Red Sox unveil 2009 spring schedule

Red Sox unveil 2009 spring schedule

BOSTON -- Those members of Red Sox Nation who are already going through baseball withdrawals got some good news on Tuesday, via the release of the club's 37-game Spring Training schedule for 2009.

The Red Sox will play their first game of 2009 -- albeit in exhibition form -- on Feb. 25, when they host Boston College at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. ET.

That contest, in addition to the rest of Boston's Spring Training schedule, was announced on Tuesday.

On the same day the Red Sox play Boston College, they will also make their Grapefruit League debut, visiting the Twins in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest at Hammond Stadium, which is also in Fort Myers.

The Sox will play their first home game against a Grapefruit League opponent on Feb. 26, when the Pirates come to City of Palms Park.

Tickets for all of Boston's Spring Training home games will be available on beginning at 10 a.m. on Dec. 6.

This year's spring slate starts a little earlier than usual because of the World Baseball Classic.

As in any Spring Training, there are some games on the schedule to circle.

The Rays, who knocked off the Red Sox in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, will host the Red Sox at their new home in Port Charlotte on Feb. 27.

The rivalry with the Yankees will be rekindled on March 13 in a night game (7:05) at City of Palms. The Red Sox play their only road game against the Yankees in Tampa on March 24, also a night game.

There will be five Mayor's Cup matches with the Minnesota Twins. There will be four meetings with the Rays, an emerging AL power.

As part of the preparation for the World Baseball Classic, the Sox will host Team Puerto Rico on March 5.

The Pirates, Reds, Marlins and Phillies are among the National League teams that will come to City of Palms Park during Spring Training.

The Red Sox also will make a trip they haven't had in recent Grapefruit League seasons, going to Disney World to play the Braves on March 30. After playing the Twins on April 2, the Red Sox will depart Florida and play two exhibition games at a Major League stadium yet to be announced.

It was previously reported that those two games will be in New York against the Mets, meaning that the Red Sox will help christen Citi Field. The Mets haven't released their Spring Training schedule yet.

Ticket prices for all games at City of Palms Park will be the same as in 2008, marking the third time in four years there have been no changes.

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Feb. 12, with a workout scheduled two days later. The Red Sox train at the player development complex -- which is two miles from City of Palms Park -- until the start of games.

The rest of the squad will report on Feb. 16, with the team's first full-squad workout set for Feb. 18.

All workouts are open to the public free of charge and shuttle buses are provided from City of Palms Park at $2.00 per person.

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.