It’s still early in the off-season, but so far the Red Sox have been mostly quiet as the rest of the teams around baseball are making deals. It seems unlikely Red Sox Nation won’t be jolted by a big move some time soon, though, as new baseball chief Chaim Bloom looks to make his mark on a team that needs more than a tweak.
And though the hot stove is only lukewarm right now, the Red Sox ticket office is ready for those sunny, warm spring days of Lee County, Florida. Spring training tickets for 2020 go on sale Saturday, December 7, at JetBlue Park at Fenway South and also online at the team web site. It will be the ninth season for the club at JetBlue Park, which kicks off with an Open House there on Saturday, February 15th that’s free and open to the public.
In all, the Red Sox will play 18 home games in Florida next year, 17 of which will be part of Grapefruit League action, along with the traditional spring opener against the Northeastern University Huskies. Refer to the full spring training schedule to plot your getaway from the winter cold.
Key dates leading up to the start of the season are always counting down in the margins here at the RSNStats.com web site.
Now, a couple odds-n-ends of interest to Red Sox Nation:
- Sandy León posted a heartfelt thank you to his former team and Red Sox Nation on Friday. “You guys are the best!” León said of the fans, “Thank you for every encouraging word during each game. Thank you for showing what true passion for a club is.” The Sox traded León to the Indians for a minor leaguer earlier this week.
- The world champion Washington Nationals split a pool of more than $29.1 million this season, while the Houston Astros divvied up $19.4 million. After the pool was cut into equal-sized shares by the players, the Nationals awarded 61 full shares, a handful of partial shares, and some cash awards making each full share worth a cool $382,358.18. The Astros split their pool 57 ways and likewise issued some partial shares and cash awards making each full share worth $256,030.16. By comparison, full shares last season were worth $416,837.72 and $262,027.49 for the Red Sox and Dodgers, respectively.
Overall, the pool of proceeds derives from formula that rakes the combined gate receipts from specific postseason games and apportions them depending on how far a team progresses past the regular season. With each progression, the team’s pool gets larger, culminating in the largest pool for the teams that make it all the way to the Fall Classic. At the lowest rungs this season were the Athletics and Brewers, who were eliminated after their Wild Card game. They split pools of about $1.2 million each.
- The Red Sox have been awarded the 2019 “Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence” from Major League Baseball in recognition of the club’s Home Base program. Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner and the Red Sox Foundation led the creation of Home Base in 2007, which supports service men and women in making a successful transition post-military service. Boston is the only team to have won the award more than once since its inception in 2010, when the Red Sox were honored for developing the Red Sox Scholars program.
- Sox Vice President of Pitching Development (and assistant pitching coach) Brian Bannister is the new director of pitching for the Giants. Bannister confirmed the move himself with a thank you message to Sox ownership that he posted to Twitter. Bannister’s family lives in the Bay Area, so the move will afford him far greater time being closer to home.
- The Red Sox are actively promoting the idea of another All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Team CEO Sam Kennedy says, “We need to work and figure out a time that would work for the convention centers, but we’ve told MLB that we would like to host,” according to this report. The last All-Star Game at Fenway was the memorable 1999 affair that starred Ted Williams. Two National League parks, Dodger Stadium and Atlanta’s SunTrust Park, will be the venues for the 2020 and 2021 Mid-Summer Classics, respectively.