Fort Myers, Fl- Feb 18, 2019-Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff--Red Sox Spring Training at JetBlue Park. Postcard from Spring Training 2 of 3 Just for fun I asked the Red Sox if I could get behind the hitter in the batting cage. Surprisingly, they said yes. Red Sox infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was at bat. I crouched low behind him with a camera but not a glove. Uh, maybe I didnÕt think this through. Lin, from Taiwan looked at me like I was crazy. ÒDo not miss,Ó I said. The cage forms a picture frame around the hitter and isolates him from the fans. ThereÕs a matt covering the batters box and itÕs spongy and retains a good grip. Assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett delivers a medium speed meatball right down the middle. For a split second, Lin stands motionless, the beautiful white shiny ball with the spinning red seams heads straight for my um, midsection. But then Lin uncoils and crushes a towering shot to left center. I am relieved. Lin later said he felt much pressure. ÒWhen you walked in there I said ÔOh my God,Õ really youÕre going to take a picture from behind home plate? I was scared and Andy was too. If I swing and miss you are going to get hurt. So I tried to just hit the ball.Ó
Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

STAN GROSSFELD | POSTCARD FROM SPRING TRAINING

Inside the batting cage at Red Sox spring training

FORT MYERS, Fla — Just for fun, I asked the Red Sox if I could get behind a hitter in the batting cage. Surprisingly, they said yes. Infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was at bat. I crouched low behind him with a camera but not a glove. Uh, maybe I didn’t think this through. Lin looked at me like I was crazy.

“Do not miss,” I said.

The cage forms a picture frame around the hitter and isolates him from the fans. There’s a mat covering the batter’s box. It’s spongy and retains a good grip. Assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett delivered a medium-speed meatball right down the middle. For a split second, Lin stood motionless, the beautiful, white, shiny ball with the spinning red seams headed straight for my midsection. But then Lin uncoiled and crushed a towering shot to right-center. I was relieved. Lin later said he felt a lot of pressure.

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“When you walked in there, I said, ‘Oh my God, really, you’re going to take a picture from behind home plate?’ ” Lin said. “I was scared, and Andy was too. If I swing and miss, you are going to get hurt. So I tried to just hit the ball.”

Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff
Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff