Pumping up and winding down with the Sox

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Pumping up and winding down with the Sox

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
The Major League Baseball season is 162 games long -- throw in Spring Training and the playoffs, and the Red Sox could potentially play ball for nearly an entire year. So with all the games, sometimes played consecutively for more than a week at a time, how do players get amped up for every contest? And when the final out is made, how do they wind down from the adrenaline rush they've experienced during the game?

Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Marco Scutaro, and Tim Wakefield told CSNNE.com how they get amped up for and wind down from each game.

Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez heads to the batting cages when he wants to get ready for a game. When its all over, he likes to wind down with his favorite lineup of TV shows or books.

Amped up: I like getting loose in the cage. I really don't like to be too hyped up or too amped up just because I want to be calm and under control when I'm playing. I'm not a guy who wants to run through a wall. So for me, it's just going down to the cage, getting my swings in, and getting my swing right. I'm working on the swing that I want to have that game and just focusing on having a good body balance.

Unwind: For my most part, my wife and I just lay on the couch for a little bit until the adrenaline kicks down a little bit. We love to watch King of Queens, we love Friends, Better With You, and Modern Family. Then I'll go and maybe read a little bit. I'll read Christian books or the Bible.

David Ortiz
Music plays an important role in David Ortiz's approach to a game. Take the Home Run Derby as an example, when he asked for the song to be changed during his at bat.

Amped up: "Im always ready for a game. Ill listen to music. It depends what Im in the mood for -- hip-hop, merengue, some salsa, reggaeton. Music always has those lyrics that get you going."

Unwind: "Once the game is over, its over. I guess Ive been doing it for a long time that Im used to it (laughs)."

Jonathan Papelbon

As the Red Sox closer, Jonathan Papelbon spends an entire game preparing himself for just a few batters. Now in his seventh season, he is still searching for ways to wind down from the rush of recording the final out.

Amped up: I really try to get as amped up as I possibly can, but sometimes too amped is not good, so I try to get as amped up as I can and still be able to focus. Sometimes I just close my eyes and try to focus on myself out there being successful. Ill do that in the bullpen.

Unwind: To be totally honest, Ive tried 100 different things and thats the hardest part of my job -- when I get home trying to wind down and actually go to sleep. Most nights Im looking at three or four in the morning before I really actually calm down.

Marco Scutaro
One of the ways Marco Scutaro gets hyped for his next game is by looking back at his previous successes. And while Adrian Gonzalez prefers watching some lighter television to wind down, Scutaro tunes in to a different genre.

Amped Up: Ill probably listen to music, whatever Papi plays (laughs). I like to listen to music and watch some videos before the game. Sometimes Ill put on a video of all my hits from a series when I was swinging the bat well.

Unwind: I go back home and watch some stuff on my iPad. Ill watch a Colombian series, El Capo. Its about the cartel in Colombia, the drug dealers. I watch it to kill time and make my mind tired to go to sleep.

Tim Wakefield

Tim Wakefield has been pitching in the Big Leagues since 1992. After all these years, he finds the best way to get ready for a game is by sticking with a tried and true routine.

Amped up: I dont try to get any more amped than I already am. I do the same thing I do every day. Just because Im pitching doesnt make it any different. I do the same thing every day, even on the days I pitch. I go out and stretch with the pitchers and play catch and kind of burn off some nervous energy outside.

Unwind: I dont unwind, it takes me a while. I have a 30-minute drive home so that helps a little bit. Its quiet time. But other than that, I just try to go to sleep as quick as possible.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

Perez's eighth-inning slam, after three walks, lifts Royals over Red Sox, 6-4

Perez's eighth-inning slam, after three walks, lifts Royals over Red Sox, 6-4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Salvador Perez borrowed a Miguel Cabrera bat from Kansas City Royals teammate Drew Butera for the first time Wednesday.

"It's a magic stick," Butera said.

It was magic for Perez, who hit his first career grand slam, connecting in the eighth inning to rally the Royals over the Boston Red Sox 6-4.

"Miggy gave the bat to Butera when Detroit was playing here," Perez said. "Drew doesn't use it. It's too heavy for him. Today, coming into the clubhouse, I put it in my locker. I like the bat.

