Throughout the spring, new manager John Farrell used one word to express his goal for the Red Sox:
In the ninth inning of Monday's season opener, Jonny Gomes epitomized that philosophy.
As part of a three-run inning en route to a resounding 8-2 victory over the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury
chopped what looked like a routine grounder to second base. But Gomes, who had been on second base, never
stopped running, careening around third and diving into home plate, basically slamming the door on the
Yankees and sending their fans sprinting to the exits. It was just one play representing one run in one
game, but it also signified a change in the Red Sox culture.
"Oh, it fired me up. Fired me UP," Ellsbury said emphatically. "When the inning was over, I came in and
saw him in the video room looking at it, and I gave him a high five."
Ellsbury is no stranger to those kind of hustle plays, having stolen home and scored from second on a
passed ball. But he couldn't believe this one.
"When you break it all down, that's an extra run for the team, and it's an extra RBI for my teammate,"
Gomes said. "When we have each other's backs like that, when we go the extra 90 feet for our teammates,
that kind of stuff becomes contagious, and we're putting pressure on the defense. Granted, it was one run,
one RBI, but a lot more goes into that."