Red Sox

J.D. Martinez is unsurprisingly a big fan of MLB's universal DH rule

J.D. Martinez is unsurprisingly a big fan of MLB's universal DH rule

There will be a universal DH in baseball for the first time in 2020. J.D. Martinez can only hope it's not the last.

The Red Sox slugger would benefit more than any other player in baseball by the full-time adoption of the position in the National League, and he makes no secret of his wish to see it happen. Because the players and owners could not agree on a proposal to play the 2020 season, the universal DH will only be used this year out of safety concerns, before reverting back to an AL-only position in 2021.

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"You're kind of asking a biased person here," Martinez said. "I'm all for it. I'm a DH. I think you could speak to a lot of pitchers who are for it, too. A lot of pitchers like it and a lot of pitchers in the AL like it because they feel the pitchers in the NL have an advantage. It's one less hitter they have to face and one less elite hitter they have to face, really, because of it."

Martinez can opt out of his contract after this season, which is an iffy proposition in the midst of a pandemic. But the only way it happens is if the NL market suddenly opens up, creating 15 potential new landing spots for the best DH in the game.

Martinez will otherwise make $19.75 million in each of the next two seasons as part of a five-year, $110 million contract. When he addressed the DH issue via a Zoom call on Sunday, he focused on the competitive implications.

"I like it to even the playing field across the board," he said. "I understand the history of it and stuff like that, so I see the other side of it, too, but I'm in favor of it. I think it keeps everybody safe. It keeps our pitchers safe, it keeps the game fun, it's more offense, which is what fans like to see. And I think you don't have the whole, 'Oh he had 2.00 ERA in the NL so in the AL that's really going to be a 3.00.' Now it makes it easy and makes it even across the board for everybody."

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

Red Sox players erect perfect Fenway Park tribute to Dustin Pedroia

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File photo

Red Sox players erect perfect Fenway Park tribute to Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia may not be with his teammates this season, but that doesn't mean he can't watch over them with an iron glare from the best seats in the house.

Red Sox players asked if cutouts of family members could be placed in the box seats behind the home dugout, and the first row includes quite the intimidating image -- Pedroia and his three sons staring at the field, arms folded sternly.

From left to right, Cole, 7, Dylan, 11, and Brooks, 6, mimic their father's pose. All four were fixtures at Fenway Park in recent years before injuries took their toll and effectively ended Pedroia's career.


(Photo via Barry Alley)

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Until being injured on a questionable slide by Manny Machado in 2017, Pedroia was on his way to making a borderline Hall of Fame case for himself. The former Rookie of the Year and MVP played an integral part in two World Series championships, and also earned a ring after appearing in three games for the 2018 club.

The four-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glover went just 2-for-20 in six games last year before shutting it down, probably for good. His six-year, $85 million extension expires after next season.

Even if his Red Sox career is over, his impact on the franchise is not, which is why his teammates have chosen to honor him in a way that perfectly suits his bleep-talking, larger-than-life personality -- by glowering at them like he's about to hurl an insult.


Xander Bogaerts poses next to cardboard cutouts of his mom, Sandra Brown, and his uncle, Glenroy Brown (Photo via Barry Alley).