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The Show Goes On

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The Show Goes On With The Boston Red Sox

It’s officially August, the time of the year when baseball games finally start to mean something. The crisp and aromatic October air will soon pervade Fenway Park. This is also when a motley bunch of unilateral teammates will coalesce into the team they will be, come playoff time. In the aftermath of the MLB trade-deadline, we see a Boston Red Sox team that is a kaleidoscope of a picture. It looks something like if Picasso did the team photo and he switched heads with behinds, and arms with legs (and put some foots in mouths).

Exclusively grading them, I’d give the organization’s deadline moves a super-solid B. This grading comes retroactively, and for a reason. With recent developments behind us, the acquisition of versatile chess-piece Eduardo Nunez and the possibly premature promotion of Rafael Devers appears to be a very coherent decision on management’s part. Unfortunately, it is a decision amplified by the fact that Dustin Pedroia is not healthy. This team needs help on both sides of the ball, urgently.

In a press-conference on Monday, a melancholy, yet steady, John Farrell declared that the Red Sox “can’t rule out the DL” for Pedroia and his knee which was operated on in the off-season. This unnerving tidbit comes on the coattails of a 3-game benching of the acclaimed “dirt-dog”. This is not good. It is entirely uncommon to see Pedroia sit on the bench, and his doing so speaks to the seriousness of the injury. Knee-cartilage is not regenerative. When it starts to go, it goes. Hence the importance of the newly introduced Boston young-bloods: Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers.

These two will be expected to supplement the play of an inveterate staple of our team. Although his leadership has been in question, as of late, Pedroia is a crown-jewel of this franchise. Despite his height (that’s right no one’s off limits), temporarily replacing him will be no small task.

Meet the New Guys

Eduardo Nunez: maybe, through the osmosis of national media, you’ve heard the name. But did any of us have an extensive scouting-report on this guy when he was acquired? Rafael Devers: if you’ve absorbed the farm-system at all, you knew he’d probably make a nice contribution in the near future. In the midst of a minor-crisis, these two near no-names are making an invaluable impact.

Starting with the bright-eyed 20-year-old, Devers has simply been tearing the cover off the ball. In 27 plate-appearances (PA) he has a .417 BA while slugging the ball at an incredible average of .750, polish that off with 2 HRs and 4 RBI’s. That type of production, from a newly called-up prospect, comes at a time when the Sox were desperately exploring the roster, and the market, for any iota of power-hitting. This conversationally “free” needle in the haystack is of immeasurable worth to this team right now. Devers represents only half of this Frankenstein-esque Green Monster. The other half: Eduardo Nunez.

He’s a very well traveled rolling-stone, but Nunez has been able to ingratiate himself, in an abbreviated fashion, to many a franchise. From the seemingly futile reclamation attempt in San Francisco, he comes to a more promising situation in Boston. In his 19 PA’s with the club, Eduardo has socked his way to a .417 BA, while cranking the ball at a clobbering slugging-percentage of .971. In this small sample size, he also has 2 dingers and a formidable 7 RBI’s. We acquired all of this high-leverage productivity for a “Sweet Caroline” of a song. Who can begin to complain?

Looking at the defensive outfit of these two, now not so hidden-gems, Devers presents a slight liability in the hot-corner. During his short time with the club, the young third-baseman has committed a nearly inconsequential handful of errors. Bare in mind, the kid has a high ceiling. The plays he has fumbled were those of a budding player clearly trying too hard. What redeems this corner of the infield? Nunez at second, who is a well-rounded glove that can comfortably assume any position within the diamond.

The Future is Now

As constituted, our infield without Dustin Pedroia would not win a collective Gold Glove. Defensively, Nunez’s optimal position is third base. But, as it’s outweighed by the current surge in offensive production, we’re not looking too shabby on the doorstep of August.

Sure, the impending loss of Pedroia severely hurts this team. What mitigates this publically unforeseeable damage is the well-timed insertion of Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez into the lineup. Although a bum-knee, at the ripe age of 33 years old, for Dustin Pedroia does not spell retirement, it’s nice to see a version of this team that can succeed in his absence. We have not found our long-term Sox without the “laser show” solution. But the show must go on, and we’ve been lucky enough to find an under-qualified combination of players stepping up to put on a helluva performance.

Columnist operating out of Manchester, NH. Retired pitcher (unprofessional not amateur). Voracious consumer of all things Celtics and Red Sox. Sometimes I produce content as well.

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Have Signed JD Martinez

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JD Martinez

Time for a celebration Red Sox fans, the team has reportedly signed a big-time bat.

According to Pedro Gomez of ESPN, the Boston Red Sox have signed free agent DH/OF J.D. Martinez.

Multiple outlets are reporting that the deal is for five years with a player opt-out option after two seasons. The deal is valued at $110 million with it being a front loaded contract prior to the opt out. Full terms will be revealed later.

Martinez has played for three teams in his career starting off in Houston, moving to Detroit, and then being traded to Arizona this past season. The 30-year-old has had his fair share of struggles in major league baseball but was able to figure it all out in 2017 by belting 45 home runs between the Tigers and Diamondbacks with a .303 batting average and 104 RBIs.

Martinez’s role with the Red Sox is unclear at the moment but he can be expected to DH and the corner outfield positions. Having the opt-out in the contract is a huge incentive for Martinez who will likely be playing like it is a contract year given the front-loaded nature of the deal.

Boston has landed their guy, the question is will it be enough for them to contend with the New York Yankees?

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Are Close To Signing JD Martinez

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JD Martinez

Red Sox fans everywhere can start to rejoice as the big move the team desperately needed is getting closer to completion.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Boston Red Sox and free agent J.D. Martinez are closing in on a deal.

Other reports have also confirmed that a deal is imminent but that Dave Dombrowski and the team have yet to acknowledge or confirm anything is done or nearing completion. It does appear however that talks between Martinez and the Red Sox are at an all-time high and their seems to be high confidence that both sides will come to terms on a deal in the near future.

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Boston Red Sox

John Henry, Red Sox Owner: ‘We really don’t need to be popular. We need to win.’

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Ever wonder why Boston Red Sox fans or Liverpool fans have shown a hatred towards John Henry? Well if you did look no further than his idiotic and out of touch comments that he made on Monday during his yearly media availability.

Red Sox owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner were asked if they were concerned about the level of popularity of the current team compared to past years.

Wener, one of the producers of Roseanne went first.

“I don’t quite see it the way some of the fans see it. I respect their point of view but I think we’ve got a fun team and if it’s healthy I think were going to be — we’ll bring the fans back,” Werner said. “Obviously we’re in a market where there’s a lot of excellence. We’ve got four championship teams and they’re all playing extremely well. So hopefully now it’s the beginning of spring training and we can have some focus on the Red Sox.”

Henry provided a follow-up that was a bit odd for an owner that makes money off of people liking his teams.

“We really don’t need to be popular,” he said. “We need to win.”

For a team so image conscious the statement is bizarre. But hey, maybe Henry is checked out and will sell the team.

There are plenty of other things to do in the summer than watch Red Sox baseball, maybe fans should take Henry’s lead and turn off the team if they fail to win.

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