FORT MYERS, Fla. – Tales from the clubhouse, Day Two...
Price advice: "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."
That famous Mike Tyson quote can be aptly applied to a lot of players in their first year pitching at Fenway.
Josh Beckett struggled, despite having already pitched in a World Series and won a title with another team.
Rick Porcello admittedly wilted under the pressure of expectations and trying to live up to his large contract.
David Price? He wasn't as bad as the previous two, but was not nearly as dominant as he or fans hoped, especially considering his $30 millon a year price tag.
What advice if any could Price offer newly acquired Chris Sale about the pressures of pitching in Boston?
"I think you kind of know what you're getting into." Price said. "He's not going to treat anything differently. He's going to go out and be Chris Sale."
What did Price learn after his first up and down season in Boston?
"I know I can pitch here. I look forward to 2017. It's probably earliest I had the itch to get back to the season."
Price finished the season 17-9 with an 3.99 ERA. Not bad, but far from ace like.
When asked if he had fun at all last season, Price replied: "More so in the clubhouse and the dugout. Not every fifth day."
Catching competition: The biggest camp competition is clearly behind the plate where the Red Sox will have to choose among 2016 surprise sensation Sandy Leon, defensive specialist Christian Vazquez or Blake Swihart.
Swihart is back to catching full-time after an ill-conceived, ill-advised experiment learning to play left field on the fly in 2016. Swihart injured his ankle playing the outfield and missed the last four months of the season.
When asked whether he's coming to spring training exclusively as a catcher, Swihart barely let the reporter finish his question before jumping in...
"Yeah that's the plan for now. Just start catching. Focus on catching. I love it. I love catching. Anywhere I'm on the field, I love it, but catching I like being involved in every part of the game. You know I like being behind the plate."
So catching then?
Fond memories: We got our first chance to chat with reliever Tyler Thornburg, who was acquired in an offseason trade that sent third baseman Travis Shaw to Milwaukee.
Thornburg, 28, had a breakout season in 2016 with the Brewers, posting a 2.15 ERA and 12.1 K/9. He figures to slot in as the seventh- or eighth-inning guy, setting up closer Craig Kimbrel.
The reliever has spent his entire career in the National League, but says his fondest professional memory is the one time he pitched at Fenway Park.
"One of my favorite pro baseball experiencees was throwing for Opening Day in Fenway 2014," said Thornburg. "They had the ring ceremony and I pitched really well and so that was an incredible experience."
Thornburg actually didn't pitch in the Sox home opener but rather game two of that series, earning the win in relief.
Have your cake and eat it too: Reigning A.L. Cy Young winner Rick Porcello drew a crowd in the clubhouse.
The Sox righty talked about that emotional and unforgettable moment with his family when he learned that he'd won the award on live television.
"It was exciting to be able to share something like that with your family," Porcello said. "A lot of things that you go through in your career you're not necessarily with them so it definitely got emotional just being there with my parents. It was a moment I'll never forget.
Asked what he'd rather have, a Cy Young or World Series, Porcello didn't hesitate, but also didn't view it necessarily as an either or proposition.
"Yeah, I'd trade it right now," he said, "but both would be great, so let's go ahead and get that done."