Kirk Minihane goes one-on-one with David Ross on Arbella Early Edition.
The Red Sox watched Jarrod Saltalamacchia depart via free agency in the offseason, and brought in A.J. Pierzynski to handle the primary catching responsibilities. That likely leaves about 50-60 games for Ross.
"I’m ok with winning," says Ross. "It doesn’t matter to me how many [games] I play, honestly. There’s not a big ego here for me. I enjoy the team concept and working with my teammates to win that day."
Last year, the Red Sox overhauled their roster and it resulted in a worst-to-first turnaround. Now, the Sox are World Champions and must incorporate a number of new faces into a clubhouse that prided itself on its chemistry.
"I expect this year to go as smooth as last year," says Ross. "Winning helps with all that. We have great guys. We have guys that care about each other. We’ve got a tight-knit group. We just want to go out, and work hard, and try to play hard for the city of Boston."
The Red Sox benefitted last season from timely hitting and sound decision-making, not to mention their relentlessness. This year, John Farrell looks to repeat those results and has said he will do away with personal catchers for individual pitchers, and instead focus on selecting the catcher that provides the best matchup.
"I think John does a great job, and our coaching staff and our front office, do a good job of putting us in a situation where they want us to succeed [and] give us the best chance for success," says Ross. "I think that’s what it’s all about. They look at the whole picture and say ‘how do we best match up against this team, and this pitcher that day?' They take a lot of pride in that and they do a great job of it. I think that was a big part of our success last year was playing the match ups."
Ross, already one of the veterans on the team, is joined this year by Pierzynski. The two combine to give the Red Sox one of the more, shall we say, 'advanced' (read: older) catching tandems in the league.
"It’s actually an honor," says Ross. "I never thought I’d be playing this game this long. Going into my 12th season in the major leagues. Are you kidding? This is an honor. To be able to play with this gray and this beard. That’s a treat."
It's clear that despite reaching the top of the mountain last year, Ross still has a passion to compete and win. The Sox will need plenty of that to get them through a season in which they'll be playing with a target on their backs.