Mitch Moreland found one way to stay in baseball shape during the pandemic — install batting cages in his party barn.
Moreland bought land in Alabama this offseason, razed a couple of existing structures, and prepared to build a new home. So his family would have a spot to watch construction, they first built a fully furnished barn, which they assumed they could use to host friends and which Moreland described as a "party barn."
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But when the pandemic struck, he found a practical use for the space, installing a full batting cage and pitching machine.
"It just happened to come at just the right time," Moreland said. "Obviously, it's an unfortunate time with everybody having to go back home and kind of stay isolated as much as possible, but having the barn there, being able to get the cage up in it, like I said, it just came about at the right time really."
"It worked out great," Moreland said. "It was a blast being able to kind of be there and watch the finishing touches. Me and a couple of the guys put the cage up ourselves in like three hours, so I was fired up about it. Something I've always wanted. I think my boys are getting just as much use out of it as I am. It's fun to have and it just kind of worked out well during this time to have it."
The 34-year-old Moreland returned to the Red Sox on a one-year, $3 million deal with a team option for 2021. After spending the first seven years of his career in Texas, he has now made a home in Boston, where he is entering his fourth season.
But it's the new home he's building, with personal batting cage/party barn, that caught the attention of his teammates.
"Actually guys have talked about it here," he said. "They've already brought it up and they said they're all coming to stay with me. I was like, I'll wait until all this stuff is cleared up and then you all can come up anytime you want."