The first day of Boston Red Sox training camp at Fenway Park takes place Friday.
It's an exciting development as fans await the return of Major League Baseball. The shortened 60-game regular season is set to return July 23, although the schedules for each of the 30 teams have not yet been released.
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The Red Sox arrived at Fenway this week to a bunch of different changes -- all of which have been made to ensure the venue provides the safest environment possible amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker announced Thursday the state's pro sports teams could begin hosting games without fans later this month.
Here are some pictures and videos from the team's return to Fenway Park.
--It looks like the Red Sox have assigned two players per suite, which is a better way to provide a safe environment than putting every player in one clubhouse like normal.
The Suite Life pic.twitter.com/G6q3mjxfuB— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 3, 2020
Here's more information from the Red Sox:
"To best adhere to the MLB guidelines promoting proper physical distancing, suites in Right Field have been converted to accommodate locker room space for two Red Sox players per suite. Spaces within the existing Red Sox clubhouse will be re-assigned and adjusted to provide players and staff with facilities that are in line with MLB’s health and safety guidelines."
--Other changes to Fenway Park have been made. NBC Boston's Perry Russom reports there are showers on the concourse level. The players also will walk through the stands to reach the field level.
At Fenway for Day 1 of Spring (Summer) Training 2.0 - Showers were built on the concourse. Players are walking down through the stands to get to the field with their bags @PerryNBCBoston #RedSox pic.twitter.com/KV4VWs9XKg— Perry Russom NBC10 Boston (@PerryNBCBoston) July 3, 2020
The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham also shared details on new training areas inside the park.
Based on signs (we're not allowed to roam around), the Sox have a pitchers mound in the RF concourse and a batting cage on the 1B concourse.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 3, 2020
The Red Sox provided further info on the concourse conversion:
"The Right Field Concourse, typically a concession area and walkway for fans, has been transformed into an expanded training and conditioning area that includes the installation of a new open-air batting cage. Located in close proximity to the existing Red Sox Clubhouse, the auxiliary space includes artificial turf with equipment like bikes and weights lining the walls. A covered pitcher’s mound has also been installed in a portion of the Big Concourse located under the Bleachers. In addition to the significant expanded space afforded in the concourses, enhanced air circulation is also a benefit of the covered but not fully enclosed areas."
--Here's one of the first player shifts of the day.
--It wouldn't be an MLB camp without batting practice. Here's some footage of Christian Vazquez getting some work in.
Christian Vazquez taking BP at Red Sox summer training camp pic.twitter.com/u4bh4sOW6A— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) July 3, 2020
--The important pitching drills are underway as well.
--Social distancing will be required in the Fenway press box, too.
New sign in the press box at Fenway. pic.twitter.com/MBr0DtR833— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 3, 2020