Taking Bradley to Prom
Today, the sun rises on a well deserved off day for the undefeated Boston Red Sox. You get the feeling that it’ll be tough for the Yankees to sleep off the opening day defeat given how things have been for them recently. However, yesterday was less about the aging and the injured and more about the fresh and the new.
The ESPN analysts on yesterday’s broadcast we’re all over Jackie Bradley Jr. like he was their date at senior prom. They couldn’t stop talking about him. Of course Bradley didn’t help matters by taking 3 walks, scoring twice and knocking a run in. Oh, and then there was the catch off the bat of Robinson Cano which I think it’s fair to say Jonny Gomes wouldn’t have made. The defense isn’t unexpected even in a somewhat unfamiliar left field role, he was the Red Sox minor league defensive player of the year in 2012.
Despite hitting just .118 in 68 at bats in 2012 Jose Iglesias is getting another chance in the majors due to the ongoing concussion issues of Stephen Drew. Things couldn’t have started much better for the 23 year old (he’s just 3 months older than Bradley), who went 3-5 with an RBI and a run. While it’s likely we’ll see more choppers from Iglesias than at a Harley Davidson owners convention, he might just hit enough to stick around. Having all eyes on Jackie Bradley might not be a bad thing as he strives to prove he can cut it at the plate in the majors.
In fact that’s true for the whole team, had Bradley been demoted last week the media focus would be on other less positive storylines, likely the stagnant remnants of the 2012 season. Bradley may not prove to be ready for the majors, a year of service time may have been lost if he is, but he’s undeniably energised the feeling around the team. One of the best moments during yesterday’s game was watching David Ortiz talking to Bradley in the dugout, clearly passing on some tips to the youngster but also listening to what he had to say. Guys talking baseball.
If we’re just talking baseball come this September, things will be looking up.
Image by Paul Hadsall