Red Sox rookie Triston Casas reportedly received some backlash for his pregame rituals last season. Boston beat writer Chris Cotillo spoke on that apparent hate on Thursday.
The eccentric first baseman then made changes to his routine as a way to better fit in.
Casas’s personality is outside of what one would call the norm of your average baseball player. He’s someone who’s made headlines with his social media activity and red painted fingernails.
His pregame routine is no different, and despite the fact that others might find it odd, it was a tradition he’d continued from his minor league days up through his MLB debut.
That ritual included sunbathing in the outfield and taking a pregame nap in the dugout. After being spotted by a Red Sox teammate laying down shirtless in the right field grass, his first dose of hate would be heard.
— very rare (@veryrare_ns) February 23, 2023
Chris Cotillo of Mass Live detailed the clashes seen in that inaugural season in Boston.
Casas developed his meticulous pregame routine in 2019, his first full-season as a professional. While at Single-A Greenville, the former first-round pick found that he felt more energetic after getting sun before games. After the sunning came a 30-minute nap that began about 90 minutes before first pitch. Often, Casas would lie down in front of his locker and snooze on the floor.
While most at the minor league level either accepted the behavior or turned the other way, members of the Red Sox wouldn’t hold in their displeasure.
One unnamed pitcher reportedly asked, “Are you (expletive) kidding me?” upon seeing Casas catching rays in the outfield. That was one of the numerous times he butt heads with Boston veterans.
Many baseball fans were quick to comment on the negativity online.
One person wrote, “Bump anyone who has a problem with Casas being Casas,” while another said, “Everyone has different routines, and he isn’t bothering anyone, so I don’t understand why this bothered some of the veterans.”
This fan commented, “That sounds like a phenomenal routine.”
I completely agree.
While many would’ve shied away from the criticism, the infielder spun it into a positive. He took it as a way of knowing his Red Sox teammates cared.
“I would have been more concerned if they weren’t saying anything to me. I felt like that would have meant they didn’t feel like I was going to be (in the majors long)… They wanted me to go about things the right way… and make sure that I’m going to carry on that tradition throughout the years when I stay up here.
“Getting up to the highest level… I understood the perspective that there is a little more turnaround in the locker room in terms of media, in terms of cameras, in terms of other things that there isn’t in the minor leagues. I would find a more respectful spot of everybody’s space than in the locker room.”
While he did make some changes to that pregame routine after receiving criticism, he didn’t ditch it completely. Instead, Casas compromised.
“I couldn’t just scratch everything and then try to build a new routine… I found out when I came here some of the things that I was doing just needed an adjustment in terms of the timing or the location… Within reason, I will always compromise with anybody who has a request to make an adjustment to my routine.”
Timing is everything.
While we won’t catch the Red Sox first baseman lounging in the Fenway outfield as much in 2023, it doesn’t mean his pregame sun baths and afternoon siestas have stopped completely. He’ll just try harder to keep them out of the public eye.