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Red Sox respond to James' 'inappropriate' comments

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Red Sox respond to James' 'inappropriate' comments

Red Sox advisor and noted analyst Bill James caused quite a stir on Thursday when he tweeted out that baseball players are not nearly as important to the game as we think, and they would simply be replaced if they all disappeared today. 

In a since-deleted tweet, James said, “If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them, the game would go on; in three years it would make no difference whatsoever. The players are NOT the game, any more than the beer vendors are."

Of course, many players took issue with James' opinion, including the MLBPA, who called James' comments "both reckless and insulting" to the game of baseball. 

The Red Sox, who currently employ James as a consultant, released a statement condemning James' comments. 

Several current MLB players have chimed in as well, including Justin Verlander, who asked if the Red Sox would still have won the World Series had Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, or any number of their main contributers had simply been with someone else. 

James is a well-known statistical analyst who wrote the book behind the concept of "Moneyball". 

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Brock Holt continues to embrace role on Red Sox: ‘I love it here’

Brock Holt continues to embrace role on Red Sox: ‘I love it here’

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Whether he’s playing various positions, boosting morale in the clubhouse, or hitting for the cycle in the playoffs, Brock Holt is a jack of all trades.

Holt has carved out an invaluable role with the Red Sox since joining Boston in 2013. A role he still embraces six years later.

“I love it here,” Holt told reporters Sunday at JetBlue Park. “You know, this has become home to me. I’ve said many times that I would like to play every day if possible, but if that were the case I wouldn’t be a part of this. This team calls for me to move around and play different positions. That’s what’s gotten me to be in the big leagues, stay in the big leagues and be a part of this team, and I’m very thankful for that.”

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While Holt would love the opportunity to contribute on the field day in and day out, the 30-year-old remains willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.

“I feel like everyone in this clubhouse is here to win, and that’s all we want to do and that’s all I want to do,” he said. “So whatever we have to do to make that happen, that’s what we’re going to do. I think that’s kind of why I fit the way I do. We have a lot of really good players in here, but I feel like I’m a really good player as well and I can back those guys up when they need a day off, or an injury or something like that.”

Holt’s plentiful contributions to the team both on and off the field haven’t gone unnoticed. Red Sox manager Alex Cora praised his utility man on Sunday.

“He’s great in the clubhouse, he’s one of the leaders, he’s always willing to do whatever,” Cora said.

“He’s a good a player. A productive player. The last two months of the season and the playoffs he was driving the ball out of the ballpark. He was slugging and he played good defense at second. So I’m very happy to have him back. Him around us makes us better, and he’s a guy that’s gonna be important for us all through the season. We’ll find at-bats for him, he’ll play different positions, and he’s going to be productive.”

After talking about teammate Mookie Betts winning the 2018 American League MVP award, Holt was asked if he believes he’d have a shot at the award if he were an everyday player in another city.

“Chances would probably be a little better. More at-bats, obviously,” said Holt. “But no, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but right here doing what I’m doing. Getting to put on this uniform every day and play for this organization is something you can only dream about and I’m getting to live it every day. So I’m very thankful.”

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J.D. Martinez: ‘For a DH to win MVP, they’re going to have to walk on water’

J.D. Martinez: ‘For a DH to win MVP, they’re going to have to walk on water’

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Many were surprised last year when J.D. Martinez finished outside of the top three in MVP voting, but Martinez saw it coming.

Martinez’s numbers jumped off the page in 2018. In his first season with the Red Sox, the 31-year-old mashed his way to a .330 batting average, 43 home runs and 130 RBI. Still, he finished fourth behind teammate Mookie Betts, Angels superstar Mike Trout, and Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez.

While his teammates were stunned to see him fail to crack the top three after being arguably the best pure hitter in baseball, Martinez knew all along that being a designated hitter would cost him votes.

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“I was like, ‘Guys, there’s no way the analytic guys are going to ever let that happen,’” Martinez told reporters Sunday at JetBlue Park. “For a DH to win MVP they’re going to have to walk on water.”

He might be right. Red Sox great David Ortiz finished in the top five in MVP voting five times, but never won the award. Another one of the best designated hitters of all time, Edgar Martinez, placed in the top five only once.

“It became the talk in the clubhouse last year,” Martinez said. “Everybody’s like, ‘The only way you’re going to win it is to win the Triple Crown.’ I was like, ’100 percent. That’s the only chance.' So when it came out, I kind of expected it.”

Martinez’s production at the plate spoke for itself, but it was his presence off the field that likely earned him more MVP votes than he otherwise would have gotten. Betts, manager Alex Cora, and many more of Martinez’s Red Sox teammates have spoken at length about his invaluable contributions in the clubhouse.

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