Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Sox trio enjoyed being fans for a day
By Mark Polishuk, Special to ESPNBoston.com
TORONTO -- Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Dustin Pedroia weren't trying to make headlines when they attended Monday's A's-Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre. Like the rest of the 33,000-plus fans at the park, they were just there to watch some baseball -- the only difference was that the Red Sox trio would be on the field themselves the next day.
"I don't know if it was a big deal. We were in town, had an off-day and wanted to come and see the other side of it," Saltalamacchia said. "[We wanted to] enjoy the game and not have to worry about the pressures of playing. It was kind of refreshing and fun."
After a 4-3 loss in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon, the Sox arrived in Toronto that evening and had a full day of rest ahead of them. Monday served as the one break in the Red Sox's 11-day, 10-game road trip. But rather than relax at the team hotel or see the sights around Toronto, the three players decided to get an early look at their upcoming competition.
Gomes, Pedroia and Saltalamacchia situated themselves just a few rows behind home plate, and though they stayed for only around six innings, their presence was quickly noted both on social media and by other spectators.
"They recognized us when we came in, a couple of fans did. Once we sat down, [the heckling] wasn't too bad but it was kind of cool," Saltalamacchia said. "Guys were on deck talking to us, messing with us, it was fun."
It was a rare treat for Saltalamacchia, who said it was just the second time he's seen a game in person from the stands. Gomes, however, has attended many games, though usually not when the season is still in full swing.
"It's rare that you're in town when there's a wrap-around series," Gomes said, noting that it was "tough" to get such prime seats.
The players were amused that their day at the ballpark drew so much attention.
"It's funny how many texts we all got saying 'Hey, I see you at the game, what are you guys doing?' We were doing the same thing you are, watching the game, just that you're doing it on your TV and we were doing it here," Gomes said.