Red Sox

David Price criticizes MLB's marketing of Mookie Betts, other African-American baseball stars

David Price criticizes MLB's marketing of Mookie Betts, other African-American baseball stars

Mookie Betts is a star, and David Price wants MLB to start treating him like it.

For some odd reason, the 2018 American League MVP isn't featured in any of MLB's commercials despite being an elite player in one of baseball's biggest markets. Price expressed his frustration with MLB's marketing of Betts -- or lack thereof -- to MassLive.com.

“OK, that’s a joke,” Price said. “I saw the Brewers first baseman [Jesús Aguilar] has a commercial on MLB Network. Great player. Great player. I love watching him play. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him from Travis Shaw and all those guys. But he’s not Mookie Betts. We’re trying to grow this game in the African-American community. Put that guy [Betts] on commercials. That’s how this game grows. MLB is probably the worst at marketing their players. They need to do a better job of that. We’ve talked about that to the union and [MLB commissioner] Mr. [Rob] Manfred many times."

MLB's lackluster marketing of its players has been a subject of criticism for a while now, with Angels star Mike Trout being the prime example of the league's shortcomings. But Price emphasized that the issue goes well beyond just Trout. There's an entire group of worthy players blatantly being overlooked.

“Market the African-American stars in baseball better,” Price said. “And the other players. Everybody. Market us better. Mookie Betts doesn’t have a single commercial. He’s one of the most marketable people in all of baseball. He plays for the Red Sox and he’s African American. Zero commercials. A very likable person. He could be the face of baseball. And zero commercials. He just won MVP. MLB just needs to step up."

Price's point is a valid one. There is no reason a player of Betts' talent and character shouldn't be promoted just as much if not more than players like Phillies star Bryce Harper, and that also goes for numerous other African-American stars around the league.

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Brock Holt wearing patch to honor Dustin Pedroia, credits him for recent hot streak

Brock Holt wearing patch to honor Dustin Pedroia, credits him for recent hot streak

Since returning from the IL in late May, Brock Holt has been playing well.

In fact, that's an understatement. He has been red-hot.

In 14 games since returning to the lineup, Holt is hitting .396. He also clubbed his first homer of the season at Camden Yards on Friday night. Throughout this streak, Holt has been wearing a patch on his left arm to honor one of his teammates, and he believes that the patch is helping him to hit better.

“Dustin Pedroia right here,” he said to NESN's Guerin Austin about the patch (as transcribed by Lauren Campbell). “Little shoutout. I’ve been wearing it ever since he went back home. We’re always thinking about him. I’m obviously thinking about him. It actually might be the reason I’m doing so well is I’ve got a little bit of him with me. He’s part of our team still, no matter where he’s at.”

Pedroia was moved to the 60-day IL after suffering yet another setback in his return from a knee injury. He elected to stop rehabbing the injury to take time off. The team's long-time second baseman and former AL MVP has played in just nine games since the start of the 2018 season as he has been plagued by the malady.

It's nice to see Holt honor Pedroia, and it's also nice to see the bat come around again for Holt. He could once again prove to be a valuable piece for the Red Sox as the lefthanded part of the second base platoon and a utility option who can give other players days off.

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Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

The Boston Red Sox will look to make it a clean sweep against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon. They took the first two games of their three-game series by a combined score of 20-4 and will turn to their third straight lefty starter on Sunday in Brian Johnson.

Johnson has been sidelined since early April with an elbow injury, so his return to the rotation could provide a spark for the Sox. Last season as a spot starter, Johnson had a 4-3 record and a 4.15 ERA in 13 games as a starter. He was a solid fill-in at the back of the rotation, and that's something that the Red Sox have lacked in the absence of Nathan Eovaldi

Johnson's ERA this season isn't pretty (12.71), but that largely stems from a disastrous 1 1/3 inning outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he gave up seven earned runs. That was just before he was put on the IL, so he may have been dealing with the injury in that outing.

The Red Sox lineup looks pretty normal for Johnson's start. The only major notes are that J.D. Martinez will play left field while Andrew Benintendi sits. Eduardo Nunez will get the nod at DH while Marco Hernandez gets the nod at second base over the hot-hitting Brock Holt.

Here are the lineups for today's game at Camden Yards with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

BOSTON RED SOX 
Mookie Betts, RF
Christian Vazquez, C
J.D. Martinez, LF
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Michael Chavis, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Eduardo Nunez, DH
Marco Hernandez, 2B
--
Brian Johnson, LHP (1-0, 12.71 ERA)

BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Hanser Alberto, 3B
Trey Mancini, RF
Pedro Severino, C
Renato Nunez, DH
Anthony Santander, LF
Jonathan Villar, 2B
Chris Davis, 1B
Keon Broxton, CF
Richie Martin, SS
--
John Means, LHP (6-4, 2.60 ERA) 

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