The latest arrivals have rings

Aside from familiar faces like Dustin Pedroia, Darnell McDonald and top prospect Jose Iglesias, a couple of the new guys arrived today — outfielder Cody Ross and infielder Nick Punto.

Ross was asked about his ability to step up when it mattered most in 2010, the year he helped the Giants win the World Series.

“I just had a different mindset. You go through the day-to-day routine of playing baseball and it’s a grind. You play everyday. But once you get to the playoffs, it’s like, ‘Wow, this is what we’ve played every single day for. This is why we’re here. This is why we play the game.’ You sort of have that mentality. You go and you play. Like I said, you either do it or you don’t. Fortunately for me and for us, we did. There’s a lot of guys in here with playoff experience. They understand what it takes to get there. That helps on teams. You realize from day one that you need to win this game. It can matter in Game 162, when you’re going down the stretch. That’s a good thing to have.”

Punto is no stranger to big games either, having just helped the Cardinals win a World Series. Now he will compete with Mike Aviles to be Bostons’ Opening Day shortstop.

“I’m just thrilled, excited to be part of a franchise like this, a team like this. It’s kind of a dream come true,” Punto said.  “I’m looking forward to it. I’m just here to compete, here to have some fun. I’ve worked hard this offseason. It’s going to be a good opportunity.”

And for once, he won’t be the shortest guy in the room — that honor, as always, going to Pedroia.

“It will probably the first [double play partner] I’m taller than,” Punto said. “I’m looking forward to that.”

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