Snow still covered Frontier Field for Tuesday's Media Day, but it didn't dampen the mood as Rochester Red Wings gathered in the clubhouse for the first time in the 2014 season.
"We're all excited to get out there and hopefully the snow will melt quickly because we want to get out there," OF Chris Parmelee said.
Of course, returning from the month-long Spring Training Camp in Fort Myers, Fla., seeing snow is discouraging, but the team is remaining positive, as LHP Scott Diamond pointed out.
"I don't think it's really going to deter us that much from getting what we are trying to accomplish this year," Diamond said.
After reaching the Governors' Cup playoffs last year for the first time since 2006 with a wild-card berth, the Red Wings are looking to not only secure the North Division title, but also win the championship.
"It's definitely one of those things that you have to set your mindset from the beginning of the season," Parmelee said. "We all know we can do it."
In order to get there, the Red Wings will draw upon talent from both veterans and prospects.
Thirteen players return from last year's squad and are joined by longtime professional players, such as 1B Brad Nelson, who spent nine seasons at the Triple-A level in the Pacific Coast League. Exciting fresh faces include SS Danny Santana and RHPs Alex Meyer and Trevor May.
The two groups have already merged together nicely, creating even stronger camaraderie than last year, according to Parmelee. This strong team chemistry and fun atmosphere could translate into success, as Nelson has seen in his 13 professional seasons.
"I've been around long enough that you know those successful teams. When you're a group and you want to play together and want everybody to succeed, it's so much better than the I-type feelings," Nelson said. "This is definitely a team atmosphere than an 'I' team."
The Red Wings look to begin the 2014 season with a fast start unlike last year's 2-11 beginning stumble. In order to avoid that again, manager Gene Glynn is keeping it simple: "Win more games early," he said.
The Wings open the regular season on Thursday April 3 at 2:05 p.m. against the Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays) at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo. On Saturday April 5, Rochester hosts its home opener at Frontier Field with a 2:05 p.m. start against the Bisons.
"Everybody's excited for the opener, even though we're opening the season in Buffalo, but there's nothing like home opener at your own field, so hopefully we get it in," Glynn said.