Dustin Pedroia reported to camp earlier than he had to - which shouldn't be a surprise to anybody.
This spring, though, he returned as a reigning World Series champion.
He knows that with that title, the Sox have to be at their best all season.
"We got the bullseye on our back," Pedroia said. "You want to get everybody's best. I think it's going to be a fun challenge for everybody, and it should be exciting."
Pedroia and Stephen Drew made up a very strong middle of the infield for the Sox last season. But as it stands, Drew isn't on the team and there's a good chance it stays that way. That means Xander Bogaerts could be turning two with Pedroia.
"The ability's through the roof," Pedroia said of Bogaerts. "He's willing to put the time in and learn and get better every day. The sky's the limit for him."
And Pedroia himself is healthier than ever after undergoing surgery on his thumb.
"I had a pin in there for four weeks so I really couldn't do much," Pedroia said. "Once it got out it really started to feel a lot better. So it feels good to have that hand strength back and be able to kind of feel strong. That's the main thing."