and a menu of American salads, sandwiches and burgers, this venue has everything you need for the game. If the rich red mahogany woodwork inside isn’t your style, step outside to patio and take in the (hopefully) warm spring air.

Boston will play their first game of the regular season April 4th, at 4:05 p.m. in Cleveland against the Indians and will return to Fenway for the home opener on April 11th, for a 2:05 p.m. game versus the Baltimore Orioles.

For a full schedule of spring training and regular-season games, along with information on how to purchase tickets to upcoming games, visit www.bostonredsox.com.