Red Sox starters have identified their ace (thanks to some T-shirts)

Rob Bradford
March 05, 2015 - 9:18 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Evidently, the Red Sox starting pitchers are trying to put punctuation on one of this camp's most talked-about subjects. As John Tomase mentioned in his column Thursday, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington had an interesting comment when asked about the Cole Hamels rumors during the team's radio broadcast Tuesday, saying, "I think the guys in that group like it, that's there's a tension about it and [external] talk about it. I think quietly, behind closed doors, they sort of like it, and there's some motivation that comes through it." Thursday, the motivation came out into the team's clubhouse. Clay Buchholz took the initiative to make up T-shirts and hand them out to each member of the starting rotation. Each has the pitchers' last names and number on the back. But four are light blue with the saying, "He's the ace" on the front, while one -- reserved for that day's starting pitcher -- is gray and says, "I'm the ace." (Joe Kelly got to be the first to wear the gray one since he gets the start Thursday night in the Red Sox' Grapefruit League opener against the Twins.)

"It shows the guy that there is no pressure on them," Buchholz said. "They can just go out and pitch. Everybody has confidence in their ability. It's one of those things to keep everything loose and have fun with it." To read Tomase's column on the subject, click here.