Wright relishes holidays, but eyes upcoming season

Wright relishes holidays, but eyes upcoming season

While Steven Wright enjoys seeing his knuckleball dance across the plate, the Red Sox right-hander admits that he never wants to step into the batter's box to try and hit one. The California native, who spent the last month of the 2014 season with the Red Sox, is hoping to earn a spot in the Boston bullpen come the 2015 season.

During the holiday season, Wright plops down on the couch, relaxing with family and friends and watching movies. However, once the calendar flips to the new year, he's all business, ready to start preparing for the season ahead. MLB.com recently caught up with Wright for an expansive question-and-answer session.

MLB.com: What do you love about the holiday season?

Wright: For me, it's more about family because we are away for so long. Even when I'm at home during the season, I'm still at the field for eight, nine, 10 hours a day. It is more about hanging out and watching television. We always watch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." That is our go-to from Thanksgiving through Christmas. We watch it at least once or twice a week.

MLB.com: How do you go about buying gifts? Do you wait until the last minute or buy gifts way ahead of time?

Wright: Since I'm older now, we do Secret Santa. I wouldn't say I'm a last-minute shopper, but I wait a little. For me, I don't really jump on it. If I see something and like it, I'll buy it. I am leisurely. I did Black Friday this year. My wife and I got a babysitter, so we figured why not do it. It was insane. It was literally 3 a.m. and it looked like it was Christmas Eve. So, we left. It was the first time I'd done it like that. I've gone later in the day when it's not that crazy. I'm more of an Amazon kind of guy, I don't like dealing with all of the people.

MLB.com: Where are you going to be celebrating the holidays?

Wright: I'm going to be in Moreno Valley, Calif., which is where I grew up and all my family is. I fly out right before Christmas. I live in Santa Cruz, Calif., in the offseason and we have been getting crushed by rain.

MLB.com: Tell me what you think about the Red Sox moves this offseason?

Wright: When you can get guys of Pablo [Sandoval] and Hanley's [Ramirez] caliber and put them in the lineup we already have, we literally have no holes. Everyone has a chance to go off. I think it was huge for the team. Pitching, the same thing. Obviously, we wanted to get Jon Lester back, but when that didn't happen, it's like alright, that's the game. Sometimes that happens. I'm very impressed with how quickly they were able to solve the rest of the rotation. Who knows how the rest will go, but right now, it is looking good.

MLB.com: When do you start getting the itch for Spring Training?

Wright: New Year's. When the calendar flips you know it's that season. That's when you really start to get down and get to work. I still really like the offseason.

MLB.com: There are so few knuckleballers in the game right now. Does a camaraderie exist between knuckleballers past and present? How much do you talk with them?

Wright: I started off with [Tom] Candiotti and Charlie Hough. I talk to Charlie Hough a lot. I work with Tim [Wakefield] and talk to him a lot during the season, and in Spring Training, I talk to him every day when he is down there. I talk to R.A. [Dickey] a little bit. He's still in our division, so it is a little different. I know if I picked up the phone and called him he would answer, I just don't want to bother him. He's still in the game, so when you have Wakefield and other guys that are out of the game, I feel like it is easier to find time with them and help me out.

MLB.com: How nice is it to be with an organization that has so much experience with knuckleballers?

Wright: It's exciting. When I found out I was getting traded here, for me it was like winning the lottery. I was so excited because it's an organization that had Tim Wakefield for so long. They've given me every opportunity to be successful. I've been blessed these past two years to come up and down. Obviously, I want to stay here, but to get that opportunity is awesome.

MLB.com: What are your expectations moving forward into Spring Training and then this upcoming season?

Wright: I want to be consistent. For me, that is the name of the game. I have to be consistent with an inconsistent pitch. It is more about throwing quality pitches, quality knuckleballs for strikes. Whatever else happens is out of my control, so I have to concentrate on what I can control.

MLB.com: How did you learn to throw a knuckleball? Did you ever think that was how you would make it to the Majors?

Wright: From about nine until I was 17, I was just messing with it. It wasn't until 2010 with the Indians when they sent me down from Triple-A to Double-A that I started messing around with one of the catchers and every time I threw it, he'd miss. One of the two pitching coaches that were there saw me and told me that I really should start throwing it, so I started one day. It spiraled from there.

MLB.com: Have you ever tried to hit a knuckleball?

Wright: I don't want to hit it and I definitely don't want to catch it. I've seen what I've done to other guys and I don't want that happening to me.

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.