Xander Bogaerts

Breakfast Pod: Xander Bogaerts surpasses 100 career home runs

Breakfast Pod: Xander Bogaerts surpasses 100 career home runs

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers keep the Red Sox flickering playoff hopes alive; what do their futures hold?

1:16: Phil Perry, Kyle Draper and Gary Tanguay discuss Devers and Bogaerts putting up MVP-caliber numbers for the Red Sox. What does their recent performance mean for the future of their careers?

4:45: Rob "Hardy" Poole joins Gary Tanguay to rank his top five athletes currently in Boston. Is Rafael Devers one of them?

9:52: Abby Chin, A. Sherrod Blakley and DJ Bean discuss Jaylen Brown’s career after Danny Ainge praised him for his great attitude last season. 

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Xander Bogaerts (2 HRs) steps up, reminds everyone Rafael Devers isn't a one-man show

Xander Bogaerts (2 HRs) steps up, reminds everyone Rafael Devers isn't a one-man show

CLEVELAND -- One day it's Rafael Devers. The next it's Xander Bogaerts. The two have been playing Can You Top This? all season, and on Wednesday it was Bogaerts' turn to take center stage.

Just hours after Devers delivered the first 6-for-6, four-double game in major league history, Bogaerts was the star of a 5-1 victory over the Indians, slamming a pair of homers, including the 100th of his career, as part of a three-hit day.

"He played well, and he's the leader," said manager Alex Cora. "We made a commitment early in the season with the guy and you see what he's doing on the field, in the clubhouse."

Bogaerts homered in the third off of All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber as the second half of a back-to-back with Devers, who stretched his street of plate appearances with a hit to eight before grounding out.

Indians manager Terry Francona understandably decided he had seen enough of Devers when he walked him in the seventh to get to Bogaerts with two on and one out. Bogaerts fell behind in the count 0-and-2 before drilling one out to left to put the game away.

"You feel it, you feel it," Bogaerts said of the intentional walk to get to him. "Obviously you're not trying to hit a homer every time, but you're just trying to at least get a run in or put a good swing, but not to strike out. You'll make them look good on that. I mean, I laid off some tough sliders. He threw a lot of them. That last one, he just left it up and I saw it real well and I swung.

"I mean, last year it was the same thing with J.D. [Martinez]. When I hit behind J.D., they walked him a lot and I had a lot of success with that. This year, I kind of feel that's been with Raffy lately and it's been working well. I guess it definitely gets you going a little bit and understanding that they think you're the weaker guy."

An All-Star earlier this year, Bogaerts continued adding to what is already a career season. He's hitting .308 with 27 homers, 92 RBI, and a .947 OPS.

"He grinds. He plays," Cora saluted. "People don't realize how big he is to play that position. 6-3, 220. You look at Francisco [Lindor], he's shorter and lighter. For him to show up every day, it's not that easy. We gave him a day off last week and he'll have one tomorrow. He's grinding, he's grinding. But one thing for sure, he's not going to give up."

 

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Xander Bogaerts reflects on decision to sign contract extension with Red Sox

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File photo

Xander Bogaerts reflects on decision to sign contract extension with Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts has been worth every penny of the six-year, $120 million contract extension he signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2019 season.

The 26-year-old has arguably been Boston's most valuable player, slashing .304/.381/.552 with 25 home runs and 88 RBI entering Tuesday night. It's safe to assume Bogaerts would have received a far more lucrative contract in free agency had he produced this kind of season before hitting the market.

But there's no way of knowing how things would have gone for the All-Star shortstop had he not signed his extension in April, and he explained that to WEEI's Rob Bradford on the "Bradfo Show" podcast.

“I don’t know. Especially the way our team was playing,” Bogaerts told Bradford. “We had a lot of ups and downs and that can affect you sometimes because you might want to try and do too much for the team and you start getting into a bigger hole. I wouldn’t know."

Bogaerts makes it clear he regrets nothing about his decision to commit to Boston.

“I was more happy with being here and knowing everyone that’s here for all these years and all the guys I came up with, such a special year last year with our coaching staff," he said. "I think just knowing everyone from front office down was … These guys always want to win. They’re always going to put out the best team they can possibly put out.”

Bogaerts has been a bright spot in what's been a frustrating season for the Red Sox. Boston currently sits in distant third place (17.5 games back) in the American League East and 8.5 games behind in the wild-card race.

After locking down extensions with Bogaerts and ace Chris Sale, the focus now is on J.D. Martinez's potential opt-out situation and Mookie Betts' contract.

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