FORT MYERS, Fla. — It is inevitable baseball will eventually face the same scrutiny as the NFL when it comes to accepting an openly gay player. Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Breslow hopes that pioneering player will be welcomed into the clubhouse, whether that’s at Fenway Park or elsewhere.
“I feel like sexuality is totally independent and irrelevant to what we’re trying to accomplish,” Breslow told WBZ Radio on Wednesday. “We’ve got 25 guys looking to win and we really don’t care the choices that they make. Obviously there’s tremendous diversity in baseball and across professional sports and this is a component of that.
“The goal of any team, especially the Red Sox, is to win. As long as 25 guys buy into that, everything else is irrelevant. . . . I can’t speak for the Red Sox clubhouse; I can speak for me. I view that as irrelevant to what we’re trying to do here. I don’t care what somebody’s preferences are.”
University of Missouri star defensive end Michael Sam, a mid-round NFL draft prospect, announced he was gay on Sunday. Manager John Farrell believes the Red Sox will be “open-minded” about having a gay player on the roster.
“Our approach is to find players that will help us to the best of our abilities win. The one thing that we strive to do here is to create an environment that is accepting. We can’t make decisions that run counter to individual’s choices or their rights as an individual,” he said. “I would like to think that certainly we’re open-minded, we create an environment that’s accepting and most importantly is to find the best players available that can vie for a championship year in and year out.”
The Red Sox, Farrell said, have built a support system to help players deal with a variety of challenges.
“Whether it’s a situation like Michael Sam’s or whether it’s another situation that’s off the field, we’d like to think we’re equipped to not only address the needs of the team but finding the best players to put the best team on the field each and every day,” he said.
The Red Sox had enough position players to merit the use of two fields for their informal workout. Middle infielders were on one diamond and corner infielders on another . . . Assistant general manager Mike Hazen, pro scouting director Jared Porter and advance scout Steve Langone were on hand to watch the early arrivals . . . The remainder of the coaching staff is due to arrive Thursday. The official report date for pitchers and catchers is Saturday . . . The Red Sox equipment truck arrived at JetBlue Park Tuesday night and was unceremoniously unpacked Wednesday.