"Today was the first day I used it and I'll use it Friday, too, before you ask me. I don't want to break that one. I've got to call Miggy and say, `You've got to send me some more bats.'"

The Royals have won nine of 11 and moved within a game of .500.

Perez homered over the Kansas City bullpen in left field on the ninth pitch from Robby Scott (0-1). With Boston leading 4-2, reliever Matt Barnes started the inning by walking Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain on 12 pitches.

"We uncharacteristically lost the strike zone," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "For a group that has been so good at not issuing too many walks over the course of the year, we had an inning that got away from us. Matt was up in the zone. He couldn't get the ball down.

"This one stings because that group has been so good, so consistent for the better part of the whole season."

Scott was summoned to face Eric Hosmer, but walked him on four pitches to load the bases for Perez. The All-Star catcher fouled off three full-count deliveries before hitting his 15th home run of the season.

"I was happy with where the pitch was, but it was too good," Scott said. "There's not much else to say about it."

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Perez was the first Kansas City player to hit a grand slam in the eighth inning or later with the Royals trailing since Frank White in 1986. Perez went 3 for 3 in the win.

Jorge Soria (3-2) worked a spotless eighth. Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances.

Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts hit successive home runs in the Boston fourth off Ian Kennedy.

Benintendi's drive was estimated at 454 feet and landed in the right-center waterfall. The leadoff homer was Boston's first hit, and the 100th of Benintendi's career.

Five pitches later, Bogaerts went deep to left, tying the score at 2. It was the fourth time this season the Red Sox have hit back-to-back home runs.

"I tried to go inside and the ball just ran back over," Kennedy said of the homers.

Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits.

Kennedy was removed after 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, three hits and three walks. He has just one victory in his past 17 starts.

Errors by Kennedy and first baseman Cheslor Cuthbert helped Boston score twice in the fifth.

ORTIZ'S CEREMONY

The Red Sox will retire David Ortiz's No. 34 in a pregame ceremony Friday at Fenway Park. "When you consider the careers that are on that facade, the numbers that are up there and the fact that his being done so soon after retiring, I think speaks volumes," Farrell said. "What he's meant to the city, what he's meant to the organization. To see him at the ballpark, see the smile, to hear the booming voice, it will be a good day for us."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia missed his third straight game with rib soreness after being hit by a pitch Sunday. "When he went down to swing in the cage, there's still some restriction," Farrell said. "Hopefully he'll be back in the lineup Friday." ... LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right knee subluxation) will throw a 30-pitch two-inning simulated game Saturday.

Royals: RHP Nathan Karns (forearm strain) threw off a flat surface, his first time tossing since having a setback 11 days ago. ... LHP Danny Duffy (oblique strain) will throw a bullpen session Friday and could begin a minor league rehab stint next week.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: After a day off Thursday, RHP Rick Porcello will start Friday against the Angels.

Royals: RHP Jakob Junis will start Friday against the Blue Jays.

Pedro's Players' Tribune story: How lobster led the Red Sox to David Ortiz

Pedro's Players' Tribune story: How lobster led the Red Sox to David Ortiz

As David Ortiz prepares to have his No. 34 retired Friday night at Fenway Park, Pedro Martinez, in a piece written for The Players' Tribune, recalls how it was a craving for lobster that led to his meeting with Ortiz and the signing that changed the fortunes of the Red Sox.

Martinez recalls how when he was out with the friends in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in December 2002 and wanted lobster. It led him to a restaurant where Ortiz also happened to be just after Big Papi had gotten the news that the Minnesota Twins had released him.

Martinez said he immediately began trying to reach the Red Sox brass.

"I pulled out my little flip phone right there and started calling everybody I could think of back in Boston," Martinez writes. "But nobody picked up, because they were all in the MLB Winter Meetings. Finally I got to the traveling secretary, Jack McCormick, and I said, “Hey, can you get a hold of Lucchino or Theo or somebody?”

“Listen, I’m in the Dominican and I ran into David Ortiz. He just got released by Minnesota. We need to sign him.”

The rest, three World Series championships later, is history. Culminating with No. 34 being unveiled on the right field facade in a pregame ceremony Friday night.

"I thank God that he made me hungry for lobster stew that night in Santo Domingo," Martinez writes. "Because it gave Boston a championship, and it gave me one of my best friends in the world."