Red Sox

Chaim Bloom admits one piece of reporting about Mookie Betts trade ticked him off

Chaim Bloom admits one piece of reporting about Mookie Betts trade ticked him off

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Chaim Bloom typically projects an air of calm, but one question on Monday night clearly struck a nerve.

Facing the media just moments after finally announcing the trade of Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, Bloom was asked about a report that ownership had considered backing out of the deal based on negative fan reaction.

"I'm glad you asked," Bloom said. "We did hear that report. That's absolutely untrue. Unfortunately, when these things are going on and especially during a process, it's not something we're able to address. But that is not true."

The Red Sox certainly provided critics with plenty of ammunition. The team was savaged over the supposedly light return for Betts and Price, and then the deal nearly died over the medicals of Twins reliever Brusdar Graterol, who was supposed to come to Boston but ended up going to the Dodgers instead.

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Meanwhile, fans fumed over giving away Betts in his prime.

"We certainly anticipated it," Bloom said of the negative reaction. "As we were going through this week, obviously it was hard to have a true sense of it. It wasn't our No. 1 priority as a baseball ops department to be focused on what was going on externally. We worried obviously about what we were working on, but it was very clear to us that this move would come with a lot of fan backlash.

"I think we had to prioritize what was right in the big picture for the Red Sox over the fan reaction. It certainly did not catch us off guard. As I said, we know how much, obviously we know the type of player Mookie is, we know how much he matters to our fans. We knew it would hurt, and it's going to hurt for a little while, but again, the big picture was our biggest priority."

That meant acquiring outfielder Alex Verdugo, with Dodgers prospects Jeter Downs and Connor Wong replacing Graterol in the final version of the deal.

Did Bloom ever think the trade might die?

"Whenever you are dealing with something as complex as obviously this one was, there are usually – and this case was no exception – a lot of points along the way where things are in question," he said.

As for whether the Red Sox have any regrets for the way the situation was handled, Bloom said they'd learn from the experience.

"Knowing how it played out, and how it played out so unfortunately in the public eye, there's always things I think you might look back and say you'd do differently," Bloom allowed. "But having been a part of a lot of trades over the years, I'm really proud of how our group handled this one both in terms of putting us in position to make a good decision and making sure we were prepared with all the information we needed, and then the due diligence.

"I think it was difficult for me and difficult for everyone to have to stay silent when you hear your motives being questioned and things like that. But if at the end of the day what you care about is being ethical, being straightforward, and keeping the interest of your players in mind, and also other teams, then that's the right thing to do, so that's what we did.

"I know there was a lot out there about this, but I just want to be very clear, especially for our team, that we prioritized acting straightforwardly and acting ethically at all times, and still making sure we were representing the interests of the Red Sox."

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers admits he still experiences anxiety before games

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers admits he still experiences anxiety before games

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers doesn't always have the easiest time preparing for games. 

After a breakout season in 2019 (.311, 32 homers, 115 RBI, .916 OPS), the 23-year-old has turned into one of Boston's best at the plate, but that doesn't mean he doesn't experience anxiety. 

The Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato sat down with Devers for an interview before the MLB postponed its season due to the coronavirus, and Devers indicated that he still feels a rush before games begin.

“The hardest thing I still go through is every game I still get this anxiousness of the game starting," Devers said, according to Mastrodonato. "It’s this happiness of being out there and being on the field and playing and getting over that anxiety. I’m just over-emotional about the opportunity and being out there playing.

“Because it’s not like a nervous thing, it’s more of an excited thing. That first inning is a big rush. But after that first inning settles, I get an at-bat and it’s like, alright, the game kind of settles. It’s just me being overly emotional about how happy I am.”

“It’s something I’ve been working on since I’ve been here. I’ve been working with previous people in the organization that led me to some of my breathing techniques that I do now. But it’s all about controlling myself. I know it. It’s still there and I’m still working on it. But I have gotten much better at it.”

Of course, you can tell that Devers can't wait to take the field -- he lights up like a kid on Christmas -- but you'd never know truly how emotional he gets. 

In three seasons with the Red Sox, Devers has hit .282 with 211 RBI, 63 home runs and a 5.8 WAR. Based on his 2019 stats, those pregame jitters must've been a little easier to deal with last season. 

Whatever's in store for the Red Sox in 2020, and whenever the baseball season begins, we should expect some big things from Devers in his fourth season.

Why was Red Sox great Bill Buckner trending on Twitter Friday night?

Why was Red Sox great Bill Buckner trending on Twitter Friday night?

R.I.P. Bill Buckner. Ten months later.

Why was the former Red Sox first baseman, who died on May 27, 2019, trending on Twitter Friday night?

It can apparently be traced to New York Times political writer Maggie Haberman on Friday afternoon tweeting a link to Buckner's obit from ESPN.com from the day he died of complications from Lewy body dementia at 69.

Haberman has 1.2 million Twitter followers and it appears some of them thought this was new news.

Former Boston Globe columnist and current MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle tweeted a Buckner tribute a few hours after Haberman's tweet. 

R.I.P Bill Bucker tweets followed well into Friday night, along with plenty informing the tweeter that Buckner had passed away months earlier. 

Haberman appeared to acknowledge her odd timing in a follow-up tweet.

No matter. As Barnicle points out, Buckner ought not to be remembered for the error that was the first line in his obit, but as a terrific hitter (2,715 hits, .289 career batting average, National League-leading .324 in 1980) in a 22-year major league career with five teams (Dodgers, Cubs, two stints with the Red Sox, Angels and Royals). 

And really, anytime is a good time to look back at that.