Spring Training Tidbits: Week 2

After what seemed like an endless winter of zero free-agent moves (Bryce Harper, Craig Kimbrel, and a ton of other players are still contract-less and team-less) and cold weather, baseball is finally BACK.

It’s such an exciting time, watching the team reunite and get back to work, and I can tell they’re as excited, if not somehow more excited than I am.

It’s been a wild, crazy, heartbreaking second week of Spring Training. Here’s everything you might have missed:

The NESN broadcasts will continue to be STACKED in 2019

Dennis Eckersley will be back in the booth for 85 games this season! He announced Wednesday that he’s signed a 5-year deal to give us the realest talk in baseball for more games per season than ever before. And Jerry Remy will also be back in the booth after missing a large portion of the season while he fought cancer again. The RemDawg will be working some 115 games of the season, including 30 as a 3-man booth alongside Eck!

There are some STUD Sox Minor Leaguers whose careers you should start following

Bobby Dalbec, who homered in the first game of Sox Spring, a blowout exhibition against Northeastern University and Michael Chavis, who hit an absolutely terrifying 3-run homer to put the Red Sox over the Yankees on Saturday, are two of the Sox’s top prospects. Hopefully, their power bats will be up in the big show soon!

Speaking of Saturday’s game, after falling behind quickly in the first inning, the Red Sox beat the Yankees 8-5 thanks to the aforementioned Chavis homer, a bunch of RBI extra-base hits, and some great double plays by a lineup mostly comprised of Minor Leaguers. 

So far, I’m right about Rafael Devers!

Okay, so it’s been one game, but Rafael Devers had a great debut on Saturday against the Yankees, with two hits and his first RBI of 2019! And this in-game quote about him from announcer Dave O’Brien is not to be missed: 

“He’s everybody’s little brother on the Red Sox. This is a team that really looks out for this kid. They’re very very fond of the young man and they believe he’s going to be a star. Not just a good player, a STAR.”

Around the League:

– Trevor Bauer made headlines yet again with his disturbing 3 rules for a first date: no feelings, no social media posting, and he gets to sleep with other women. Too much to unpack in this piece, so we’ll just move on…

– Manny Machado finally signed a deal… with the San Diego Padres. It’s kind of a puzzling move, given that the Padres are not exactly a big team, but it all makes sense when you realize they’re giving him the biggest free-agent deal in sports history: 10 years, $300 million. I wish someone would pay me a fraction of that to strike out swinging and have a bad attitude. 

– Hanley Ramirez reportedly has a minor league deal in the works with the Cleveland Indians. I’d love to see him come back this year!

And of course, the sports world is mourning Red Sox writer Nick Cafardo, who tragically and suddenly passed away on Thursday in Fort Myers. The Red Sox honored him before their first game on Friday. There has been an outpouring of grief from the sports community, but also so much love and respect for Cafardo, who was so well-respected, admired, liked, and cherished. His talented voice will be missed in the Globe and the rest of sports media. Baseball already doesn’t feel the same, but I look forward to seeing how the Red Sox continue to honor him.

Photo: Red Sox Twitter

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