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Friday, October 4, 2013
Sox can't wait to get swinging

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- Red Sox players are not happy with Mother Nature this afternoon.

After a four-day break, the Sox are set to host the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS and all the players wanted to do today was take their normal batting practice on the field. But the tarp was placed on the field this morning at Fenway Park, forcing both teams to hit inside.

At one point, Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli emerged from the tunnel and was clearly upset with the fact the players couldn’t get on the field. As one Red Sox staffer said: “These guys are fired up to get going.”

The brief hiatus was just long enough for players like Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli to rest and heal before the start of the postseason.

It was also evident the players are relaxed. Most who showed their face in the dugout were asking about the Boston Bruins. In fact, Red Sox manager John Farrell received a text message from Bruins coach Claude Julien this morning, wishing the club good luck in the playoffs.

Farrell was especially relaxed and spent more than 45 minutes just hanging in the dugout. He was joined by the Sox "starting lineup" as the marketing team placed massive head shots of the players on the bench.

The Celtics’ Gerald Wallace visited the dugout and took a picture with Farrell.

Players kept sneaking a peek to check on the weather, but it continued to rain. Despite the current conditions, Sox personnel expect this game to begin on time.