In a disappointing season for the Boston Red Sox, the productive years of Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers did warrant some MVP recognition.
Bogaerts finished fifth in the American League MVP voting (The Angels' Mike Trout was your winner for the third time in six years), Betts, who won the award a year ago, was eighth and Devers 12th in the voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Bogaerts hit .309 with 33 homers, 52 doubles and 117 RBI; Devers .311, 32 HR, 54 doubles and 115 RBI. They became the first teammates to ever reach the 30-homer/50-doubles mark in the same season. The numbers for Betts (.295, 30 HR, 80 RBI), the subject of trade rumors this offseason, were considered by many to be a down year for him.
The Dodgers' Cody Bellinger was voted National League MVP.
Justin Long, the Sox Senior Manager of Media Relations and Baseball Information, points out that having three players in the top 12 is the best showing for the Red Sox since 2011:
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Twenty years ago, the Boston Red Sox were in the 82nd year of the Curse of the Bambino. There was some hope, though, in the form of the most electric pitcher in baseball.
That pitcher, of course, was Pedro Martinez. The Red Sox legend was coming off a historic 1999 season in which he earned his second Cy Young Award and finished as the American League MVP runner-up. His 23 wins, 2.07 ERA, and 313 strikeouts topped the league, and he continued to exert his dominance over opposing hitters the following season.
Sports Illustrated previewed the 2000 campaign by featuring Martinez on their iconic cover. They even went as far as to predict the Red Sox would win a World Series title with Martinez leading the charge.
On Friday, Martinez took a trip down memory lane and posted the cover to Twitter.
How's that for nostalgia?
Obviously, the Red Sox had to wait four more years before they finally broke the curse. Still, that's a cover to hold on to if you still have some old Sports Illustrated magazines laying around your household.
In 2000, Martinez earned his third Cy Young, going 18-6 with a 1.74 ERA, 284 strikeouts, and an absurd 0.74 WHIP.
Baseball's regular season was supposed to begin on Thursday. Alas, that didn't happen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The absence of baseball left many across the country a bit melancholy, including the nephew of recently signed Boston Red Sox pitcher Collin McHugh. But McHugh did what he could to cheer him up.
As McHugh detailed on Twitter, he wrote a little comic for his nephew. He also took the time to share the wholesome comic so his fans could see it.
That's a kind gesture by McHugh and the comic itself is adorable. Let's hope it brightened his nephew's day a little bit.
McHugh joined the Red Sox late in the offseason after spending the previous six seasons with the Houston Astros. In 2019, he went 4-5 with a 4.70 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings.
McHugh was rehabbing an elbow injury that was expected to keep him sidelined to start the Red Sox season, but he was eventually expected to compete for a job in the bullpen or starting rotation.