BOSTON — RF Wil Myers began Tuesday with this tweet: “Where everybody knows your name. #Boston #Cheers”
He was referring, of course, to last October’s division series when Red Sox fans chanted, “Myeeeers. Myeeeers,” after Myers allowed a fly ball by Red Sox DH David Ortiz to fall for a double during Game 1, thus swinging the momentum from the Rays to the Red Sox.
Myers and the Rays returned to Fenway Park on Tuesday for the first time this season, and Myers expected to hear his name echo through the park.
He said his morning tweet was an attempt to make light of the situation.
“You take it as a compliment, I guess,” Myers said. “I don’t think there’s too many fans who can say Fenway chanted their name before. It was definitely cool to hear that. (Stunk) when it happened, but looking back on it, it was different.”
Maybe it was the chilly night — 42 degrees at first pitch — or the Boston fans are saving their energy for the Bruins, because they offered a faint “Myeeeers. Myeeeers,” when Myers batted in the second inning.
“It was a very difficult moment for him last year, but he’s going to be playing here for many more years to come. I’d like to see him make friends with the people out there in right field,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That would be a great thing, and that’s all he needs to do. The fans in Boston are great fans. They have a lot of fun. Wil’s a great kid himself, hopefully it works out in a great way.”
Still, the moment from Game 1 played a role in Myers’ improved defense this season.
“To be honest, it stayed with me most of the offseason, knowing that play kind of turned the series, especially the momentum,” Myers said. “It really helped me work hard this offseason to get better. It’s definitely something I learned from.”
Myers admitted he spent more time working on hitting than defense, and it showed when he joined the Rays in spring training 2013. Maddon said he knows Myers has the skills to be a good defensive outfielder — speed, good footwork, strong arm — and challenged him to be a Gold Glove outfielder.
“A play like last year is just a lack of communication,” Maddon said. “It can be made 1,000 times out of 1,000 times. It was a communication error, not a physical error or a mental error. We’ll just keep moving him forward, getting more work out of him, because as an athlete, he’s very capable of winning a Gold Glove.”
RHP Chris Archer makes his second career start at Fenway Park tonight. He lasted 42⁄3 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) last June 18 when pitching the first game of a doubleheader.
“It wasn’t a very good start, so I canceled that out of my memory,” Archer said. “I do remember pitching here in the playoffs, though. I pitched well. The atmosphere was different. I was more feeding off the negative energy, which was cool.
“I pitched well, and everybody that I faced, I faced like three or four hitters, everybody I faced is back here again this year, so channeling how I finished my season against them last year helps lead me into a positive state of mind whenever I’m here again.”
C Ryan Hanigan, who grew up in Andover, Mass., played his first game as a pro Tuesday at Fenway Park. ... The Rays set a record for walks in the month of April with their 97th Monday night. But they are on pace for the fewest runs since 2004, fewest home runs since ’05 and highest ERA since ’09. ... 2B Ben Zobrist reached the 200-career mark for doubles Monday.