BOSTON (WPRI) — Opening Day is here!
The 2023 MLB season got underway Thursday, with the Red Sox hosting the Orioles at Fenway Park. Fans were treated to an offensive showdown, but Boston ultimately fell to Baltimore 10-9.
Even though it’s only game one out of 162, expectations are not high for the Red Sox this season. Oddsmakers predict the team will only win about half of their games.
Many Sox fans were unhappy with the decisions the front office made during the offseason.
“Any time we don’t make it to October and play baseball in October. It’s a disappointment. We know that. But we have definitely turned the page. It’s been a great vibe at spring training,” Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said.
WATCH: Sam Knox checks in from Fenway (Story continues below.)
While Boston lost some key free agents, like Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, they were able to sign Rafael Devers to a 10-year deal and grab some new guys including Justin Turner, Adam Duvall, and Masataka Yoshida.
Chaim Bloom, Chief Baseball Officer of the Red Sox, is optimistic about the team he’s built and he believes it’s a team that can win.
“I think this is going to be a fun group. It’s been a really terrific clubhouse in spring training. And, you know, we need to stay healthy, grind at-bats, throw strikes. But I think we’re going to have a fun summer,” he said.
Though the team will look different this year, so will the game itself with a first-ever pitch clock, bigger bases, and more. The new rules were tested out during spring training but now it’s time to see it when it counts.
Pitchers will only get 15 seconds to throw a pitch — 20 seconds if a runner is on base — and batters must be ready to hit with eight seconds left on that clock.
The size of the bases will also increase from 15 inches to 18 inches in an effort to reduce injuries around them, according to the MLB.
Fenway Park also saw some upgrades in the off-season. All of the lights are now LEDs and the Red Sox Clubhouse underwent a full renovation.
There are also some new items on the menu at the ballpark’s concession stands including, but not limited to, avocado fries, a crab cake sandwich, a New England maple bacon burger, a lavender lemon drop cocktail, and a spicy watermelon margarita.