Red Sox Review: Brock Holt appreciation week and the atrocity that was MLB Players' Weekend
It was another up-and-down week for the Red Sox
Another week gone, another week of the Red Sox just kind of hanging around. At this point, it feels like we're treading water until the regular season comes to a close. Fun!
The Sox dropped both games in a quick two-game set at home against the Phillies, then won three in a row -- including an incredibly quick win against the Royals -- before heading out west to take two against the Padres. There, they dropped the series finale in San Diego. A 3-3 week, and no closer to making any sort of last-second playoff push.
Oh well, at least they got to enjoy some Southern California sun. If you're slowly dying, you may as well do it with a nice tan.
Then: August 27, 2018: 90-42, 1st in AL East, 6.0 game lead | Now: August 20, 2019: 70-62, 3rd in AL East, 15.5 games back
12 minutes or less
After dropping two straight against the Phillies at home to kick off the week, the Red Sox had to complete a suspended game against the Royals from earlier in the month before they headed off to San Diego for a West Coast road trip.
The game resumed with the teams tied 4-4 in the top of the 10th, but it took just 12 minutes to find a winner. After a 1-2-3 inning from Josh Taylor, the Red Sox won on the strength of a Brock Holt walk-off single that drove in Christian Vazquez from second base.
More than 16,000 fans filed into the ballpark to watch the Red Sox play for just over 10 minutes and win, so who says baseball has a pace of play problem?
Fortunately for those fans, they still probably got their money's worth. It was a matinee under a nice summer sun and adults got in the park for just $5 (with proceeds going to the Jimmy Fund for cancer research) while kids got in free and were able to run the bases after the game. The Red Sox also reportedly sold over 11,000 hot dogs for $1 apiece, so everyone kinda made out pretty okay with the weird postponement.
Well, except the Royals, of course. It always sucks to lose, but it especially sucks to lose while being massively inconvenienced. Kansas had to give up a scheduled off-day to fly into Boston to lose in minutes, then fly to Cleveland the next day and play the Indians mere hours later (they also lost that game, 4-1. Tough couple days).
If you like Weird Baseball, this was a joy to behold.
Speaking of Weird Baseball, it was Players' Weekend across MLB and, boy, to say that this year's installment was the worst of the past three years would be a massive, massive understatement. We all laughed at the uniforms when they were unveiled earlier this season, but I think I speak for almost everyone when I say that they were actually somehow worse than expected.
This year's jerseys were uniformly all-black and all-white across the league and they were horrendous. Not only did they sap all the creativity and life out of the weekend, but they also made for a terrible viewing experience. It was nearly impossible to see anything on the jerseys -- from the team names and logos, to the numbers, to the fun nicknames that was one of the big selling points of Players' Weekend in the first place. Just a total fail all-around.
The fun, colorful Little League-inspired looks that the first two installments brought weren't always great, but at least it seemed like MLB was trying... even just a little bit. This year it felt like the league forgot to make the uniforms and came up with a last-second idea that required almost no thought.
Give me a break.
This crime was especially heinous because it affected classic jerseys, such as Boston's. It completely ruined the aesthetic appeal of the Dodgers-Yankees series. Even Red Sox fans have to admit that Los Angeles and New York have two of the best uniform sets in baseball, so to see that matchup get painted black and white is a disgrace. Whoever was in charge of this "creative" weekend should never get to work in sports again.
That being said, it was cool to see the different bats and cleats that players broke out for the weekend, especially when that equipment fought back.
Brock Holt appreciation
Not only did Holt come up with the walk-off against the Royals, he also hit a 9th inning go-ahead home run against the Padres on Saturday night.
He also continues to get it done all over the field.
Since coming of the disabled list at the end of May, Holt ranks third in the majors in batting average (.346) and 9th in OBP (.412).
If he's not the most underrated player in the league, he's high on the list. It'll be interesting to see what happens with Holt when his contract expires at the end of this season, but the Red Sox should certainly make a strong effort to retain him. He's an incredibly valuable asset to a roster, both on and off the field.
They'll continue their west coast swing, playing two against the Rockies in Denver and three against the Angels in Anaheim before heading back to Boston for a homestand against the Twins and Yankees next week.
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