For their rookie development program this past week, the Red Sox brought in one speaker from the outside: Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
"Doc was amazing," said outfield prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. "Oh my goodness, it's powerful, man. Yeah, yeah, yeah. After hearing his speech I wanted to say forget baseball, I'm going to play some basketball. It was great to hear him talk."
At 5-foot-10, Bradley is no threat to defect to the NBA, but his appreciation for Rivers was infectious.
"He talked about knowing your role and accepting it," Bradley said. "Knowing what you are, being confident no matter what, people encouraging you through tough times. Everyone goes through tough times. They make you a better person and sometimes a better player.
"I liked the reference he used about how, when people see things, they see the start time and the dash. What are you going to do between the start and the dash?"
Rivers has spoken to Sox rookies in the past.
"Doc has been very generous to us and the rookie program," said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. "He brings an inspiring talk to these guys, and hits a lot of key points that are important to us and important to him and the Celtics."
New Sox special assistant Jason Varitek also addressed the team Friday and is expected to spend time in both the big league and minor league camps in spring training.