"In Boston, it's all about the business," he said yesterday. "Here, it's all about relationships. There are no cliques. Both [clubs] have the common goal, but there's a different dynamic of getting there. There's a lot of pressure in Boston, and once I got out from under that for a second, it was like, 'Wow, now I can breathe.' I've grown so much in a month and a half here, and I believe in myself a little bit more."
Varitek is intense when it comes to game preparation, and Shoppach understood that and realized that's why the Boston captain has been successful. But Shoppach's relationship with Indians catcher Victor Martinez is completely different.
"Oh, man, he's awesome," said Shoppach. "He's the type of guy if I'm out there running the bases, he'd get me water if I was tired. Obviously, he's an incredible player, but it's been really nice to work with him. The communication between him and I is really good."
Their relationship extends off the field, and it doesn't end with just the Indians' starting catcher.
"Everyone in this clubhouse has been top notch," said Shoppach. "Not that the guys in Boston weren't, but my comfort level here is much easier to get along with these guys and feel like I am a part of them."
Shoppach also said the communication is completely different between the organizations. He believes Cleveland is far more up front with its players and has given him an opportunity to compete for the job behind Martinez.