Red Sox

Rafael Devers is the first player to reach this milestone since Miguel Cabrera

Rafael Devers is the first player to reach this milestone since Miguel Cabrera

In the seventh inning of the Boston Red Sox' win over the Baltimore Orioles, Rafael Devers reached a milestone.

He crushed a two-run homer off Orioles reliever Shawn Armstrong that was 27th of the season. Here's a look at that blast via the Red Sox official Twitter.

However, the homer was only part of the story. On the play, Devers recorded his 100th and 101st RBIs of the season. In the process of doing so, he became the first player to record 100 RBIs during the 2019 MLB season. Additionally, he set a milestone by becoming the first player to total 100-plus RBIs and 100-plus runs in a single season at age 23 or less since Miguel Cabrera achieved that feat in 2005.

And via the Red Sox Notes Twitter account, Devers is only the second Red Sox player to reach this milestone, joining Ted Williams.

Any time a player is mentioned in conjunction with Williams and Cabrera, that is certainly a good thing. Devers has rapidly become one of the best, young hitters in baseball and given his youth and continued growth, there's no doubting that he can be a superstar hitter for the Red Sox. And in the future, he will likely continue to set records for the squad.

Over the course of his past five games, Devers has been red-hot for the Red Sox, batting .652 with 3 homers, 7 doubles, and 11 RBIs. He currently leads the MLB in hits, RBIs, and doubles. With the Red Sox fighting for their Wild Card life, they will be looking for Devers to continue this streak and help power their offense amid injuries to their starting rotation.

Highlights: Six-run rally sparks Red Sox' fifth-straight victory>>>

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Chaim Bloom, Brian Cashman discuss the unthinkable - could Red Sox and Yankees ever swing a trade?

Chaim Bloom, Brian Cashman discuss the unthinkable - could Red Sox and Yankees ever swing a trade?

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Red Sox and Yankees have made exactly two trades in the past 25 years. Chaim Bloom's Rays dealt with the Yankees twice in the past four.

Now that Bloom is running the Red Sox, could Boston and New York actually swing a trade?

Eh, probably not. But we asked Bloom and Yankees counterpart Brian Cashman about it anyway, because Boston's new baseball boss is a bit of a wild card as he takes over a team that plans on leaving no stone unturned this winter.

Speaking at the GM meetings at the Omni Resort, Bloom said it would be "irresponsible" to cross the Bombers off his list of trade partners, while Cashman noted that he'd be willing to deal with anybody if it would help his team.

"I've been around long enough to know that if it's something that benefits your franchise, you don't worry about anything else -- the public appearance of it or the fear factor," Cashman said. "Our job is to make difficult decisions to the benefit of your franchise. I'm not afraid to deal with anybody, whether it's the Mets, the Red Sox. It doesn't matter. If it makes sense to us and it makes sense to them, so be it. I'm open for business."

The last deal between the two clubs came at the trade deadline in 2014, when the Red Sox shipped shortstop Stephen Drew to New York for fellow infielder Kelly Johnson. Those Red Sox were mired in last place with a record of 48-60, 13 games behind Baltimore (how times have changed) in the AL East. The Drew trade put the finishing touches on a two-week bloodletting that saw Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jonny Gomes, Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller, and A.J. Pierzynski jettisoned.

The last deal before that came in August of 1997, when another Red Sox team not in contention shipped catcher Mike Stanley to New York for a package that included Tony Armas, Jr., who'd be used four months later to help acquire Pedro Martinez from the Expos.

Each trade shared an important trait that made dealing between the two cities much easier.

"The best atmosphere is when one team is down and the other is up," Cashman said. "But when you're both in going-for-it-mode and you're both championship-caliber contending clubs, you're typically not in a position to swap players. So it just makes it harder. Atmosphere is important. The Red Sox and Yankees have been perennial playoff contenders year in and year out for a long time. So that's probably more of a hurdle and obstacle than anything else, especially since they're in your own division. That's probably it more than anything else."

That didn't stop the Yankees and Rays from pulling off a pair of recent deals. In February of 2018, they joined a three-team deal with the Diamondbacks that sent Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona and Brandon Drury to New York, among many other parts. Two years earlier on a much smaller scale, the Rays purchased catcher Carlos Corporan from New York, though he never appeared in a game for them.

Both Bloom and Cashman share a mutual respect and admiration, even if they're now on opposite sides of baseball's biggest rivalry.

"I think one of the great things about this business is you can be a rival professionally with someone and still respect them a lot, get along great with them personally," Bloom said. "You guys obviously have covered him for a long time and you know how easy he is to talk to.

"I think, in general, look, our job is to do what's best for the Boston Red Sox. There's a lot of considerations that go into that in any conversation. Some of them are true across all 30 clubs, some of them, there might be unique dynamics. Obviously I know the relationship between this organization and the Yankees is not like any other club. But really, at the end of the day, our job as a group … is to do what's best for the Red Sox and then make sure we're just factoring in everything appropriately."

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Report of Houston Astros sign-stealing shows that, apparently, Red Sox weren't only ones stealing signs in 2017

Report of Houston Astros sign-stealing shows that, apparently, Red Sox weren't only ones stealing signs in 2017

Apparently, the Boston Red Sox weren't the only ones stealing signs in 2017. 

The Houston Astros reportedly were stealing signs electronically en route to their World Series Championship victory, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

Houston had a camera set up in center field, zeroed in on the opposing team's catcher, feeding signs to a monitor in a walkway between the dugout and clubhouse at Minute Maid Park, per the report. While sitting on massage tables opposite the screen, Astros' employees and players reportedly watched the screen as they tried to determine the signs.

When the person had determined the sign, the pitch expected to be thrown was communicated via a loud banging noise. The banging came off a trash can sitting in the tunnel, and normally meant an off-speed or breaking ball would be thrown.

In simpler terms, the video below describes exactly how the Astros used technology to steal signs -- and it's a pretty elaborate scheme. 

While the Astros are under fire, it's a reminder of how the Red Sox were able to steal signs that same season using Apple watches. Investigators from Major League Baseball determined the Red Sox used the watches to steal signs when playing the New York Yankees and other teams. The Sox admitted to stealing signs and ultimately were fined an undisclosed amount. The two teams met in the best-of-five ALDS that season, with the Astros winning in four games on their way to their first World Series title. The Red Sox would win their playoff rematch in five games in the ALCS in 2018 on their way to a World Series title.

The Athletic report quotes an anonymous major league manager as saying that sign-stealing using advanced technology is "an issue that permeates the whole league" and that MLB has "done a very poor job of policing or discouraging it."

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