So, Tuesday morning, Travis Shaw let the world know who he would be living with throughout spring training.

Now, it’s unclear Deven Marrero, Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart and Shaw decided upon this living arrangement because of the tough housing market in the Greater Fort Myers area, or if they viewed it as a the potential for a ‘Life in Lee County’ reality show.

But it does offer the reminder of the uniqueness that comes with putting players up in the Southwest Florida area for what is basically two months.

Rick Porcello? He bought a house in nearby Naples, and plans on living with Joe Kelly. (Kelly’s wife is expected to be staying back home, with the couple’s first child slated to be born any day now.)

Matt Barnes. Jackie Bradley Jr. They also bought houses in the area.

Many of the veterans lock in to higher-end housing, such as the land of John Dennis (and Rob Gronkowski‘s family), Miromar Lakes. Others? They are forced to execute the same path of Shaw’s posse.

It’s an identical approach taken than what Theo Epstein did when bringing a huge chunk of baseball operations under one roof.

Back in the 1990’s, when the Red Sox trained on the other side of Fort Myers, many of the players lived in a high-rise hotel. That just doesn’t happen anymore. Houses and condos are the accepted avenue, even for the media.

With coverage of the team extending for far longer than any simple road trip, most news organizations will rent out houses or condos for their reporters/photographers for the extent of spring training. With multiple people staying in the housing, it is a far cheaper option than any hotel rooms.

We at WEEI/WEEI.com are no different. Two years ago we lived near the beach in a shack, which was about 40 minutes from the park but accelerated our cool quotient exponentially. Last year, we were stuck in a very old, Bonita Springs house which we discovered had a handyman living in the garage.

The living arrangements have become part of the fabric of what can evolve into fairly mundane spring trainings. That’s why we need that reality show. Are you listening Travis?

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Even while having to live in an major league existence/parking lot of tricked-out cars (see Yoan Moncada’s glow-in-the-dark BMW I8), E

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Even while having to live in an major league existence/parking lot of tricked-out cars (see Yoan Moncada’s glow-in-the-dark BMW I8), Eduardo Rodriguez drives a Toyota 4Runner, and makes no apologies for it.

“I know those kind of guys. They just buy the car. They don’€™t care what kind of car they got,” said Rodriguez, who just got his driver’s license last year. “They just buy the car and take it to that guy and the guy pulls out a Lamborghini. But I’€™m not that kind of guy. I just buy a car to drive in, especially with my wife and kids.”

But that doesn’t mean Rodriguez is adverse to mirroring. And there’s one person in particular that he’s all in on emulating this spring training — David Price.

“Having him here, for me, it’€™s going to be pretty good because he can teach me how to pitch because he’€™s a lefty and we have almost the same mechanics,” said Rodriguez, who was one of the first pitchers to arrive at JetBlue Park, last week. “We throw the same, 94-97 [mph]. So it’€™s going to be pretty good for me having him here in spring training. If they put him in the same group with him it’€™s going to be way better for me because he can teach me everything. Whenever we do something, he can teach me how to control the game. For me? It’€™s going to be great.

“Two years ago I got Johan Santana in Baltimore and he taught me a lot, and that’€™s why I got in the big leagues last year and did pretty good. He taught me how to do this, this and this. So now I have him here and he can teach me with every start how to get better.”

The alteration in the 23-year-old’s existence, compared to a year ago, is striking.

Last spring training, Rodriguez’s first in a major league camp, he was pushed down to the far right end of the pitchers side of the clubhouse, lumped in with non-roster hurlers, or minor leaguers that were just happy to be there.

Now there will be far different approaches, and expectations.

“Last year was a hard year because I was a rookie. But after I got 10 starts, I felt that I had it and felt like I could stay here for years,” he explained. “This year it’€™s just been about getting ready for the season because I know how the games are now. I know how everything is. I’€™ve been watching a lot of videos of how I pitch, how other guys are pitching, and hitters.

“Last year I just came here and tried to learn how everybody is doing everything. I just went around the fields thinking, ‘€˜Oh, this is how the big league guys do it.’€™ Now I’€™m just thinking how to pitch to those guys.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Red Sox equipment truck leaves Fenway Park Wednesday morning. (USA Today)

The Red Sox equipment truck leaves Fenway Park Wednesday morning. (USA Today)

For those wtho like to define seasons, the Red Sox are once again attempting to help you with their annual Truck Day taking place Wednesday morning.

With Milford’s Al Hartz behind the wheel, a 53-foot truck will be loaded starting at 7 a.m. before leaving Fenway Park for the 1,480-mile trip to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. Wally the Green Monster, along with his newly-unveiled sister Tessie, will lead the parade on a flat-bed truck.

In case you were wondering what will be on board …

– 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

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Join Rob Bradford of WEEI.com for a live chat to discuss all things Red Sox, MLB and anything else that’s on your mind as spring training looms just more than a week away. It all kicks off at noon, so get your questions in now …

Live Blog Red Sox Hot Stove Chat, noon
 

Blog Author: 
WEEI

David Ortiz hopes to go out with one more World Series title.</p>
<div class=



With football season officially over, big league baseball players will begin to really flock toward Arizona and Florida in preparation for the coming season.

But it never hurts if there some sort of segue to help the transition. The Red Sox had their Winter Weekend, but that was still in the heart of the NFL playoffs.

