BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox held a Christmas carnival at Fenway Park on Saturday for fans who — like their favorite team — still have some shopping to do.
Thousands of people lined up in 20-degree temperatures to visit the ballpark and have the chance to buy tickets to some home games. There was also a yard sale, rides for the kids, balloon animals, face-painting, carolers and a chance to take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
All that was missing was a power hitter for the middle of the lineup.
“We are focused on getting one person,” baseball boss Dave Dombrowski told reporters, repeating the same shopping list he had when he went to baseball’s winter meetings this week.
The Red Sox were non-contenders when the Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. The ballclub insisted that their rival’s acquisition doesn’t change the plan.
“The worst thing you can do is overreact, or even react to what the Yankees do,” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said. “As a fan, it drives you a little bit crazy to see Giancarlo Stanton in the pinstripes. But we don’t want to overreact to anything a competitor does.”
The market got even thinner this week when Carlos Santana came off the market, but Boston was not willing to go near the $60 million, three-year contract he got from the Philadelphia Phillies. That leaves free agents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, as well as a potential trade for Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, as the best sluggers on Boston’s shopping list.
New manager Alex Cora said he wasn’t worried about his bosses filling the gap.
“There’s no deadline in the offseason,” new manager Alex Cora said. “When we get to February 16, we’re going to have a good baseball team.”
A member of Boston’s 2007 World Series winners and a bench coach on the Astros team that won it all this year, Cora said he was planning to go to Florida soon to meet with some of his players. Then he will return home to Puerto Rico, where he has been working to get supplies to victims of Hurricane Maria.
The team has a planeload headed for the island at the end of January, he said.
“Earlier, it was more about food and water,” Cora said. “Now it’s rebuilding houses … impacting kids. This is going to be a special day.”