FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was a fun coda to the Red Sox season, pitcher Jake Peavy purchasing the duck boat he rode in during the team’s World Series victory parade.
But Peavy wasn’t just a wealthy athlete making an impulse buy. He has big plans.
The boat is being shipped off to Texas for an elaborate paint job that will include images of the World Series trophy, the Boston Strong logo, and Peavy’s family. It took Peavy several months to find a company that could handle the job.
Jonny Gomes took a shot at painting the duck boat when he visited Peavy over the offseason. But it needs some more work.
“It’s going to be a fine piece of art, a piece of memorabilia when it’s finished,” Peavy said Saturday.
Once the boat is finished, Peavy says it will play a prominent role at his ranch, Southern Falls, in Alabama. Once he retires, Peavy plan to run summer camps for kids. His large property includes several lakes, a bowling alley, a swimming pool, an arcade, a baseball field, and even a faux Western town.
“This is going to be neat piece to have down there to take tours in. It’ll be able to go in the water, obviously,” Peavy said. “We have a plan and a design for the duck boat.
“This thing is so stinking cool, the history behind this thing. This thing served in World War II, so it’s got some great history in this country. And the history of me and my family, who rode it.”
If the Red Sox repeat as champions, would there be a second boat coming?
“We’ll have to see. It’s going to be hard to top that. I don’t know if I want two of them,” Peavy said.
The Red Sox avoided salary arbitration in agreeing to terms Saturday night with lefthanded reliever Andrew Miller on a one-year, nonguaranteed contract. The terms were not disclosed.
Miller, 28, was the team’s last unsigned player eligible for arbitration.
Miller, who was limited to just 37 games because of a Lisfranc injury that required surgery on his left foot, went 1-2 with a 2.64 ERA, striking out 48 batters in 30⅔ innings.
A number of the Red Sox veteran players exchanged regular group text messages in the offseason to keep in touch. In recent weeks, when anybody mentioned last season, the response was invariably “turn the page,” according to David Ross.
Manager John Farrell expects the team to be motivated by the idea of being the first team to repeat as champions since the 2000 Yankees.
“It’s a chance to do something extremely special,” he said.
“The one thing that was clear about this group was that they’re very genuine. The way they went about their work was genuine. That tells you a lot about who they are and not being motivated by something artificial. That being said, they come back in the same people, the same drive, the same motivation, the same work ethic.”
Major League Baseball has outlawed collisions at the plate. For Ross and fellow catcher A.J. Pierzynski, the rule change will require some adjustments. “I’m the first to say I don’t like to get run over. We’ll see how it plays out. We’re going to get some coaching on it,” Ross said.
Ross was the last player to be involved in a collision, both as a base runner and a catcher. He ran over Detroit’s Alex Avila in the American League Championship Series last season and was run into by Miguel Cabrera.
“This is going to be a little bit of an adjustment for everybody,” said Ross.
Pierzynski said he was against the rule change, believing that collisions are part of the game regardless of the injury risk.
Pierzynski and Ross expect their relationship to be a fruitful one. But oddly, they did not speak at all during the offseason.
“I’ve been on teams where if you don’t have a good relationship with the backup catcher or the other catcher it can be a nightmare,” Pierzynski said “But Rossy’s great. I’ve known him a little bit. I know a bunch of people that know him and they have nothing but good things to say about him.
“I expect no problems at all. I expect us to have a good relationship. We talked a bunch today and hopefully it’ll just continue to get better.”
Farrell reiterated that Shane Victorino and Daniel Nava are his top choices to beat leadoff.
“They’re the two candidates that quickly come to mind,” he said. “We started last year with a certain lineup and things evolved. We fully expect that to take place again this year.”
Farrell would be comfortable with having Victorino and Nava platoon as the leadoff hitter.
“Wouldn’t be reluctant to go back and forth as long as they, Daniel and Shane, are well aware of [it] and be able to anticipate where they’d be in the lineup,” the manager said.
Taking it slow
In deference to their extra work in October last season, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Clay Buchholz won’t pitch until the second turn through the rotation in spring training. They still will get five starts before Opening Day.
Relievers Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, and Edward Mujica will be used cautiously in spring training, too.
Uehara, Breslow, and Tazawa were leaned on heavily in the postseason. Mujica made a career-high 49 appearances for the Cardinals last season.
Uehara reported to camp for the first time on Saturday and literally ran onto the field from the clubhouse.
Peavy left the clubhouse with his right hand wrapped in a bandage Friday, the result of being struck by a ball. “It’s no big deal,” he said. Peavy said he has irritation on the inside of his ring finger but doesn’t expect it to last beyond a few days . . . The first official on-field workout for pitchers and catchers is Monday. Jose Mijares, a nonroster lefthander, is not expected in camp until then. Lefthander Rich Hill could be delayed by a family issue.