Well, when it comes to making the most creative bridge from one sport to the other, the Blue Jays won the day.

That’s right, the Blue Jays had a Super Bowl party in which admission was contingent on wearing onesie pajamas.

When contacted by WEEI.com for comment on his group’s get-together, Toronto manager John Gibbons sent this along in a text …

“I was at a party where my daughter’s band performed pregame. But I would have loved to watched it in PJs.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
With Rob Bradford back from a pre-Spring Training trip to Ft. Myers, the guys discuss Rob's chat with Clay Buchholz and his calling 2016 a "make or break year"
Danny had just hit the air as it looked like the Celtics would drop a close game to the Cleveland Cavaliers, ride along as Danny goes on the emotional roller coaster of the final 7.5 seconds of the game

Rick Porcello is one of the first Red Sox to report for spring training for a second straight year. (WEEI.com photo)

Rick Porcello is one of the first Red Sox to report for spring training for a second straight year. (WEEI.com photo)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Rick Porcello looks the same, acts the same, and has arrived to spring training at the same time (really, really early).

But if you want to compare the pitcher’s lot in life now — as he joins fellow rotation-mates Clay Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez in getting early February workouts in at JetBlue Park — to a year ago, there is one enormous difference.

Porcello is now officially one of 15 major league pitchers to be making at least $20 million in one season.

But thanks to that contract, which will pay the 27 year old $82.5 million over the next four seasons, he has the luxury of viewing what transpired in the free agent market this offseason from a safe distance.

“This winter? No,” Porcello said when appearing on the Bradfo Show podcast when asked if he monitored how the pitching market was unfolding. “Those were things I went through in my head last spring when it was a possibility of me signing an extension, and things that I discussed with my family and my agent and the possibilities of free agency heading into the offseason following last year. I knew the possibilities if I went out there and had a good year, what could be out there. And if I had a bad year, what could happen. I understood that and I just felt like the deal with the Red Sox gave me ‘€¦ It was a place I wanted to be. It was an organization that I felt like has a chance to win over the next five or six years, and that was the biggest factor in being here.”

While the easy narrative would be that Porcello might have run into trouble if he chose not to sign his extension with the Red Sox last April, and became a free agent after 2015, that might have not necessarily been the case.

It’s undeniable that the majority of Porcello’s first year with the Red Sox was a mess, with the righty going 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA over 172 innings. Still, he would have had a few things going for him heading into a potential free agent run. First, after coming back from a month-long layoff due to a triceps issue, the final eight starts resulted in a 3.14 ERA. And then there was that age — Porcello would have been the youngest starting pitcher on the market, by far.

Compare Porcello’s situation to a pitcher who did hit free agency this offseason, Jeff Samardzija.

While Samardzija totaled 214 innings for the White Sox in 2015, his ERA was virtually the same as Porcello’s, while actually possessing fewer strikeouts-per-nine innings than the Sox’ sinkerballer. And he’s three years older.

Yet, we’re heading into the offseason with Samardzija carrying a five-year, $90 million deal that will pay him $18 million in each of his last four seasons with the Giants.

A 31-year-old Ian Kennedy, coming off a 9-15 mark with a 4.28 ERA in just 168 1/3 innings (while pitching in the ultra-pitchers-friendly Petco Park), just hauled in a five-year, $70 million deal from Kansas City, that includes an opt-out after Year 2.

Jordan Zimmermann, who turned 29 in last May, will make an average of $22 million a year with the Tigers after producing a so-so season (13-10, 3.78 ERA) with the Nationals in ’15.

“I don’€™t think so,” Porcello said when asked if any of the free agent contracts signed this offseason raised an eyebrow. “Obviously the market fluctuates offseason to offseason. But I think everybody signs a deal for different reasons. Everything is publicized so you know what guys are signing for. It’€™s really kind of a personal decision, when it comes down to it. You’€™re talking about your career, and those guys, and where their families are going to be for the next five or six years. You see certain deals and maybe scratch your head, but you really don’€™t know what’€™s going in their personal life and the reasons why they signed it. So I don’€™t think anything really surprises you. You just observe and take it for what it is.

A year ago, during spring training negotiations with the Red Sox, these were all things that Porcello had to at least occasionally consider/predict. Not anymore.

“Honestly, for the entire spring my main focus was to prepare for the season,” Porcello recalled. “I would hear about things that were going on through my agent and progress that was being made. Really, I just felt whatever was going to happen, was going to happen. If it becomes something that was going to become a realistic possibility, then we would address it when the time comes. I didn’€™t focus on it at all. When I was at the ballpark I was focused on working and preparing for the season. Toward the end of spring training when things started to get serious, that was when I sat down with my agent, had a couple of conversations, talked with my family about the opportunity that was being put in front of me and kind of went from there.”

Now, with his newly-purchased Naples, Fla. home serving as offseason/spring training headquarters, Porcello has settled into what he hopes will be a much more predictable routine.

“It’€™s just a comfort level you establish,” he added. “When you come to a new place, it’€™s probably similar for anybody. You start a new job and the first couple of days, first weeks or months, you’€™re trying to get familiar with everybody. You’€™re feeling out what’€™s going on and how they do it. I think that’€™s the adjustment period I went through last year in spring training. Now, having a year under my belt here in Boston, I know what’€™s going on now. I’€™m familiar with everything and a lot more comfortable.”

Bradfo Show: Rick Porcello, one year later

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford