Jackie Bradley Jr. was 30,000-plus feet above land and three-quarters of the way through “The Life of Pi’’ on the Red Sox’ flight Saturday night from Fort Myers when he saw “this giant man” walking down the aisle toward his seat. It was manager John Farrell. Bradley paused the movie, took off his headphones and heard the news he and everybody else had been waiting for: He’s not only on the Red Sox Opening Day roster, he’ll start in left field this afternoon in Game 1. “I said, ‘Thank you, I’m ready to get this thing started,’ ” Bradley said yesterday after the club’s optional workout at Yankee Stadium. The 22-year-old, who earlier this spring defined “stress” as “a perceived outcome,” said he expects to be feeling little stress. “I’m pretty excited — I think it really hasn’t hit me yet, until my name’s called then I’m pretty sure I’ll probably go numb a little bit,” he said. “It’s great, it’s an honor, I can’t wait.” Because the Red Sox are so excited, that means it will be important for Yankees fans to show that they are not. “If they don’t give you a hard time, they don’t like you,” said Bradley. “If anything I’ll be excited, excited for the opportunity. Who knows, maybe a few butterflies. . . . I don’t really get nervous, I just try to relax. I’m a pretty easygoing guy, nerves don’t really get much to me.” His teammates will likely target him for rookie hazing for however long he lasts. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was vocal during BP toward him, and right fielder Shane Victorino razzed him in the clubhouse. They love him, though. “His first big league camp and he acted very professional, he played great, did all the right things,” Pedroia said. “He should be very proud making the team, it’s the start of something special for him. It’s going to be fun for him. Opening Day is special. For a lot of guys, it’s first Opening Day, so it’s going to be fun for all of them.” Victorino expects big things from Bradley.
Jackie Bradley Jr. makes the Red Sox
Boston Herald | Apr 1