Red Sox

Jackie Bradley Jr. says race relations have to 'start with change of heart'

Jackie Bradley Jr. says race relations have to 'start with change of heart'

Jackie Bradley Jr. has watched the George Floyd protests touch every corner of America, and he can't help but feel emotional.

With the Black Lives Matter movement forcing a long overdue racial reckoning, Bradley hopes the result is permanent change of a very personal nature.

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"It has to start with a change of the heart," Bradley said in a Zoom call with reporters on Monday. "That's what it all comes back to. You've got to have the heart to be able to physically, emotionally, and mentally make that change to be better. Not only for yourself, but for others around. We've come a long way as a nation, but we still have some ways to go. I'm praying that we can get to the place that we need to be."

Bradley has spoken to manager Ron Roenicke and teammates about his experiences. He also took to heart the words of former All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter, who recently told an interviewer that he heard more racist language directed at him in Fenway Park than anywhere else, which is why Hunter had a no-trade clause to Boston.

Bradley declined to discuss his specific experiences, saying those conversations are for another time, but he did empathize with Hunter.

"I definitely heard what Torii talked about," Bradley said. "I've talked with Torii since I was a rookie. He's an amazing mentor, someone that you can go to and just discuss anything, whether it's just life, baseball, family. There's a lot of guys that I've spoken with along the way. For them to give me knowledge to use and help my career is something that I'm very appreciative for.

"I think everybody has different experiences, and I'm not here to compare my experience to his. I'm sure we've all had different experiences in certain situations, certain places. But I just hope we get better and make a change."

And Bradley knows that changes need to happen. It can't be through laws or rules, but core beliefs.

"It all boils down to people just have to want that change," he said. "You can't force it on anybody. We have to show a lot more love in this country."

Red Sox' Alex Verdugo robs home run, celebrates with awesome reaction

Red Sox' Alex Verdugo robs home run, celebrates with awesome reaction

Alex Verdugo made best play of his young Boston Red Sox career Friday night, and he was well aware of it.

With the Red Sox leading the Blue Jays by two runs in the ninth inning, Verdugo leaped in front of the right field bullpen at Fenway Park to rob Toronto's Travis Shaw of a home run.

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The play was impressive in its own right, but the 24-year-old outfielder punctuated it with a great reaction.

Verdugo's scream of celebration was audible on the game broadcast (even above the fake crowd noise), a sign of just how fired up he was about the catch.

"I would say I’ve never screamed like that before,” Verdugo said after Boston's 5-3 win, via the Associated Press. “I used to be a pitcher back in the day. I was pretty hyped up."

Verdugo had two other reasons to be hyped up: He also blasted a pair of solo home runs, giving him three on the young season and earning a spot alongside legendary left-handed slugger Mo Vaughn.

The Red Sox aren't expected to make much noise this season, but it appears the former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder will do his best to raise the decibel level.

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays Highlights: Alex Verdugo homers twice in Boston's second straight win

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays Highlights: Alex Verdugo homers twice in Boston's second straight win

FINAL SCORE: Boston Red Sox 5, Toronto Blue Jays 3

IN BRIEF: Alex Verdugo homered twice and Mitch Moreland added one of his own in the Red Sox' win over the Blue Jays on Friday night. The Red Sox capitalized on a woeful outing from Blue Jays starter Tanner Roark, who walked five batters and allowed four runs in three innings pitched.

Sox starter Ryan Weber allowed two runs in three innings, then the bullpen put together an admirable effort to preserve the lead.

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BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 5-8

HIGHLIGHTS

Well, that escalated quickly

Verdugo's first Fenway homer

Moreland's two-run shot

Vlad Jr. brings Jays within one

Homer No. 2 for Verdugo...

...and then he robs one!

UP NEXT
vs. Blue Jays, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., NESN
vs. Blue Jays, Sunday, 1:35 p.m., NESN