Red Sox

Ex-Red Sox Jonny Gomes earns interesting promotion on Diamondbacks' staff


Ex-Red Sox Jonny Gomes earns interesting promotion on Diamondbacks' staff

Jonny Gomes always has been a bit of a square peg in a round hole. It appears that trend is continuing.

The former journeyman outfielder, who spent two seasons in Boston and won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013, has been promoted to the Arizona Diamondbacks' outfield and baserunning coordinator, USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale reported Tuesday. (He had previously served as the D-backs' Rookie League team hitting coach.)

We know what you're thinking: That Jonny Gomes? The guy who stole exactly one base in Boston and was an average outfielder at best? He's in charge of a professional baseball team's outfield and baserunning?

Upon closer review, though, Gomes doesn't necessarily deserve to get laughed off the stage.

That's because the 38-year-old actually was a decent baserunner earlier in his career. His 30 steals in six seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays are more than some would expect, and he finished is career with a 14.2 baserunning runs above average, which is FanGraphs' rough baserunning equivalent of Wins Above Replacement.

Even we can't defend Gomes' fielding credentials, however: He sported a career Ultimate Zone Rating of -39.5, which you don't need to be an expert to realize is pretty bad.

Then again, we can see why Arizona's staff would have a soft spot for Gomes: Both general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo were on the Red Sox's staff during that 2013 title run.

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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 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.