Red Sox

Red Sox' Xander Bogaerts makes history with 50th double of season

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Red Sox' Xander Bogaerts makes history with 50th double of season

As he's done so many times this year, Xander Bogaerts provided a bright spot in what's been a dark season for the Boston Red Sox.

The 26-year-old clubbed his 50th double of the season in the third inning of Thursday night's game vs. the Blue Jays. That makes Bogaerts the second shortstop ever to notch 50 two-baggers and 30 home runs in a season. Alex Rodriguez accomplished the feat in 1996 with the Seattle Mariners.

It's been a season full of milestones for Bogaerts. Earlier this season he also became the first shortstop since Miguel Tejada in 2004 to tally 30 homers and 100 RBI in a season. Last week, Bogaerts reached the 1,000-hit mark for his career.

Joining Bogaerts in the 50-double club is Rafael Devers. The third baseman slugged his 50th in Wednesday night's contest.

It's the first time in franchise history the Red Sox have had two players hit 50+ doubles.

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Jason Varitek's strikeout call as umpire in Red Sox scrimmage is fantastic

Jason Varitek's strikeout call as umpire in Red Sox scrimmage is fantastic

Jason Varitek may have found a new calling in calling batters out.

The former Red Sox catcher, whose official title with Boston is "Special Assistant/Catching Coach," moonlighted as the home-plate umpire in the team's intrasquad scrimmage Thursday at Fenway Park.

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But Varitek didn't just half-heartedly call balls and strikeouts. Nope, he was committed to the bit, dressing up in full umpire attire to stand behind the plate.

Oh, and his strikeout call was a thing of beauty:

Leslie Nielsen would be proud.

Varitek didn't go all-out for all of his strikeout calls, but he didn't hesitate to punch out Red Sox stars like J.D. Martinez.

Varitek got to know major league umpires very well during his 15-year playing career in Boston, so if anyone on the Red Sox' staff is qualified for this job, it's him.

Thursday marked the Sox' first simulated game action since they opened Training Camp at the beginning of the month. They're set to begin the shortened 2020 season July 24 with a home series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Red Sox schedule 2021: Dates, opponents for 162-game season revealed

Red Sox schedule 2021: Dates, opponents for 162-game season revealed

Major League Baseball is looking ahead to (hopefully) brighter days.

The Red Sox don't begin their coronavirus-shortened 2020 season until July 24, but that didn't stop Boston and the rest of the league from unveiling their full schedules for the 2021 MLB season Thursday.

Here's the Red Sox' full 2021 schedule, which at the moment includes 162 games.

Boston will open the 2021 season against the Baltimore Orioles on April 1, 2021, at Fenway Park and play its first nine games against American League East opponents.

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The Red Sox' 2021 schedule also includes interleague matchups with the National League East, who they'll see plenty of this summer during their 60-game campaign.

The Sox don't face the New York Yankees until June 4 at Yankee Stadium but will play a total of 14 games against their archrival between June and July.

With COVID-19 still hitting the United States hard, it's much too early to tell if the 2021 season will start on time or if fans will be allowed at games. But at the very least, the league has a schedule in place should things drastically improve over the next seven months.