Sox enjoy day in London; Cora, Boone mingle

June 28th, 2019

LONDON -- In order to get accustomed to the time change, Red Sox players were instructed not to sleep upon their arrival in London early Thursday morning.

As bleary-eyed as they might have felt, the "stay awake" mandate gave them the perfect opportunity to soak in all that London has to offer.

“We went to Camden Market,” said Red Sox righty , who will start on Saturday. “Took a ride over to Shoreditch and a couple of other places. Piccadilly Circus. Just went around, hopped in some cabs and tried to enjoy the culture and see and learn as much as I could.”

Right fielder went golfing, and also took in some sights with his family.

“I went to the Borough Market, walked around a little bit,” said Betts. “Grabbed some food. They got in a little later, so I went to play golf first.”

As for Red Sox manager Alex Cora, he went with his Yankees counterpart Aaron Boone to historic Buckingham Palace on Friday morning.

“Today I went with Booney to the changing of the guard,” Cora said. “It was interesting to say the least. I know the guys took advantage of the whole day yesterday.”

Cora was pleased to see his players embrace the culture of London.

“If you follow them on social media, it seems like they had a great time, and that’s what it’s all about,” Cora said. "They had a full off-day, and we didn’t schedule anything as a team. We wanted them to have fun and experience the culture and all of that. I think they did yesterday.”

From pleasure to business

Now that the Red Sox have gotten all their sightseeing in, they are ready to lock in on baseball.

Trailing the Yankees by nine games in the American League East, the Red Sox fully realize how big these games are.

“We knew from the beginning, these were games we needed,” Betts said. “Yesterday was kind of our day to hang out and today’s a day to prepare for tomorrow. After that, we can go enjoy dinner with our families and wake up tomorrow ready to go.”

“These count,” said Red Sox center fielder “I think we’ve been saying that all along. We’re on a business trip. Obviously, there’s a lot of different things you could enjoy outside of the game itself but once the game starts, then we have to take care of our business.”

Getting acclimated

The Red Sox used Friday’s workout day to get accustomed to London Stadium. Considering that it is a soccer venue and the baseball field was created in a matter of weeks for this series, the players were impressed with the way everything turned out.

“The field looks good,” Bradley said. “They did an amazing job with it. Everything is set up great and the playing surface itself feels pretty good as well.”

The foul territory is plentiful, reminding players of Oakland.

“There’s a lot of foul ground,” Bradley said. “If you’re going to hit it foul, you hope you hit it [very] foul, instead of just in the air foul.”

The clubhouses were also created specifically for this series, as lockers and food rooms were added to large corridors. The main clubhouse area was more spacious than what the Red Sox are used to at Fenway Park.

“It looks great,” said Porcello. “Everything looks fantastic. The facilities, as soon as we walked in, it was first class the entire way. We definitely appreciate that. It’s been really nice.”

Travis savoring 26th spot

First baseman was thrilled to be able to leave Triple-A Pawtucket for a few days and get to experience this trip to London as the 26th man on Boston’s roster. MLB allowed both teams to take an extra player.

“I found out Tuesday,” said Travis. “I was hoping I’d be that guy. I was prepared for it just in case. It’s awesome, coming over here to the London Series ... and making history. And to be a part of this rivalry and be able to come over here and experience it with these guys, it’s going to be a great experience.”