Pedroia, Gomes, Salty take in Jays-A's matinee
Farrell not surprised Red Sox players spent part of day off at ballpark
TORONTO -- After one of those grueling parts of the schedule in which the Red Sox were at the ballpark for 24 straight days, Monday finally represented a day for the players to get away from it all.
So how did Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia enjoy their day of leisure in Toronto?
By going to Rogers Centre to watch the A's play the Blue Jays in a matinee.
Gomes, having played for the A's last year, was the ringleader for the excursion, lining up the tickets.
Naturally, the trio was spotted on camera, and the shot of three Red Sox players watching a game in street clothes made it into several highlight packages, both in Boston and nationally.
"It's so funny," said Gomes. "I think everyone I knew texted me, like, 'Hey, I see you at the game. What are you doing? The same thing you are', is what I told them. 'Watching the game.' Everyone was watching the game, whether that's at a bar or a restaurant or their hotel room or back home."
Given their status as Major League players, Gomes suggested to Pedroia and Saltalamacchia that perhaps they enter the stadium through a private entrance on the clubhouse level.
"They were like, 'No, we want the full experience. The fan experience.' We stood in line," Gomes said. "We went through the thing, had them check our tickets. They got the whole experience."
For Gomes, a certifiable baseball junkie, this wasn't an unusual experience. Back when his brother played in independent leagues, Gomes used to attend when his schedule allowed. Gomes also estimates he's been to five or six World Series as a spectator.
For Saltalamacchia and Pedroia, however, it had been a while.
"My last big league game I've been to [before Monday] was when I was 18," Saltalamacchia said. "I went and watched Atlanta play Tampa Bay. It was not as good a seats [as Monday].
The Red Sox weren't the only "celebrities" taking in the game. Geddy Lee, the lead singer of Canadian rock band Rush, was also on hand.
"He was keeping score and everything. He was pretty intense," said Saltalamacchia.
The Red Sox players chose not to talk to Lee.
"Kind of the same boat we're in," Saltalamacchia said. "We don't want to mess with anyone on their day off."
Though people in Boston seemed to be intrigued that the players attended a game as spectators, manager John Farrell wasn't surprised.
"Not one bit," Farrell said. "Not from getting to know this group, how important the game is to each guy individually. To see them here on an off-day is probably all within the things we've witnessed throughout the course of the year."