Spring Training Tidbits: Week 3

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.

The third week of Spring Training saw another big free-agent signing, a triumphant return for a special pitcher, more heartbreak for the Red Sox, and of course, more baseball!

Boston rallies around Blake Swihart

Less than a week after the sudden passing of legendary Red Sox reporter Nick Cafardo at Spring Training, the franchise and fans were rocked by the news that catcher and utility player Blake Swihart’s brother Romell passed away suddenly earlier this week. The Swihart family adopted Romell years ago, and he and Blake clearly had a very close relationship.

Alex Cora was visibly upset when he addressed the media, but as we know, the Red Sox are an incredibly close-knit family, and they’ll take good care of Blake.

Michael Chavis continues to RAKE

The Red Sox minor leaguer probably won’t be down in the minors for long with the way he’s playing. Since the start of Spring Training, he’s gone 4-for-9 with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs. Of course, he’s a third baseman, and we’ve already got Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nuñez up there, so the Sox have been testing Chavis on other bases.

Chavis’ home runs are even more impressive when you consider that Jet Blue Park’s left field wall is actually 3 feet higher than the original at Fenway. Kid’s got power.

David Ortiz is HERE

It’s so good to see David Ortiz show up at Spring Training to talk baseball with the guys and impart wisdom. When asked if he was coming out of retirement, he said “Hell to the no,” but I’ll never give up hope.

Xander Bogaerts

The superstar shortstop hit his first home run of the year on Saturday, the only run scored by the Sox in an embarrassing 9-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, of all teams. On any other team, Bogey would be the star, but his talent is often obscured by teammates Betts and Martinez. Nevertheless, I think he’s going to have a great season, so keep a watchful eye on him.

Around the League:

Bryce Harper signed a ridiculously enormous 13-year, $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. His introductory presser was about as wild as his deal, with the two very unique highlights: Harper explained that he would be wearing 3 instead of 34 because he feels that former pitcher and 2019 Hall of Fame inductee, the late Roy Halladay should be the last player to wear it for the franchise. And the second highlight was a massive Freudian slip when Harper said he wanted to bring a championship back to “DC” instead of “Philly.”

Hanley Ramirez has a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, and he showed up to Spring Training with his Red Sox bag. I miss that guy’s fun attitude in our ball club, and wish him the best.

– After suffering a brain hemorrhage in the dugout in the middle of a pitching appearance last season, former White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar made his return to the mound yesterday for his new team, the Yankees. Welcome back, Danny!

Photo: Red Sox Twitter

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